Mole Watch live 2020 and its a new year in the calendar of the life of a mole
Here is a guide to help you follow the moles through the year
Its time for the moles to decide - Breed or not to breed
February and the end of the month and the beginning of March could and I stress could be the start of something new in the mysterious world of the moles. It is the time to multiply and the time when moles must seek other moles if they are to survive as a species. It is truly an amazing time, when a solitary mammal experiences a change to ensure it can exist. This year  has another demand to the moles in that much of the United Kingdom has seen relentless rainfall and the land in some parts remains flooded. How this will dictate to the moles this year only time will tell but flooded land often is dealt with prior to or as the levels rise. Moles are excellent swimmers and flowing water can often lead to new pastures for moles when the levels drop. The main concern is the availability of a food source, flooded lands will soon fall deficient of food, and the moles will need to find higher or drier ground and hope that the food availability is sufficient to sustain it until the levels return to normal.
In areas not flooded, the moles will be determined to increase in numbers and this commencement will again rely upon the climate. If the soil is not giving then the moles will refrain from embarking on any breeding program. It is down to nature to decide, when the soil warms the food will also undertake to increase in the amounts available. Only when there is enough food to sustain new growth will the moles begin breeding, which all makes sense.
It has been exceptionally mild in most parts of the country in regards to temperatures but the moles have not yet shown any signs of beginning any moves to multiplication in areas of less ground moisture so we could be in for some colder weather. This is the importance of monitoring the weather and the movement of mole activity if you are to undertake a mole watch.
In 2010 we had a really cold snap in March following a warm spell and snow fell in the latter part of the month, in the warmer south some moles had begun to show signs of possible breeding but stopped until it passed. There could be evidence that the moles can suspend pregnancy if conditions change and there needs to be more information sought on this possibility, any mole watch live data could be collated to provide this evidence.
So we must now watch the soil for movement in relation to the weather impacting on the area, and wait for the moles to make their move to the continued existence of their species
If you have an area of moles and are monitoring the movements send, your dates, and findings and it can be collated with other information from around the UK for a better and national monitoring of the moles and create a better understanding of the life of the mole.
Be part of this years mole watch live, join in now
The start of spring week 1
Now March is with is and the relentless wet weather is having an effect upon the start of the mole breeding season. water logged ground has influenced the moles food source and many will refrain from breeding in these wet areas. As the food finds higher ground the moles will be forced to follow, so expect to find less mole activity in previous known areas and more new areas frequented by the tell tale signs of moles in the presence of their waste[molehills]. The areas of mole damage not normally associated with the presence of moles will often result in claims of a mole population explosion but now you know better
March second week -
The wet weather we are experiencing this early spring period is not allowing already water logged ground to dry. This will have a huge impact upon moles in areas of saturated ground. The moles need to exist as a species is a remarkable ability to survive, increase numbers, and achieve this with causing genealogical problems.
When nature decides that the time is right for moles to breed, they will go through a chemical change. The male moles will fill with testosterone, which will encourage them to seek a female and mate to increase the population numbers. The male mole will not stay with the female but seek another female, mate with this female, then another, the process continues until the level of testosterone drops, and the urge to mate subsides.
This migration of male moles is actually a very clever method to ensure that the lineage of moles changes and prevents interbreeding amongst previous family. This movement of the male moles must not allow every male mole to mate with every female, if this prevention of hereditary in breeding is to be maintained, the females must not accept the amorous advances of every male mole that comes their way. This is addressed by the female moles acceptance being out of line with the changes in the male moles. The female will only come into season for a short period of time and only accept the advances of any male mole once. So what happens is that the male moles wanting to mate scurry around the countryside in the network of tunnels beneath our feet, fuelled by testosterone looking for a female that is in season and able to mate. If they come, across a female that has already mated or not in season, they will either leave freely of their own accord, or be forced away from the aggression of the unwilling female.
With the females coming into season at different times it creates the mass migration in males and changes the blood stock as males from all over travel considerable distances during this time.
Combine this with that the mole can travels miles in a day, the chance of inter breeding is greatly reduced.
