Georychus capensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Bathyergidae

Scientific Name: Georychus capensis
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1778)
Common Name(s):
English Cape Mole Rat
Taxonomic Notes: Populations from KwaZulu-Natal may prove to be separate species (Nevo et al. 1987, Honeycutt et al. 1987).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-22
Assessor(s): Maree, S.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Faulkes, C.
Listed as Least Concern because it is an adaptable and common species, relatively widely distributed, and there are no major threats to the species.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in mesic regions of South Africa (above 500 mm rainfall). It has a disjunct distribution in southwestern Cape north to Citrusdal and Nieuwoutdwal, and eastwards to Port Elizabeth and the Transkei. There are isolated populations in KwaZulu-Natal close to the border with Lesotho (the species possibly once ranged along the coast; Taylor 1998), and in Mpumalanga (specifically Belfast, Wakkerstroom and Ermelo).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is an uncommon, localized species. Population densities may exceed 30 animals per km2 in the area of Cape Town.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a subterranean species that is found in most sandy soils, coastal sand dunes and sandy alluvium both along river systems and in the montane regions of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Specimens from Wakkerstroom have been collected in red clay and black turf soils amidst montane grassland on the edge of a small vlei (a marshy area) (Bronner 1990). It has also been recorded from anthropogenically disturbed habitats, such as golf courses (for example, at the Nottingham road locality in the Kamburg region), gardens, and even at the University of Cape Town campus. The areas where the species occurs generally receive in excess of 500 mm rain per annum. It is a largely solitary species that may have two litters of four to ten young per year. The species has a generation length of four years.
Generation Length (years):4

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species, and it is often an agricultural and horticultural pest.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas, including Giant's Castle Nature Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg. Further studies into the taxonomic status of the KwaZulu-Natal populations are needed.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

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

Honeycutt, R.L., Edwards, S.V., Nelson, K. and Nevo, E. 1987. Mitochondrial DNA variation and the phylogeny of African mole-rats (Rodentia: Bathyergidae). Systematic Zoology 36: 280–292.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Nevo, E., Ben-Shlomo, R., Beiles, A., Jarvis, J.U.M. and Hickman, G.C. 1987. Allozyme differentiation and systematics of the endemic subterranean mole rats of South Africa. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 15: 489-502.

Rathbun, G.B. (subeditor). 2005. Macroscelidea. In: J.D. Skinner and C.T. Chimimba (eds), The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, 3rd edition, pp. 22-34. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Taylor, P. 1998. The Smaller Mammals of KwaZulu-Natal. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Citation: Maree, S. 2016. Georychus capensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T9077A22184226. . Downloaded on 26 April 2017.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided