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Amblysomus hottentotus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA AFROSORICIDA CHRYSOCHLORIDAE

Scientific Name: Amblysomus hottentotus
Species Authority: (A. Smith, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Hottentot Golden Mole, Zulu Golden Mole
Synonym(s):
Amblysomus iris Thomas & Schwann, 1905
Taxonomic Notes: Traditionally taken to include populations that Bronner (1996, 2000) recognized as valid species, namely A. septentrionalis, A. robustus, A. marleyi and A. corriae (in part).

Includes five subspecies: hottentotus, pondoliae, iris, longiceps and meesteri (Bronner 1995, 2013). Recent cytogenetic and molecular analyses show that A. h. meesteri is a unique lineage and will likely be elevated to species status (Gilbert et al. 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-01-20
Assessor(s): Bronner, G. & Mynhardt, S.
Reviewer(s): Taylor, A.
Justification:

A widespread and adaptable species that does not appear to be in decline. Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively large distribution, presumed large population, ability to thrive in mildly-transformed habitats and its occurrence in a number of protected areas.

History:
2006 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species as presently known is found in South Africa and possibly also Swaziland (but whether the Swaziland specimens represent this species of Amblysomus septentrionalis, or both, awaits confirmation by genetic data). Occurs coastally from the Eastern Cape, in the vicinity of Van Staden's River, northwards to St Lucia district in KwaZulu-Natal. Ranges inland to the foot of the Drakensberg escarpment, from Maclear/Ugie in the south to Van Reenen in the north, possibly with a marginal intrusion into northeastern Free State (Bronner 2013). An apparently isolated subspecies (A. h. meesteri) occurs in the Barberton/Graskop region of Mpumalanga, and likely represents a cryptic species (see taxonomic notes). Previously reported from Lesotho, based on a misidentified specimen (representing Chlorotalpa sclateri); a marginal occurrence in Lesotho in the northern Drakensberg (near Bethlehem) cannot, however, be discounted as species limits and distributions of this taxon and A. septentrionalis await clarification.

Countries:
Native:
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common throughout range. Densities of up to 25 individuals/ha recorded in prime habitat (inferred from Kuyper 1985, Bronner 2013).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Wide variety of woodland and grassland habitats in the Savanna biomes of South Africa, also in Afromontane forests, marshes and on coastal dunes. Marginal intrusion into the Fynbos and Nama-Karoo biomes in the southern parts of its range. Particularly abundant in moist soils near waterbodies, but also found far from surface water provided the substrate is friable and not too rocky, and the soil invertebrate fauna is abundant. Common in gardens, agricultural lands and golf courses; less common in exotic plantations.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

No major threats. Inferred minor threats include persecution and poisoning by landowners, habitat alteration (especially in urban and coastal resort areas) and predation by domestic dogs and cats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is adequately conserved in many protected areas; see Bronner (1995) for a list of these.

Citation: Bronner, G. & Mynhardt, S. 2015. Amblysomus hottentotus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 06 July 2015.
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