With the release of 60 captive bred water voles (Arvicola amphibius) by the Environment Agency in the Cornish catchment of Bude water voles have now returned to every English county of the United Kingdom.
Water voles are a small 350 gram semi-aquatic rodent that lives in excavated burrows in rivers and streams, they are considered of Least Concern by the IUCN despite localised vulnerability and decline in the UK, and can be found throughout Northern and Central Europe. This is the first time they have been seen in Cornwall since 1989.
This was part of a nationwide scheme to halt the decline of the species due to habitat loss and the unintentional introduction of the American Mink.
The water vole is an iconic species of the British countryside, characterised by Ratty in The Wind in the Willows and seems to be a favourite amongst our follows:
— Neil Phillips (@UK_Wildlife) August 19, 2014
— simon hummerstone (@SHummerstone) August 3, 2014
— Wildlife Sightings (@wildlife_uk) June 14, 2014
— Wildlife Sightings (@wildlife_uk) April 29, 2014
— Wildlife Sightings (@wildlife_uk) April 7, 2014
— James Lees (@JamesSLees) March 28, 2014
— Wildlife Sightings (@wildlife_uk) February 6, 2014