Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Water voles wander across 'fragmented' Scottish habitat

Scottish water voles have been found to travel enormous distances, enabling them to persist in fragmented habitats.
The large rodents travel around bogs, lochs and moors in order to join, or establish, new colonies.
Although the findings were based on a species adapted to a "patchy" environment, the work could help biologists understand how habitat fragmentation may affect other animals.
The research was presented at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.
Water voles living in the north-west of Scotland live in small family groups of five to 10 individuals separated from other small populations by kilometres.
By studying the behaviour of the mammals, Prof Xavier Lambin and his colleagues from the University of Aberdeen discovered that far from remaining isolated, young members of the family groups wandered huge distances away from their "home" territory.

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