The Water Vole population has declined rapidly, mainly due to the presence of Mink which escaped from fur farms in the 1950's. The Water Vole is a harmless animal that lives alongside water, riverbanks and ponds. The male will usually stay there all it's life although the female may move elsewhere. It burrows into the riverbank, making a nest entrance above the waterline or in this case using a convieniently placed pipe. These are cute and adorable animals and are quite often mistaken for Rats. Hence, in The Wind and the Willows, Ratty is actually a Vole.
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