The full distribution of Cantharellus mikemboensis is uncertain, but based on current knowledge, it appears to be restricted to area of old miombo woodland in southern Democratic Republic of Congo. Ongoing threats to miombo woodland are likely to be causing continuing declines, and the population size is estimate to be very small, based on the apparent rarity of the species, and its potentially very restricted range. The population size is tentatively estimated to be in the range 300-600 mature individuals, all within one subpopulation. Therefore, C. mikemboensis is assessed here as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii).
Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?
All collections of this species have come from southern Democratic Republic of Congo (De Kesel et al. 2016). In the type description only two localities are mentioned; but given the availability of habitat it may occur more widely than these two sites.
Population and Trends
In the area around the known collecting localities, the forest cover is decreasing (World Resources Institute 2021), and so the species could be thought to be declining. The species is ‘quite rare’ (De Kesel et al. 2017), and based on the known records it is fairly restricted in distribution. It is possible that each collection mentioned in the type description (De Kesel et al. 2016) could refer to a separate functional individual, and based on Dahlberg and Mueller (2011), each functional individual could represent up to 10 mature individuals. Using a tentative range to take into account the apparent rarity of the species could give 30-60 known mature individuals. Given the apparent restricted range of the species, a scaling factor of 10 could be used to take into account further functional individuals that have not been formally identified yet. Therefore, a tentative range of 300-600 mature individuals could be used, but this could end up being a large underestimate.
Population Trend: Decreasing
Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in old growth miombo woodland, in areas of deep soil, in the presence of Brachystegia spiciformis, Julbernardia paniculata or Marquesia macroura, usually mixed with Uapaca spp., although the specific host is not known (De Kesel et al. 2016). Specimens have been collected between 1,150m and 1,229 m asl (De Kesel et al. 2016).
Miombo woodland faces a range of threats, which would likely impact this species because it favours older woodland. The most threatening of these is likely to be the destruction of this habitat type through logging, in addition to clearance for agriculture (see Jew et al. 2016). Mining could prove to 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]
Where possible, conservation actions should be undertaken to protect suitable habitat for this species. Work should also be conducted to engage with local stakeholders.