Animal Info - Somali Golden Mole

Calcochloris tytonis (Chlorotalpa or Amblysomus t.)

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 (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.

Golden moles in the genus Chlorotalpa weigh 40 - 75 g (1.4 - 2.7 oz). The Somali golden mole occurs in dense bush and savanna of the Somali Peninsula. Golden moles eat invertebrates. Their 1 or 2 young are born in a grass-lined cavity in the ground.

The Somali golden mole is known only from one location in southern Somalia. Its restricted habitat is declining. Habitat degradation, including forest clearance and erosion, is the major threat to golden moles.


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:

  • 1994: Indeterminate
  • 1996 - 2004: Critically Endangered (Criteria: B1+2c) (IUCN 2004)
  • 2006: Data Deficient.  (The status of the Somali golden mole has been changed to Data Deficient because the species is known from only a partial specimen collected in 1964, with no subsequent records (though this may reflect a lack of sampling).  Therefore, it has been decided that further research is needed to clarify its conservation status.) (IUCN 2006)

Countries Where the Somali Golden Mole Is Currently Found:

2006: Occurs in Somalia (IUCN 2006).

History of Distribution:

The Somali golden mole is known only from one specimen described in 1968 from Giohar (= Villaggio Duca degli Abruzzi) in southern Somalia.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

The restricted habitat of the Somali golden mole is declining. Habitat degradation, including forest clearance and erosion, is the major threat to golden moles.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

Golden moles in the genus Chlorotalpa weigh 40 - 75 g (1.4 - 2.7 oz).

Habitat:

The Somali golden mole occurs in dense bush and savanna of the Somali Peninsula (IUCN 2006).

The Somali golden mole is found in the Horn of Africa Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005).

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:

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 2005, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, IUCN 2006, Kingdon 1997, Nowak 1999, Stuart & Stuart 1996, Wilson & Reeder 1993


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Last modified: May 20, 2006;

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