Broad-footed Mole

Scientific Name: Scapanus latimanus
Classification: Small mammal
Size: Head and body length – 5 to 6 inches. Tail length – about 1 to 1 ½ inches. Weight – about 2 to 4 ounces

Description:

The broad-footed mole has dark brown, grayish, or nearly black fur, a slightly haired tail, non-hairy nose, and unevenly spaced unicuspid teeth. The front feet are broad as with most other north american moles.

 

Habitat:

Preferred habitat is moist, fairly rich soils from near sea level to approximately 3000 meters.

 

Range:

The range extends from southern oregon south through california and western nevada to northern baja california. Specifically in nevada, this species occurs in the western portion in upper elevations.

 

Natural History:

Broad-footed moles are active throughout the year. They rarely emerge from their burrow systems.

 

Food Habits:

The diet includes primarily worms as well as insects, snails, slugs, other small invertebrates, and some vegetation. Feeding occurs just below the surface of the ground by burrowing.

 

Breeding:

Between march and april, one litter of 2 to 5 young is born in a nest of grass and leaves within the burrow.

 

Status:

The broad-footed mole is considered sensitive and susceptible to disturbance in nevada due to its restricted distribution and dependency on moist soils found in riparian habitat, which is limited in nevada. It is currently state unprotected.

 

Management & Conservation:

More information is needed on this species as little is known. The primary management recommendation is to maintain healthy riparian habitats, which afford moist soils needed by the broad-footed mole.

 

Fun facts:


It is likely that more than 99% of a mole’s life is spent underground.