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Eremitalpa granti

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA AFROSORICIDA CHRYSOCHLORIDAE

Scientific Name: Eremitalpa granti
Species Authority: (Broom, 1907)
Common Name(s):
English Grant's Golden Mole
Synonym(s):
Chrysochloris granti Broom, 1907
Taxonomic Notes: Revised by Meester (1964). Two subspecies are recognized: E. g. granti and E. g. namibensis based on differences in skull shape and pelage (Bronner and Jenkins 2005, Bronner 2013). Recent cytogenetic data (Gilbert et al. 2008) and ongoing phylogenetic analyses based on molecular, cytogenetic and morphological characters (unpublished)  support species status for both subspecies .

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-01-19
Assessor(s): Maree, S.
Reviewer(s): Bennett, N.C. & Taylor, A.
Contributor(s): Bronner, G.
Justification:

This species occurs at seven locations in the western coastal regions of southern Africa, with an estimated area of occupancy of 112 km2 (assuming a 16 km2 grid cell area), partially sufficient to warrant Vulnerable status under criteria B2a. However, it is probably more widespread than current records suggest and the extent of occurrence is >20,000 km2. Although subject to some habitat loss and disturbance at a few locations due to mining of coastal dunes for alluvial diamonds along the coasts of southern Namibia and Northern Cape, the amount of available habitat remaining within the entire species range is deemed to exceed the thresholds for listing under criterion B2a(iii,iv). Although the two subspecies may be full species (see Taxonomic Note),  much of the range of each coincides with coastal desert where human influence on habitats are not substantial, and both are conserved in protected areas, so overall declines in area of occupancy, numbers of populations and population size are unlikely to warrant listing in a threatened category. 

History:
2006 Near Threatened
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Confined to the west coast of southern Africa, from St. Helena Bay (Western Cape Province, South Africa) northwards to Walvis Bay (Namibia). Eremitalpa g. granti occurs along the coast from south of St. Helena Bay to Port Nolloth (and possibly as far north as Alexander Bay), and inland to Garies and the Biedouw Valley on the north-western aspect of  the Cedarberg Mountains. Eremitalpa g. namibensis occurs in Namibia along the coast from the Orange River northwards to Walvis Bay, possibly as far as the Kuiseb River; and into the Namib Desert westwards as far as the ProNamib (Perrin and Fielden 1999, Bronner 2013)
Countries:
Native:
Namibia; South Africa (Northern Cape Province, Western Cape)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

Densities are low (0.014-1.19 individual per hectare) and home ranges large (3.1-12.3 ha) owing to the arid, energy-sparse conditions of their environment, and widely dispersed prey availability, especially in the Namib Desert. Adults solitary, but considerable spatial home range overlap is tolerated (Perrin and Fielden 1999).

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Occurs in Strandveld, Succulent Karoo and Namib Desert. Prefers soft, shifting sands of dune crests but also present in inter-dune swales with quite dense vegetation as long as sand is not too consolidated. Areas containing scattered clumps of the dune grass (Aristida sabulicola), Ostrich Grass (Cladoraphis spinosa) and Long Bushman Grass (Stipagrostis ciliata), are the preferred habitats for this species. The young are thought to be born in tunnels constructed by this species, but it lacks a proper burrow system; resting sites are usually under vegetation. It is a nocturnal surface forager that specializes on termites, but also consumes other invertebrates and small vertebrates (legless lizards, web-footed geckos and sand-burrowing skinks). It is nocturnal during hot summer months, with greater diurnal activity observed during winter (Fielden et al. 1990a,b, 1992; Rathbun and Rathbun 2007). It has occasionally been recorded from arable land and rural gardens (e.g. E. g. granti type locality near Lamberts Bay).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Alluvial diamond mining in coastal areas in Northern Cape (Kleinsee/ Port Nolloth) and Sperrgebiet (Diamond Area 1) of Namibia results in marked alteration and fragmentation of habitat at some locations (Smithers 1986) but these are localized threats. Much of the range of this species coincides with coastal desert where human influence on habitats is not substantial, so the overall population is probably not in decline. Coastal tourism developments along the southwestern coast of South Africa (St Helena Bay to Lambert’s Bay), and agricultural practices on the Namaqualand coastal plain (and associated inland valleys) have resulted in some habitat alteration, but threats are considered minor as this species can survive in mildly-transformed habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is protected in the Namaqua National Park in South Africa, and the extensive Namib Naukluft Park in Namibia, as well as some smaller privately owned conservation areas (e.g. Namib Rand Nature Reserves).

Citation: Maree, S. 2015. Eremitalpa granti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 July 2015.
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