Cantharellus sublaevis is a sub-Saharan chanterelle, known only from a limited number of sites in southern Democratic Republic of Congo and Copperbelt Province, Zambia. It appears to be restricted to older miombo woodland, and is thought to be an extremely rare species. The population size is estimated at 200-1,000 mature individuals, all in one subpopulation, and is thought to be in decline as a result of ongoing threats to miombo woodland. These population figures, therefore, overlap the boundaries for Critically Endangered and Endangered under criterion C2a(ii). However, these calculations are based only on extrapolation to potential unsampled sites within the known distribution, and there is the potential for the species to be more widespread. Therefore, it is assumed that the overall population size figure is likely to exceed 250 mature individuals. Thus the species is tentatively assessed as Endangered.
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
Cantharellus sublaevis is restricted to areas of old growth Brachystegia miombo woodland. It has only been recorded from sites in southern Democratic Republic of Congo (Upemba National Park and around Kisangwe), and Copperbelt Province in Zambia (the type specimen) (Buyck 2014, De Kesel et al. 2016, 2017). It could potentially be found at other sites in the future, but given its ecological requirements, this could be a restricted-range species.
Population and Trends
Cantharellus sublaevis is a very rare species (Buyck 2014, De Kesel et al. 2016), although there have been several collections made at individual sites (see De Kesel et al. 2016). Buyck (2014) and De Kesel et al. (2016) list a total of 10 collections, and if each one is tentatively considered to be a separate functional individual, and a multiplier of 2-10 (see Dahlberg and Mueller 2011) is used then this would give a total known population size of 20-100 mature individuals. Given the extreme rarity of the species, it may not be found at too many more sites within the known range, so a multiplier of 10 may then be used, giving an overall population size of only 200-1,000 mature individuals. This population is considered to be in decline because of ongoing anthropogenic threats, especially given its apparent requirements for older miombo woodland.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in old miombo woodland, with Brachystegia spiciformis, and Julbernardia globiflora (see De Kesel et al. 2016, 2017), although it has been found under other plant species at some other sites (see De Kesel et al. 2016).
Miombo woodland faces various threats, including land conversion for agriculture and logging (Jew et al. 2016); while mining could be an additional threat.
Small-holder farmingSmall-holder grazing, ranching or farmingMining & quarryingUnintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]
This species has been recorded from Upemba National Park.
Surveys are required to see if this species could be more widespread, as well as trying to elucidate the strict habitat requirements of the species. This can then inform conservation actions for the species.
Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecology
Use and Trade
This species is eaten in the area around Lubumbashi (De Kesel et al. 2017).