Factors affecting the distribution of the mole (Talpa europaea) in Snowdonia (North Wales)



Moles are widespread in the uplands of Snowdonia, North Wales, and their distribution has been studied in relation to soil physical and chemical characteristics. Moles are significantly associated with freely drained mineral soils of pH greater than about 4.0. They are not present in soils with a very stony matrix which would preclude the construction of an effective tunnel system. Data are presented showing that moles are associated with sites showing a high return of sheep dung and the reason for this may be an increase in arthropod populations associated with decaying dung. The sites sampled which were not selected with this study in mind show that no factors other than soil characteristics need be invoked to explain the present distribution of moles.