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1 July 2014 A new method based on indirect evidences to infer activity pattern in moles. A test on the blind mole in Central Apennines
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Abstract

The study of activity patterns in subterranean mammals has been poorly explored in subterranean insectivores. This is especially true for the rare and elusive blind mole Talpa caeca. A field work devoted to collect data on life history traits of the blind mole was run in a montane pasture in Southern Italy (1549 m a.s.l.). Plastic barrel-like traps were placed in actively used mole tunnels and checked regularly at 6 h intervals for two sessions of nine consecutive days, for a total 1500 trap-nights. No moles were captured alive, but signs of mole activity at trap sites (traps filled with ground) were regularly recorded. A video recorded inside a trap confirmed that moles fill the traps with soil as part of trap avoidance behavior. Activity at trap sites was analyzed as a binomial variable, considering the rate of filled traps vs. the number of armed traps at each 6 h trap-checking intervals. Activity showed a polyphasic pattern typical of moles, but differently from other species, activity was more concentrated in the central part of the day (12.00–18.00). Results suggest a specific adaptation to local environmental conditions and body size.

Mirko Di Febbraro and Anna Loy "A new method based on indirect evidences to infer activity pattern in moles. A test on the blind mole in Central Apennines," Folia Zoologica 63(2), 116-121, (1 July 2014). https://doi.org/10.25225/fozo.v63.i2.a9.2014
Received: 30 November 2013; Accepted: 1 March 2014; Published: 1 July 2014
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