prairie vole size

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Return to the Mammals of Kansas index page. Area of Distribution: Prairie voles live in the central grasslands of North America from central Canada to Oklahoma, east of the Rocky Mountains to West Virginia. It is the most common vole of the Great Plains grasslands. It spends considerable time in well-defined runways which it makes and maintains in grass. The tiny newborns are pink and hairless, but have fur within 5 days. The damage they can do to ornamental plants, trees, and garden plants can be quite severe and take several years to replace. They can damage the trunks and roots of trees by gnawing. It is important to act before vole numbers get too high, especially before winter snow provides cover. The pelage is generally grayish-brown with black and brownish-yellow tipped longer hairs, which gives them a grizzled appearance (Mumford and Whitaker 1982; Jones and Birney 1988; Stalling 1999), although several color variations have been found (Stalling 1990, 1999). The underground nest (200 x 130 x 110 mm) made of grass stems and finer lining is placed 250 mm or more deep. (Hazard 1982). Physical characteristics: The Prairie voles fur is long and coarse with a mixture of grayish brown and black giving it a "peppery" appearance. Effective action involves using the Vole Control Bait Station System, habitat modification, and regular monitoring in the fall and spring with the Apple Sign Test to detect any resurgence from surrounding areas. Description: The prairie vole is a medium-sized animal similar in appearance to a mouse. The main runways are seldom exposed except where they cross large animal trails or sparse grass cover. Size: The prairie vole has a total length of 5.7 inches (or 146 mm) and weighs 1-1.8 ounces (or 30-50 grams). They store food in underground chambers for later use during the winter. Fun Facts: •Like other voles, Prairie Voles are subject to cyclical population fluctuations. With this potential for severe damage to your landscape and garden, a homeowner cannot afford to do nothing and assume a predator will control the problem. The sides of the body are lighter and the belly is yellow to grayish white. The gnaw marks are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch wide and 3/8 inch long found in irregular patches and at various angles. Voles move along runways by creeping or by darting. Surface runways and underground tunnels may be shared by other species of mammals. The young are born hairless and develop rapidly, acquiring a brown coat of fur by day two, crawling three days later, and eating solid food by day 12. Reproduction: The prairie vole breeds throughout the year (three or four litters) except during the hottest, driest summers, or severe winter.After a gestation period of 21 days, one to seven (usually three or four) hairless young are born with both eyes and ears closed. Food:   Food consists of soft basal segments of grasses, some tubers and roots, seeds and , rarely, animal food. Prairie voles live in colonies and have been known to exhibit human-like social behavior in groups. They occur at various angles and in irregular patches. Search and feel for underground tunnels around the base of the stressed shrubs that may reveal vole activity. It has a stocky and stubby body, short tail and legs, and its eyes and ears are small. After a gestation period of 21 days, one to seven (usually three or four) hairless young are born with both eyes and ears closed. Rabbits have much larger teeth than voles and their regular gnaw marks on the trees will show this. They are weaned at 2-3 weeks, and are fully grown by two months. This vole stores greater quantities than does the meadow vole, and stored food reflects the kinds of common food available. Rabbits also chew on young trees, but their gnawing begins several inches above the soil line. The girdling may be higher in the winter months if snow cover exists. Their eyes and ears open in about eight days, and in two or three weeks they are weaned. All rights reserved. Copyright 1999. Vegetation is eaten on the spot or carried below ground. the runway system leads to holes that go steeply underground to nests and resting chambers. Reproduction: They have the same partner to help raise and care for their young. If you detect tunneling, then set up a test in the area with the. This is called girdling. It weighs 16.8-49.1 g (0.6-1.7 oz.) Above ground foraging Prairie Vole populations can be controlled with the Vole Control Bait Station System in the Tent Set-up Method. Its total length is 5 to 7 inches (nose to tip of tail) and … The prairie vole is a medium-sized vole with a stocky, compact body (Jones and Birney 1988). Habits:   The prairie vole is the most common microtine in Kansas. When it is associated with the meadow vole it is generally in the drier habitats. Moult to subadult pelage begins after three weeks of age, followed by moult into a lighter, grayer adult pelage at about eight weeks. If this gnawing completely surrounds the root or trunk of the tree or shrub, it will kill the plant. Their eyes and ears open in about eight days, and in two or three weeks they are weaned. Color photo by Barbara L. Clauson. Remarks:   Hawks, owls, shrews, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and bobcats are common predators of prairie voles. Step 2: Learn about the VOLE CONTROL Bait Station System, Step 3: Locate voles with the Apple Sign Test, Above ground foraging Prairie Vole populations can be controlled with the, Pictures from - National Museum of Natural History ©2004 Smithsonian Institution, Look for signs of stress in your ornamental plantings. The small burrow entrance holes lead to underground runways and nesting areas. Weaning occurs at 2-3 weeks and they are adult size after 3 months. In winter they eat bark of woody plants. Status in Tennessee: There are no conservation concerns for the Prairie Vole as they may be plentiful.

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