Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

March 1981


Published in Proceedings of the Fifth Eastern Pine and Meadow Vole Symposium, Gettysburg, PA, March 4–5, 1981, Ross E. Byers, editor. Copyright © 1981 Madison, FitzGerald, Pagano, and Hill.


Pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were studied in three apple orchard plots in the Hudson Valley of New York during June and July 1980. Selected voles from each plot were given miniature radiotransmitters and then tracked before, during, and after rotary mowing.

A total of 11 pine voles and 6 meadow voles were tracked. Home range size was much larger for meadow voles than pine voles. During mowing, meadow voles were noticeably affected by the mower; pine voles were not. No change occurred in the area utilized before and after mowing for either species, nor did any significant mortality result from the treatment. Voles of both species showed a slight but significant tendency to remain closer to the tree rows after mowing. We conclude that rotary mowing has a negligible effect on vole movement and survival under the conditions of this study.