The shocking decline in both range and numbers of the water vole is due to a number of factors. The large-scale loss and fragmentation of sensitive waterside habitats due to riverbank modification, drainage and flood defence works has been an important factor (5), as has the pollution of waterways and poisoning by rodenticides (3). Perhaps the most serious threat facing the beleaguered water vole is predation by the introduced American mink (3). When threatened, water voles often dive under water and kick up a cloud of mud to hide from predators. This does not fool the American mink, however, which is able to successfully hunt the water vole on land, in the water and even inside the burrow system. There is a correlation between the loss of water vole sites and American mink presence (5), and the introduced mink has even resulted in local water vole extinctions (2).
No one has provided updates yet.