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  • Under Assessment
  • LCPreliminary Assessed
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Cantharellus conspicuus Eyssart., Buyck & Verbeken

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Scientific name
Cantharellus conspicuus
Eyssart., Buyck & Verbeken
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
Proposed by
James Westrip
James Westrip

Assessment Notes


Cantharellus conspicuus is a widespread species of sub-Saharan Africa, with records from Togo, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe. It is considered to be rare, and is listed as Critically Endangered in Benin. Habitat loss may be leading to declines, but across the full range of the species these are unlikely to be rapid enough to warrant consideration as threatened; and the species has been recorded from forests dominated by various different species, suggesting a degree of flexibility in ectomycorrhizal host. Also, while it may be rare, taking into account the full range of the species and the large amount of suitable habitat across the range the population size is unlikely to be small enough to qualify as threatened. Thus, C. conspicuus is very tentatively assessed as Least Concern. However, further research into the full range, population size and trend are required and it may require uplisting to a higher threat category in the future.

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Chanterelle project

Geographic range

The original description of this species included material collected from near Chipinge in Zimbabwe, and from Bassila forest in Benin (Eyssartier et al. 2002). It is also noted from Kota in Benin (Dramani et al. 2022), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from Tshopo province (Milenge Kamalebo et al. 2017, Milenge Kamalebo and De Kesel 2020), and from an un-named locality in Togo (Buyck et al. 2016).

Population and Trends

This species is considered to be ‘rare’ (De Kesel et al. 2016). Getting a clear population size estimate is difficult based on the paucity of information. However, it has been recorded from four different countries across sub-Saharan Africa, in habitats dominated by various plant species, and so it may be assume to occur more widely across Central and West Africa at least. Thus, while it is not possible to calculate a population estimate, it may tentatively be assumed to exceed 10,000 mature individuals based on the amount of suitable habitat it could occur in throughout the region. Habitats across this range are under threat, though, in particular in the countries where there are known records; therefore, it is precautionarily suspected that the population may be in decline.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

This is an ectomycorrhizal species of wooded habitats (Milenge Kamalebo et al. 2019). It has been collected from forest containing Lonchocarpus sericeus and Pterocarpus santalinoides in Benin (Eyssartier et al. 2002), and in ‘forest’ in associated with Brachystegia spiciformis in Zimbabwe (Eyssartier et al. 2002). It is assumed that the latter refers to Brachystegia miombo woodland. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it has been recorded from forest dominated by Gilbertiodendron dewevrei (Milenge Kamalebo et al. 2019). Thus, there are a range of potential hosts for this ectomycorrhizal species.

Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland ForestDry Savanna


There has been rapid forest cover loss in West Africa, including in the Bassila area of Benin (see World Resources Institute 2023). Additionally, miombo woodland has been impacted by a range of threats including land clearance for agriculture and logging (Jew et al. 2016). As an ectomycorrhizal species, such threats that can impact its habitat (in particular its host species) would likely have a detrimental impact on the species itself.

Small-holder farmingSmall-holder grazing, ranching or farmingUnintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]

Conservation Actions

This species has been listed as Critically Endangered in Benin (Yorou and De Kesel 2011), but modelling work to investigate the amount of suitable habitat suggests that it may be better assessed as Endangered in that country (Dramani et al. 2022).

Research needed

Further research is urgently needed to get a clearer idea of the full distribution, population size and trend of the species.

Population size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade

It is supposedly edible, but appears to not to be used by local people (see Milenge Kamalebo and De Kesel 2020).

Food - human


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted