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A Sussex Vole

A Sussex Vole
Photo Information
Copyright: Karan Little (hester) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-25
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 350D / Digital Rebel XT, Canon 100mm 2.8 Macro
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/160 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Small mammals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-10-02 11:56
Viewed: 4685
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a shot from Summer but I was reading about the decline of Water Voles in Sussex and it made me realise how lucky I am to be able to see them and to get this close.

I found the Sussex Otters and Rivers Project website and they had this to say about Water Voles:

The Water vole ( Arvicola terrestris ) is a semi-aquatic mammal.

Water voles are currently the fastest declining native mammal in Britain. Their numbers have fallen by over 90% in twenty years.

These amiable creatures are sometimes called 'Water rats' (like Ratty in wind of the Willows). Although they are in the same family as rats (rodents), they are not rats, they are voles.

Where Water Voles Live
Water Voles live on rivers, canals, ditches, streams, ponds - and almost any kind of waterway. They prefer slow flowing water with steep earth banks, which are not regularly flooded. They also like luxuriant wetland vegetation (grasses, reeds and sedges) which provides them with food and cover from predators.

Water voles in sussex
The water vole is currently the fastest declining native mammal in Britain and populations in Sussex are critically low.

The only remaining large populations of water voles in Sussex are on Chichester Coastal Plain (West Sussex), and on Pett and Rye Levels (East Sussex). There are also two re-introduced populations of water voles, one on the River Medway and one at Arundel Wildfowl and Wetland Trust. There are isolated communities of water voles elsewhere in Sussex but these are mostly small, fragmented and very vulnerable.

Current conservation status
Water voles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, Schedule 5. It is an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place, which water voles use, for shelter and protection and to disturb a water vole while it is using such a place. It is hoped that water voles will soon be fully protected by law.

Water voles are a UK BAP Priority Species and there is a national Species Action Plan (SAP) for its conservation. Sussex also has a Water vole Species Action Plan for the county.

Current Threats
Habitat destruction and fragmentation has isolated populations of water vole so, that they are extremely vulnerable to chance extinction events.

• Predators such as mink take advantage of isolated populations and have been known to eat colonies of water vole. Mink are one of the only predators that can follow the water vole down its burrows.

• Prolonged periods of flooding make water voles vulnerable to predators and flush them from their burrows and feeding places.

• Accidental deaths through poisoning, meant for rats can also be a problem.

• Domestic cats and dogs can also kill water voles.

What water voles eat
Water voles are vegetarian (herbivores) and are known to eat over 270 different species of plant. Their favourite nibbles are wetland plants such as rushes, sedges and horsetail.

What eats water voles
Unfortunately many other animals will eat water voles - Cats, dogs, foxes, mink, herons, otters, hawks and owls, pike etc.

I see them in Arudel. They are common in the Wetlands Centre but can also be seen in the stream near the castle. In fact once I was sitting by the stream, looked down and found a Water Vole sitting next to me. Of course the camera was in the bag!

Patleboss, nglen, gracious, rousettus, wishnugaruda, XOTAELE, marhowie, Necipp, Juyona, PaulH, Debz, pablominto, oscarromulus, jeanpaul, Alex99, oanaotilia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Karan, very nice shot of this water voles, excellent natural lighting, lovely pose, he his so charmed,
I like so much the diagonal composition and your great and very intersting note

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-10-02 12:11]

Hi karen.This is an excellent shot of the little Water Vole. you have captured it with fine detail and sharp focusing.good natural colours and with light in the eye, he look very cute.a nice POv. well done TFs. good notes too.

