Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

February 1979


Published in Proceedings of the Third Eastern Pine and Meadow Vole Symposium, New Paltz, N.Y., February 14 – 15, 1979, Ross E. Byers, editor. Copyright © 1979 Geyer.


Ultrasonic vocalization rates of young pine voles are highest when pups begin to move into and out of nests and exhibit olfactory directed movement. As olfactory preferences become established and movement is coordinated, a decline in vocalization appears in pine vole. In the presence of home shavings young pine voles emit high rates of vocalization, while rat pups emit calls at a low rate. This contrast may relate to the intensive attachment of young pine voles to the mother in early life. In preliminary studies of adults, priming either the male or female with the odor of a prospective social partner reduces subsequent aggression. While long-term olfactory exposure can familiarize a vole with an unknown conspecific and reduce conflict, a brief unfamiliar olfactory stimulus to a male can disrupt subsequent interactions of a familiar pair.