Gray-tailed Vole

Gray-tailed Vole
Gray-tailed Vole
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Genus: Microtus
Subgenus: Mynomes
Species: M. canicaudus
Binomial name
Microtus canicaudus
Miller, 1897

The Gray-tailed vole is a common small mammal that inhabits grasslands in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon (Vert and Carraway, 1987). Gray tailed voles are polygamous: females are territorial, males have large home ranges that overlap those of several females, and juvenile emigration is male biased (Wolff et al., 1994).



Gray-tailed voles recognize relatives based on familiarity (Boyd and Balustein, 1985). Under laboratory conditions, familiar gray-tailed voles produced fewer litters than unfamiliar individuals (Boyd and Balustein, 1985) and pairings of relatives show lower pup survivorship than pairings of unrelated individuals (J. Peterson, personal communication with author).

Related Studies on this Species

For more information on the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation on the gray-tailed vole's behavior and demographics, see Wolff et al. (1997).


  1. ^ Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) (2008). Microtus canicaudus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 June 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.


  • Boyd, S. K., and A. R. Balustein 1985. Familiarity and inbreeding avoidance in the gray-tailed vole (Microtus canicaudus). Journal of Mammalogy 66:348-352.
  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Vert, B. J., and L. Carraway. 1987. Microtus canicaudus. Mammalian Species 267:1-4
  • Wolff, J. O., W. D. Edge, and R. Bentley. 1994. Reproductive and behavioral biology of the gray-tailed vole. Journal of Mammalogy 75:873-879.
  • Wolff, J. O., E. M. Schauber, and W. D. Edge. 1997. Effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on the behavior and demography of the gray-tailed voles. Conservation Biology 11:945-956.

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