Water Vole Survey

Water Vole Surveys

The water vole Arvicola terrestris/amphibius is a species of streams, rivers, wet ditches and water courses. It was once very common and found throughout the UK but has recently suffered dramatic declines in its abundance and distribution as a result of predation by mink and habitat loss and degradation.

The water vole receives full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) which makes it an offence to kill, injure, capture, or disturb water voles, or to damage or destroy their habitats. However, certain actions affecting water voles may be undertaken under licence from Natural England where it can be demonstrated that the conservation status of the species can be maintained and enhanced through appropriate mitigation and compensation measures.

Water vole surveys involve searches for burrows, feeding stations, droppings and latrines and are best undertaken in the spring when activity levels are high but when low vegetation allows field signs to be more readily observed. Although April to September is ideal, water vole surveys can be undertaken at any time of year. Ecologists at Windrush Ecology have experience of undertaking water voles surveys and of preparing water vole mitigation and conservation strategies.

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