A wildlife conservation charity is urging volunteers to survey endangered water voles.

According to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), these furry mammals' populations have alarmingly plummeted by 90 percent since the 1970s.

Volunteers from across England, Scotland and Wales are needed from April 15 to June 15 to monitor water voles and visit their nearest stream, river, ditch, or canal in search of water voles or their signs.

These volunteers will then record what they find online at ptes.org/watervoles.

Tell-tale signs include feeding stations, burrows in the riverbank, latrines or listening out for their characteristic ‘plop’ as they dive into the water.

The survey requires no prior experience and free training will be provided via Zoom in April and May.

Emily Sabin, water vole officer at PTES, said: "With their glossy dark brown fur, blunt snouts and furry tails, water voles are incredibly cute, but the decline they continue to experience is nothing short of alarming.

"To prevent any further losses and to hopefully start seeing water voles across our waterways more broadly, we need as many people to take part in our survey as possible."

The results from the survey will help conservationists find where water voles are living, how their populations are changing each year, and where they’re no longer found.

This data is crucial for guiding PTES efforts to understand where water voles need the most help and implement targeted conservation efforts to help prevent further decline.

Last year, 176 sites were surveyed nationwide and voles were found in 53 of those.

This is an improvement from 2022 when 95 sites were surveyed and voles were found in 37.

To become a water vole watcher, access free online training or to find out more, visit www.ptes.org/watervoles.