Mole “Talpa europaea”
The Mole is found throughout mainland Britain, wherever there is suitable soil for the mole to do its network of tunnelling. The soil which the Mole prefers will exclude stony soil, waterlogged or very acid , and shallow soil. The Mole has black velvety hair, and large spade like forefeet which are permanently turned outwards for digging. This may go against the myth but Moles actually do have very small eyes which are hidden amongst its fur. Due to such small eyes and always being in the dark, sight is not an issue for the Mole even thou they can detect light, but the senses for touch and hearing are far superior
This little creature has a cylindrical body which is 12-16cm long from nose to tail weights around 110g. An adult Mole will eat 40-50g of food per day eating earth worms and other invertebrates that fall into the tunnel system that also acts like a pitfall trap. The Mole patrols the tunnel system continuously for up to 4 and half hours, with a break of 3 and half hours to rest. One of the periods that you may see activity from the Mole is just after sun rise and just before sun set. They are a solitary animal spending most of their life in the tunnel system that they have created. Mating occurs once a year in the breeding season which lasts from February to June. The female has a litter of between 2-7, born blind with no fur. After a gestation period of 4 weeks, and there quick development they leave the nest at 5 weeks old. The first signs of Mole activity are mole hills which consist of loose soil piled on top of your lawn etc, in a heap.
The damage which Moles can cause effects various areas:
Agriculture. Where the inclusion of soil from mole hills in grass silage can result in spoilt unpalatable silage and is a source of the disease Listeriosis in sheep fed on silage.
Sporting & Amenity. Unsightly, and unevenness of the grasslands surface. Deterioration of sward by providing a seed bed for weeds. Not at all welcome on the expensive turf of a golf course, and bowling green’s.
Mowing Machinery. Damaged caused by stones thrown up while digging.
Arable crops & Gardens. When Moles burrow under seedlings, and plants causing wilting and death.
Archaeological strata. Underground security systems can be interrupted or triggered by Mole activity.
Horse Fields. Due to the moles tunnels not being very deep the horses weight can cause the tunnel to collapse and in doing so breaking a horses leg.
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