Muskrats often build large houses out of vegetation in shallow water. The nest, or den, is reached by means of a tunnel that usually opens under water. Other times, they dig their homes into a stream or pond bank.
Native to South America, this large aquatic rodent was brought to the U.S. and other countries for the fur market. In Missouri, the nutria has been occasionally trapped in the southeastern part of the state.
Voles build a system of well-defined runways both on top of the ground and underground. Holes about 2 inches wide lead from the surface runways to the underground tunnels. The floor of the runway is often littered with grass clippings and “paved” with soil excavated from the tunnels.
Prairie voles (M. ochrogaster) are found statewide. Like other voles, their populations have cycles of abundance and decline, peaking about once every four years. They are an important food for many predators, and their varying numbers can cause peaks and declines in their predators' populations.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.