The natural environment is influenced by the weather and how your base location is affected by the rudiments of temperature and moisture will in turn have an adverse effect upon your mole. The base location will be suitably adjusted accordingly by the mole in response to its needs and under severe change may even be forced to relocate.
To understand how the mole is effected by the weather you will need to record the weather at your base location, This is as simple or as intricate as you wish it to be but by recording the weather alongside your other information produces an even greater understanding of the private life of the mole.
Do not rely upon national or regional weather forecasts as these are a general synopsis of what is predicted in the area.
You need to have some knowledge of how the weather is directly imparting on the location to compare to the other information you are obtaining. Even a local weather report will not allow for the geographical shape which will be individual to that mole location.
Your base location may be in an area of the region that will always receive a higher or lower rainfall due to such geographical features. Recording your weather situation can be completed with a simple chart similar to recording that of the mole hills. Or you can extend this further to a small electronic weather station which will record all the information required remotely.
Information to record
Soil temperature at grass level and at a determined depth- this will need to be the approximate depth of the tunnels
wind speed over land
A weather station can also record night time temperatures as well as other useful information such as maximum and minimum for comparison. If you decide to use a remote electronic weather station do not mount as directed high on a pole but set at ground level which will provide the weather information as the mole’s location will be influenced. Some electronic weather stations often have memory facilities which record all data at set times over a 24-hour period and retain the information on a weekly even monthly rate. These could save you some valuable time.
The moles location will only be influenced by harsh weather changes as the soil is a natural barrier. For example, it will allow rainfall to naturally soak down and this will again depend upon the amount of rainfall over what period of time and of course the soil composition. Already you have to consider several factors like the mole. Other weather conditions or combinations will also need to be fully understood and by the cross referring of your recorded information every situational change can be appreciated.
The Mole Watch Live project will provide a full national picture of moles in the United Kingdom which will also assist in many other optional mole topics that are weather related and those that may have fortunate or detrimental results for the mole. Food numbers, changes in climate population migration are just a few.
Mole Watch Live aim to bring the strange and mysterious world of the mole directly to you by fully interpreting the information available and what you may experience whilst undertaking your very own Mole Watch Live. Moles are extremely fascinating animals and it is a well-known fact that they are extremely territorial preferring to spend most of their lives alone. We say most of the time as to exist as a species there must be a point in the year when they have to tolerate the presence of another mole and this important part in the moles calendar will also become a part of your study. It is not possible to determine the sex of a mole in the ground just by the damage it is creating to survive- or is it? Becoming a part of a national study of mole behaviour will assist in answering many questions about moles and here at Mole Watch Live we have many new findings that you and your study can assist with. And many of the questions relate to the breeding habits of moles. The breeding season of moles varies according to the soil temperature, when the soil begins to warm and the food vital to moles also shows signs of increasing then mole can begin to consider the time to breed. The moles go through a chemical change as the male’s testosterone levels increase and the female mole comes into season. Down in the south of the country this may begin as early as late February early March where in the colder north as late as May and by recording your findings during this potential breeding time you will learn the secret identity of your mole. How? The early stages of the breeding season will be made known by the moles as the female moles increase the feeding tunnels and this will apparent by more or larger mole hills as she seeks the new additional food now available that will be required to maintain her body weight whilst she is carrying and weaning the young. She will also store food in small chambers called worm larders so if you experience this then your mole is a female. The male mole will seek a female as a mate which will be identified either by the sudden rest of normal activity or by the single row of mole hills as the male tunnels to gain entry into females territories, having sourced a female that will accept his advances the male mole leaves in search of another- they will not stay and assist in the rearing of the young. So, from this you can deduce the sex of your mole and any contributing circumstances from the time of year and changes made to your base location as the moles strive for the next generation of moles in the area.
Seasonal changes continued. Mole Watch Live is an all year-round study and by continuing the recording of information through the seasonal changes of our ever-changing climate will produce the most comprehensive data base of information on the moles of the United Kingdom. The seasons place extreme demands on the lives of moles from the moment they leave their mother who never instils any bond from the moment they leave the womb. This independent life is a hard but often short journey as many moles will fail to survive until the next breeding season and with your study you will learn of this perilous journey.
Seasonal demands – an explanation
Mole Watch Live studies may begin at any time in the calendar but it will help to have some small advanced knowledge of the reasons to what you may be experiencing.
Winter – December January February Weather impact during these months will naturally consist of a lower ground temperature with possibly periods of ground frost. The harsh cold temperature may impact on the mole as hard frost penetration into the soil will force what available food is present lower to escape the chance of being frozen. Moles do not hibernate and with such a low body fat content will require to establish feeding tunnels at a depth to compensate. They will have tunnels of varying depths which they will have produced prior to the arrival of really hard change in climate.
Autumnal changes in feeding grounds may already alert you from your studies if moles had begun to make changes in depths to the tunnels as the soil temperatures slowly drop and slight frosts arrive. Winter will rarely have a detrimental effect upon moles as for millions of years they have prepared for all that nature can throw at them. Snow provides a warm blanket increasing the soil temperature encouraging the food content to move evident with mole hills appearing above the snow and the low-level journey of the sun across the sky will fail to touch all parts providing regular pockets of warmer soil encouraging moles to feast on the pickings.
Spring – March April May, With the days becoming longer and warmer the moles like many other animals will begin to think about the need to extend the numbers and this has been explained but in the spring the moles will respond to any opportunity to exploit what they can around them. Movement in the number of male moles will be evident and this is made easy from manmade structures such as fences/hedges and walls where water dripping provides ideal moisture content in the soil below, enabling easy construction of a system of tunnels. They use these tunnels annually and with this constant moisture content they require little effort to construct and repair. This underground system – the moles motorway, has been a source of travel for hundreds and hundreds of years allowing the mole population to extend and maintain healthy populations.
These mole highways are used throughout the year to move from place to place
Summer- June July August, Summer time is when many people will never experience evidence to the presence of moles despite them still being present in the fields and gardens. The moles almost lead us into a false sense of security only to virtually burst onto the lawn as if by magic. How do they do this? The males will be returning to the home range and many may even find better alternative locations leaving a vacant territory for a fortunate young mole from this season breeding. Young moles will be leaving the confines of the tunnel complex that the mother has provided as their instinct to live alone grows within them.
The females now return to working a smaller area of feeding, more to her now reduced requirements so many landowners will be under the pretence that the mole has left. Harder ground from the summer sun forces the moles down as food seeks moisture to move and feed and water tables play important games with moles as they travel to create new temporary feeding grounds where the lower contours of the land will attract food. The dry summers often experience heavy periods of rainfall and this water fails to penetrate to any relevant depth running over and forming pools which will eventually soak and create oasis of delight for any new travelling mole in search of the required intake of food. Gardens will be in their prime and the moles are quick to exploit the work of the sprinklers often left to their own devices with timer systems or the hose pipe left to water the prize vegetable plots. Lurking under the mulch of flower beds the moles wait patiently for the first opportunity to reinstate what other moles have left behind or the new territory made available from changes made by man.
Autumn – September October November, Food is plentiful at this time of the year and moles will have sourced a location to create a territory prior to the first frosts. The soil is both damp and warm and food is plentiful evidence to the presence of worms can be seen in their casts scattered on the surface. The days shorten in the late autumn and the moles will from the drop in temperatures begin to prepare for the winter and the cycle begins again.
This is a brief explanation to what moles experience over the seasonal changes and you will from your study of your base location extend the details considerably as your mole conflicts with the demands of a fossorial creature in your location.