Broad-Footed Mole

Broad-Footed Mole

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Scapanus latimanus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
1-2 yrs
WEIGHT
57-113 g
LENGTH
14-18 cm

The Broad-footed mole is a species of mammal with wide forefeet that are designed for digging. These animals have dark brown to silvery fur and 40-44 unevenly spaced unicuspid teeth. Populations that live in more humid environments tend to have larger individuals than those from southern, drier areas. Males in this species are slightly larger than females.

Video

Distribution

Broad-footed moles are found in Baja California in Mexico and in California, Nevada, and Oregon in the United States. They require moist, friable soils and avoid hot deserts. They inhabit grassland, pasture, montane and valley foothill riparian, cropland, orchard-vineyard, wet meadow, and a variety of open forest habitats.

Broad-Footed Mole habitat map

Geography

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Broad-footed moles are burrowing animals that live below ground for the majority of their lives. They are solitary and only one animal occupies a burrow at a time and if a burrow has been vacated then it is often reoccupied within 2 days. Broad-footed moles are very territorial. They constantly patrol and defend their burrow system. They dig their tunnels far below surface level. They also dig shallow surface tunnels that form a ridge in the soil on the surface; such tunnels though are used irregularly. Broad-footed moles don't hibernate and are active year-round, both during the day and night intermittently. They are especially active after rain, most likely because of increased activity of prey, and because of easier digging.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Broad-footed moles are carnivores. They eat earthworms, insects, other invertebrates and may also eat some plant matter.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
February-May
BABY CARRYING
2-5 pups
FEMALE NAME
sow
MALE NAME
boar
BABY NAME
pup

Little is known about the mating system and reproductive behavior of Broad-footed moles. They breed from February to May and females give birth to 2-5 pups. Young are born in a nest made of grass and leaves in an additional tunnel within the burrow. Pups are nursed within 30-35 days and leave the nest in June.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Broad-footed moles at present.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Broad-footed mole total population size, but this animal is common and widespread throughout its known range. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

Ecological niche

Broad-footed moles play an important role in many wetland ecosystems they live. They provide food for some local predators and consume many aquatic invertebrates. They also provide aeration for the roots of plants through their burrowing activities.

References

1. Broad-Footed Mole on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broad-footed_mole
2. Broad-Footed Mole on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41473/115188559

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About