Chrysospalax trevelyani


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chrysospalax trevelyani
Species Authority: (Günther, 1875)
Common Name(s):
English Giant Golden Mole

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv) 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 recorded from 17 localities, this species is now possibly locally extinct at many sites, and appears to survive only in larger patches of indigenous Afromontane forest. The species has very specific habitat requirements and its total area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 500 km², and is severely fragmented. The species does not occur in commercial forestry plantations which abut, or have replaced, many of the remaining patches of natural habitat. Some of the larger indigenous forests are officially "protected", but management and conservation actions on the ground are often poor. Even in some state-owned forests cattle are allowed to range freely, and trample/degrade the habitat of this species; similarly, recreational hunting by young herdsmen and pack-hunting by domestic/feral dogs could pose a threat to local populations of this species. Ongoing urbanization in the vicinity of East London, and coastal tourism developments have disturbed many of the coastal forests in which this species may have occurred historically.
2006 Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Endangered
1996 Endangered
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to South Africa. Recorded from indigenous Afro-Montane forests in Eastern Cape from East London northwards along coast to Port St Johns, and inland to Amathole and Kologha Mountains near King Williams Town and Stutterheim.
South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Locally common, but with a clumped dispersion.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and Afromontane forests, sometimes marginally into adjacent grassland habitats (Maddock 1986). Not present in commercial forestry plantations, which abut or have replaced many indigenous forest patches. They have rather specific habitat requirements, selecting areas in forest patches with soft soils, well-developed undergrowth, and deep leaf-litter layers; they avoid steep slopes and rocky terrain. Apparently restricted to larger forest patches (Castley et al. 2000).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Likely major threats include: habitat loss owing to fragmentation of forests, which is ongoing in coastal forests as a result of urbanization (East London district) and ubiquitous coastal tourist resorts; and degradation of remaining forests as a result of forest clearance, collection of firewood, bark stripping, cutting for construction, livestock overgrazing. The species may now be locally extinct in many places where it occurred formerly (even within the Amathole forests they have disappeared at sites where they were collected in the early 1990s; G. Bronner pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Possibly present in a few small nature reserves in its range. Field surveys are needed to establish the conservation status and threats faced by populations at the 17 localities this species is known to have occurred in the past.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2008. Chrysospalax trevelyani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 May 2015.
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