Fungi everywhere in North America are under threat from habitat loss, climate change, loss of host organisms and too much nitrogen in the soil. And yet there are no fungi on any endangered species lists and they are not considered in conservation policy or projects. Why? There simply too little data on fungi – not enough to build a case that a species is in need of special protection.
Community scientists can help change this by documenting rare and threatened fungi. Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS) has made it their mission to make this easy and fun.
The FunDiS Rare 20 Challenge for the North East is a multi-year project to document 20 rare and threatened fungi.
How do I participate?
Simply familiarize yourself with the 20 target fungi here by downloading the pdf (they’re all easy to identify even by beginners) and if you think you’ve found one, take lots of good pictures and put it on iNaturalist. Someone from FunDiS will get in touch to verify your find and will tell you what to do next.
I’ve found Butyriboletus billieae a couple of times in Staten Island, and I can tell you it’s really exciting to find one of these rare critters!
New York Mycological Society