Heliophobius argenteocinereus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Bathyergidae

Scientific Name: Heliophobius argenteocinereus
Species Authority: Peters, 1846
Common Name(s):
English Silvery Mole Rat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Maree, S. & Faulkes, C.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, and the ability to utilize a variety of habitat types. It is considered to be fairly common, and there are currently no major threats (though population monitoring is necessary to ensure populations remain stable considering that the species is hunted by humans for food).
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has been recorded in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Kenya, it is only known from the Kapiti plains, Taita Hills and south coastal Kenya. In Tanzania, it is known from south of Biharamulo in the northwest, throughout the Eastern Arc Mountains, and by a record from the Ufipa Plateau in southwestern Tanzania. It is widespread in Malawi, but has only been recorded from eastern Zambia. It is also present in northern Mozambique and the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reports of this species from Zimbabwe are in error as it has not been recorded from south of the Zambezi River. It is found at elevations of up to 2,200 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is little information on the population abundance of this species. Population densities are known to be low on the Kapiti plains of Kenya, but the species occurs at higher densities in Malawi.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a subterranean species of open or wooded savanna, including Combretum-Brachystegium woodlands. It is present in a wide variety of habitats including rocky hillsides and submontane grasslands. The species uses a wide range of soil types from well-drained sandy soils to cotton soils that are very hard when dry and sticky and water-looged when it rains. It is a solitary species of which little is known about its biology.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species. It is considered to be an agricultural pest in some parts of its range, but it is also regarded as a common and excellent source of protein.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in several protected areas, including Nyika National Park (Malawi) and Kasunga National Park (Malawi).

Citation: Maree, S. & Faulkes, C. 2008. Heliophobius argenteocinereus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T9828A13018671. . Downloaded on 24 November 2015.
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