Cryptochloris zyli


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cryptochloris zyli
Species Authority: Shortridge & Carter, 1938
Common Name(s):
English Van Zyl's Golden Mole
Taxonomic Notes: Simonetta (1968) regarded this monotypic species as only subspecifically distinct from C. wintoni. However, these taxa differ consistently in pelage colour and malleus morphology, indicating that they are not conspecific (Meester 1974).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) 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)
Until recently known only from a single locality, but recently recorded from a second locality in 2003; this suggests that the range of this species is more widespread than previously recognized, though range continuity between these two sites should not be assumed. Not recorded from any existing conservation areas. Mining of coastal dune for alluvial diamonds could be a potential major threat leading to habitat degradation. The species is listed as Endangered.
2006 Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Indeterminate (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Until recently, recorded from only the type locality near Lambert's Bay, South Africa (Helgen and Wilson 2001). Another specimen was collected at Groenriviermond, some 150 km further north along the Namaqualand coast in November 2003, suggesting that the range of this species is more extensive than previously recognized.
South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is extremely rare.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Coastal dune belt and adjacent sandy areas in Strandveld Succulent Karoo (Nama-Karoo biome).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Mining of coastal sands for alluvial diamonds could be impacting on this species, as this has been identified as threat to Eremitalpa granti (Smithers 1986), with which this species coexists. However, the extent and impact of this potential threat is unknown. Habitat alteration associated with tourism developments along the west coast may pose an additional minor threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not yet recorded in any proclaimed conservation areas, but would be protected by the proposed Groen-Spoeg National Park. Research is needed to establish distribution limits and to gather basic data on natural history of this species.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2008. Cryptochloris zyli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 May 2015.
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