The British water vole (Arvicola amphibius) population declined throughout the 20th century due to habitat destruction and change with intensification of agriculture. This decline has accelerated in recent years due to predation by feral American mink.

Two national surveys carried out by the VWT in 1989-90 and 1996-1998 showed that this decline had developed into a serious population 'crash' with a further loss of 67.5% of the occupied sites and 88% of the remaining population in only seven years. This population loss was most severe in the north and south-west of England, reaching over 97% of the population in Yorkshire.

Today water voles are being recorded more frequently in some areas, with a corresponding decline in populations of American mink.

Please go our publications page for details of the 1996-1998 Water Vole and Mink Survey Report.

National Water Vole Monitoring Programme

People's Trust for Endangered Species have just launched the National Water Vole Monitoring Programme to gather information on the distribution and status of water voles following on from the national water vole surveys carried out by the VWT in the 1980s and 1990s. For more information and to help with the survey, see their website