Species: Arvicola amphibius
IUCN Red List Status: UK: Endangered; Global: Least Concern
Population Trend: stable globally, declining in the UK.
Distribution: throughout British Isles (except northern Scotland & Ireland), and Europe (except for southern parts of France, Portugal, Spain, Italy & Greece). Also USSR, SW Canada & north western parts of North America.
Habitat: rivers, canals, streams, ponds, lakes, marshes. Sometimes found far from water, in woodland, meadows, crop fields and gardens.
Description: rat-like in appearance but with a rounder face with a blunt nose, short furry ears, shorter tail; long, glossy, dark-brown fur.
Size: male:- head and body, 20cm; tail, 12cm. Female slightly smaller.
Life-span: about 5 months in the wild - usually no more than 18 months. Up to 5 years in captivity.
Food: mainly grasses and waterside plants. Also twigs, buds, bulbs, roots and fallen fruit.
Read More: Introduction