Cantharellus parvisporus is a species of miombo woodland in East Africa. A rare species, the population size is estimated to be in the range 1,200-2,400 mature individuals, which are assumed to fall into one subpopulation. Rapid habitat loss is thought to be causing a population decline in this species as its ectomycorrhizal hosts are exploited and removed. Therefore, C. parvisporus is assessed as Endangered under criterion C2a(ii).
Cantharellus parvisportus is only known from miombo woodland of East Africa. It has been collected from around Morogoro in Tanzania, and there are unpublished records from Brurundi as well (Buyck et al. 2000). It is unlikely that it is restricted to these two areas, with suitable habitat in the surrounding region, but it is a rare species (Buyck et al. 2000), and the lack of records from outside of East Africa means it is assumed, here, to only occur in this region.
This is a rare species that is not found fruiting in large numbers (Buyck et al. 2000). In Tanzania it is known from two localities near to each other, and it is estimated that there would be only a small number (i.e. two) of genets at each site. Based on the amount of suitable habitat the total number of sites within the country is estimated to be 25 to 50 times higher (i.e. 50-100 sites), and using a scaling factor of 10 mature individuals per genet (per Dahlberg and Mueller 2011) this would give a population size within Tanzania of 1,000-2,000 mature individuals.
It is more difficult for Burundi, as specific site details are not published, but noting its rarity there may be only 10-20 sites in this country. Assuming a similar density per site as for Tanzania, this would give a population size there of 200-400 mature individuals. Hence the total population size is estimated to fall in the range 1,200-2,400 mature individuals.
It is presumed that naturally all individuals would be considered to fall into a single subpopulation, although habitat fragmentation may be impacting the population structure now. Further investigation into this is required. With the high levels of anthropogenic impacts on the habitat, the population of this species is assessed as being in decline.
Population Trend: Decreasing
This is a species of Brachystegia woodland, and has been reported in areas with a variety of potential ectomycorrhizal partners (see Buyck et al. 2000). These include B. micropylla, B. spiciformis, Albizia gummifera, Combretum molle, Dalbergia nitidula, Markhamia obtusifolia and Ptelopsis myrtifolia as well as the introduced Eucalyptus camadulensis (Buyck et al. 2000).
There has been a high degree of deforestation within the miombo woodlands of Tanzania (Abdallah and Monela 2007). Key threats driving such trends include logging for charcoal production and use of the land for agricultural practices (Abdallah and Monela 2007). As an ectomycorrhizal species, the loss of the host trees will have a detrimental impact on the fungus.
Some records come from an area within the Mikumi National Park. Ensuring effective protection and management of areas of suitable habitat for this species will be important, which will likely require engagement with local communities.
Further surveying effort is required to get a clearer knowledge of how widespread the species is within miombo woodland in Tanzania, and to get a clearer idea of the genetic structure of the population; both at individual sites and in the entire population.
This is an edible species (Kabacia and Muchane 2023)