Animal Info - Sclater's Golden Mole
Chlorotalpa sclateri (Amblysomus s.)
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)
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.
Golden moles in the genus Chlorotalpa weigh 40
- 75 g (1.4 - 2.7 oz). They are found in a variety of habitats but mostly in dry sandy
soils. Golden moles eat invertebrates. Their 1 or
2 young are born in a grass-lined cavity in the ground.
Sclater's golden mole is found in a series of scattered localities in Lesotho and South
Africa. Habitat degradation, including forest clearance and erosion, is the
major threat to golden moles.
*** 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
Countries Where Sclater's Golden Mole Is Currently Found:
2004: Occurs in Lesotho and South Africa. (IUCN
History of Distribution:
Sclater's golden mole is found in a series of scattered localities in Lesotho, and in South
Africa from Cape Province north eastwards to southeast Transvaal, with additional
sites from eastern Orange Free State (Nicoll
& Rathbun 1990).
Threats and Reasons for Decline:
Habitat degradation, including forest clearance and erosion, is the major threat to
Data on Biology and Ecology
The head and body length of Sclater's golden mole is about 100 mm (4"). Golden
moles in the genus Chlorotalpa weigh 40 - 75 g
(1.4 - 2.7 oz).
Golden moles in the genus Chlorotalpa are
found in a variety of habitats but mostly in dry sandy soils. Sclater's golden mole
appears to be associated with rocky hillsides.
Usually 2 young are born, sometimes 1.
Golden moles eat invertebrates such as insects
(e.g. crickets, grasshoppers, locusts and cockroaches), earthworms and snails.
The young of golden moles are born in a grass-lined cavity in the ground.
Golden moles usually dig tunnels just below the ground.
IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000,
IUCN 2003a, IUCN
2004, Kingdon 1997, Nicoll & Rathbun 1990, Nowak 1999, Stuart & Stuart 1996, Wilson & Reeder 1993
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Last modified: May 21, 2006;