Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Water voles unexpected reappearance in Kent wildlife reserve

Water voles out of the blue
April 2012. Water voles have reappeared at Kent Wildlife Trust's (KWT) Hothfield Heathlands. KWT have been looking out for these charismatic rodents for a number of years now, expecting them to turn up along the river, or living in the long ditches that run from the bottom of the bogs. However, much to the surprise of KWT, they have popped up at the other end of the reserve, living in the highest area, sandwiched between a road and some intensively grazed fields!
Water voles live next to water bodies where there is a bank to build a burrow and lots of vegetation to eat. However in recent years the introduced American mink has been having a devastating impact on their population. This has led them to live in some untypical areas - away from the ditches and rivers loved by the mink.
At the moment KWT have only seen the piles of stems that indicate hungry water voles, but they are hoping to spot some of the animals before too long.
In 2008 KWT ran an appeal for Hothfield Heathlands and raised over £61,000 which was fantastic. It's because of that kind of support that they can carry out habitat management work that provides suitable habitat for species like water vole.

More about Hothfield Heathlands 

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