Animal Info - Persian Mole

Talpa streeti

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Size & Weight, Diet, Behavior)
5. References


Profile

Picture: Related Species - European Mole (Talpa europaea) (37 Kb GIF) (The Shrew (-ist's) Site)

Moles in the genus Talpa have a head - body length of 95 - 180 mm (3.7 - 7.0") and a weight of 65 - 120 g (2.3 - 4.3 oz). They are adapted for a fossorial lifestyle. External body appendages are severely reduced and the body shape is almost cylindrical, tapering to a pointed snout. The front legs are highly developed, modified to loosen and excavate earth in the process of digging tunnels.

Moles in the genus Talpa eat worms and insects. Excess worms are often stored. The worms cannot burrow out because their "head" (front) ends are nipped off or wounded. Moles in this genus spend most of their time in tunnels between the ground surface and depths of nearly 1 m (3.3'). Their burrow complex usually has two circular tunnels concentric at different levels with connections between them, a central nest, and side tunnels into nearby areas. The tunnels not only provide shelter but also act as a food trap for earthworms and insect larvae burrowing through the soil.

The Persian mole is known only from one locality in Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran. It is found only in small patches of habitat that have experienced intensive environmental disruption and military activity.


Tidbits

*** The eyes of moles in the genus Talpa are very small, completely hidden in the fur, and probably useless except to distinguish between light and dark.

*** Apparently, moles in this genus must eat frequently - they often die if deprived of food for 10 - 12 hours.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Persian Mole Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Iran (Kurdistan Province) (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

The Persian mole is known only from one locality, Hezer Darrak in Kurdistan Province, northwest Iran.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The Persian mole is found only in small patches of habitat that have experienced intensive environmental disruption and military activity.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size & Weight:

Moles in the genus Talpa have a head - body length of 95 - 180 mm (3.7 - 7.0") and a weight of 65 - 120 g (2.3 - 4.3 oz).

Diet:

Moles in the genus Talpa eat worms and insects. Excess worms are often stored. The worms cannot burrow out because their "head" (front) ends are nipped off or wounded. (Nowak 1999)

Behavior:

Moles in the genus Talpa spend practically all their time in tunnels between the ground surface and depths of nearly 1 m (3.3'). The burrows usually have two circular tunnels concentric at different levels with connections between them, a central nest, and side tunnels into nearby areas. (Nowak 1999) The tunnels not only provide shelter but also act as a food trap for earthworms and insect larvae burrowing through the soil. (Stone 1995)


References

IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Nowak 1999, The Shrew (-ist's) Site, Stone 1995


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Last modified: January 2, 2005;

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