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 Rhodes and Richmond.


Orchard substrates, in general, provide excellent conditions for pine vole (Pitymys pinetorum) growth and reproduction as indicated by the distribution and abundance of pine voles within orchard situations in the eastern United States (Gourley and Richmond, 1972). However, the specific characteristics which are attractive to pine voles and facilitate their proliferation are poorly understood. The basis for selection of any particular habitat component by the pine vole is in large part a function of the vole's physiological requirements, because the physiological needs of the animals must be met by appropriate habitat resources. Thus, information on specific habitat parameters critical to pine vole survival can be obtained from an understanding of pine vole physiology. In this investigation, we present evidence that pine voles have very high water requirements and suggest that one habitat component of some importance to their survival is a high level of water availability.