This phenomenon of skinny meadow voles seems counter intuitive. Habitat selection is largely influenced by relative ground cover of grasses and forbs; soil temperature, moisture, sodium, potassium, and pH levels; humidity; and interspecific competition. Meadow Voles .  Description: The back of the meadow vole is very dark brown and black colored with very course hairs. Voles are also often called meadow mice. Those in southern parts of … Meadow vole, (Microtus pennsylvanicus), one of the most common and prolific small mammals in North America. Males have a much larger home range than females. They weigh 1 to 2 ounces and have a body covered with coarsely textured hairs that have a range of colors from yellow-brown to reddish-brown to a dark, black-brown. They breed rapidly and experience population booms every few years, which leads population densities to measure in the hundreds of voles per single acre of land. A vole typically only lives for 3 - 6 months. What are voles? The meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) (which is also called the “meadow mouse” or the “field mouse”) is 5 to 7 inches long including its tail. Meadow voles are most commonly associated with sites having high soil moisture. The vole’s shrinkage is only successful because it is accompanied by a complete shift in its social behavior. Optimal meadow vole habitat consists of moist, dense grassland with substantial amounts of plant litter. Meadow voles are the most common vole species in the United States. Color: They have long and coarse fur that is usually blackish brown to grayish brown. Size: Weighing on average 1.5 oz (48 g) the Meadow Vole is a small rodent that is around 5 to 7 inches long (128 to 195 mm) with a tail that is over 40% of their body size. The dense, soft fur is chestnut-brown above and gray There is even evidence suggesting a reduction in brain size during winter. Characteristics: Meadow voles, also sometimes called meadow mice or just plain “voles”, are small mammals, They have a compact and fat little body with short legs and a short furry tail, small eyes and partially hidden ears. Weighing less than 50 grams (1.8 ounces), this stout vole is 15 to 20 cm (5.9 to 7.9 inches) long, including its short tail (3 to 6 cm). The Meadow vole is a rodent with a rounded, stocky body and a blunt nose. Voles are very closely related to hamsters. The tail is only as long as its hind legs. The size and color of this large vole depend on location. Voles are a small species of … Wouldn’t having less body mass to produce heat make it harder to stay warm? They are often restricted to the wetter microsites when they occur in sympatry with prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) or montane voles. In a… Facts. Meadow voles have a home range size relative to their sex. Female meadow voles are territorial of only about 38 m^2 of their home ranges. The home ranges of males are 405-3480 m^2 while the home ranges of females are 160-3115 m^2.