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-10-02 12:16]

Nice animal/ Very good picture. DOF and sharp are wonderful

Hello Karan,
Here comes my little friend again!
Beautifully captured with good sharpness, natural colour and details!
exposure and focus is spot on!
well done

Hi Karan,
I am essentailly a mammalogist. So, I am very pleasure seeing such a rodent capture. it is very clear, great details and sharpness. Lighting, composition, POV/DOF wonderful. good notes. thanks for sharing us.
PS: There is a small story of the species name (I listened it from my lecturer, when I was a university student):
Latin name terrestris (terrestrial, not water) and Arvicola (arvi = field, cola = lover). Linne saw firstly on a trunk of tree and he assumed terrestrial mice. Now, everybody called it as water vole. even if Turkish name susicani mean water vole
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-10-02 12:30]

Hi Karan,
a great capture of this cute Vole.
+++ Superb clarity and definition along with good sharpness and detail. Great lighting. Good composition.
--- Nothing :)
Well done,

Hello Karan
As a fisherman as well as photographer (ahem!!) I know how rare these blokes are..Ive never seen one..They are so similar to a common rat that many people could mistake them for being such.
You have captured him very well with a lovely mossy foreground and a pinsharp eye.
Great work Karan and TFS

Hi Karan,
it's soooo cute and with a nice reflection in the black eye. A wonderful shot, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Karan, splendid portrait of lovely cute creature with excellent sharpness and good details, very well done, ciao Silvio

Excelente imagen muy detallada.
Bellos colores y genial encuadre, saludos Karan, JL.

  • Great 
  • martic Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 179 W: 1 N: 159] (1327)
  • [2007-10-02 14:02]

Hi Karan,
Very nice capture of this water voles, with bood colors and details, great pose of the animal and nice POV,
very welle done


Hello Karan fine work good sharpness and detail amazing you got so close with this excellent pose great work, rgds Necip. - I didn't see any herons there only a couple of cormorants.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-10-02 16:22]

Hola Karan,
hermoso vole,
buena iluminación, y buen foco,
simpática captura,

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-10-03 2:28]

Hi Karen,
these are my fabvourite kind of shot from you, you do them so well and nobody else here seems to have the success you do. Excellent composition and superb light and colour. Great Job.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-10-03 2:34]

Hi Karen, what a cute little water vole and such a stunning close up! A superb shot, beautifully sharp with great focus and detail on the Vole. Colours and light wonderful and all set off with a good dof.

Hello Karan,
A lovely little fellow!
Seems like he is a bit depressed by the thought of his not too bright future...
Good light and super details, effective point of view!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-10-03 5:06]

Hi Karan,
Just marking this shot and will come back later with a proper critique. Sorry tied up with an important assignment.

Hi Karan,
A wonderful super sharp photo of this lovely little rodent. The shiny coat of the vole is very beautiful and his sweet expression is perfectly captured. The use of your flash is perfect and helped to bring out the details and colors perfectly. it also gave the vole a wonderful twinkel in the eyes. I like the natural environment around him a lot.

Have you ever considered "MOVING" permenantely to Canada???
We have a lot of these creatures in our rivers and lakes.
Canada is a HAVEN for wildlife.
If any citizen is caught "hurting" wildlife or its habitat he gets a fine of such propotions that he will NEVER EVER forget that he MUST leave wildlife in "as is" condition. Even a roadside kill by a car does not go unpunished.
Loved your image; the twinkle in its eye says: " Hello, Karan. You are my friend".
Loved your notes too, very much.
Mario from Canada.

bonjour karan
l'arriere est un peu hors champ mais je suppose que la lumiere n'etait pas suffisante pour fermer plus le diaphragme!
bone neteté sur la tête.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-10-03 10:31]

Hello Karan,
Very beautiful light from the left side on this Water Vole. The eye-contact is amazing. Evenso the sharpness, details, DOF and POV. Beautiful natural environment.

Hi Karan
J'aime beaucoup l'éclairage de cette photo. Félicitation pour les couleurs et la netteté.

Merci et au revoir...JP

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-10-04 9:38]

Hello Karan

Wow what a great close up ,you manage excellent POV's with these voles.The focus is spot on with amazing details.TFS


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-10-13 3:01]

Hi Karan.
So pictorial shot of this cute animal. I like bright rich colours, excellent flash light and terrific details of the animal and its surroundings. Especially I like the reproduction of the tiny plants – moth. Inclned composition is very strractive too as well as the nice smooth transition to blurriness. My compliments and kind regards.

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