Small-toothed Mole
(Euroscaptor parvidens)
DD
Overview
Like other moles, this species is well adapted for life underground. It is thought to spend much of its time in a series of complex, interconnecting tunnels. These tunnels not only provide shelter but also act as a food trap for earthworms and insect larvae burrowing through the soil. The mole is thought to disable excess worms by biting them, so that they can be stored in a “pantry” for later consumption. The species is classified as Critically Endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) because it is restricted to a small area of deteriorating habitat.
Urgent Conservation Actions
Surveys to determine distribution and status.
Distribution
Vietnam. Possibly also Laos and Cambodia.
Evolutionary Distinctiveness
Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae
The mole family Talpidae comprises three subfamilies: the moles (Talpinae) and shrew moles (Uropsilinae), which are mostly fossorial (diggers), and the semi-aquatic desmans (Desmaninae). Fossil members of the Talpidae are known from the early Eocene in Europe (over 50 million years ago), the early Oligocene of North America (35 million years ago), and the late Miocene in Asia (10 million years ago). The Talpinae can be divided into two clades, separating Old World and New World genera. Moles in the genus Talpa belong to the Old World clade, along with the genera Mogera, Parascaptor, Euroscaptor, Scaptochirus, Nesoscaptor and Scaptonyx. Six species of Euroscaptor are currently recognised: E. grandis, E. klossi, K. longirostris, E. micura, E. mizura and E. parvidens. Until recently Euroscaptor was regarded as a subgenus or synonym of Talpa. It is now recognised as a distinct genus.
Description
Size: 
Head and body length: approx. 95-180 mm
Tail length: approx. 15-34 mm
Weight: approx. 65-120 g
The species is known only from the type specimens. Like other moles in the family Talpidae, this species is well adapted for life underground. It has dense, velvety fur and a streamlined cylindrical body, tapering to a pointed snout. Its eyes are very small and completely hidden in the fur, and it has no external ears. The forelimbs are well-developed and modified to loosen and excavate earth in the process of tunnel formation.
Ecology
The species is thought to spend most of its time underground in a series of complex, interconnecting tunnels. These tunnels vary in depth from just beneath the surface to a metre below ground. The burrow complex usually consists of a series of tunnels at different levels with connections between them, a central nest, and side tunnels into nearby areas. The tunnels not only provide shelter but also act as a food trap for earthworms and insect larvae burrowing through the soil. The mole has a high metabolism and must eat frequently. It is thought to disable excess worms by biting them, so that they can be stored as food.
Habitat
Related species are known to inhabit a wide variety of habitats, from lowland fertile plains to montane slopes at elevations up to 3,000 m.
Distribution
Known from the type locality of Di Linh, Vietnam, and Rakho on the Vietnamese-Chinese border.
Population Estimate
Unknown.
Status
Classified as Critically Endangered (CR B1+2c) on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.   
Threats
Restricted to a small area of deteriorating habitat.
Conservation Underway
There are no conservation measures in place.
Conservation Proposed
The 1990 IUCN/SSC Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews Action Plan recommended that field surveys be carried out to determine the status of this species.
References
Insectivore Specialist Group. 1996. Euroscaptor parvidens. In: IUCN 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 09 August 2006.

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Sixth edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London.

Stone, D. (Compiler). 1996. Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews: Status, Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Insectivore, Tree Shrew and Elephant Shrew Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switerzland.

Distribution map based on data provided by the IUCN Global Mammal Assessment.

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