Mole

©Steve Bottom

Mole

Scientific name: Talpa europaea
The brown humps of earth that can plague a lawn are the work of the Mole. This stocky, brown mammal spends its life burrowing underground with its spade-like paws, hunting for earthworms to eat.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 15cm (plus a 4cm tail) Weight: 70-130g Average lifespan: 3-4 years

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

An unmistakeable animal, the Mole is stocky, with a wedge-shaped body and short tail. It spends almost all of its time underground, digging out tunnels with its spade-like front paws and hunting earthworms to eat. Moles are common and are often found in grassland and woodland edges. Although most people have never seen a mole, their muddy hills are a familiar sight across the country, and sometimes unwelcome in the garden.

How to identify

The Mole is unmistakable. It is a stocky little animal, covered in black, velvety fur, with tiny eyes, a long, pink nose and two big, shovel-like 'hands' for front paws. You might be more likely to spot Mole hills (the piled-up earth from their burrowing) than the Moles themselves.

Distribution

Widespread, but absent from the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly, Scottish islands, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland.

Did you know?

A Mole can dig up to 20 metres of tunnel in a day using its spade-like forepaws to effectively breaststroke its way through the soil. Every now and again, loose soil is pushed up to the surface, resulting in what we see as a mole hill. The mole's velvety coat helps it to move easily through the soil, and its mouth and nose are protected from debris by their down-facing position.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work with pest controllers to find the most wildlife-friendly solutions to some of our everyday problems.