Southwestern water vole

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Southern (or southwestern) water vole
Arvicola sapidus 02 by-dpc.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Genus: Arvicola
Species: A. sapidus[1]
Binomial name
Arvicola sapidus
Miller, 1908
Arvicola sapidus range Map.png

The southwestern water vole or southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus) is a large amphibious vole found in most of France and south-westwards through Spain and Portugal, from where it also migrated to Scotland.[2] Although historically considered to be a member of the same species as the Eurasian water vole, Musser and Carleton (2005) considered it distinct enough to warrant full species status. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable.[1] It is threatened for many of the same reasons as the northern water vole, and a campaign is currently underway to seek protection for the species, both at a national level and at European Union level.

The animal was traditionally one of the main ingredients in the Valencian dish called paella.


  1. ^ a b c Rigaux, P.; Vaslin, M.; Noblet, J.F.; Amori, G. & Muñoz, L.J.P. (2008). "Arvicola sapidus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 25 March 2009.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable
  2. ^ "12 fascinating facts you might not know about water voles". Discover Wildlife. BBC. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017. Scottish water voles have a completely different ancestry to their southern cousins across the border. Voles to the south of Scotland migrated over from south east Europe, recolonizing after the Ice Age. Scottish voles came from the Iberian Peninsula. 


  • 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.