Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences

 

Date of this Version

February 1991

Abstract

We conducted a study in 2 heavily infested orchards in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York to evaluate methods for detecting the presence of meadow voles (MV, Microtus pennsylvanicus) and pine voles (PV, M. pinetorum) under apple trees. We quantified several possible signs indicating the presence of voles in each of the 4 quadrants under the canopy of each tree, and then set and monitored traps until capture success in the orchard declined to zero. There was no evidence that the 4 quadrants differed with respect to any of the variables examined. The apple slice index (ASI) was the best indicator for both species. Detection improved significantly (P < 0.05) when the ASI was used in conjunction with the number of runways (MV) or tunnels (PV) under the tree, although neither of the latter 2 signs was by itself a reliable indicator. The ASI and search for runways and tunnels should be conducted in at least 2 quadrants under each tree. The significance of these findings for managing voles in apple orchards is discussed.