Lovely weather… for moles

The European mole (Talpa europaea) is a sweet furry animal or a pest, depending on your point of view. Whatever your opinion of moles you’re going to see more evidence of them in Britain after 2012’s wet summer.

If you’re of the ‘sweet animal’ opinion you’ll like the television film of a wild mole below ground. You might have grown up, as I did, enthralled by Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s book The Wind in the Willows. That book opens with Mole spring-cleaning his house.

You might be of the ‘pest’ opinion because you’re fed up of moles on your land. They burrow under farmland and gardens, leaving trails of molehills. They uproot shrubs and herbaceous plants, including crops. Their molehills damage farm machinery and occupy space in pasture that’s needed for grazing. Molehill soil can be a serious contaminant in hay and silage. So although T. europaea is a charming little animal, you might hire molecatchers to get rid.

Whatever your opinion of T. europaea, for this wild mammal 2012’s wet summer was fine. It provided excellent mole breeding conditions. We can expect to see more molehills and the molecatchers can expect to get hired.

About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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