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Southern Red-backed Vole - Myodes gapperi



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Rodentia 
 Family: Cricetidae 
 Genus:  Myodes
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


southern red-backed voleThe southern red-backed vole is 5-6 inches in length. It is gray with a rust red stripe running from its head to its tail. It has a yellowish-brown face and sides. Its underside is white to gray. It has a short tail, short ears, and a pointed nose. Its fur is long and thick in the winter and short in the summer.


mapThe southern red-backed vole is found from British Columbia east to Newfoundland in Canada and in the northern United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains. The southern red-backed vole is found throughout New Hampshire.


The southern red-backed vole lives in coniferous or mixed  forests, bogs, and swamps. It usually makes its nest under tree roots, logs, or brush piles.



The southern red-backed vole eats plant parts in the spring. In summer, fruits and berries are added to its diet. In the fall, it eats nuts and seeds. It also eats fungi, roots, and some insects. It stores food for later use. In the winter, it eats stored food and it forages for tree roots, seeds, and bark.  

Life Cycle

The southern red-backed vole has a life expectancy of 10-20 months, so its breeding cycle is quick! Breeding season runs from March through October. The female gives birth to 2-8 young. She has 2-3 litters a year. The gestation period is 17-19 days and the young are weaned when they are 17-21 days old. They are ready to mate when they are three months old!


The southern red-backed vole is active day and night. It usually hops instead of runs, and it is a good jumper and climber.