Potential importance of urban areas for water voles: Arvicola amphibius

Leivesley, J. A., Stewart, R. A., Paterson, V. and McCafferty, D. J. (2021) Potential importance of urban areas for water voles: Arvicola amphibius. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 67, 15. (doi: 10.1007/s10344-021-01467-5)

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Abstract

Cities are not often considered priority areas for threatened mammals; however, recent research suggests that urban areas may be important for water vole (Arvicola amphibius) conservation. To establish the potential importance of cities in supporting water vole populations, we used National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas data to examine the occurrence of water voles within the United Kingdom (UK). Water voles were recorded in 28 out of 64 official UK cities in the last decade (2010–2018), and rivers and streams within parks, sports grounds, and urban reserves were the most important habitat types. In total, we found 497 records of water vole sightings within official cities, representing 5.0% of all records for this species in the NBN Atlas. Our results show that water voles are indeed found within many cities, suggesting that urban populations of water voles are more common in the UK than previously recognised. We therefore recommend that the importance of these urban populations for conservation of this species should be further established.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Paterson, Dr Victoria and McCafferty, Dr Dominic and Stewart, Ms Robyn
Authors: Leivesley, J. A., Stewart, R. A., Paterson, V., 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:European Journal of Wildlife Research
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-4642
ISSN (Online):1439-0574
Published Online:02 February 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH, DE part of Springer Nature 2021
First Published:First published in European Journal of Wildlife Research 67:15
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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