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Cantharellus guineensis De Kesel & Yorou

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Scientific name
Cantharellus guineensis
De Kesel & Yorou
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
IUCN Red List Criteria
Westrip, J.R.S.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/189959900/217822543


Cantharellus guineensis is currently only known from one site in west Benin. Forest cover in West Africa has declined rapidly over recent years, and if the species were to be restricted to this one site it could be at an extremely high risk of extinction. However, its potential host tree (Berlinia grandiflora) is fairly widespread in West Africa, and into Central Africa. Even if C. guineensis does occur throughout this range, though, it appears to favour old growth riparian forest and so could be sensitive to habitat degradation. Given the high rate of forest cover loss in West Africa over recent years, an ongoing decline of 30-49% is suspected over three generations (50 years). Therefore, C. guineensis is assessed as Vulnerable A4c, although if proved to be more restricted it could warrant a higher threat category.

Geographic range

Currently this species is only known from the type locality in Forêt Classée de Bassila, Benin (De Kesel et al. 2016) with a small number of records since 2000. However, it is noted to be present in riparian woodland containing Berlinia grandiflora, and this tree species is fairly widespread in West Africa, and into Central Africa (Mackinder and Hargreaves 2017).

Population and Trends

Primary forest in West Africa is disappearing rapidly (Butler 2006). Between 2000 and 2019 just under 20% of forest cover at 30% canopy cover was lost (based on the area from southern Senegal, through the Guinean forest to western Nigeria, and using World Resources Institute 2021). As a suspected ectomycorrhizal species, trends need to be looked at over a three generation period of 50 years (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). If this is extrapolated forward, and forest loss is suspected to continue for the next 30 years at a constant level, then the amount of canopy cover loss in this region could reach 47.5% over 50 years (three generations). It is difficult to accurately convert such canopy loss figures to population changes in fungi. However, further details need to be taken into account. This species occurs in old growth riparian forest, so it could be more significantly impacted by any habitat degradation, and rates of forest cover loss have increased in recent years (World Resources Institute 2021); but at the same time its potential host (Berlinia grandiflora) does also occur into Central Africa (Mackinder and Hargreaves 2017). Taking everything into account, if it is assumed that this species may be more widespread than its currently known range, then it is suspected that it may be declining at a rate of 30-49% over three generations (50 years).

Population Trend: decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

The genus Cantharellus consists of species that form ectomycorrhizal associations with trees. At the type locality this species is known from old gallery forest and riparian woodland with Berlinia grandiflora (De Kesel et al. 2016).


There are a suite of threats impacting forests in West Africa, which have severely reduced the area of primary forest during the 21st Century. Such threats include logging, mining and land conversion for agriculture, all exacerbated by road construction (Butler 2006).

Conservation Actions

This species is currently only known from Forêt Classée de Bassila. Ensuring effective protection of this site will be important. Measures need to be taken to try to reduce the amount of deforestation in West Africa, which is likely to be driving rapid population declines in this species if it is found to be more widespread than just this site. Further research to identify any further sites for this species and a better knowledge of its ecology is required.

Source and Citation

Westrip, J.R.S. 2022. Cantharellus guineensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T189959900A217822543. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2022-2.RLTS.T189959900A217822543.en .Accessed on 24 December 2023

Country occurrence