Rock vole

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Rock vole
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Microtus
Species: M. chrotorrhinus
Binomial name
Microtus chrotorrhinus
(Miller, 1894)

The rock vole (Microtus chrotorrhinus) is a medium-sized vole found in eastern North America. It is also called the yellow-nosed vole.

This species is similar in appearance to the larger Taiga vole. It has short ears and a long tail which is paler underneath. The fur is greyish-brown with grey underparts and a yellowish nose. Its length avereages 15 cm (5.9 in) long with a 5-cm tail, and it weighs about 39 g (1.4 oz).

They are found on moist rocky slopes in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. They make runways through the surface growth and shallow underground burrows. They are usually found in small colonies.

They feed on grasses, mosses, underground fungi and berries (especially bunchberry), and also sometimes on caterpillars. Predators include hawks, owls, snakes and small carnivorous mammals.

The female vole has two or three litters of four to seven young. They are active year-round, mainly during the day, but are rarely seen. It has been designated as a species of concern in some parts of its range.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G., Whittaker, J.C. & Norris, S.J.) (2008). Microtus chrotorrhinus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 11 June 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  • 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.