Researchers reporting at the British Science Festival show that Scottish water voles make long and perilous journeys far from home in search of mates.
Scottish water voles have been found to travel enormous distances, enabling them to persist in fragmented habitats.
The large rodents travel around bogs, lochs and moors in order to join, or establish, new colonies.
Although the findings were based on a species adapted to a "patchy" environment, the work could help biologists understand how habitat fragmentation may affect other animals.
The research was presented at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.