Chrysochloris asiatica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chrysochloris asiatica
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Cape Golden Mole
Taxonomic Notes: Includes Kilimatalpa as a subgenus (Bronner 1995), see comments under C. stuhlmanni.

Up to ten subspecies have previously been recognized, but size and colour varies clinally, hence validity of these taxa is dubious (Meester et al. 1986). The only known specimen of damarensis may have been incorrectly labelled as no Chrysochloris have subsequently been collected in Damaraland, Namibia (Meester 1974).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Bronner, G.
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Although habitat alteration/degradation is ongoing, this species has adapted well to transformed habitats ranging from vineyards to city infrastructure; habitat alteration is not, therefore, considered to be a major threat. A widespread species that does not appear to be in decline, it is listed as Least Concern.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to South Africa. Cape Peninsula (Western Cape) eastwards across Cape Flats to Bredasdorp and Swellendam, and northwards along the Atlantic coast to Port Nolloth in Northern Cape. Occurs inland to Ceres, Worcester and Stellenbosch in the south, and Calvinia, Garies and Kamieskroon in the north, but not in the arid Karoo. One specimen (type of C. damarensis) recorded from Damaraland in Namibia is probably a misidentified specimen from Little Namaqualand (Meester et al. 1986).
South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common in most habitats, depending on soil friability and invertebrate prey resources; less common on rocky mountain slopes, but nevertheless have still colonized even mountain plateaux. Inferred densities of up to four per hectare in prime habitat.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Sandy soils in the Fynbos and Nama-Karoo biomes. Recorded from a wide variety of vegetation types, most commonly in Renosterveld, Fynbos and Strandveld Succulent Karoo. Common in parks, gardens and cultivated lands, readily invade lawns. Also forages on beaches, presumably for amphipods and isopods associated with kelp wracks (Bennett and Spinks 1995). Coexists with A. hottentotus at Stellenbosch, but prefers drier, sandier soils (Broom 1907).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Natural habitats of this species have undoubtedly been dramatically altered by urbanization, coastal tourism developments, mining for alluvial diamonds and agriculture during the past 350 years, but is not considered a threat as it coexists (indeed even thrives) in close association with humans. Persecuted by gardeners and greenkeepers, regularly caught by domestic dogs and cats, but such mortalities are negligible given the abundance of this widespread species, and its wary nature.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected in many national and provincial conservation areas. No species-specific conservation actions deemed necessary. Research to clarify status of described forms/subspecies is needed, as some of these may be distinct taxa given that their range largely corresponds with the Western Cape fold mountains which may serve as barriers to gene flow between some populations.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2008. Chrysochloris asiatica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 May 2015.
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