Water vole (Arvicola amphibius) abundance in grassland habitats of Glasgow

Stewart, R.A., Jarrett, C., Scott, C., White, S.A. and McCafferty, D.J. (2019) Water vole (Arvicola amphibius) abundance in grassland habitats of Glasgow. Glasgow Naturalist, 27(1), pp. 10-19.

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Abstract

Water vole (Arvicola amphibius) populations have undergone a serious decline throughout the UK, and yet a stronghold of these small mammals is found in the greater Easterhouse area of Glasgow. The water voles in this location are mostly fossorial, living a largely subterranean existence in grasslands, rather than the more typical semi-aquatic lifestyle in riparian habitats. In this study, we carried out capture-mark-recapture surveys on water voles at two sites: Cranhill Park and Tillycairn Drive. We made a total of 62 captures including retraps, and the resulting population estimates were 78 individuals (95% confidence interval 41-197) for Cranhill Park and 42 individuals (20-141) for Tillycairn Drive. From these figures we estimated a population density of water voles, which appeared to be higher than other reports from the UK. Despite the difficulties of sampling in urban environments that resulted in relatively low capture rates, our data suggest that the greater Easterhouse area of Glasgow holds water voles at relatively high population densities. These results will inform future conservation in the City of Glasgow and surrounding areas, as well as raise awareness of important water vole populations in urban environments.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jarrett, Ms Crinan and McCafferty, Dr Dominic and Stewart, Miss Robyn and White, Dr Stewart
Authors: Stewart, R.A., Jarrett, C., Scott, C., White, S.A., and McCafferty, D.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Glasgow Naturalist
Publisher:Glasgow Natural History Society
ISSN:0373-241X
Published Online:01 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Glasgow Natural History Society
First Published:First published in Glasgow Naturalist 27(1).
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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