There has been research made on the reports that once it has been thought that moles were hermaphrodites, as some female moles that had been captured had evidence of high levels of testosterone and testicular tissue. This was first discovered in Scotland in 1924 and more recently amongst moles in the areas of Spain and Italy during the late 1990's. My theory on this is that some moles that were examined, especially in the areas in Europe, were moles that had become almost land locked to the areas. The continual spread over time had resulted in the moles being unable to spread further from the natural barriers not suitable to the existence of the moles, such as mountainous ranges and exceptionally dry soils. It could be possible with extreme changes in the development of the areas that populations of moles could be forced to interbreed with mans structural adjustments and this may have devastating consequences for the future of some populations of moles of in the United Kingdom as more areas of farmland and countryside is lost to the urban sprawl.
The moles faced similar problems back in 2010 when the United Kingdom had a late fall of snow. March was graced with a middle month winter of low temperatures and this had a similar effect upon the breeding program of the moles. It delayed the start of the breeding season, but the moles adapted and resulted in media claims from those not knowledgeable in the ways of the humble moles to shout of a mole population boom. It was due to the moles having to adapt and respond to the changes in the later part of the month and into April, when temperatures rose and after the thaw the water tables returned to normal. The sudden sight of many molehills or moles raised tunnel complexes spreading across areas never before frequented by moles, had people claiming moles are everywhere.
The moles will adapt and if you are mole watching as this month progresses be sure to monitor the weather in the area and the movement in the moles and you too will begin to understand the amazing time in the year when for the existence of their species the moles must make dangerous journeys and life threatening decisions.
March Third week
The cold weather has returned to parts of the UK, some areas in the north are still subject to further rain so watch closely for things to really begin to change this week onwards
Once the frosts have finally gone which should be over the next 10 days in the south , then the moles will really get going on the task of increasing their population numbers. Warm days will encourage the new growth in nature, the colder nights will leave and then things for the mole watcher to find will begin to reveal themselves. Mole activity in areas will suddenly appear and look for those rows of mole hills as the males begin their journeys to find a mate. It will all begin from now onwards.
March into last week
The weather is warming, not as fast as many people would like under the current restriction on movement in the country. Many will want to venture into the garden encouraged by many gardening programmes and magazines, as gardening is great for both physical and wellness. For the moles it could mean that some may be subjected to attacks from the sudden influx of interest in tending the garden. Restriction on movement could result is a reduction in the available services for mole control, hardly an essential service, mole removal but this could subject the moles to many illegal attacks from people using old wives tales by the have a go at this brigade in the gardening fraternity. It must be pointed out that there are NO chemicals that are approved for use against moles which include the mole repellents seen adorning the shelves of garden centre and online outlets . One professional Gas application is used but has very strict regulation. Moles now are moving to find mates to bolster the population, it is not necessary to immediately rush to attack a mole in any way or form at the sight of a mole hill. They may not be staying so please advise people who shout they have a mole to wait a few days and leave the mole hill/s alone as it could be passing through with other things on its mind. There will be areas where the mole will be creating further damage - it will probably be a female preparing for the forthcoming brood. This is a time of waiting to decide what the mole in the area is doing and a sure way to decide it is a male or a female.
So decide when you observe an area of mole damage- is it creating a passage to places afar or a network of tunnels in preparation for the birth of young.
The season is looking like it is settling down with warmer air temperatures, days of sun and the welcome rain showers that many growers will welcome. For some farmers the dry spell towards the end of the last month was the first opportunity to get on the land. Farmers now are beginning to work the soil to plant crops, some later then they would have liked and for others, especially in the areas of recent bad flooding will possibly decide to rest the land. To expect it to provide food for us after the stress of the winter water levels, may cause more damage to the soil. Many land owners will probably put it to grass or maybe a cover crop providing a rest for the land to re-coup. It will be welcomed by nature in many ways and no more then the moles in these areas, as they utilise the peace and lack of disturbance to also return to the areas as before. There maybe restrictions on movement across the country above ground but below the top layer things are now beginning to get very industrious.