Join the FunDiS West Coast Rare 10 Challenge and help us document rare and threatened fungi

Like so many other organisms, fungi, along with their often fragile and threatened habitats need our protection. But unlike plants or animals, fungi rarely get considered in conservation plans. They lack legal protection. At best, they’re an afterthought: of the 120,000 species that have been assessed for the IUCN Red List of threatened species only 371 are mushrooms. And not a single mushroom species is protected under the Endangered Species Act in the United States.

Let’s begin to change this! Help us find and document 10 species of rare, under-documented and potentially threatened fungi. Scientists and conservationists need more data on these fungi in order to better understand and protect them and their habitats.

This initiative covers the West Coast - from California all the way up to Alaska - and runs from October 17, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

How can you participate?

Find out about the program and the fungi on the list here:

Decide which of the fungi on the list might be growing in a habitat that you’re planning to visit between October 17, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Print out the pdf pamphlet for the species you’re interested in and bring it along, or have the information handy on your phone.

If you think you’ve found one of the Rare 10, follow the instructions on the pamphlet for each species, post it to this project and email us at to let us know, and we’ll let you know if it's a candidate for vouchering or sequencing, and what to do next.

We’d love it if you tagged us on Instagram with a picture of your find at #rare10challenge. A story of how you found it would be even better! And follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what others are finding:

We are also very interested in the other fungi that you might come across in these habitats. We’d encourage you to share your observations to this iNat project.

As always, it’s important to have a collecting permit for areas where collecting is restricted. More information can be found at the bottom of this page:

The Rare 10 list has been compiled by noted mycologists Else Vellinga, Bitty Roy and Roo Vandegrift. Find out more about the FunDiS fungal conservation working group here.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll find! And please share this post with anyone else you think might be interested in this initiative.

Posted by sigridjakob sigridjakob, October 17, 2020 15:38


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