Woodland vole
Microtus pinetorum
ITIS Species Code:   180314         NatureServ Element Code:   AMAFF11150
NatureServe Global Rank: 
NatureServe State (NC) Rank: 
Federal Status: 
NC State Status: 
Land Unit

US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Forest Service
US National Park Service
US Department of Defense
NC State Parks
NC University System
NC Wildlife Res. Com.
NC Forest Service
NC Div. of Coastal Mgmt.
Local Governments
Non-Governmental Org.
Other Public Lands
Private Lands

GAP Status 1-2
All Protected Lands




% of Dist. on
Prot. Lands

1.1 %
53.9 %
11.2 %
14.0 %
4.6 %
1.9 %
8.7 %
1.4 %
< 0.1 %
1.5 %
1.5 %
0.4 %
< 0.1 %

30.3 %
% of Dist. on
All Lands

0.1 %
5.1 %
1.1 %
1.3 %
0.4 %
0.2 %
0.8 %
0.1 %
< 0.1 %
0.1 %
0.1 %
< 0.1 %
90.5 %

2.9 %
The woodland vole is widely distributed in the southeastern United States in a variety of wooded and partially open habitats (Webster et al. 1985). It varies from common to uncommon in locations throughout North Carolina (Webster et al. 1985), but may be rare or missing in coastline dune and maritime forest habitats, and absent from the barrier islands (Lee et al. 1982, Cothran et al 1991).

The woodland vole lives in a wide variety of habitats, but in many regions it prefers upland deciduous woods or partially open habitats with thick layers either of humus and leaf litter or of mesic, friable (loose but malleable) soil and herbaceous ground vegetation (Webster et al. 1985, Whitaker and Hamilton 1998). They can also be found along the coast at the upper reaches of tidal water bays and rivers, in upland pine and mixed forests, and in mountain meadows, fallow fields, orchards, gardens and tilled croplands with hedgerows or nearby woods (Golley 1962, Linzey and Linzey 1971, Brown 1997, Whitaker and Hamilton 1998). In northern Florida, forests, particularly pine and scrub oak, with dense tree and shrub cover appear to hold highest abundance (Whitaker and Hamilton 1998).

A semi-fossorial mammal, it spends most of its time underground in shallow burrow systems and will take over old tunnels of moles (Brown 1997). It will use sandy soils of coastal areas and upland areas of the coastal plain, but organic loam/peat may be preferred over coarser grained or rocky soils (Whitaker and Hamilton 1998).


Lives in a wide variety of habitats, but in many areas prefers upland wooded areas with a thick layer of loose soil and humus. Spends most of time underground in shallow burrow systems. Young are born in nests built beneath logs, below surface litter, or underground.

Occupied Landcover Map Units:
Code NameDescription NC Natural Heritage Program Equivalent
63 Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forests Beech dominated forests with white oak and northern red oak as possible co-dominants. Dry-mesic to mesic forests on slopes and small stream bottoms in the coastal plain. Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest, Basic Mesic Forests
138 Coastal Plain Dry to Dry-Mesic Oak Forests Oak dominated forests of the coastal plain. Includes white oak forests with water oak or northern red oak and hickories as co-dominants. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Basic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
97 Mesic Longleaf Pine Longleaf pine woodlands without a major scrub oak component. Slash or loblolly pines may be present as well. Mesic Pine Flatwoods
42 Xeric Longleaf Pine Sandhills including a range of longleaf pine density from predominantly wiregrass, scrub oak dominated to true longleaf pine woodland. This does not include mesic or saturated flatwood types. Xeric Sandhill Scrub, Pine/Scrub Oak Sandhill, Coastal Fringe Sandhill
46 Xeric Oak - Pine Forests Mixed forest dominated by yellow pines with white or northern red oaks co-dominating. Pine Oak Heath
232 Xeric Pine-Hardwood Woodlands and Forests Mixed forest dominated by yellow pines with drier oaks including southern red, post, and chestnut oaks. Dry Oak Hickory Forest
230 Piedmont Mesic Forest American Beech - Red Oak - White Oak Forests. Mesic Mixed Hardwood
383 Piedmont Mixed Successional Forest Generally loblolly mixed with successional hardwoods. Sweetgum, tulip poplar and red maple are common co-dominants in these successional forests. No equivalent
228 Piedmont Dry-Mesic Oak and Hardwood Forests Primarily oak dominated forests, white oak is often dominant, with co-dominants including . Also represented by sweetgum and tulip poplar dominated forests. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Basic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
222 Piedmont Dry-Mesic Pine Forests Loblolly dominated forests resulting from succession following clearing. This type occurs on all moisture regimes following disturbance with the exception of the extremely xeric sites. No equivalent
382 Dry Mesic Oak Pine Forests Mixed forests of the coastal plain and piedmont. Includes loblolly pine with white, southern red and/or post oak and loblolly with water oak. On basic sites of the piedmont, eastern red cedar may co-occur with post, black, and blackjack oaks. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Xeric Hard Pan Forest, Chestnut Oak Forest, Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
220 Piedmont Xeric Pine Forests Dry to xeric pine forests dominated by Virginia pine, shortleaf pine or Eastern Red Cedar. Pine Oak Heath
226 Piedmont Xeric Woodlands Generally post and blackjack oak dominated woodlands. White ash and pignut hickory can be found in combination with Eastern red cedar on glades. Xeric Hardpan Forest
20 Coniferous Regeneration Regenerating pine stands. Predominantly loblolly pine, but slash and longleaf stands occur as well. No equivalent
21 Coniferous Cultivated Plantation (natural / planted) Managed pine plantations, densely planted. Most planted stands are loblolly, but slash and longleaf occur as well. No equivalent
51 Deciduous Cultivated Plantation Planted deciduous trees. Includes sweetgum and sycamore plantations. No equivalent
36 Successional Deciduous Forests Regenerating deciduous trees with a shrub stature. Commonly dominated by sweetgum, tulip poplars and maples. No equivalent
205 Agricultural Pasture/Hay and Natural Herbaceous Farm fields used for pasture grass or hay production, as well as old fields dominated by native and exotic grasses. No equivalent
202 Residential Urban Includes vegetation interspersed in residential areas. Includes lawns, mixed species woodlots, and horticultural shrubs. Vegetation accounts for between 20 - 70% of the cover. No equivalent
522 Northern Hardwoods High Elevation forests including yellow birch, American beech, and yellow buckeye. Includes forests with Hemlock and Yellow Birch. Northern Hardwoods Forest, Boulderfield Forest
523 Grassy Bald High Elevation grassy balds including Pennsylvania sedge, mountain oatgrass, as well as shrubby areas dominated by Alleghany and smooth blackberry. Grassy Bald
525 Appalachian Oak Forest A variety of oak forest types including Black, White, Scarlet Oaks in dry to mesic situations. Includes forests historically co-dominated by American Chestnut. High Elevation Red Oak Forest, Montane White Oak Forest
526 Appalachian Cove Forest Mixed Mesophytic forests of the mountains. Includes tuliptree, basswood, yellow buckeye and surgar maple. This class is mapped to include cove forests dominated or co-dominated by hemlock. Rich Cove Forest, Acidic Cove Forest
527 Appalachian Hemlock Upland hemlock forests of the moutains region. Vary from side slopes to steep slope positions. Canada Hemlock Forest
View Entire Landcover Legend
Additional Spatial Constraints:
Exclude all area outside of known range.
Exclude the outerbanks.
Smolen, M.J. 1981. Microtus pinetorum. Am. Soc. Mamm., Mammalian Species No. 147. 7 pp.

