Concern grows over water vole numbers

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A WILDLIFE trust has expressed concern over vulnerable water voles.

Sussex Wildlife Trust has said it believes there is still a very real threat of water voles dwindling into oblivion and said the species could soon become extinct.

The news follows a project this summer that saw hundreds of water voles released into Titchfield Haven in a bid to boost numbers.

Fran Southgate, wetland officer at the trust, said: ‘The once-common water vole has declined to near extinction.

‘Concerted conservation efforts over the past 10 years have prevented them from disappearing completely.

‘However, despite their fragility, they have somewhat fallen off the radar as a species in need of funding and government support at both a local and national level.

‘There are some fantastic initiatives which are dedicated to preventing these enigmatic creatures from disappearing but there is no room for complacency.’

The numbers are dwindling due to long-term habitat loss, minks and extreme weather.