Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Microtus townsendii

Townsend's Vole

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Microtus townsendii
Microtus townsendii - inset shows foot tubercle pattern
Click to enlarge. (94 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Townsend's Vole is one of the largest voles in North America, and it is also very abundant where it occurs, making the species highly significant to a multitude of predators, including herons, owls, and other birds of prey; and raccoons, skunks, weasels, mink, coyotes, bobcats, and red and gray foxes. Snakes, too, feed on these Voles. Densities as high as 800 Voles per hectare have been recorded, and when densities exceed 100, Townsend's Vole may exclude other small rodents from its range through competition. Townsend's Vole has dark-brownish fur and ears large enough to project above the fur. The ears are small by most standards but large for the genus: Microtus comes from two Greek words that mean "small ear."

Range: 169-225 mm

Range: 47-83 g


Bachman, J., 1839.  Description of several new species of American quadrupeds, p. 60.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Part 1, 8:57-74.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Microtus townsendii