Eastern moles on the Konza Prairie Biological Station

TitleEastern moles on the Konza Prairie Biological Station
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsO'Neal, PR, Kaufman, DW
JournalTransactions of the Kansas Academy of Science
Pagination93 -96
Accession NumberKNZ00901
Keywordseastern mole, habitat association, kansas, Konza Prairie, Scalopus aquaticus

We examined the local distribution of the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) along the Kings Creek drainage on the Konza Prairie Biological Station (located south of Manhattan, Kansas). Our 46-ha study site included primarily intermixed riparian woodland and native and planted grassland. Within this site, we surveyed burrow ridges and soil mounds of eastern moles in 116 circular sampling plots. Each sampling plot had a 10-m radius; total surface area of plots was 3.6 ha. Plots were placed at 40-m intervals along 13 transects, which paralleled each other and were 100 m apart. Eastern moles were associated with wooded vegetation (i.e. plots under tree canopy). Eastern moles also were associated positively with bare soil (plots with >2 m2 as contrasted to those with <2 m2 of bare soil). This positive association with plots that had >2 m2 of bare soil held even for the 74 local sites that were under tree canopy along Kings Creek. The association with wooded areas along Kings Creek was consistent with past studies that found eastern moles selectively choose relatively loose, moist soils.