Carpitalpa arendsi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Afrosoricida Chrysochloridae

Scientific Name: Carpitalpa arendsi
Species Authority: (Lundholm, 1955)
Common Name(s):
English Arend's Golden Mole
Chlorotalpa arendsi Lundholm, 1955
Taxonomic Notes: Monotypic. Lundholm (1955) described this taxon as a subgenus of Chlorotalpa, as well as the subgenus Kilimatalpa for C. stuhlmanni from east Africa. Simonetta (1968) elevated Carpitalpa to generic rank to include Kilimatalpa. Meester (1974) instead assigned C. arendsi to Chlorotalpa and C. stuhlmanni to Chrysochloris, commenting that differences between the Chlorotalpa species did not warrant subgeneric separation. Phylogenetic analyses of morphometric data (Bronner 1995), and recent phylogenetic analyses based on both morphological and genetic data (Asher et al. 2010) confirm that C. arendsi has diverged considerably from the Chlorotalpa species and Chrysochloris (Kilimatalpa) stuhlmanni, necessitating its allocation to a distinct genus,

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-02-27
Assessor(s): Bronner, G.
Reviewer(s): Asher, R.J. & Taylor, A.

Although the historical area of occupancy (estimated from the number of quarter-degree grid cells in which specimens have been collected) is estimated to be 2,500 km2 this species is closely associated with remaining patches of  montane grasslands and indigenous forests, which have shrunk as a result of human activities, so the effective area of occupancy is probably far lower (10 locations with an area of occupancy estimated to be 1,050 km2) and the extent of occurrence is 15,500 km2. Habitat alteration/degradation as a result of political instability and poorly-managed land transformation initiatives in eastern Zimbabwe, together with limited policing and management of conservation areas (particularly Nyanga National Park, which includes much of this species range), have resulted in rapid and extensive environmental damage from annual wildfires that destroy its preferred forest habitats and local biodiversity; uncontrolled timber harvesting; overgrazing by cattle and poaching. Habitat modifications are thus inferred to be major potential threats to the survival of this species, given its restricted range, and are reasons to confirm its Vulnerable status.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2006 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species occurs in the Inyanga Highlands of eastern Zimbabwe between latitudes 18° S and 20° S, and altitudes of 850–2,000 m, with a marginal intrusion into the Vila Perey district of western Mozambique.
Countries occurrence:
Mozambique; Zimbabwe
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 1050
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 15515
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Number of Locations: 10
Lower elevation limit (metres): 850
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is locally common but no abundance data are available.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Favours loamy soils in montane grasslands and the fringes of rainforests, but is dependent on areas with less cover (Lundholm 1955), and does not penetrate deep into forests (Smithers and Lobao-Tello 1976, Smithers and Wilson 1979). Also common in cultivated lands and gardens.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Habitat modifications associated with political instability and poorly-managed land transformation initiatives in Zimbabwe, together with limited conservation management in protected areas, an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires, uncontrolled timber harvesting and overgrazing by livestock are likely to be major threats. The extent and intensity thereof, and impacts on this species, are not well documented. Predation by domestic cats and dogs probably represents a more localized threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Occurs in the following conservation areas: Nyanga National Park; Mtarazi Falls National Park; Chimanimani National Park; Vumba Botanical Reserve; and Bunga Forest Reserve. However, recent reports suggest that baseline management and policing of these conservation areas has collapsed owing to political and economic instability, leading to habitat alteration associated with uncontrolled wildfires, overgrazing by cattle and poaching, so the extent of protection these areas afford is uncertain.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2015. Carpitalpa arendsi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T40596A21289173. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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