Woodland Vole in Maryland Yard

The woodland vole, Microtus pinetorum, is very common around my house in Maryland. They spend most their time in tunnel systems close to the soil surface.

I feel bad for the little guys that often become food for my cat. In the picture is a woodland vole that I rescued after my cat brought it inside to play with. Honestly, I’m trying to discourage such behavior in my cats (the bringing inside). There seems to be no shortage of voles around.

I was always unsure what kind of critter was digging those tunnels in my yard. After a little research I now think I can tell the difference between the woodland voles (83 -120mm long including tail) and the meadow voles (128 -195mm) both found in Maryland. These woodland voles are smaller and have a shorter tail (15 to 40mm). Meadow voles have tails that are about 40% of their body length.

2 thoughts on “Woodland Vole in Maryland Yard

  1. Alicia C.

    What amazes me most about these little guys, and their cousins (not sure how related they are) the shrew, is that such little guys can make such huge tunnels! My cats, too, bring me “presents. I don’t like it, but I choose to think of it as natural selection. One of these days, one of my cats will sun into Super Shrew!

  2. Oma

    We have voles in our yard as well, they have really been at work this winter in Post Falls, Idaho. How can you get ride of them? We don’t have a cat!
    What a mess.

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