|Scientific Name:||Chrysochloris visagiei|
|Species Authority:||Broom, 1950|
|Taxonomic Notes:||Subgenus Chrysochloris. Possibly an aberrant asiatica; see Meester (1974). Simonetta (1968:31) listed it as a subspecies of asiatica. It’s taxonomic status should thus be considered incertae sedis.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Data Deficient ver 3.1|
Agriculture has dramatically transformed habitat at the type locality, but impact thereof cannot be assessed given uncertainty about the provenance of the type specimen and/or the habitat requirements of the species. No specimens have been seen or collected since its description, despite two expeditions to the type locality during which not even local farmers ever recalled having seen a golden mole in the district. Further research may show this species to qualify for Critically Endangered if indeed a population still survives at the type location.
This species is known from a single specimen collected from the type locality at Gouna, Northern Cape, South Africa. Several field trips to ground-truth the occurrence of this species have yielded no specimens, or even signs of golden moles, suggesting either an error in recording provenance, or that the original specimen was transported there by anthropogenic means (Bronner 2013) or even perhaps by floodwaters of the Renoster River, flowing from the Roggeveld mountains further south where several other species of golden moles occur. The possibility exists that the holotype originated from Gouna Forest near Knysna (Eastern Cape), but was incorrectly assumed (by Broom, 1950) to be from Gouna in Northern Cape; surveying at Gouna Forest is needed to assess this possibility.
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
No signs of this species have been found at the type location during two independent expeditions in the last 20 years.
|Habitat and Ecology:||
The type locality is situated in Bushmanland Nama-Karoo, with extensive agriculture on the alluvial sand floodplains of the Vis and Renoster Rivers. Adjacent natural habitats are gravel plains and small hills, which appear unsuitable habitats for chrysochlorids.
|Major Threat(s):||Extensive agriculture has dramatically transformed habitat at the type locality, but impact thereof cannot be assessed given uncertainty about provenance of the type specimen and/or the habitat requirements of the species.|
Research is needed to ground-truth the existence of this species in the Gouna areas of both Northern and Eastern Cape, and/or to trace the locality from which the type specimen was collected. Study of more specimens is required to clarify the systematic status of this taxon.
Afrotheria Specialist Group. 2014. Specialist Group website. Available at: http://www.afrotheria.net/index.php.
Bronner, G.N. 2013. Chrysochloris visagiei. In: J. Kingdon, D. Happold, T. Butynski, M. Hoffmann, M. Happold and J. Kalina (eds), Mammals of Africa, Volume I: Introductory Chapters and Afrotheria, pp. 246. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
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.
Broom, R. 1950. Some further advances in our knowledge of the Cape golden moles. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 21: 234-241.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 23 June 2015).
Meester, J. 1974. Family Chrysochloridae. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.
Nicoll, M.E. and Rathbun, G.B. 1990. African Insectivora and elephant-shrews: An action plan for their conservation. IUCN/SSC Insectivore, Tree-Shrew and Elephant-Shrew Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Simonetta, A.M. 1968. A new golden mole from Somalia with an appendix on the taxonomy of the family Chrysochloridae (Mammalia, Insectivora). Monitore zoologici Italiano, Supplement 2: 27–55.
|Citation:||Bronner, G. 2015. Chrysochloris visagiei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.|
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