- Arvicola nivalis Martins, 1842
European Snow Vole, Snow Vole
Be (III); RDBUkr: Вразливі
Value of species
Chionomys nivalis has a global distribution extending from south-western Europe through south-eastern Europe to the Caucasus, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iran (Shenbrot and Krasnov 2005).
In Europe, it is restricted to mountainous and rocky areas, typically above 1,000 m and up to 4,700 m (Amori 1999), but also found down to sea level; it is a species of rocky habitats (B. Krystufek pers. comm. 2007). Its strongholds in Europe are in the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Apennines, the Carpathians and the mountains of the Balkan peninsula. Of the islands, it is found only on Euboea (Amori 1999).
It is locally common in at least parts of its range, and no declines have been recorded. Fluctuations in population density are not known to occur. Its distribution is naturally fragmented as subpopulations became isolated from each other when temperatures warmed at the end of the last ice age (Amori 1999).
It inhabits open, rocky areas, typically above the tree-line (Amori 1999). It has a herbivorous diet, feeding on grasses, shrubs, and berries (Krapp 1982).