Southern Water Vole
Reproduction occurs between March and October, with 3 to 4 litters of 2 to 8 young per litter.. The gestation period is 3 weeks. Sexual maturity is reached at 5 weeks old and the life span of the water vole varies from 2 to 4 years. The water vole lives in small family groups and, under optimal conditions, its density may reach 5 individuals for every 100 meters of riverbank (Saucy 1999, Palomo and Gisbert, 2002). There have never been any records of damage to human activity or agriculture by the Southern water vole unlike the European Water Vole Arvicola amphibious with which as mentioned it can be easily confused.
It is almost always found near to water, preferring small freshwater lakes, ponds and slow-moving rivers and streams with dense bank side vegetation (Saucy 1999, Fedriani 2002). They sometimes are found in drainage ditches and wet fields. Abundant vegetation and bank sides suitable for water vole burrowing activity seem to be essential characteristics of water vole habitat. Its diet consists mainly of aquatic plants, grasses, and herbs, although small animal prey are occasionally taken (insects, fish, tadpoles, freshwater shrimp). The burrows of the water vole typically have two entrances, one primary entrance above water level and one underwater entrance. The water vole is mainly active during the day, with two peaks in activity in late morning and early afternoon, as well some nocturnal activity. It is active
throughout the year, with no period of hibernation.
Water vole prints - traces are difficult and often inconclusive.