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Hymenopellis atroruginosus G. Eyssartier & M. Ducousso

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Scientific name
Hymenopellis atroruginosus
Author
G. Eyssartier & M. Ducousso
Common names
 
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Kingdom
Fungi
Phylum
Basidiomycota
Class
Agaricomycetes
Order
Agaricales
Family
Physalacriaceae
Assessment status
Published
Assessment date
2019-07-25
IUCN Red List Category
EN
IUCN Red List Criteria
B1ab(i,iii,v)+2ab(i,iii,v)
Assessors
Leonard, P.L.
Reviewers
Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/154599167/154599237

Justification

Hymenopellis atroruginosa is a distinctive species, easy to identify in the field. It is known only from two collections separated by approximately 100 km distributed from the south to the central part of the country, both collected at sites in moist, semi-montane forests. The habitat is largely unmanaged and undergoing change due to feral animals and is highly susceptible to fire as 1.5% of the country burns annually. 

The total area of available habitat is small and within a restricted range, giving the species a calculated EOO of 300 km2. There are three relatively small patches of suitable habitat within this area, each susceptible to fire. These three patches are treated as separate locations as they are small enough to be consumed by a a single fire event. 

Given the small area of suitable habitat and threat of fire, the species is assessed as EN B1ab(i,iii,v)+2ab(i,iii,v).

Geographic range

This species is endemic to New Caledonia. It is known only from two collections separated by approximately 100 km distributed from the south to the central part of the country, both collected at sites in moist, semi-montane forests.

Population and Trends

Hymenopellis atroruginosus is only known from two collections in moist, semi-montane forests: the Tchamba Valley in North Province and at Mt Bouo in South Province. The habitat at these sites, and patches of suitable habitat between these to sites, is largely unmanaged and undergoing change due to feral animals and fire.

Population Trend: decreasing


Habitat and Ecology

This species' distribution is limited to wet montane forests in a relatively narrow band running from the south to the central part of the country.

Threats

Only a very small portion of the original forest cover of New Caledonia remains. Clearing in the past for timber and to create grazing and agricultural land have destroyed much of the forest cover. Wild fires and open cast mining have also accounted for extensive losses. There is however virtually no active management to encourage regeneration or to discourage invasive species.

Pigs are very numerous throughout New Caledonia’s forests, even in montane forests. This is thought to be the legacy of Captain Cook’s visit in 1774. The gift of 12 Rusa deer to the Governor of New Caledonia in 1862 has resulted a large current population; estimates range from 400,000 to 1,000,000. There are also established populations of feral cattle and horses in parts of New Caledonia but they are not thought to affect the Mt Buou forest. All these introduced species cause damage to native forests, in particular through selective grazing which impedes regeneration, changes species composition and through nutrient enrichment and digging (pigs) and compaction (horses and cattle).

Pigs are the main pest species in the Tchamba Valley and at Mont Buou and probably specifically target fungal species. There is no known published research on the effect of pigs on the genus Hymenopellis.

Conservation Actions

Key conservation steps needed are awareness and communications, specifically raising national recognition of the role of fungi in the ecology of forests, and including references to fungi in management plans. More effective control of feral animals is needed.

Research on the effects of feral animals on vegetation in the country is ongoing but needs to be extended to cover fungal populations.

Use and Trade

The species is not utilized.

Source and Citation

Leonard, P.L. 2019. Hymenopellis atroruginosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T154599167A154599237. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T154599167A154599237.en .Downloaded on 31 January 2021

Country occurrence