• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • NTPreliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Cantharellus ochraceoravus Grgur.

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Scientific name
Cantharellus ochraceoravus
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
NT A4c
Proposed by
Adam Liddle
James Westrip, Adam Liddle
Ibai Olariaga Ibarguren

Assessment Notes


Cantharellus ochraceoravus is an endemic species of Australia. Most recent records come from forests and heathland of the east coast of Queensland, but there is a recent record from South Australia (in addition to the type description from another site there too). Based on its documented habitat preferences it could be more widespread throughout eastern and southeastern Australia. It is unlikely to approach the thresholds for consideration as threatened under criteria B, C and D and there is not enough information to assess it under criterion E either.

With an uncertain full distribution it is difficult to accurately estimate the population trend, but an ongoing population decline is suspected based on forest cover loss figures, which are likely to be driven by fire and, to a lesser extent, agriculture. While there is a lot of uncertainty as to the true figures it is highly unlikely that the rate of decline would be >80% over three generations (50 years), and so it could not be considered Critically Endangered, and so Data Deficient could not be used as its final category as the species could not be considered anything from Least Concern to Critically Endangered. Using the currently known range to gauge a very approximate figure would give an ongoing forest cover loss at a rate of 28.6% over three generations; and so the population of C. ochraceoravus is tentatively suspected to be declining at a rate of 20-29% over three generations. Therefore, it is assessed here as Near Threatened under criterion A4c, although as highlighted there is a high degree of uncertainty and further research is warranted.

Taxonomic notes

Due to the almost non-forked gills, and pear-shaped small spores, it is suspected not to be a Cantharellus (I. Olariaga Ibarguren in litt. 2022). Eyssartier and Buyck (2001) posited that the species could be a Clitocybe, but retained it is Cantharellus.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Chanterelle species

Geographic range

The type specimen of this species was located in Belair National Park, South Australia (Eyssartier and Buyck 2001). An additional locality in South Australia has been reported from Lincoln National Park (see GBIF 2023). Further specimens have been observed on the Eastern coast of Australia. These observations were made at multiple localities in Queensland from Springbrook in the south to north of Noosa Heads in the north (GBIF 2023).

It seems unlikely that this would be a natural distribution, and the species could occur in intervening areas of suitable habitat in Victoria and New South Wales.

Population and Trends

Collating an accurate population estimate is difficult for this species. If it were to be found throughout the forest and heathlands along the east coast of Australia and across to South Australia then the population size will be very large. It is still expected that the population size would be too large for consideration as threatened under either criterion C or D even if it were to be found only within the known range. For instance, it is likely that in the Queensland part of its range alone there could be c. 1,500 ‘sites’, each with c.10 genets per site, which would equate to a subpopulation size of 15,000 mature individuals.

Again, based on the available data it is tricky to come up with an accurate estimation of the population trend. However, ongoing forest cover loss (see World Resources Institute 2023) suggests an ongoing decline, with peak years coinciding with major fire event years, suggesting that fire may be a key threat. Of course there are some uncertainties to the extent to which fire can impact such subterranean species such as fungi, but if ectomycorrhizal hosts are lost then there will most likely be an impact on the fungus. With an uncertainty over the full range of the species (and the fact it also occurs in heathland) it is difficult to translate forest cover loss figures from World Resources Institute (2023) to a specific population trend figure. There is also a substantive degree of difference between rates of forest cover loss (at >30% canopy cover) between different potential range states in Australia (e.g. in Queensland it decreased by 6.7% between 2001 and 2022, while in South Australia it decreased by 39% in the same time period; in Victoria and New South Wales it decreased by 25% and 24% respectively; World Resources Institute 2023). However, such values include large areas where the species has not been reported or may not occur (e.g. Kangaroo Island), which could bias numbers. Taking everything into account it is highly unlikely that the overall rate of decline would be >80% over three generations (50 years; Dahlberg and Mueller 2011), but it could fall into the brackets of any category from Least Concern to Endangered. For a very tentative value, the known, mapped range was used to calculate the forest cover loss within that range. From 2001 to 2022 the forest cover within this range decreased by 12%, which would equate to a 28.6% reduction over an ongoing three generation period. Thus, it is tentatively suspected that the population reduction would fall in the range of 20-29% over three generations. However, this is a very tentative calculation and further research is required.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

This species appears to occur in a range of habitat types including wet and dry sclerophyll forest and rainforest, as well as heathland (e.g. wallum) (Fungimap 2022, Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2023, Queensland Department of Environment and Science 2023). It occurs on the ground in substrates ranging from sand to soil as well as amongst moss (Fungimap 2022, Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2023, Queensland Department of Environment and Science 2023). It appears to be associated with various Eucalyptus and Allocasuarina species (Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2023, Queensland Department of Environment and Science 2023).

Temperate ForestSubtropical/Tropical Dry ForestSubtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland ForestSubtropical/Tropical Dry ShrublandMediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation


There has been some relatively rapid loss of forest cover within its known, and potential wider range (see World Resources Institute 2023). Known localities of this species appear to exist largely under preservation or within protected habitat, however, it is likely threatened by fire and in non-protected areas by non-timber agriculture.

Agro-industry farmingAgro-industry grazing, ranching or farmingIncrease in fire frequency/intensity

Conservation Actions

This species is thought to exist at least to some degree within threatened habitat. Effective protection of this species’ habitat at its known localities is required for its successful conservation.

Resource & habitat protectionSite/area management

Research needed

Further research into this species’ distribution, and into the extent to which this species is being impacted by ongoing threats is urgently needed to better assess the population size and trend, which could impact the assessment of the species’ extinction risk.

Population size, distribution & trendsThreats

Use and Trade


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted