European Water Vole

The European Water Vole, Arvicola amphibius, is a semi-aquatic mammal that resembles a rat. In fact, the water vole is often informally called the “water rat”. Some authorities consider the Southwestern Water Vole in the same species, but it is now generally considered a distinct species.

Water voles have round noses, deep brown fur, chubby faces and short fuzzy ears. Unlike the Water Rat, their tails, paws and ears are covered with hair. In the wild, they survive for 5 months on average, most do not survive a second winter. In captivity, they survive for a maximum of 5 years.