Thursday, February 2, 2012

Threatened voles found living the high life

ONE of Scotland’s most threatened native mammals – the tiny water vole – has been found thriving more than 2,000 ft up a mountain in the Highlands.
The population of the rodent has plummeted in Scotland by 94 per cent since 1950, due to changes in their habitat and the introduction of the mink.
But Scottish Natural Heritage has now revealed that small colonies of voles, normally associated with low-level water and river systems, have been found 700 metres up a hillside on the agency’s Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve.
It is the first time water voles have been found living at such a high altitude.
Dr Lorna Brown, who led the survey team, said: “It seems that the population on Beinn Eighe is in good health.”

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