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Overview

Brief Summary

Description

Creeping Voles are found in moist coniferous forests at all stages of forest succession, from old growth to recent clear-cuts. In fact, population density is probably higher in recently cut areas where more sunlight reaches the ground and more grasses and herbs grow. They are good burrowers, and they spend more time below the leaf litter than above it. Their nests are built underground or under rotting logs or root clumps. About a third of their diet may be fungi, and the rest grasses and forbs. They are quite small and have tinier eyes than most other voles. They have sooty-gray to dark brown or almost black fur mixed with yellowish hairs, and a gray or white belly.

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Mammal Species of the World
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  • Original description: Bachman, J., 1839.  Description of several new species of American quadrupeds, p. 60.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Part 1, 8:57-74.
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Southwestern British Columbia south through western Washington and western Oregon to northwestern California.

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Range Description

This species is found in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, south through western Washington and western Oregon to northwestern California in the United States.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 16 cm

Weight: 31 grams

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Size in North America

Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females.

Length:
Average: 140 mm
Range: 130-153 mm

Weight:
Range: 17-20 g
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Moist forests of Pacific coast, brushy, grassy areas. Most abundant in more xeric sites, especially those supporting stands of short grass, but may favor riparian areas in some localities. More abundant in clearcuts than in virgin forest. Occupies shallow burrows and low cover. Young are born in nests dry grasses placed in cavities under logs or in similar protected sites.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is found in the moist forests of the Pacific coast, brushy, grassy areas. It is most abundant in more xeric sites, especially those supporting stands of short grass, but may favour riparian areas in some localities. More abundant in clearcuts than in virgin forest. It occupies shallow burrows and low cover.

Young are born in nests, dry grasses are placed in cavities under logs or in similar protected sites. Breeding occurs mainly from March to September in Oregon and British Columbia. Gestation is approximately 23 days. Females are estimated to produce a maximum of four or five litters per year, with approximately three to four young per litter.

Diet consists primarily of green vegetation (presumably both forbs and grasses); they also eat fungi. Although active at any time, this species is most active at night.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats primarily green vegetation (presumably both forbs and grasses); also eats fungi.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Although active at any time, this species is most active at night.

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Reproduction

Breeds mainly Mar.-Sept. in OR and British Columbia. Gestation ca. 23 days. Females estimated to produce maximum of 4 or 5 litters/yr., with approximately 3-4 young/litter.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)

Reviewer/s
Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern, although it has a patchy distribution and sometimes is uncommon, its population is thought to be stable, it is adaptable and there are no major threats.
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Population

Population
This species is considered secure within its range (NatureServe). Densities vary with habitat and over time due to changes in habitat quality. They can be fewer than 15 per hectare in mature forests, and up to 138 per hectare in clear cuts and old fields.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: In coastal British Columbia, apparently was unaffected by herbicide treatment of Douglas-fir plantation (Sullivan 1990).

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Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species. In coastal British Columbia, creeping voles were apparently unaffected by herbicide treatment of Douglas-fir plantation (Sullivan 1990).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is not of conservation concern and its range includes several protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Creeping vole

The Creeping Vole (Microtus oregoni) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in British Columbia in Canada and in California, Oregon and Washington in the United States.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Linzey, A.V. & Hammerson, G. (2008). "Microtus oregoni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.


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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: See Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) for discussion of relationships.

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