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Wolfe, K. 1989. Prairie voles on Wildlife Management Areas in Polk County, Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 17 pp.


The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is listed as an animal of Special Concern in Minnesota. In the book "Mammals of Minnesota" by Evan B. Hazard (1982), at least one specimen of this prairie species was found in Polk County. According to Hazard, "Microtus ochrogaster is typically found in grassy and treeless locations. In regions where Microtus pennsylvanicus is absent, the prairie vole may occupy a variety of open habitats, but in the Upper Midwest it is largely restricted to grasslands that are relatively dry and relatively undisturbed. Consequently, it is rare, and may be absent today from areas for which there are earlier valid locality records. Areas maintained as pasture and meadow are commonly preempted by the meadow vole." In a 1978 study by Stephen R. Pugh on the Pembina Trail Preserve and on the Crookston Cattle Company no prairie voles were found. There have been very few studies of the prairie vole in Minnesota.

The primary objective of this study was to determine if prairie voles inhabit Polk County's prairie Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and, if so, to compare populations of prairie voles on grasslands that have been burned at various times in recent years.

A secondary objective was to determine what other small mammals inhabit the grasslands.

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