Neamblysomus julianae


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Neamblysomus julianae
Species Authority: (Meester, 1972)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Juliana's Golden Mole
Amblysomus julianae Meester, 1972
Taxonomic Notes: Consistent colour, dental and DNA differences exist between the three known populations from the geographical extremes of this species’ range suggest that it may include two taxa; however, more specimens are needed before the status of these forms will become clear (Bronner 1990, 1995). Assigned to the genus Neamblysomus by Bronner (1995).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(ii,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)
Listed as Vulnerable as this species, while appearing to have a large extent of occurrence, has very specific habitat requirements and its area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km², and is severely fragmented. It is currently known from three subpopulations, two of which occur within protected areas; there are no intermediate distribution records suggesting gene flow between them, and only a small part of the range of the range of Nylsvley subpopulation occurs within a protected area, the rest being in adjoining farmlands that are subject to habitat alteration and potential degradation.
2006 Endangered
2006 Endangered (IUCN 2006)
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Indeterminate (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from three isolated subpopulations: the Willows (type locality), Shere and Tierpoort in Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng (here assessed also as a distinct subpopulation); Nylsvley Provincial Nature Reserve in Limpopo Province; and Numbi Gate, Pretoriuskop and Matjulwana districts of Kruger National Park, in the lowveld of Mpumalanga. Skulls from owl pellets at Witkoppen Cave, ca. 25 km east of Nyslvley Nature Reserve, represent this species, suggesting that it may occur more widely throughout the sandy Sprinkbok Flats. A specimen that may be this species was recently (March 2003) caught at Malelane in Mpumalanga, but genetic data are required to confirm this (analyses currently underway). If this specimen is indeed a N. julianae, this species' range in the lowveld may also be more extensive than previously thought.
South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Locally common, with 2–3 individuals/ha in prime habitat. However, dispersion is patchy and clumped owing to specialized habitat requirements.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is confined to sandy soils, often pockets of weathered sandstone associated with rocky ridges, in the savanna biome of South Africa, and marginally into the grassland biome in the Pretoria district. The population on Nylsvlei floodplain occurs in Clay Thorn Bushveld and the population at Pretoria in Rocky Highveld Grassland, whereas in the Kruger National Park this species occurs in Sour Lowveld Bushveld. Common in well-irrigated gardens. Absent from grasslands on the heavier soils of the Mpumalanga escarpment where the larger-sized A. septentrionalis and A. robustus instead occur.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The type population on Bronberg ridge outside Tshwane (Pretoria) is being severely impacted by intensive urbanization and a mining operation, and is here treated as a distinct subpopulation. While the other two subpopulations occur within protected areas, there are no intermediate distribution records suggesting gene flow between them, and the Nylsvley subpopulation also occurs in farmlands (adjoining the Nylsvley Nature Reserve) that are subject to habitat alteration and potential degradation, though the impact thereof on this subpopulation is unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Two of the three known populations are protected within the Kruger National Park and the Nylsvley Nature Reserve.

Bibliography [top]

Afrotheria Specialist Group. 2004. Specialist Group website. Available at:

Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (comps and eds). 1996. 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Bronner, G.N. 1990. New distribution records for four mammal species, with notes on their taxonomy and ecology. Koedoe 33: 1-7.

Bronner, G.N. 1995. Systematic revision of the golden mole genera Amblysomus, Chlorotalpa and Calcochloris (Insectivora: Chrysochloromorpha; Chrysochloridae). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Natal.

Bronner, G.N. and Jenkins, P.D. 2005. Order Afrosoricida. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 70-81. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 1990. IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1986. 1986 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1988. 1988 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.

Pfab, M. 2002. The quartzite ridges of Gauteng. Veld & Flora: 56–59.

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