Conservation of Fungi

The fungal kingdom is hyper-diverse and under-documented, but fungi play vital roles in ecosystems as decomposers and mutualists. Consequently, it is just as important to conserve fungi as other more visible life forms. Over the last decade, progress has been made in the methodology of formal assessments of the conservation status of fungi. Formal assessments can stimulate a focus on the conservation of specific fungi, and ways to ameliorate and manage threats to them. Overall, habitat loss is one of the most significant threats to fungi, but threats to mutualist partners are also of concern.

At present, few Australian fungi are formally listed on national or state conservation schedules. Mycologists at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria contribute to efforts to improve the conservation status of fungi, through research, engagement with policy initiatives, and participation in working groups, such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Mushroom, Puffball and Bracket Specialist Group.


Australasian Fungi Red List Workshop – July 22–26, 2019

As part of the Global Fungal Red List Initiative, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is hosting a Red Listing Workshop for Australasian Fungi. This one week workshop aims to assess the conservation status is 100 species of fungi from the Australasian region, including Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. Assessments will be made using criteria developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and once assessed, species will be added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The workshop is also an opportunity for capacity building and networking for those interested in advancing the conservation of fungi.

There are two public events – both are free of charge, but please book using the links below:

Threat Status Assessment of Fungi - a general session of the workshop, open to all, on Monday 22nd July

Topics to be covered include: How to red list fungi (Anders Dahlberg, Greg Mueller & Janet Scott), Background data for red listing (Tom May), and Fungi under Australian and New Zealand threat status legislation (Tom May & Peter Buchanan). The session includes live worked examples of the assessment process, and a panel discussion on application of threat status listing to fungi, using IUCN criteria.

Venue: Mueller Hall, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Monday, 22 July, 9-5 pm. This is a free event, but please book via the link below. Morning and afternoon tea will be provided, but please BYO lunch (unless coming from interstate or overseas, in which case lunch will be provided).

Book here for the General Session

Advancing the Conservation of Fungi : Evening Public Forum, Tuesday 23rd July  

The purpose of this Forum is to showcase recent advances in conserving fungi from around the globe, with a focus on the Southern Hemisphere, including a panel discussion on “What can we do to advance the conservation of fungi?” 

Speakers include:

  • Gregory Mueller (Chicago Botanic Garden, U.S.A.);
  • Janet Scott (International Union for Conservation of Nature, U.K.);
  • Anders Dahlberg (Swedish Species Information Centre - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences);
  • Giuliana Furci (Fundación Fungi, Chile);
  • Andrew Ngadin (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu);
  • Peter Buchanan (Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, N.Z.), and
  • Tom May (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria).

Venue: Mueller Hall, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Tuesday, 23 July, 7-9 pm. This is a free event, but please book via the link below.

Book here for the Public Forum

You can download the draft program for these two public events.

If you are intending to come along to other sessions during the week of the workshop, please contact the workshop organiser directly (Tom May, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria,, 03 9252 2319).



The Australasian Fungi Red List Workshop is supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Mohamed bin Zayed Conservation Fund, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.