Amblysomus marleyi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Afrosoricida Chrysochloridae

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(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-01-22
Assessor(s): Bronner, G. & Mynhardt, S.
Reviewer(s): Taylor, A.

The species is listed as Endangered  because it is only recorded from two locations 49 km apart. Extent of occurrence is ca. 1,500 km2 and area of occupancy is only 32 km2 (based on a grid cell area of 16 km2). Overgrazing and poor agricultural practices by growing low-income subsistence farming communities has, and continues to, lead to habitat degradation and probable ongoing declines in the area of occupancy, numbers of individuals and quality of suitable habitat.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2006 Endangered (EN)

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.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 32
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1563
Number of Locations: 2
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is known from only two isolated localities (Ubombo and Ingwavuma) on the eastern slopes of Lebombo Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal. It is locally common, but no quantitative data are available.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2
All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurs in 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 (Bronner 2013).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes

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 also localized threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Citation: Bronner, G. & Mynhardt, S. 2015. Amblysomus marleyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T62007A21284544. . Downloaded on 02 December 2015.
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