De Winton's golden mole

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De Winton's golden mole[1]

Critically endangered, possibly extinct (IUCN 3.1)[2]
Scientific classification
C. wintoni
Binomial name
Cryptochloris wintoni
(Broom, 1907)
De Winton's Golden Mole area.png
De Winton's golden mole range

Cryptochloris zyli wintoni

De Winton's golden mole (Cryptochloris wintoni) is a species of mammal in the family Chrysochloridae. It is endemic to South Africa. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, and sandy shores. It is threatened by habitat destruction. It is "critically endangered" and may be extinct.


De Winton's golden mole resembles Grant's golden mole (Eremitalpa granti) in appearance. The upper parts have short dense fur that is slatey-grey with a yellowish tinge. Individual hairs have grey bases, whitish shafts and fawn tips.The face, cheeks and lips have a more intense yellowish tinge. The underparts are rather paler than the upper parts, individual hairs having white tips. The claw on the third digit on the forefoot is about 10.5 mm (0.41 in) long and 4 mm (0.16 in) wide at the base. Claw two is slightly shorter and claw one shorter still, making a pointed digging tool.[3]


De Winton's golden mole is known from a single location and has not been seen for fifty years. It occupies the same range as Grant's golden mole and the two may have been confused. However, phylogenetic evidence indicates that they are different species, based on differences in the skull, the shape of the malleus and the number of vertebrae. The type location is Port Nolloth, and this mole's habitat is coastal sand dunes and nearby sandy areas. Mining for diamonds near Port Nolloth may be a threat to this species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature now rates this species as "critically endangered", and it may be extinct.[4] De Winton's golden mole is among the 25 “most wanted lost” species that are the focus of Global Wildlife Conservation’s “Search for Lost Species” initiative.[5]


  1. ^ Bronner, G.N.; Jenkins, P.D. (2005). "Order Afrosoricida". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Bronner, G. (2015). "Cryptochloris wintoni". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T5748A21287143. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T5748A21287143.en. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  3. ^ Jonathan Kingdon; David Happold; Thomas Butynski; Michael Hoffmann; Meredith Happold; Jan Kalina (2013). Mammals of Africa. A&C Black. pp. 250–251. ISBN 978-1-4081-8996-2.
  4. ^ Bronner, G. (2008). "Cryptochloris wintoni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  5. ^ "The Search for Lost Species". Global Wildlife Conservation. Retrieved 2017-06-02.