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

Cantharellus versicolor S.C. Shao & P.G. Liu

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Scientific name
Cantharellus versicolor
S.C. Shao & P.G. Liu
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
Proposed by
Adam Liddle
James Westrip, Adam Liddle

Assessment Notes


Cantharellus versicolor is an endemic chanterelle of China. So far it has only been recorded from high altitude temperate forest of Yunnan province. Further information regarding the full distribution of the species is required, but based on the potential suitable habitat in and around the known collecting area a population size of 500-2,500 mature individuals is estimated. It is uncertain if the species is facing any significant threats at this time and so a precautionary assessment of Vulnerable under criterion D1 is made here. However, if it were to be found to be in decline then it would warrant a higher threat category.

Taxonomic notes

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Chanterelle species

Geographic range

The holotype of this species was found at an altitude of 3,294m, in Shangri-La county of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, China (Shao et al. 2016). Further specimens of this species were found in the same area and it has also been reported from the Deqin mushroom market, but the original collecting locality for that specimen is not known (see Shao et al. 2016). It was collected from Abies fabri forest (Shao et al. 2016), and so it is possible that it may be more widespread within the range of this tree species.

Population and Trends

While the potential host, Abies fabri, is considered to have undergone a rapid decline (Xiang and Rushforth 2013), current rates of forest cover loss within the range of Cantharellus versicolor are relatively low (see World Resources Institute 2023). As such the current trend of this species is uncertain.

It grows in clusters, and being a terrestrial species the number of mature individuals per functional individual would be c. 10 (per Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). All known wild-collected specimens have been from the same locality, but with multiple collections at the same site the number of functional individuals is likely to be more than one, albeit a small number (estimated at two to five). Therefore, at this one site there would be considered to be 20-50 mature individuals. Based on the distribution of suitable forest habitat in the wider area, including into Sichuan, and taking into account its apparent preference for higher altitudes (thus restricting the suitable areas), the number of potential localities the species could be found in with additional survey effort is tentatively estimated to be 25 to 50. Therefore, the potential population size is estimated to be 500-2,500 mature individuals.

Population Trend: Uncertain

Habitat and Ecology

This species is known to occur growing in clusters, under Abies fabri trees (Shao et al. 2016).

Temperate Forest


Despite the potential host, Abies fabri, having been considered to have undergone a rapid decline (Xiang and Rushforth 2013), the current rates of forest cover loss within the range of Cantharellus versicolor appear to be relatively low (see World Resources Institute 2023). Therefore, it is not possible to accurately ascertain whether C. versicolor is facing any significant threats or not at this time.

Conservation Actions

Protection of this species’ habitat is required for its successful conservation.

Resource & habitat protection

Research needed

Further research into this species’ distribution, habitat preferences, and potential threats is necessary.

Population size, distribution & trendsLife history & ecologyThreats

Use and Trade

One specimen has been collected from a mushroom market (Shao et al. 2016), suggesting its use as a food or in traditional medicine.

Food - humanMedicine - human & veterinary


Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted