Arborimus albipes

White-footed Vole

White-footed Vole

Distribution, Abundance, and Seasonality

In California, known only from Humboldt and Del Norte cos. This scarce resident of humid coastal forests is found in redwood, Douglas-fir, and riparian forests. Found from sea level to 1100 m (3500 ft) in Oregon.

White-footed Vole Range Map
Range Map

Specific Habitat Requirements

Feeding: Feeds principally on the leaves of green plants including trees, shrubs, forbs, ferns, grasses, and aquatic plants (Maser and Johnson 1967, Voth et al. 1983). Red alder leaves made up 41% of the diet in a sample of 21 specimens (Voth et al. 1983). Overall, the leaves of hardwoods were 57% of the diet, followed by forbs (23%), and shrubs (15%). This vole feeds mainly in trees, but also in shrubs and on the ground. A sample of 3 stomachs contained mostly roots (Howell 1928).

Cover: Builds a nest on the ground, under stumps, logs, or rocks. Finds cover in dense vegetation near streams.

Reproduction: Constructs a nest of dried vegetation under stumps, logs, or rocks.

Water: Generally found near water, but occasionally may be found hundreds of meters from water in burned or logged areas.

Pattern: Found in mature, coastal forests, preferring the vicinity of small, clear streams, with dense alder and other deciduous trees and shrubs. Occupies the habitat from ground surface to canopy, feeding in all layers, and nesting on the ground. White-footed voles often are found near logs and in brush when on the ground.

Species Life History

Activity Patterns: Active yearlong; probably mostly nocturnal, with some diurnal activity.

Seasonal Movements / Migration: None.

Home Range: No data found.

Territory: No data found.

Reproduction: Three pregnant females were caught between mid-April and late July. Of a total of 9 specimens, 7 had 3, and 1 each had 2 and 4 young (Johnson and Maser 1982).

Niche: Probably preyed on by weasels, snakes, and owls. Very little is known about this small, browsing microtine.

Sources & References

California Department of Fish and Game, 1999.
California's Wildlife, Sacramento, CA.
Written by: P. Brylski, reviewed by: H. Shellhammer, edited by: R. Duke

Howell, A. B. 1928. The food and habitat preference of Phenacomys albipes. J. Mammal. 9:153-154. Johnson, M. L. 1973. Characters of the heather vole, Phenacomys, and the red tree vole, Arborimus. J. Mammal. 54:239-244. Johnson, M. L., and C. Maser. 1982. Generic relationships of Phenacomys albipes. Northwest Sci. 56:17-19. Maser, C., and M. L. Johnson. 1967. Notes on the white-footed vole(Phenacomys albipes). Murrelet 48:24-27. Voth, E. H., C. Maser, and M. L. Johnson. 1983. Food habits of Arborimus albipes, the white-footed vole, in Oregon. Northwest Sci. 57:1-7. Williams, D. F. 1986. Mammalian species of special concern in California. Calif. Dept. Fish and Game, Sacramento. Admin. Rep. 86-1. 112pp.

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