Cantharellus subcyanoxanthus is a rare chanterelle species of sub-Saharan Africa. Collections confirmed as this species come from Burundi, Zambia and Madagascar, while a specimen considered ‘aff. subcyanoxanthus’ has been collected from Tanzania, and a species considered ‘cf. subcyanoxanthus’ is known from southern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The population size is tentatively estimated here to fall in the range 4,000-40,000 mature individuals, in multiple subpopulations; and at the lower end of the total population estimate the largest subpopulation may contain c.1,000 mature individuals. This potentially small population size is suspected to be in decline as a result of ongoing threats to its habitat.
Overall, the species is at the borderline for potentially triggering Vulnerable C2a(i), through to Least Concern. Given the uncertainty, the species is listed here as Near Threatened, although further work is recommended to try to collect additional specimens and to get a clearer idea of the species’ distribution. This will aid in making a more accurate population size estimate.
Cantharellus subcyanoxanthus appears to be a widespread chanterelle of Africa. Buyck et al. (2012) list five potential different specimen localities in their description. Two are in Burundi, one in Zambia, one in Madagascar, and one in Tanzania; although that latter was only treated as ‘aff. subcyanoxanthus’. It potentially occurs in southern Democratic Republic of Congo (see De Kesel et al. 2017), and it is possible that it could occur in other countries too, where suitable habitat is found.
This species has been described as rare, apparently across its range (Buyck et al. 2012). If only the specimens treated as this species by Buyck et al. (2012) are looked at for population size calculations then there would be only four confirmed localities for the species, each of which could be treated as containing 10 mature individuals (per Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). That would give 40 mature individuals. There is a lot of potential habitat for the species across the region, and so it is likely that the species could occur at up to 100-1,000x as many sites. This would give a total population size of 4,000-40,000 mature individuals. Given the wide range, and the fact that the species occurs on Madagascar too, the species occurs in multiple subpopulations, and it is conceivable that towards the lower end of this population estimate, then the largest subpopulation may contain c. 1,000 mature individuals. There are ongoing threats to its habitat, and so it is suspected that the population may be in decline.
Population Trend: Decreasing
This species has been recorded from open savanna woodlands, predominantly on sandy soils (Buyck et al. 2012).
Land conversion for agriculture, mining and logging are likely to represent threats to this species, at least locally, but the degree of their impact on the species overall is uncertain.
If further surveys find that the species is particularly restricted to certain localities, these may be considered for future protection.
Further research is needed in order to get a more accurate idea of the full range of the species, and to get a clearer idea of the population size.
If the species reported as Cantharellus cf. subcyanoxanthus in De Kesel et al. (2017) does represent this species then