Coast mole

Scapanus orarius

The coast mole or Pacific mole is a medium-sized North American mole found in forested and open areas with moist soils along the Pacific coast from southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California.
Coast mole paw mole paw detail - cool claws! Coast mole,Geotagged,Scapanus orarius,Spring,United States

Appearance

The coast mole is generally less than 200 mm long, with the tail being one-fourth of its total length. The fur is uniformly black. The skull is relatively narrow and long, with a sublacrimal-maxillary ridge that is underdeveloped. Teeth are uncrowned and evenly spaced.

Distribution

The coast mole has a disjunct distribution, occurring from the western end of British Columbia, Canada through the western regions of Oregon and Washington, and in some parts of Northern California . The most extreme divergence of range for the coast mole has been seen to reach some parts of west-central Idaho. The species has a primarily fossorial lifestyle, but is not restricted solely to underground habitats. Like many other species of moles, it is capable of surfacing for scavenging purposes and juvenile dispersals, especially in the summer months. It may inhabit, but is not restricted to, agricultural land, sand dunes, grassy-meadows, sage brush, deciduous forest, and pine forests .

Status

The species has been classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, since it appears to be common in a wide variety of habitats throughout its range.

Behavior

The coast mole is primarily solitary and only become social during mating season. Coast mole populations and their corresponding tunnel systems seem to be larger in areas with damp soil and high earthworm densities. Coast moles are primarily nocturnal, but do not confine their activities to any specific part of the night. It has been found that an individual mole's activities tend to be asynchronous to those of neighboring moles.

Habitat

The coast mole has a disjunct distribution, occurring from the western end of British Columbia, Canada through the western regions of Oregon and Washington, and in some parts of Northern California . The most extreme divergence of range for the coast mole has been seen to reach some parts of west-central Idaho. The species has a primarily fossorial lifestyle, but is not restricted solely to underground habitats. Like many other species of moles, it is capable of surfacing for scavenging purposes and juvenile dispersals, especially in the summer months. It may inhabit, but is not restricted to, agricultural land, sand dunes, grassy-meadows, sage brush, deciduous forest, and pine forests .

Reproduction

Mating usually occurs in period from late January and early March. During this time, coast moles will diverge from their normal solitary lifestyles and begin expanding their tunnel systems, even venturing into other coast mole tunnel systems in attempts to find a mating partner. Little is known about their gestation and nursing behavior. Females produce a single litter per year, and maternal care is limited. Coast mole offspring can become reproductively active within nine to ten months of birth.

Food

Coast moles are insectivores, harvesting earthworms in the soil in moderately moist environments. Coast moles will increase their digging activity when they sense shifting densities of earthworms. Food items found in coast mole stomachs included earthworms , slugs, earthworm eggs, and larval and adult insects.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderEulipotyphla
FamilyTalpidae
GenusScapanus
SpeciesS. orarius