Water Voles in Derbyshire Talk
Two weekends ago, me and Mummy went to a talk about water voles in Derbyshire at the Methodist Church. It was very interesting, and they talked about signs and poo, where they are in the county, there threats and how to not confuse them with other rodents. The main problem they face is the invasive American mink, which escaped from fur farms, but since then these mustelids have expanded there range massively, and as they are excellent swimmers, have reeked havoc for the UK’s water voles and birds like kingfishers. But thats not the only problem these voles face: other problems include cattle trampling the banks, dogs and humans who poison them as they think they are rats. In Scotland, some water voles have black fur! Some people mistake them for brown rats, but there are actually a lot of differences, including rats have long and scaly tales and water voles have shorter ones and rat’s ears stick out more than a vole’s. For a few months, a project has been running where naturalists have been reintroducing water voles into mink-free areas, and it has been quite successful. The person who did the talk had done a book about the water vole so at the end we bought that.