Microtus montanus - (Peale, 1848)
Montane Vole
Other English Common Names: montane vole
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Microtus montanus (Peale, 1848) (TSN 180310)
French Common Names: campagnol montagnard
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104293
Element Code: AMAFF11020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Rodents
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae Microtus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Microtus montanus
Taxonomic Comments: Two karyotypic morphs have been reported (Judd et al. 1980); are they distinct species? Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) acknowledged this question but made no taxonomic changes.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 13Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5 (01Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S4), California (SNR), Colorado (S5), Idaho (S4), Montana (S5), Nevada (S4), New Mexico (S4), Oregon (S5), Utah (S4S5), Washington (S5), Wyoming (S5)
Canada British Columbia (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Western North America, from south-central British Columbia and western and central Montana south through western U.S. to east-central California, southern Utah, and north-central New Mexico; also disjunctly in east-central Arizona [and adjacent New Mexico?], southern Nevada, and northeastern New Mexico (Musser and Carelton, in Wilson and Reeder 1993).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Western North America, from south-central British Columbia and western and central Montana south through western U.S. to east-central California, southern Utah, and north-central New Mexico; also disjunctly in east-central Arizona [and adjacent New Mexico?], southern Nevada, and northeastern New Mexico (Musser and Carelton, in Wilson and Reeder 1993).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada BC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: Sechrest, 2002

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Greenlee (04011)
ID Ada (16001), Adams (16003), Bannock (16005), Bear Lake (16007), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Boise (16015), Bonneville (16019), Butte (16023), Canyon (16027), Cassia (16031), Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Franklin (16041), Fremont (16043)*, Idaho (16049), Kootenai (16055)*, Latah (16057), Lemhi (16059), Lewis (16061)*, Minidoka (16067)*, Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077)*, Shoshone (16079), Teton (16081)*, Twin Falls (16083), Valley (16085), Washington (16087)*
NM Catron (35003), Rio Arriba (35039)*
NV Lincoln (32017), Nye (32023)*
UT Garfield (49017)*, Iron (49021)*, Kane (49025)*, Washington (49053)*
WY Big Horn (56003)*, Carbon (56007), Fremont (56013), Hot Springs (56017), Johnson (56019)*, Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025)*, Park (56029), Sheridan (56033)*, Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Washakie (56043)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+*, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Little Wind (10080002)+*, Popo Agie (10080003)+*, Lower Wind (10080005)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+, Nowood (10080008)+*, Greybull (10080009)+, Big Horn Lake (10080010)+*, North Fork Shoshone (10080012)+*, South Fork Shoshone (10080013)+*, Shoshone (10080014)+*, Little Bighorn (10080016)+*, Middle Fork Powder (10090201)+*, South Fork Powder (10090203)+*, Crazy Woman (10090205)+*, Clear (10090206)+*, Upper North Platte (10180002)+
13 Rio Chama (13020102)+*
14 Upper Green (14040101)+, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Little Snake (14050003)+
15 Upper Virgin (15010008)+*, Fort Pierce Wash (15010009)+*, Lower Virgin (15010010)+*, White (15010011)+, Little Colorado headwaters (15020001)+, Upper Little Colorado (15020002)+*, Silver (15020005)+*, San Francisco (15040004)+, Black (15060101)+
16 Central Bear (16010102)+, Bear Lake (16010201)+*, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Upper Sevier (16030001)+*, Escalante Desert (16030006)+*
17 St. Joe (17010304)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+*, Palisades (17040104)+*, Upper Henrys (17040202)+*, Lower Henrys (17040203)+*, Teton (17040204)+*, Willow (17040205)+, American Falls (17040206)+*, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Little Wood (17040221)+*, Bruneau (17050102)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Upper Owyhee (17050104)+*, North and Middle Forks Boise (17050111)+*, South Fork Boise (17050113)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Payette (17050122)+, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+*, Palouse (17060108)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Pahsimeroi (17060202)+*, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lemhi (17060204)+*, Upper Middle Fork Salmon (17060205)+, Lower Middle Fork Salmon (17060206)+*, Middle Salmon-Chamberlain (17060207)+, South Fork Salmon (17060208)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+, Little Salmon (17060210)+*, Lochsa (17060303)+, Clearwater (17060306)+, Lower North Fork Clearwater (17060308)+
18 Upper Amargosa (18090202)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Reproduction Comments: Breeds April-October (births April-August in Utah, Negus et al. 1986; May-August in northwestern Wyoming, Negus et al. 1992). Usually 2-3 litters/year (4 cohorts/year in Utah, 3/year in northwestern Wyoming; early cohorts breed in same season). Average litter size is about 6; litter size peaked at 3-4-year intervals in northwestern Wyoming (Pinter 1986). Females of early cohorts begin breeding at 4-5 weeks in favorable years. Drought greatly reduced/delayed growth and attainment of sexual maturity in northwestern Wyoming (Negus et al. 1992).
Ecology Comments: Peak popualtion density was 375-560/ha in Utah (Negus et al. 1986). Populations may fluctuate dramatically. Populations peaked at 3-4-year intervals in northwestern Wyoming (Pinter 1986). Predators include hawks, owls, foxes, badgers, coyotes, etc.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Alpine meadows in south; mountain valleys in north. Wet meadows, cropland, especially fields & pastures of grass and legumes along fence rows; grassy areas by streams, lakes. Occupies shallow burrows and surface runways.
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Grasses and sedges; leaves, stems, and roots of a wide variety of forbs.
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: Active throughout the year.
Length: 19 centimeters
Weight: 85 grams
Economic Attributes
Economic Comments: May inflict serious damage on apple trees by feeding on bark and vascular tissues of lower trunks and roots (British Columbia, Sullivan and Sullivan 1988; Tobin and Richmond 1993). Also regarded as pest when abundant in other agricultural situations.
Management Summary
Management Requirements: See Seeley and Reynolds (1989) for information on successful use of indomethacin-treated wheat to inhibit reproduction.

