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Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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European Mole

Rote Liste NRW: u Ungefährdet

Talpa europaea




Foto: Heinz Immekus
The Mole is optimally adapted to its subterranean lifestyle. Its tubular body is covered velvet-like fur, which does not lie in any direction. Earlobes are absent. The front legs are transformed into digging shovels, which have received an additional widening through laterally present sesamoid bone (sometimes also called os falciforme). The humeri are quite strong and wide and offer a large surface for muscle attachment. The eyes are tiny — about as large as a poppy seed.
The Mole digs a tunnel system, which, depending on the available food resources, can be smaller or larger. The tunnels are regularly checked for soil invertebrates that dropped down into them. The main food source is composed of earthworms, but also insects and their larvae are not rejected.
Since the species is not very selective with regard to its habitat, it is found area-wide in our region. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Mole is found from the lowland up to 780 m NN. It is present in cultivated lands as well as in deciduous and coniferous forests. In cultivated lands, the Mole is especially evident in pastures and meadows but also in parks, sports grounds, gardens and cemeteries. Even regularly inundated bottomlands and meadow valleys and excavated raised bogs, fens, and alder swamps are being populated. The occurrence depends less on the above surface vegetation than on the soil structure (soil depth, moisture) and the food resources. On expansive fields one only finds the Mole in early spring. With intensifying cultivation of the fields it escapes to the margins. In recent years a reduction of the populations seems to have occurred here.


Heinz-Otto Rehage


Rehage H-O (2023): Maulwurf (Talpa europaea).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/26



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