Mammals of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Eastern Mole - Scalopus aquaticus
Talpidae Members:
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Distribution In NC, it occurs statewide, certainly present in all 100 counties.

Occurs over nearly all of the Eastern United States, except for areas close to Canada.
Abundance Common to very common and widespread across the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, including on the Outer Banks. Less numerous -- mainly uncommon to fairly common -- over the mountains as a whole, but can be numerous in low elevations such as in river valleys. Scarce at higher elevations, and likely absent over 4,500 feet. Note that the iNaturalist website contains photos for at least one-third of the state's counties, and the editors have not taken the time to update the map with "Photo" records/documentation unless the county had previously no known records (white on the map).
Seasonal Occurrence Active year-round, but seldom comes to the surface.
Habitat Favors a wide variety of somewhat moist, but not wet, soil. Open woods, wooded residential areas, brushy areas, fields, pastures, and even dunes are used. It tends to avoid very wet soils, as well as high elevation sites, which are favored by the Star-nosed Mole and the Hairy-tailed Mole, respectively.
See also Habitat Account for General Mixed Habitats
Behavior It digs tunnels of several types. The ones just below the surface, well-known to the layman, are used mainly for foraging; deeper tunnels are used for shelter, nesting, and passage to foraging tunnels.
Comments Eastern Moles often are considered as pests for their soil disturbance to golf courses and some lawns. They are seldom seen above ground, except when found dead. Sadly, quite a few are seen dead on the ground, and thus for a small mammal there are a large number of photos posted to the iNaturalist website.
Origin Native
NC List Official
State Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
subspecies Scalopus aquaticus aquaticus, Scalopus aquaticus howelli

Scalopus a. aquaticus occurs in the mountains, whereas S. a. howelli is present over the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all database records for species in that county.