• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is closed for the season, starting September 2. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

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    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September 2 to June 6, 2015. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m. Telephone 360-378-2240, ext. 2227 or 2226 for information. More »

Townsends vole

Like most prolific rodents, Townsend's voles breed all year and can have two to three litters per year with an average litter size of four to six.
Princeton University

The native Townsend's vole is a favorite food of the red fox, and depends on a healthy landscape to thrive. They live in underground burrows and open grasslands, and are primarily vegetarian with a diet of stems, leaves and roots of green plants. They also store and eat tubers and bulbs.

For a small mammal, they're rather large: 6 ½ to 9 inches long including a 2 to 3 ½ inch tail. In summer they're dark brown to dark reddish brown, and in winter, dark brown to black. Their underside is gray to bray-brown, their black tail faintly bicolored, and their ears large. Each of their dusky feet has six small pads on the soles.

As with most prolific rodents, they breed all year and can have 2 to 3 litters per year with an average litter size of 4 to 6. This high reproduction rate compensates for high mortality even though they scurry about under cover of lush grasses, sedges, and reeds. This is crucial because they have a good many predators, from owls and hawks to foxes, snakes, and great blue herons.

Fast Facts Townsends

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

George E. Pickett, a West Pointer and Mexican War veteran, was the first U.S. commander on San Juan Island. He would resign his commission on San Juan and go on to lead his Confederate division in the climatic charge that bears his name at the Battle of Gettysburg.