Species 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

1. Support restoration of riverbank habitats.
2. Press for control of invasive American mink by supporting the Scottish Mink Initiative.
3. Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.


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.

MSP Species Champion

Miles Briggs

Member for: Lothian

Party: Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

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