Common Name

Scientific Name

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The western heather vole, Phenacomys intermedius, is a mouse-like rodent that occurs throughout much of western Canada and in parts of many western states. In Utah, the species is found in mountainous areas containing open coniferous forests, tundra (where cover is available), and meadows.

The western heather vole eats seeds, berries, and green vegetation in the summer, whereas the bark of shrubs, birch, and willows is consumed in the winter. Western heather voles mate throughout the late spring and summer. Gestation lasts about three weeks, and females can produce one or two litters of approximately four young each year. The species is active throughout the year, usually at dusk or during the night. Western heather voles nest above ground during the winter, and in underground burrows during the summer.


  • 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.