The Greenalyte Water Vole trap comprises of a trap with a separate nesting area to provide ample room for bedding and food. Baiting the trap and removing the catch is made easy by hinging the nest box at the bottom, allowing it to swing clear of the trap.
The trap part is a lightweight zinc-coated mesh with a simple to set treadle mechanism and drop down door. The nesting box is manufactured from 12mm FSC Certified external hardwood ply. There is a half door-front which provides further protection from the elements.
This unique product was developed in response to concerns about using the Sherman Trap for water vole capture. Whilst the Sherman will successfully trap water voles, it has very little scope for bedding or protection from the elements and deaths can occur.
Total length (box incl.) : 650mm
Total width (box incl.) : 185mm
Weight : 2.5kg
Information About Water Voles in the UK
The Water Vole can be found in many slow moving waterways throughout the UK and are the largest species of British vole. They live in networks of tunnels along the rivers bank with the entrance often below the water level, as this helps to defend from weasels and stoats which are their natural predators.
Predominantly vegetarian, the water vole is known to graze on well over 200 species of plants, that being said they will eat a range of insects and fresh water molluscs and even fish.
They are typically dark brown with a relatively round body and short tail, they are often mistaken for rats when swimming because both are excellent swimmers.
Habitat & Breeding
A female can produce four litters of up to 9 young each year and typically have a territory of around 70m of river bank, whereas the males have a range of several times this and therefore have access to several females within their own range. The young are weaned at 4 weeks old when they leave the nest to find a territory of their own.
Threats to Populations
Like many of our native species, Water Vole populations have been in decline for several decades and without intervention and a concerted conservation effort could become extinct. There are a number of possible causes, those listed below are the most likely contributors:
- Poisoning accidentally while rat populations are being targeted
- Pollution inhibiting the natural reproduction cycle and decimating native species of plants on which the voles feed.
- North American Mink are an introduced species which are aggressive predators and small enough to fit into the burrows made by the voles and are capable of wiping out entire colonies.
- Loss of Natural Habitat either from grazing animals which trample the banks destroying their food and burrows, or clearance of vegetation and mowing.
- Drought, with our increasingly erratic weather patterns many watercourses run dry, the River Kennett close to its source at Avebury has been dry for over 18 months!
The Water Voles homes are protected under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, in short this means a developer must survey for Water Voles before any work begins and ideally retain the existing habitat, or must create an alternate suitable habitat if found.
For professional advice on the survey of Water Voles see the IEEM leaflet here
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