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Animal Info - Juliana's Golden Mole

Neamblysomus (Amblysomus) julianae

Status: Endangered


Contents

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


Profile

Pictures: Juliana's Golden Mole #1 (35 Kb JPEG) and Juliana's Golden Mole #2 (37 Kb JPEG) (Tim Jackson/Arkive)

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.

Juliana's golden mole weighs 21 - 75 g (0.75 - 2.7 oz). It is confined to sandy soils, often pockets of weathered sandstone associated with rocky ridges. It is also common in well-irrigated gardens. Usually 2 young are born, sometimes 1. Golden moles eat invertebrates such as insects, earthworms and snails. Their young are born in a grass-lined cavity in the ground. Golden moles usually dig their tunnels just below the ground.

Juliana’s golden mole is found in Tshwane (Pretoria) (Gauteng), Nylstroom (Limpopo Province) and Kruger National Park (Mpumalanga), South Africa.  Juliana’s golden mole is locally common. However, its distribution is patchy because of its specialized habitat requirements. There are no data on population size. The population on Bronberg ridge outside Tshwane (Pretoria) is being severely affected by intensive urbanization and a mining operation, and it is considered to be critically endangered. The Nylsvley population in Limpopo occurs in farmlands (adjoining the Nylsvley Nature Reserve) that are subject to habitat alteration and potential degradation.


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.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where Juliana's Golden Mole Is Currently Found:

2006: Occurs in South Africa. (IUCN 2006)

History of Distribution:

Juliana’s golden mole is found in Tshwane (Pretoria) (Gauteng), Nylstroom (Limpopo Province) and Kruger National Park (Mpumalanga), South Africa. It has been recorded from three isolated populations: The Willows, Shere and Tierpoort in Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng; the Nylsvley Provincial Nature Reserve in Limpopo Province; and Numbi Gate, Pretoriuskop and Matjulwana districts of Kruger National Park, in the lowveld of Mpumalanga. Juliana’s golden mole is locally common. However, its distribution is patchy because of its specialized habitat requirements. There are no data on population size. (IUCN 2006)  

Threats:

The population on Bronberg ridge outside Tshwane (Pretoria) is being severely affected by intensive urbanization and a mining operation, and it is considered to be critically endangered. The Nylsvley population occurs in farmlands (adjoining the Nylsvley Nature Reserve) that are subject to habitat alteration and potential degradation. (IUCN 2006)  


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

Juliana's golden mole weighs 21 - 75 g (0.75 - 2.7 oz).

Habitat:

Juliana’s golden mole is confined to sandy soils, often pockets of weathered sandstone associated with rocky ridges. The population on the Nyl floodplain occurs in clay thorn bushveld; the population at Pretoria occurs in rocky highveld grassland; and in the Kruger National Park this species occurs in  lowveld bushveld. It is also common in well-irrigated gardens. (IUCN 2006) 

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.

Behavior:

Juliana's golden mole is active during the daytime and the rainy season (IUCN 2004).

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

Golden moles usually dig their tunnels just below the ground.

Density:

There are 2 - 3 individuals/ha (about 1 individual/ac) in prime habitat (IUCN 2006). 


References

Afrotheria Spec. Gr., Arkive, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, IUCN 2006, Kingdon 1997, Nicoll & Rathbun 1990, Nowak 1999, Stuart & Stuart 1996


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Last modified: June 3, 2006;

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