Eastern Prairie Mole (Scalopus aquaticus)
If you happen to be traveling through southern and Central WI, you might get the chance to spot a Prairie mole. Wisconsin Prairie Moles get to be about five and a half to eight inches in length. Their tail alone is three quarter to one and a half inches long. Prairie Moles are known to weigh between three to five ounces. They aren’t very large. An interesting fact about Prairie Moles is that they have fur that can move any way; which helps them to move in different directions when traveling around under the ground.
If you are looking to find a Prairie mole, you best chance is to look around areas like: moist or sandy soil, meadows, gardens, fields, river bottoms, mountain slopes, or forests. They tend to stay around those types of habitats. Wisconsin Eastern Prairie Moles like to eat a variety of foods including: earthworms, insects, snails, centipedes, spiders, other small creatures, and sometimes baby birds if they can catch them. These Moles definitely help to keep the insect/pest population down.
Eastern Prairie Moles are an animal that do not hibernate during the cold season. They stay active year round. They do however, like to keep to themselves unless it is the mating season. If you are looking for Wisconsin Eastern Prairie Moles, you will be more likely to see them during the periods of dawn and dusk. That is when they are more abundant for viewing. When the Moles are active, they will come out every once in a while, but they will tend to spend most of their time underground in their dens and tunnels.
Eastern Prairie Moles have their mating season between late winter and early spring. The female is pregnant for up to forty-five days and then she has her babies around February and March. Wisconsin eastern Prairie Moles have two to five young. Eastern Prairie Moles also have a number of advantages to their existence. One advantage is that they are really good swimmers; which, helps them to find food and escape fast from predators.
Another known advantage of WI eastern Prairie Moles is that they have a good sense of smell and touch. Although these are wonderful advantages to have, they do have their disadvantages. Eastern Prairie Moles have to watch out for humans. Humans tend to kill Moles because they destroy the ground when traveling underground. Did you know that eastern Prairie Moles do not have any type of vision at all? This is a major disadvantage for them because it makes it easier for predators to get them. Eastern Prairie Moles seem to need a large amount of food everyday. If something keeps them from eating, they might not make it.
Wisconsin eastern Prairie Moles do however; benefit the earth by turning over and rotating the soil. One downfall for their predators is that Eastern Prairie Moles are very difficult for them to catch because they can move so quickly. Moles do not have very many predators, but the ones they do have are pretty dangerous. These predators include: humans, snakes, foxes, raccoons, and owls if they are able to catch the Moles. These predators are always lurking around.
If a Wisconsin Eastern Prairie Mole is not killed, they are usually able to live up to six years old. Since these Moles have to eat so much to survive, most of the time they end up eating 25% of their own weight in food each day. This is required in order to keep their existence going. Eastern Prairie Moles are a very interesting animal. Although, they can be pests, they are an animal of nature just like everything else and should not be disturbed. Enjoy their presence.