Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

February 1980


Published in Proceedings of the Fourth Eastern Pine and Meadow Vole Symposium, Hendersonville, NC, February 21-22, 1980, Ross E. Byers, editor. Copyright © 1980 Madison.


Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were radiotracked in their natural environment from June through August 1974, 1975 and 1978. Four different types of movement were observed: residency, shifting, wandering and dispersal. Next to the residency pattern, wandering was the most common form of movement and probably was important during breeding activities. Dispersal was a rare event and is probably confused with wandering in the existing literature.

A total of 17 weather variables were analyzed for correlations with vole movement. Male voles showed a distinct tendency to move more widely during periods of dry weather. The latter was attributed to the negative effects of dry weather on the ability of male voles to detect the odors of male competitors. Thus male voles were less inhibited in their search for receptive females during dry weather. Female voles showed no major change in movement with different weather conditions.