The most effective means of reducing damage in orchards is to reduce vole population with rodenticides (toxic baits) (Tobin and Richmond 1993). These, however, may be hazardous to nontarget species (see Swihart 1990), and proper selection, timing, and application are essential for obtaining the best results (Tobin and Richmond 1993). Regarding vole management in fruit orchards, Tobin and Richmond (1993) recommended frequent close mowing of ground vegetation during the growing season and establishment of a vegetation-free zone under the canopy to reduce vole carrying capacity.

Monitoring Requirements: See Tobin and Richmond (1993) for information on a monitoring technique that is useful in orchards (involves putting out apple slices in runways or burrow openings and checking them 24 hours later).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Small Murid Rodents

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Mapping Guidance: Separate sites separated by less than 1000 meters should be mapped as separate polygons.
Separation Barriers: Barriers include: wide highways with heavy traffic (subjective determination) and highways with continuous solid barriers that prevent rodent passage; major water bodies, arbitrarily set at those greater than 50 meters across in ice-free areas and those greater than 200 meters wide if frozen regularly.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Home ranges may be quite small, but at least some species exhibit good dispersal ability that may take them several kilometers from their natal area (Maier 2002). Peromyscus that have been displaced up to 3 km may return home within a few days (see Maier 2002). Displaced Neotoma fuscipes dispersed up to at least 1.6 km from their release point in five nights (Smith 1965). A male Dicrostonyx richardsoni moved more than 3 kilometers per day several times (Engstrom, in Wilson and Ruff 1999). Some species can traverse significant distances of unsuitable habitat. For example, Peromyscus leucopus may move between wooded areas separated by a deforested agricultural gap of up to at least 2 km (Krohne and Hoch 1999). In New Brunswick, a tagged subadult male Peromyscus maniculatus was captured at locations 1.77 km apart after a period of 2 weeks in September, suggesting that dispersal may extend at least this far (Bowman et al. 1999). In Kansas, individual Peromyscus maniculatus were captured at trap sites up to 1.32 km apart (Rehmeier et al. 2004). Dispersal can play a key role in the population dynamics of murid rodents.

Patterns of genetic (DNA) variation indicate that gene flow can be low among subpopulations of Neotoma magister and that effective dispersal is limited among subpopulations separated by as little as 3 km (Castleberry et al. 2002).

Separation distance for suitable habitat is a compromise between the typical small home range sizes of these mammals and their sometimes considerable dispersal ability and the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent populations.

Roads, especially divided highways, are major barriers to dispersal in small mammals (Oxley et al. 1974, Wilkins 1982, Garland and Bradley 1984).

Date: 08Mar2005
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings
Notes: Group contains most members of the family Muridae: mice, voles, lemmings, woodrats, etc.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Dec1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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