Rediscovery of Winton’s Golden Mole: Conservationists and Geneticists Uncover Lost Species in South Africa

2023-11-29 12:11:14

Conservationists and geneticists have found traces in South Africa of a discreet species – the “Winton’s golden mole” – lost to science since 1936.

Find the trace of Cryptochloris wintoni (Winton’s golden mole) was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

This blind creature that “swims” in the sand had been lost to science since 1936. Hidden well underground, it was virtually elusive.

The animal was eventually rediscovered by a team of conservationists and geneticists from the University of Pretoria and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) – a South African conservation organization.

Sniffer dog and DNA

Researchers used thermal imaging and a sniffer dog to search for the little creature. In 2021, 100 soil samples from different sites in Port Nolloth, on the northwest coast of South Africa, were taken in an attempt to find the mole’s DNA.


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