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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report for the Townsend's Mole (Scapanus townsendii) in Canada

Distribution

Global range

Townsend’s mole is found in the Pacific coast region of northern California, Oregon and Washington in the United States. Its range crosses the Canadian border for several kilometers into the Lower Mainland of British Columbia at Huntingdon. Its range largely overlaps that of the American shrew-mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii). Large parts of its range also overlap that of the coast mole.

Scapanus townsendii olympicus is restricted to elevations above 1,000 m in the rugged terrain of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State (Carraway et al. 1993). The global range of Townsend’s mole is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Global distribution of Scapanus townsendii (based on Sheehan and Galindo-Leal 1996, after Hall 1981). S. t. townsendii range indicated by shading, S. t. olympicus with the letter A.

Figure 1.  Global distribution of Scapanus townsendii (based on Sheehan and Galindo-Leal 1996, after Hall 1981). S. t. townsendii range indicated by shading, S. t. olympicus with the letter A.

Canadian range

Townsend’s mole is found just inside Canada at the American border at Huntingdon, British Columbia, and at a second nearby location east of Abbotsford (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The distribution of Scapanus townsendii townsendii in 2002 near Huntingdon and Abbotsford (city areas are shaded) in Canada based on a recent field survey that located 16 territories by molehills visible from the road (indicated as black dots above the U.S. border). The area searched was between the Trans-Canada Highway to the north, the U.S. boundary to the south, Clearbrook Road to the west and Boundary/Whatcom Road to the east. There were 137 territories of the coast mole in the same area. A Townsend’s mole was caught by a trapper in November 2001 east of Abbotsford at Lakeview golf course (a) and another at Marshall Road (b).

Figure 2.  The distribution of Scapanus townsendii townsendii in 2002 near Huntingdon and Abbotsford (city areas are shaded) in Canadabased on a recent field survey that located 16 territories by molehills visible from the road (indicated as black dots above the U.S. border). The area searched was between the Trans-Canada Highway to the north, the U.S. boundary to the south, Clearbrook Road to the west and Boundary/Whatcom Road to the east. There were 137 territories of the coast mole in the same area. A Townsend’s mole was caught by a trapper in November 2001 east of Abbotsford at Lakeview golf course (a) and another at Marshall Road (b).