Ellie Brodie, senior policy officer for the Wildlife Trusts, said: "Water voles
are an essential part of our wild and watery places and it's terribly sad that we're continuing to witness huge declines of this much-loved mammal.
Figures from a new report out today by The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) reveal the UK has seen a 30% decline in the number of water voles
, yet in Wales the work of Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) has seen the creatures brought back from local extinction.
Habitat loss, water pollution, built development and predation by mink have led to massive declines in the number of water voles
since the 1960s.
are the most prolific when they have abundant amounts of vegetation and cover.
She said that prairie voles
are such alcoholics that they prefer alcohol to water.
These findings are consistent with vole
transmission and amplification of the bacterium as vole
have suffered a 94% drop in numbers since the 1960s, when they were a familiar sight in ditches, rivers and streams.
She said: "It's really important that we survey the water vole
population at this time, to find out how well the population have survived the winter, when food supply is scarce and its many predators are hungry.
Because the first specimen of the eastern heather vole
(Phenacomys ungava) in Minnesota was for long identified as a rock vole
(Handley, 1954), we examined the diagnostic dental patterns of several hundred rock voles
and the first 100 heather voles
And not to be dismissed is the fact that both moles and voles
are capable of transmitting diseases (rabies for example) to humans.
We also readily observed runways through the crinkle paper to food sources in vole
Alastair Driver, national conservation manager at the Environment Agency and chair of the UK s water vole
steering group, said:It is essential that we have up-to-date information on water vole
distribution because they breed prolifically, but also their populations can plummet quickly in response to floods, droughts, mink predation and habitat loss.