Population declines are evident in some European countries (e.g., United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy) (Saucy 1999, Battersby 2005). However, in many areas it is common and stable (in northern continental Europe it is considered a pest species). Even in optimal habitat, aquatic forms seldom occur at densities greater than 100 individuals per hectare (roughly equivalent to 15 individuals per 100 m of river bank)(Saucy 1999). In Fennoscandia and the Baltic area the aquatic form also shows population cycles in synchrony with other vole species. At high population densities, large scale damages on rice fields have been reported in Macedonia (B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2007). The water vole is thought to have been a common species in the Hula swamps of Israel until the area was drained in 1957 (Qumsiyeh 1996). In Azerbaijan, considered to be common in semi deserts, lowland and riparian forests, mountain forests and mountain grasslands and numerous in foothill and mountain steppes. The species is locally abundant in lush banks.
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