Animal Info - Visagie's Golden Mole

(Other Name: Visagie's Cape Golden Mole)

Chrysochloris visagiei

Status: Data Deficient


Contents

1. Profile
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Size & Weight, Habitat, Birth Rate, Diet, Behavior)
5. References


Profile

Golden moles are an ancient group of mammals who live mostly below ground.  They have shiny coats of dense fur and a streamlined, formless appearance.  They have no visible eyes or ears; in fact, they are blind - the small eyes are covered with hairy skin.  The ears are small and are hidden in the animal's fur.

The size of moles in this genus is 90 - 140 mm (3.5 - 5.5") and their weight is about 25 - 35 g (0.89 - 1.3 oz). The one location where Visagie’s golden mole has been found is situated on the alluvial sand floodplains of the Vis and Renoster rivers. Usually 2 young are born, sometimes 1. Golden moles eat invertebrates such as insects, earthworms and snails. Golden moles in the genus Chrysochloris are thought to capture most of their food underground. The young of golden moles are born in a grass-lined cavity in the ground. Golden moles usually dig tunnels just below the ground.

Visagie's golden mole is known only from a single specimen collected at Gouna, in Cape Province, South Africa. Agriculture has dramatically transformed habitat at the one locality where Visagie's golden mole has been found, but the resulting impact cannot be assessed given the uncertainty about its habitat requirements.


Tidbits

*** As long as it is awake, a golden mole keeps on the move.  This exercise keeps its body temperature normal.  If it stays still too long, its temperature falls quickly.  Sleeping would be hazardous if it weren't for the fact that its muscles twitch while it is asleep. This produces heat to help stabilize its body temperature.

*** It is thought that the single specimen by which this species is known may in fact just be an aberrant form of the related Cape golden mole, Chrysochloris asiatica, and that Chrysochloris visagiei may not be a valid species.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where Visagie's Golden Mole Is Currently Found:

2006: Occurs in South Africa (IUCN 2006).

History of Distribution:

Visagie's golden mole is known only from a single specimen collected at Gouna, 87 km (54 mi) east of Calvinia, Cape Province, South Africa.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Agriculture has dramatically transformed habitat at the one locality where Visagie's golden mole has been found, but the resulting impact cannot be assessed given the uncertainty about its habitat requirements (IUCN 2006).


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size & Weight:

The size of moles in this genus is 90 - 140 mm (3.5 - 5.5") and their weight is about 25 - 35 g (0.89 - 1.3 oz). 

Habitat:

The one location where Visagie’s golden mole has been found is situated on the alluvial sand floodplains of the Vis and Renoster rivers (IUCN 2006).

Visagie's golden mole is one of the species that live in the Cape Floristic Region Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.)

Birth Rate:

Usually 2 young are born, sometimes 1.

Diet:

Golden moles eat invertebrates such as insects (e.g. crickets, grasshoppers, locusts and cockroaches), earthworms and snails. Golden moles in this genus are thought to capture most of their food underground.

Behavior:

The young of golden moles are born in a grass-lined cavity in the ground.

Golden moles usually dig tunnels just below the ground.


References

Cons. Intl., IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, IUCN 2006, Kingdon 1997, Nicoll & Rathbun 1990, Nowak 1999, Stuart & Stuart 1996, Wilson & Reeder 1993


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Last modified: May 20, 2006;

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