Common Name

Scientific Name

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The water vole, Microtus richardsoni, occurs in the northwestern United States and parts of southwestern Canada. The species is found in mountainous areas of northern and central Utah, where it prefers alpine and sub-alpine meadows. As their name implies, water voles are generally found near water. They are excellent swimmers, and their burrows often have openings below the water's surface.

Females may have two litters of two to nine young each year. Water voles eat a variety of vegetation, including leaves, grasses, seeds, and roots; invertebrates are also consumed.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.