On Tuesday I was out with three colleagues walking through several hundred acres of conserved land. We were there to look at wetlands and turtle nesting areas and talk about how to deal with an old gravel pit. You would think that a gravel pit would be a wildlife disaster area, and it can be if off-road vehicles don't leave it alone.
One of the stewardship issues at this site was blocking people from riding their ATVs through the sandy pit. If such areas are left alone, natural vegetation will grow back and create pockets of habitat for turtle nesting, for small mammals, for insects, and bigger creatures looking for a meal. We could already see this happening in spots as we walked through the undulating topography of the old pit.
As we continued our walk about in the gravel pit we saw many dime-sized holes in the sand. Mike and I thought these might be meadow vole holes, but they could be made by short-tailed shrews as the holes were an inch or less in diameter.