British wildlife recordings

Talpa europaea : Eurasian Mole - Talpidae

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  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001383 BD11

  • Subjects


  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    OS Grid Reference(402500,88500)

  • Recordist

    Shove, Lawrence

  • Species

    Mole, Talpa europaea

  • Description

    This is a recording of the call of the mole. The presence of a mole is easy to detect due to the conspicuous mounds it creates in gardens and fields. It spends almost all of its life underground in an elaborate system of tunnels dug with its large, spade-like forefeet. The mole is well-adapted to this subterranean way of life, and despite having small eyes and poor eyesight, the pink, fleshy snout and whiskers are especially sensitive to any movement and vibrations underground. The tunnels act as a trap to collect worms and other invertebrates, with earthworms forming up to ninety per cent of its diet. Generally, the mole is a solitary and aggressive animal, with a distinct territory which it will stoutly defend. A shrill twittering and squeaking sound may be heard during aggressive encounters with neighbours. The mole is a common species over most of Britain, although it avoids sandy and waterlogged soils where it is difficult to dig suitable burrows. Its short, black fur is soft and at the turn of the century resulted in it being caught for its pelt. Due to the molehills it creates, the mole is often regarded as a pest, but is also beneficial in eating genuine pests, and in some cases aerating the soil.

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