Eremitalpa granti


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Eremitalpa granti
Species Authority: (Broom, 1907)
Common Name(s):
English Grant's Golden Mole
Taxonomic Notes: Revised by Meester (1964). Two subspecies are recognized: E. g. granti and E. g. namibensis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern 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)
This species appears narrowly distributed in western coastal southern Africa, but is probably more widespread than current records suggest. Although subject to some habitat loss and disturbance in parts of its range due to mining, the amount of available habitat remaining within its range is deemed to well exceed the thresholds for listing under criterion B. There is no indication that it is undergoing a significant decline that would warrant listing in a threatened category. The systematic status of the two subspecies urgently needs to be clarified; if E. g. granti is afforded species status, it might qualify for Vulnerable owing to habitat alteration (mining of coastal sands for alluvial diamonds), particularly in the Port Nolloth/Kleinzee districts.
2006 Near Threatened (IUCN 2006)
2006 Near Threatened
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Confined to the west coast of southern Africa, from St. Helena Bay (Western Cape, South Africa) northwards to Walvis Bay (Namibia).
Namibia; South Africa
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Densities are low owing to the arid, energy-sparse conditions of their environment, especially in the Namib Desert. Adults solitary, but tracks of several individuals have been found in the same area on the same night suggesting that a certain amount of home range overlap is tolerated.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Strandveld, Succulent Karoo and Namib Desert. Prefers soft, shifting sands of dunes but also present in inter-dune swales with quite dense vegetation providing sand is not too consolidated. Areas containing scattered clumps of the dune grass (Aristida sabulicola) are the preferred habitat for this species in South Africa. 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 of termites, but also other invertebrates and small lizards. The home ranges of individual E. granti overlap, but they are solitary and tend to avoid each other when feeding (Fielden et al 1990, 1992)
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat fragmentation by dune removal and diamond mining may have impacted on populations in parts of this species' range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species does not occur in any protected area in South Africa, but will be protected by the proposed Groen-Spoeg National Park if this is established. In Namibia, this species occurs in the Namib Desert National Park. Research is needed to clarify the systematic status of the two subspecies; consistent morphological differences correspond with a major barrier to gene flow (Orange River).

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. 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.

Coetzee, C.G. 1969. The distribution of mammals in the Namib Desert and adjoining inland escarpment. Scientific Paper of the Namib Desert Research Station 40: 23-36.

Fielden, L.J., Hickman, G.C. and Perrin, M.R. 1992. Locomotory activity in the Namib Desert golden mole Eremitalpa granti namibensis (Chrysochloridae). Journal of Zoology (London) 226: 329–344.

Fielden, L. J., Perrin, M. R. and Hickman, G. C. 1990. Feeding ecology and foraging behaviour of the Namib Desert golden mole, Eremitalpa granti namibensis (Chrysochloridae).

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.

Meester, J.A.J. 1964. Revision of the Chrysochloridae. I. The desert golden mole Eremitalpa Roberts.

Meester, J.A.J., Rautenbach, I.L., Dippenaar, N.J. and Baker, C.M. 1986. Classification of southern African mammals. Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.

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.

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

Scott, P. 1965. Section XIII. Preliminary List of Rare Mammals and Birds. The Launching of a New Ark. First Report of the President and Trustees of the World Wildlife Fund. An International Foundation for saving the world's wildlife and wild places 1961-1964, pp. 15-207. Collins, London, UK.

Smithers, R.H.N. 1986. South African Red Data Book - Terrestrial Mammals. South African National Scientific Programmes Report 125: 1–216.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2008. Eremitalpa granti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 May 2015.
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