At the PAWS Wildlife Center, we see noses of all kinds. Can you guess to which species the nose in this photo belongs?
If you guessed Townsend’s Mole, you are correct!
This young mole arrived at the PAWS Wildlife Center after a dog dug up his nest. The dog’s guardian rescued the mole and brought him to PAWS, where our veterinarians gave him a full examination. The mole had made it through the ordeal uninjured, but he was too young to survive on his own, so he stayed in care for another several weeks to grow big and strong. Once he was old enough to survive on his own, he was successfully released back into his natural habitat to live wild and free.
Did you know...?
• Although they are sometimes confused with rodents, moles are members of the Talpidae family, which is part of the Insectivora order. Other Insectivores include shrews and hedgehogs.
• Moles are an important part of the ecosystem. Their tunneling behavior mixes soil nutrients as well as improving draining and soil aeration. Their diet consists mainly of invertebrates, many of which are considered lawn pests, like cranefly larvae and slugs.
• Moles have extremely dense fur which allows them to travel back and forth underground without turning into bundles of mud. Each hair has several very thin areas (strictures) that allow the end of the hair to move back and forth without disturbing the base. This prevents gaps from forming that might collect dirt. Additionally, there is a wide, flat section at the tip of every hair. When wet, these flat areas stick together, forming a shield against additional water or dirt.
• Most conflicts with moles stem from their industrious tunneling and the impact that can have on lawns and gardens. For information on humane solutions, click here.