Gardeners and householders in
Although there are eleven
species of vole in
What needs to be considered, as always, is the greater good and voles along with wood mice provide the main food source for a large range of creatures and in some cases what amounts to the only food source.
I would think that birds of prey will immediately spring to mind for most people; owls, buzzards, kites and hawks. All will catch and eat voles to some extent and for some they will make up almost 100% of their diet. They are of particular importance for Little owls, Barn owls, Kestrels, Hen and Montagu’s Harriers, all of whom will either not produce eggs or will experience high chick mortality numbers if there aren’t sufficient numbers of voles available.
Most of the snakes that are
On the mammal front they will be eaten by Foxes, Stoats, Weasels, Badgers, Polecats, Genets, Stone Marten, Pine Marten and European Mink.
Although it may seem a bit callous, the more voles that are available for mammals and snakes to eat the less pressure there will be for them to eat other creatures that are either less able to produce large numbers of offspring or that are already suffering population declines due to other causes.
Due to the harm being caused
to other non target species the use of poisons, (rodenticides), in the outside
environment was prohibited by law in
These vicious cycles reduce the number of predators for the voles and other rodents and increases the need for poisoning, exactly the opposite of that which is required.