Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

February 1978


Published in Proceedings of the Second Eastern Pine and Meadow Vole Symposium, Beltsville, Maryland, February 23-24, 1978, Ross E. Byers, editor. Copyright © 1978 Horsfall Schadler.


Reproductive potential in the pine vole is low compared with other small rodents including other species of voles. Age of maturity is late. Males do not reach puberty before 51 days and females before 77 days. Estrus and ovulation are not spontaneous but tend to be induced by mature males. Gestation is long (24 days). Litter sizes are small (2.8 young weaned per female). Litters are produced less frequently because, although females mate and conceive within 3 days of parturition, prolonged gestation insures a minimum of 24-27 days between litters. Only dominant females in a group carry litters to term regardless of the age of other females in the group. Life span is short and crowding delays reproductive maturity thereby reducing potential for large potential increases.