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Last Updated: Friday May 13 2011 11:24 GMT

Vole numbers in Scotland reaching record levels


The really cold weather last winter has led to a HUGE number of voles in central Scotland and the Highlands.

The furry fellows thrive under the snow, creating mazes of tunnels to get around - and they're hidden from birds of prey who normally eat them.

Experts say there's now the most voles for about 20 years - and there could be as many as 600 million of the tiny creatures in Scotland alone.

But now the snow's gone, the birds of prey have a feast waiting for them!

Every few years there's a peak in the number of voles - called a plague or outbreak - but this year is bigger than ever because of the unsually cold snowy winter.