Improved field margins and their effects on voles and moles

  • Published source details Jacot K., Beerli C. & Eggenschwiler L. (2006) Improved field margins and their effects on voles and moles. Agrarforschung, 14, 212-217.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated, controlled study in September 2004 in four regions north of the Alps in Switzerland (Jacot et al. 2006) found slightly more montane water vole Arvicola terrestris scherman hills in sown wildflower field margins than in conventional field margins and sown wildflower strips on set-aside land. Significantly more vole hills and holes were recorded in the different types of field margin than in the crops or on the edge of crop fields. Montane water voles were the most commonly recorded species (98% of observations), common voles Microtus arvalis made up 2% of observations. The European mole Talpa europaea was not recorded at any site. Three types of field margin were compared: 17 sown field margins (5 x 120 m) established in 2001-2003 with seed mixtures containing native wildflowers, grasses and legumes, 11 conventional field margins generally species-poor and cut several times yearly (0.5-2 x 100-200 m), and seven wildflower strips sown on set-aside land (at least 5 m wide and 120 m long). On each site, nine plots (5 x 5 m) were investigated: three plots on the field margin, three on the edge of the crop field and three plots 10 m into the crop. Vole and mole hills and holes were counted on three visits. Shape and distribution of the hills and holes were used to distinguish between the three species.

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