Amblysomus marleyi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Amblysomus marleyi
Species Authority: Roberts, 1931
Common Name(s):
English Marley's Golden Mole
Taxonomic Notes: Traditionally recognized as a subspecies of A. hottentotus, but raised to full species rank by Bronner (1996).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(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)
The estimated extent of occurrence is far less than 5,000 km². The species is currently only recorded from two locations, but the species' extrapolated range is not large given its specialized habitat requirements. Overgrazing and poor agricultural practices by growing low-income subsistence farming communities has, and continues to lead to habitat degradation.
2006 Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to South Africa. Known from only two isolated localities (Ubombo and Ingwavuma) on the eastern slopes of Lebombo Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal. Owl pellet remains from Weenen, about 250 km southwest, appear to represent this species, suggesting that it may be more widespread than currently recognized. Possibly extends into southeastern Swaziland along Lebombo Mountains.
South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Locally common, but no quantitative data.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Moist grasslands and indigenous forests in Natal Lowveld Bushveld and Lebombo Arid-Mountain Bushveld of Savanna biome. Does not range below the mountains on the Mozambique plain, where it is replaced by the Yellow Golden Mole (Calcochloris obtusirostris). Also occurs in gardens.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The single major threat is likely to be habitat degradation, either through overgrazing by cattle, the destruction of vegetation for firewood by local subsistence communities, and urbanization (in the Ubombo district). Predation by domestic pets, and possible pesticide contamination in areas adjoining agricultural estates, are more localized threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Known to occur in only the Pongola Wilderness Area. Research is needed to search for other populations in intermediate areas, and to quantify threats faced by this species.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2008. Amblysomus marleyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 25 May 2015.
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