Vole interesting facts are plentiful, not quite as plentiful as they animal may be during a peak year, but plentiful, nonetheless. In this section some of the more interesting facts about voles are highlighted.
- Female voles are quite the little scrappers! Some species stomp their hind feet and chatter their teeth to let an enemy know that they are not messing around. If that doesn’t work they may break into street fighting mode and box and/or wrestle a would-be threat to the finish.
- Males, on the other hand, are not quite as defensive and do not defend territories, opting instead to avoid and retreat.
- Males with fight each other, however, over a female who is ready to mate.
- Voles are much more accommodating when they are not breeding and may live together with as many as seven (7) other males.
- The fact that voles can swim is quite interesting. Not only can they swim but they can dive, too! This, however, opens them up for underwater predators including bass, musky and the northern pike.
- One way to determine if you have voles living on your property is to cut an apple in half and place next to a tree trunk. Wait for a day or two (2) and take a look for gnaw marks. On a larger scale orchard owners use this method to determine the percentage of trees that will be damaged by the voles!
- They don’t call the vole transportation routes runways for nothing! Voles are quick. They can sprint through those runways at speeds up to six (6) miles per hour.
- The genus for the vole species in North America, Microtus, means “small ear”.
- Vole populations are cyclical and during peak years populations up 250 voles may live on a single acre.
Voles can reproduce year long but prefer to mate in the spring and fall.
- Females gestate for about 21 days giving birth to anywhere between one (1) and twelve (12) young.
- Voles can give birth up to 12 litters in one (1) year!
- Female voles are physically ready to reproduce at the tender age of three (3) weeks old.
- Nearly 90% of the young die during their first week.
- The vole lifespan is limited only one and a half (1 ½) years old.
- Vole populations are cyclic depending on the environment and climate conditions. In North America vole populations will peak every four (4) years according to experts which can lead to population densities as high as 250 per acre.
- There are three (3) species of voles that are arboreal and spend their time both above ground, in the trees, and foraging on ground level, too!
From their reproductive prowess, to their ability to swim and dive, the vole is considered to be one of the most interesting rodents in North America. These traits combine with the others mentioned have led to quite a few vole interesting facts.