Bank vole

Myodes glareolus

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The bank vole is widespread in Eurasia. Their population fluctuates according to the availability of food. During mast years, where there are ample supplies of acorns and beechnuts, their populations can swell rapidly. The bank vole is very common in Central Europe. It acquired its German name Rötelmaus ("red chalk mouse") due to the reddish-brown fur on its back. It inhabits woodland edges, hedgerows and gardens and can be found on the menu of hungry owls, weasels, foxes and cats. The bank vole burrows long tunnels just under the surface of the ground, a typical nesting behaviour exhibited by voles. Soft materials, such as moss and animal hair, are brought down the extensive burrow, which also includes tunnels for eating and storing food, as cushioning. Bank voles are carriers of Hantaviruses along with a number of other species.

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