Long-tailed Vole, Microtus longicaudus

The long-tailed vole (Microtus longicaudus) is native to North America. Its range stretches from Alaska to California where it inhabits shrub lands and alpine meadows. It holds one subspecies, the Coronation Island vole, which was previously thought to be a distinct species.

The long-tailed vole can reach an average body length of seven inches, with an average weight of 1.7 ounces. The fur is typically greyish brown in color, and pale grey on the underbelly. These voles are active throughout the year, and can produce litters between four and eight young up to three times per year.

During the winter, when the voles burrow under snow, they will feed on roots and bark, while in the summer they will eat green plant materials. The main predators of this species include mustelids, and owls. The long-tailed vole appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Long-tailed vole (Microtus longicaudus). Credit: Rocky Mountain National Park/Wikipedia