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Water Vole Arvicola terrestris Length 20-32cm Charming waterside mammal, equally at home in water or on a river bank. Adult has plump body and reddish brown fur. Head is relatively large and rounded. Front feet grasp vegetation while eating. Hind feet are used for swimming. Tail is bristly and relatively shorter than Brown Rat, which has a naked tail. Mostly silent. Likes clean, slow flowing or still waters with marginal vegetation and steep, muddy banks into which it burrows. Thrives only where habitat is maintained and predatory American Mink are controlled.