Cantharellus cuticulatus has only been recorded from Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo, with records for the latter only coming from Brunei and Mt. Kinabalu. The population size within the known range of the species is estimated to be 1,250-2,000 mature individuals, with the population size on Borneo estimated to be 500-1,000, and in Peninsular Malaysia estimated to be 750-1,500. These could be underestimates, but a precautionary approach is taken here and these values tentatively used. Ongoing forest loss within its range for agriculture and logging are likely to be the main threats, although it has been recorded from both disturbed and undisturbed forest so the degree of impact on the population is uncertain and a population decline is only suspected. Therefore, precautionarily using these minimum population size estimates the species approaches the thresholds for consideration as threatened under criterion D1, and meets some but not all conditions for consideration as threatened under criterion C2a(i). Thus C. cuticulatus is assessed as Near Threatened.
The holotype of this species was collected from Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo, and additional specimens have come from a handful of localities in Peninsular Malaysia (Cameron Highlands, Hutan Lipur Serting Ulu and Lipur Lentang Forest), and in Brunei (Roberts and Spooner 2000, Eyssartier et al 2009). With its known range on Borneo, it is probable that it occurs in intervening areas of Sarawak, and potentially also in the Kalimantan (Indonesia) part or the island.
In the wider region there has been widespread habitat loss, and there is the indication of ongoing forest cover loss within this species’ known range (see World Resources Institute 2023). However, it has been recorded from disturbed and relatively undisturbed sites (Eyssartier et al. 2009), which implies either that it was under imminent threat at the disturbed site, when it was collected or that it is relatively tolerant to habitat disturbance. Before more information is available it can only be tentatively suspected that there is a continuing decline based on the scale of forest cover loss within the region; and without further information it would not be possible to accurately put an estimate on a potential rate of decline.
Based on current knowledge there are three known sites for this species in Peninsular Malaysia, and two on Borneo. Based on available suitable habitat there is the potential for 25 times the number of sites (i.e. 75 in Peninsular Malaysia, and 50 within the known distribution range on Borneo). With an estimated one or two functional individuals per site, and a scaling factor of 10 to convert to mature individuals (per Dahlberg and Mueller 2011), this would give a subpopulation size of 750-1,500 mature individuals in Peninsular Malaysia and 500-1,000 mature individuals on Borneo. thus the overall population size estimate would be 1,250-2,000 mature individuals. This should be treated as a minimum estimate based on the restricted, inferred range. If the species were to be more widespread in other parts of Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo the total number of available sites could by 10 times (thus a total population size of 12,500-20,000 mature individuals), and it could potentially increase by a further order of magnitude if it were to be recorded from Kalimantan, given the large amount of potentially suitable habitat there (see World Resources Institute 2023). In this instance, though, a precautionary approach is taken and the minimum range is used.
Population Trend: Decreasing
This species has been found growing on the soil amongst the leaf litter and on sand by rivers flowing through primary forests containing Dipterocarps or Fagaceae (Roberts and Spooner 2000, Eyssartier et al. 2009). This includes records from both disturbed and undisturbed forest (Eyssartier et al. 2009).
There has been widespread habitat degradation within its potential range (see World Resources Institute 2023). It is likely that this species could be threatened by logging and agricultural expansion (e.g. Curran et al. 2004, Shevade and Loboda 2019 [references in Craterellus verrucosus]), however, its collection from degraded forest suggests that it may be tolerant of a degree of disturbance.
It has been recorded from Kinabalu Park (at Mt. Kinabalu) and there may be a degree of habitat protection in place at Hutan Lipur Serting Ulu as it is a recreational park. Ensuring effective management of such areas could be important for this species in the long-term.
Further research is required to get a clearer indication of the full range of the species, as well as to investigate the degree to which it can tolerate habitat disturbance and degradation.
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