Swihart, R. K. 1990. Quebracho, thiram, and methiocarb reduce consumption of apple twigs by meadow voles. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 18:162-166.

Cothran, E.G., M.H. Smith, J.O. Wolff and J.B. Gentry. 1991. Mammals of the Savannah River Site. Savannah River Site National Environmental Research Park Program. SRO-NERP-21. SREL, Aiken, SC. 191 pp.

Tobin, M. E., and M. E. Richmond. 1993. Vole management in fruit orchards. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 5. ii + 18 pp.

Brown, L. N. 1997. A guide to the mammals of the southeastern United States. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. xiv + 236 pp.

Whitaker, J.O. Jr. and W.J. Hamilton, Jr. 1998. Mammals of the eastern United States. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York. 583 pp.

van der Meulen, A. J. 1978. MICROTUS and PITIMYS (Arvicolidae) from Cumberland Cave, Maryland, with a comparison of some New and Old World species. Annals of Carnegie Museum 47:101-145.

Lee, D. S., L. B. Funderburg Jr., and M. K. Clark. 1982. A distributional survey of North Carolina mammals. Occasional Papers of the North Carolina Biological Survey, No. 1982-10. North Carolina State. Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, North Carolina. 72 pp.

Golley, F. B. 1962. Mammals of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, Atlanta, Georgia. 218 pp.

Repenning, C. A. 1983. PITYMYS MEADENSIS Hibbard from the Valley of Mexico and the classification of North American species of PITYMYS (Rodentia:Cricetidae). J. Vert. Paleontol. 2:471-482.

Moore, D. W., and L. L. Janecek. 1990. Genic relationships among North American MICROTUS (Mammalia:Rodentia). Ann. Carnegie Mus. 59:249-259.

Linzey, Alicia V., & Donald W. Linzey. 1971. Mammals of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The University of Ten- nessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. 114 p.

Banfield, A.W.F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.

Godin, A.J. 1977. Wild Mammals of New England. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 304 pp.

Hamilton, William J., Jr., and John O. Whitaker, Jr. 1979. Mammals of the eastern United States. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York. 346 pp.

Hall, E. R. 1981. The Mammals of North America. Second edition. 2 Volumes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, New York.

Schwartz, Charles W., and Elizabeth R. Schwartz. 1981. The wild mammals of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia. 356 pp.

Baker, Rollin H. 1983. Michigan mammals. Michigan State University Press. 642 pp.

Tamarin, R. H., editor. 1985. Biology of New World MICROTUS. American Soc. Mamm. Special Publication (8):1-893.

Webster, W. D., J. F. Parnell and W. C. Biggs Jr. 1985. Mammals of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC.

Caire, W., J. D. Tyler, B. P. Glass, and M. A. Mares. Z. Marsh (illustrator). 1989. Mammals of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Oklahoma. 567 pp.

Miller, D.H. and L.L. Getz. 1969. Life-history notes on Microtis pinetorum central Connecticut. J. Mamm. 50:777-784.

10 March 2005
This data was compiled and/or developed by the North Carolina GAP Analysis Project.

For more information please contact them at:
NC-GAP Analysis Project
Dept. of Zoology, NCSU
Campus Box 7617
Raleigh, NC 27695-7617
(919) 513-2853