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Scapanus orarius

Coast Mole

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae

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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Coast Moles are difficult to distinguish from Townsend's Moles where their ranges overlap in the Pacific Northwest. Both have velvety, dark-gray fur and tiny eyes and ears that are hidden under their fur. Townsend's Moles have considerably more fur on their tails, and the two species' teeth differ, but usually only a mammalogist can distinguish them with certainty. Coast Moles spend most of their lives underground, using their tunnels for foraging, moving to a new location, and for finding mates. They are active year-round, but do most of their digging in the fall and winter, when soils are moister. When they are digging deep tunnels, they bring soil to the surface and pile it up in mounds (also known as molehills). A single coast mole may make 200—400 molehills from October to March. When the moles choose the wrong location, such as a lawn, humans destroy them. Dogs and cats frequently catch and kill them, but seldom eat them.

Also known as:
Pacific Mole, Red-footed Mole

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Average: 136-190 mm males; 133-168 mm females

Range: 64-91 g males; 61-79 g females


True, F.W., 1896.  A revision of the American moles, p. 52.  Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum, 19:1-111.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Scapanus orarius

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