Nature Champions: Water vole


Unlike a true rat, “ratty” has fur on its tail, paws, and ears and a rounded nose. It is widespread in the UK, living along rivers, streams and ditches, around pools and lakes and in marshes, reedbeds and areas of wet moorland. Water voles like to sit and eat in the same place, so piles of nibbled grass and stems may be found by the water’s edge. They are much bigger than other voles.

Action Needed

  • Support restoration of riverbank habitats.
  • Press for control of invasive American mink by supporting the Scottish Mink Initiative 
  • Develop coherent agri environment/climate schemes, within the Regional Land use Partnership structure, to provide habitat
  • Develop and implement a coherent Scottish Nature Network so actions can be targeted to support species and habitats 
  • Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy addresses the IPBES drivers fully.


Britain’s fastest declining mammal, the Water vole has disappeared from many parts of the country where it was once common. It is threatened by habitat loss, but has suffered particularly from predation by the introduced American Mink.

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