Huetia leucorhina 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Afrosoricida Chrysochloridae

Scientific Name: Huetia leucorhina
Species Authority: (Huet, 1885)
Common Name(s):
English Congo Golden Mole
Calcochloris leucorhinus (Huet, 1885)
Chlorotalpa leucorhina (Huet, 1885)
Chrysochloris leucorhina Huet, 1885
Taxonomic Source(s): Asher, R.J., Maree, S., Bronner, G., Bennett, N.C., Bloomer, P., Czechowski, P., Meyer, M. and Hofreiter, M. 2010. A phylogenetic estimate for golden moles (Mammalia, Afrotheria, Chrysochloridae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 69 (doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-69).
Taxonomic Notes: The subgenus Huetia was afforded full generic status based on a phylogeny derived from combined morphological and molecular characters (Asher et al. 2010),  and includes only the single species H. leucorhina (previously assessed as Calcochloris leucorhinus). Historically, the species has been placed in four different genera: 1) in Calcochloris (subgenus Huetia) based on craniometric analyses (Bronner 1995); 2) in Amblysomus on the basis of malleus morphology (Simonetta 1968, Petter 1981); 3) in Chlorotalpa based on cranial and dental characters (Meester 1974); and 4) in Chrysochloris on the basis of dental morphology (Allen 1939). Synonyms for leucorhina: cahni, congicus and lulanus.

Two described subspecies: Huetia leucorhina cahni and H. l. leucorhina (the latter includes congicus and lulanus, Meester 1974).  However, pronounced variation in dental characters (development of talonids on premolars and molars) suggests that this taxon may include cryptic species (Bronner 1995), but as only a few specimens are available for study, the validity of subspecies remains uncertain.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-02-24
Assessor(s): Maree, S.
Reviewer(s): Bennett, N.C. & Taylor, A.
Contributor(s): Bronner, G.

Insufficient data are available on the limits of the geographic distribution of this species and its subspecies, the systematic and ecological status of known subpopulations and the threats faced by these subpopulations. Data Deficient status is warranted, as more research is needed to clarify its conservation status.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Data Deficient (DD)
2006 Data Deficient (DD)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Endemic to Africa. Recorded only from ten scattered locations in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. The subspecies H. leucorhina cahni (previously Calcochloris leucorhinus cahni) occurs in southeastern Cameroon, northern Republic of Congo and southeastern Central African Republic. Huetia leucorhina leucorhina (previously Calcochloris leucorhinus leucorhinus) is known from six isolated locations in western and southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo and southwards to northern Angola (one locality).

Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Gabon
Number of Locations: 12
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


No data on abundance or population density are available.

Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No
All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The largest portion of its distributional range in West Africa (Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Central African Republic) fall within moist montane rainforests with extension into peripheral forest-savanna mosaics where they prefer soft sandy loam soil. Outlying records from Central Africa were collected from soft loamy soil in moist and dry lowland equatorial forests and forest-savanna mosaics southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola. Signs of activity also observed in pastoral and cultivated lands as well as rural and urban gardens (Bronner 2013, Prince Kaleme pers. comm.).

Seemingly no information is available on the general biology, life history and ecology of this species (Bronner 2013).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is limited information available on the major threats to this species. However, the largest part of its confirmed extent of occurrence (EOO) falls within lowland equatorial forests in West Africa, montane forests of Central Africa and adjacent forest-savanna mosaics in both areas, which are severely impacted by humans for economic benefit. In the Congo Basin (Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic and Republic of Congo), indigenous forests suffer intense destruction and exploitation through unsustainable timber logging, wild rubber, commercial plantations (coffee, palm oil, cocoa and rubber), agriculture and associated road and rural infrastructure developments (Congo Basin Forest Partnership Report (CBFP) 2006; WWF 2002, 2006). These factors would severely impact on the natural soil habitat for this strictly subterranean species.

Isolated recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were found in moist lowland forests and forest-savanna mosaics where deforestation, agriculture and extensive rural and urban development (e.g. Kinshasa and Kisangani areas) also heavily impact on its natural soil habitat. No information available on whether some of these records were collected in protected areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: To enable an accurate assessment of this species conservation status, research is needed to determine the distribution limits of this species and described subspecies; now recognized as a genus (Asher et al. 2010), but the systematic status of isolated northern and southern populations needs clarification.

The protected areas network in the Congo Basin has rapidly expanded over past years as a result of governmental efforts, inter-governmental networks and international support for biodiversity conservation and sustainable forests in particular. However, it is not known if this species occurs in any protected areas, and if so, whether management strategies are specifically directed to conserve the habitat of this highly specialized subterranean species.

Parts of the northern population’s range are protected in the Djia-Minkebe-Odzala and Sangha Tri-National Parks (Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic) and the Ngotto Forest Reserve in Central African Republic, but some of these are listed as most threatened by unsustainable logging). None of the scattered records of the species in the DRC occur in protected areas.

Citation: Maree, S. 2015. Huetia leucorhina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T40597A21288887. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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