European snow vole


The European snow vole is a relatively large and long-tailed vole. The snout-vent length is 90-140 mm, the tail length 50-76 mm, the length of the hind foot 17.0-22.5 mm and the ear length 13-19 mm. The animals weigh 19-60 g, rarely up to 68 g. As in all species of the genus Chionomys, the fur is soft and dense, light grey on top with a brownish tinge, the underpart is whitish. The upperparts of the feet and the ears have short white hairs, the tail also has white hairs and a white end tassel. The whiskers are also very long, typical of the species, over 35 mm long.


Unlike most voles, the European snow vole is bound to soils interspersed with rock and coarse stone and is the only European vole to occur in the high mountains. The snow vole inhabits the Alps at altitudes between 1000 and 4000 m, other mountains up to 4700 m altitude. It inhabits mainly alpine mats and heaps of coarse debris above the tree line. Especially in the Mediterranean region, however, the species also inhabits dry and rocky slopes with shrubbery or loose tree cover and is already present there at altitudes from 125 to 250 m. Occasionally, the animals also inhabit mountain huts and other buildings.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia ( On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 20 August 2021