Townsend's mole

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Townsend's mole[1]
Scapanus townsendii.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae
Genus: Scapanus
Species: S. townsendii
Binomial name
Scapanus townsendii
(Bachman, 1839)
Townsend's Mole area.png
Townsend's mole range

The Townsend's mole, Scapanus townsendii, is the largest North American mole.

It is found in open lowland and wooded areas with moist soils along the Pacific coast from southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California. This animal's total range in Canada is estimated to be 20 km² (7.7 sq mi). Townsend's mole is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, however in Canada it is considered an endangered species.[3]

This animal has velvety black fur, a pointed snout and a short, thick, nearly hairless tail. It is about 21 cm (8.3 in) in length including a 4 cm (1.6 in) tail, and weighs about 138 grams (4.9 oz). Its front paws are broad and spade-shaped, specialized for digging; the rear paws are smaller. It has 44 teeth. Its ears are not visible and it has small eyes. It is similar in appearance to the smaller coast mole.

This mole spends most of its time underground, foraging in shallow burrows for earthworms, small invertebrates and plant material. It is active year round.

This animal is mainly solitary except during mating in late winter. The female has a litter of two to four young in a deep underground burrow.

This animal was named after the American naturalist John Kirk Townsend, who first described it.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 302. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Hammerson, G. & Cannings, S. (2008). "Scapanus townsendii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Species at Risk Public Registry: Townsend's Mole".