What is De Winton’s Golden Mole?

1 min read
What is De Winton’s Golden Mole? Blog Image


De Winton's golden mole, last sighted in 1937, has been found alive swimming through sand dunes in South Africa after an extensive search for the elusive species.

About De Winton’s Golden Mole

  • It is an elusive blind mole that "swims" through sand, lives in inaccessible burrows, and has a shimmering, iridescent coat.
  • Scientific Name: Cryptochloris wintoni
  • Distribution:
    • It is endemic to South Africa.
    • It has only ever been recorded in one location-Port Nolloth, on South Africa's northwest coast-where it was last sighted in 1937. 
  • Habitat: Its natural habitats are subtropical dry shrubland, Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, and sandy shores.
  • Features:
    • The upper parts have short, dense fur that is slate-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, with individual hairs having white tips.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) now rates this species as "critically endangered". It is currently the only golden mole species with that classification.
  • It is among the 25 “most wanted lost” species that are the focus of Global Wildlife Conservation's “Search for Lost Species” initiative.

Q1) What are Moles?

Moles are small, burrowing mammals. Their eyes are poorly developed, but what they lack in sight, they make up for in their sense of touch. All moles have very sensitive snouts and long, clawed digits that they use to dig tunnels. 

Source: Shimmering golden mole thought extinct photographed and filmed over 80 years after last sighting