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 Post subject: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 5:51 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:37 am
Posts: 872
Location: NE Ohio
There are a few groups of mammals out there which are very hard to view alive in the wild. One of the reasons I wanted a mammal forum was to discuss viewing techniques for these different groups. One of them that frustrates me are moles.

I have seen Eastern Moles as a kid, when digging up some concrete, and as of a few years ago I have had 1-2 Star-nosed Moles under my snake boards, but I have no good way of seeing living moles. This is particularly frustrating as there are their tunnels all over my yard.

So, do you have any successful techniques for seeing moles. Live-trapping is fine, but not kill trapping.

Andy

p.s. If we keep different groups of mammals to different threads it will be easier to search this later.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 7:09 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am
Posts: 595
Andy-
A way that I have seen viewing moles successfully done (but that I have not tried to duplicate myself) is to loosen an area of soil and lay down a sheet of plexiglass or glass directly on the top of the soil. Cover that with a sheet of plywood, and lift it periodcally like you would a coverboard. I have seen it done in a horizontal and a vertical orientation (cut into a bank next to a walkway). The vertical orientation was really well done- it was framed in and had a hinged door that opened out. Really top notch!
--Berkeley
p.s.- good idea on the thread-by-thread topic idea for searching!


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 8:10 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:07 pm
Posts: 542
Location: Hillsdale County, Michigan
That is a great idea with plexiglass and cover board. I'll have to try that sometime.

Here are some methods I've heard of.

Observing wetlands for Star-nosed Moles.

Digging up a section of tunnel and putting sherman traps back to back.

Boards around wetlands.

Chris Smith had some great posts about Star-noses he caught in drift fences.

Mike Cravens and I road cruised and Eastern Mole last spring.

People that kill them, sometimes flood the tunnel and wait for them to surface. I'm not sure how safe that is for the mole. It must happen when it rains as well.

If you see the dirt move, you can dig them up. Kind of a long shot though.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 8:57 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Posts: 3277
Location: Illinois
As a kid I had a Beagle that dug quite a few of them up out of the yard. I imagine that if you see the dirt moving you could potentially get one that way. They're very strong for such small animals.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 10:37 am 

Joined: October 28th, 2010, 3:26 pm
Posts: 364
Andy-- I know you traveled to Costa Rica. Did you pick up a copy of Fiona Reid's Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico? She has, in the introduction, included some information on catching small mammals. If you don't own the book, let me know. I can email those pages to you.

Excellent idea, by the way. I have a local mammal that I've never seen that is common. I'll start that thread soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 10:42 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:37 am
Posts: 872
Location: NE Ohio
Cool ideas so far. I have thought about digging into the burrows and putting some Sherman live traps down.

As for the cover boards, I have flipped a lot and only seen it on 3 occasions with Star-nosed. Two occasions the board was flooded and the mole ran into a water-filled hole. Which makes me wonder if you put glass down before the board, I can't see it being more likely to get a mole underneath on a flip. Interesting idea though.

And, if I ever see dirt moving around (which I haven't) you can bet I am going to try and dig out the critter!

Jared, I don't have that book. I'd be interested in those pages though.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 12:16 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:17 am
Posts: 243
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
No tips from me, but thanks for asking. Never having seen a live mole though their burrows are all over really annoys me. If I ever see dirt moving you can bet I'll dig for it as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 26th, 2012, 11:13 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Posts: 245
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
I've seen this done this before but the trap style I've seen used sits above the runways and does not capture them a live. It certainly works, though. Totally off topic, but I wonder why people mind mole runways?


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 26th, 2012, 11:38 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 4:12 am
Posts: 121
Location: Yorkshire, England
Interesting question. I've never seen a live mole, yet mole hills are everywhere in the UK. You can buy live mole traps but I've never heard of any people using them with success.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 26th, 2012, 12:08 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:37 am
Posts: 872
Location: NE Ohio
I don't mind mole runways, although I suspect that is why my dog digs my yard up like crazy. But if I see a runway moving, I am doing to dig the mole up just to see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Mole viewing techniques?
PostPosted: February 26th, 2012, 4:50 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 1582
Location: Unicoi, TN
Most of the live moles I’ve found were as a result of flooding; natural and manmade.
A few from blocking and digging up a tunnel after seeing movement.
Many, from a neighbors Yellow Lab, who seemed to enjoy finding them and retrieving them unharmed!!!!


Image

SLD asked
Quote:
Totally off topic, but I wonder why people mind mole runways?

Every person I have known who “hated” the tunnels were….

Uh…….

How to put it????

They were ”natural world challenged” and were conviced the moles were eating their flowers!!!


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