Species at Risk

Woodland Vole

Woodland Vole (Microtus pinetorum)

Status in Canada: Special Concern

Status in Ontario: Special Concern

Status at SWCR: Common

This small chestnut-brown rodent has a short tails and is native to the Carolinian life zone.

Quick Facts:

  • The SWCR is within the major part of its range: Southwestern Ontario close to lake Erie.
  • It occupies a variety of habitats, ranging from deciduous forests, to orchards, and scrubby sand dunes.
  • They live in small, communal groups.
  • They live in deciduous forests and burrow within the deep litter layers on the forest floor.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Habitat loss/degradation: due to urban development, agriculture, and forest harvesting.

Activities that can damage critical woodland vole habitat include:

  1. Activities that eliminate patches of dense understory or reduce structural complexity on the forest floor: Natural succession and canopy closure, excessive deer browsing.
  2. Activities that interfere with understory shrubs, unauthorized plant collecting and off-trail ATV use.
  3. Vegetation management activities that can crush or destroy understory plants, such as prescribed burns.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Forest thinning activities
  • Enforcement of unauthorized trail use

What you can do to help:

  • Follow the  code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
  • Report sightings to the SWCR CC, or the Natural Heritage Information Centre.
  • Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

Ontario Species at Risk Profile

Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund