Townsend’s Mole, Scapanus townsendii

Townsend’s mole (Scapanus townsendii) can be found in North America. Its range extends from southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California. It prefers to live in lowland and open wooded spaces with soil that has high moisture content. These moles are the largest in North America, with a body length of up to 8.3 inches and an average weight of 4.9 ounces. Its physical characteristics are common for a creature that lives under ground. Its forepaws are large and used for digging, while hind feet are small. Its eyes are small and its ears cannot be seen. It is a soft black in color and has a pointy nose. Its thick tail is nearly hairless.

This mole will spend much of its time underground, digging tunnels through shallow burrows and foraging for earthworms, small invertebrates, and even plant materials. It is mostly solitary but will mate in winter, producing a litter of up to four young in a deeper burrow. The conservation status of the Townsend’s mole is listed as “least concern” by the IUCN.

Image Caption: Townsend’s Mole. Credit: jkirkhart35/Wikipedia(CC BY 2.0)