Moles & Shrews

In Iowa we have a meadow, prairie, woodland, south red-backed vole and the eastern mole.

Moles have a quite an appetite, eating about 80% of their body weight daily. These mammals eat a variety of insects, small vertebrates and vegetation. You can find them in forests, pastures, fields and lawns.

Meadow and prairie voles are herbivores but will occasionally eat insects and carrion. The woodland vole prefers to eat roots and tubers, but will eat both above and below ground plants. On the other hand the southern red-backed vole is an omnivore eating a variety of plants and insects.

Although they are hard to see, the Eastern Mole does have eyes! Due to them typically being underground they do not have much use for their eyes, therefore they are poorly developed. The moles snouts are sensitive to the touch, allowing them to feel the area around them while digging with their long claws.

Voles are about the size of a mouse, some ways to distinguish the two are the tail and the ears. Both the tail and the ears on this animal are shorter than that of a mouse. Voles are found in a wide variety of habitats including woodlands, prairies, and fields.


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