Influence of Reproductive Status: Home Range Size in Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius)
The relationship between home range and reproductive status of water voles (Arvicola amphibius) was studied by radio-tracking on an island off the coast of northern Norway in 2006–2009. The aim was to test assumptions about the species’ social structure relative to other microtines. Juveniles used fairly small ranges (about 400 m²), with no difference between males and females. Subadults, overwintered voles in April, had ranges similar to juveniles. Reproductively active males (mean 2774.0 m²) increased their range seven-fold relative to juvenile males, with ranges on average 3.3 times larger than adult females (mean 848.3 m²), which also expanded their range. Most litters were born in May and June, and as reproduction ceased in July adult males reduced their range whilst females did not. Body mass or year did not influence home range size. Overlap of home ranges varied, but could be extensive in both adult males and females. The water vole had a social structure similar to some Microtus species, but females appeared to be non-territorial and males perhaps conditioned territorial and non-territorial.
Publisher's version, source: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154338.