Water Vole Surveys

The water vole Arvicola amphibius is the fastest declining mammal in the UK mainly due to habitat loss over the last 20 years. Ellendale environmental have undertaken surveys for water vole as part of pre-construction checks on a number of our projects throughout the UK.

Surveys are carried out during the breeding season when water voles are most active.  Surveys for water vole look for signs of their presence these include;

1] Latrines or droppings. These are distinctive, ‘tic tac’ shape and size, often brown or green and the best evidence for water vole presence.

2] Feeding stations or signs. Vegetation is left cut up in piles along the water’s edge, often with a distinctive 450 cut angle on the ends. Again a good indicator of water vole presence.

3] Burrows. Usually close to water level with a track running straight down into the water (rats often link their burrows with greasy pathways up and along the banks). Burrows alone are not enough to prove water vole presence.

Water voles are best surveyed between April and September although signs can be found from March to November.

Stewart Parsons