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pine vole

Fact File

Scientific Name: Microtus pinetorum carbonarius

Classification: Mammalia, Order Rodentia, Family Cricetidae

Identifying Characteristics

This is a small mouse with a short tail and a total length of 100 -145 mm long and a weight of 21-56 grams. . The body is cylindrical, slender, and modified for a semi-fossorial life. Their auburn fur is soft and thick, and does not have the scattered long guard hairs found in most other voles. The ears and eyes are reduced in size. The breeding season is likely to be throughout the year with a peak in July with 1-4 litters of 3-4 young being produced each year. A single burrow system and nest may accommodate social groups containing many adults of both sexes and their young. Primary predators include barn owl, long-eared owl, screech owl, red-tailed hawk, broad-winged hawk, marsh hawk, pilot black snake, red fox, and gray fox. Densities are usually greater in orchards than in natural hardwood forest. The life span is at least 18 months.


This subspecies is found only in the very western part of the state. This species can occur in a variety of habitats from deciduous and pine forest to grassy fields. It prefers habitats with well drained soils and a thick ground cover of either forest litter or vegetation. High densities are found in orchards the since the food supply is greater, and because grass and forb growth is enhanced by frequent mowing and fertilization.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

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