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

Russula littorea Pennycook

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Scientific name
Russula littorea
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
EN B2b & c and D1
Proposed by
Jerry Cooper
Patrick Leonard, Jerry Cooper
Patrick Leonard, Jerry Cooper
Comments etc.
Louis Mielke

Assessment Notes


This species is associated with a habitat that is under threat as a result of land use change, invasive species, habitat quality reduction through feral animals. Repeated survey of known sites has not resulted in any further observations. With a population of 200 at 12 existing and potentially undiscovered sites we assess the species as endangered under B2b & c and D1.

Taxonomic notes

Russula littorea Pennycook
Some records are under McNabb’s earlier illegitimate name of R. littoralis

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Proposed by Pat Leonard. Uncommon species known from 11 records from 6 locations. A single outlier in SI of New Zealand has been excluded pending confirmation. Extent of Occurrence 96,772.377 km2 Area of Occupancy 44.000 km2

Geographic range

Found in North and South Islands of New Zealand

Population and Trends

The known population of this species is of 10 collections although some of those are doubtful as they are recorded as being with Nothofagus..
There is an increase in the records made between 2000 and 2010 when Cooper and Leonard were reviewing Russula. There has been annual surveys of two known sites for this fungus and no repeat observations have been made in 15 years. There is only a single post 2010 record. 10 functional individuals represent 100 mature individuals at 6 sites. Given the level of survey for this genus we think it reasonably to propose that there might be double the existing number of sites resulting in a population of 200 at 12 sites.

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Russula littorea is a mycorrhizal fungus associating with Leptospermum and possibly also with Kunzea.


Most of the sites for this fungus are not protected and in one of the sites where the fungus has been recorded the habitat has been destroyed by recreational improvements. The host tree is under threat from land use change for farming and forestry, by invasive species and by grazing by cattle, sheep and pigs which lead to soil compaction and nutrient enrichment. The locations where this fungus has been found represent a severely fragmented habitat.

Conservation Actions

Recognition of the species might prevent damage to its habitat in protected sites through its inclusion in management plans.

Research needed

Use and Trade


Dahlberg A. and Mueller G.M. (2011) Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4: 147-162.

Geospatial Conservation Assessment Tool: geocat.kew.org

Global Biodiversity Information Facility: gbif.org

Manaaki Whenau - Landcare Research databases: https://nzfungi2.landcareresearch.co.nz/

McNabb, R.F.R. (1971): The Russulaceae of New Zealand. 1. Lactarius DC ex S.F. Gray. New Zealand Journal of Botany 9(1): 46-66.

Mycobank: http://www.mycobank.org/

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted