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Saving Endangered Species
Reverse the Red

Did you know that more than 90% of fungi are unknown to science?

Throughout February, Plantlife is participating in Reverse the Red’s Fungi month – a chance to better understand the mysterious worlds of some of our rarest fungi species.

Two white mushrooms with tall stems growing out of green moss

What is Reverse the Red?

Reverse the Red is a global movement aimed at raising awareness of the work being done by organisations and communities to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss, ensuring the survival of wild species and ecosystems.

The initiative brings together scientists, advocates, and partners who use data and science-based conservation approaches, with the goal of reducing our rarest species vulnerability, and eventually removing them from the Red list.

What is a Red List?

Red lists are a globally recognised way of listing and identifying the threat of extinction to species. Species are  assessed objectively based on ongoing scientific information and research.

The world’s most comprehensive list is the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There are other more local red lists, such as the Great British Red List.

Why do fungi need our help?

Fungi are a crucial partner to nearly all life on Earth, with an estimated 2.5 million species of fungi found around the world. But more than 90% of fungal species are unknown to science. 

This lack of data means it is hard to know if some of these important species need conservation help.

Only 0.4 % of fungi that we know about have had their global conservation status assessed for the IUCN Red List Assessment. That is only 0.02% of the fungi estimated to exist – imagine the amazing species yet to be found!

But we can help fungi.

People around the world are getting outside and recording fungi to help better understand them.

Since the beginning of 2020 more than 10,200 species of fungi have been named as new to science.

This includes 6 new species of webcap uncovered in the UK – 3 in Scotland and 3 in England, such as Cortinarius heatherae, spotted alongside a river beside Heathrow airport. 

Ways we can protect fungi together

Get recording: Finding Hazel Gloves fungus

Get recording: Finding Hazel Gloves fungus

Join Sarah Shuttleworth who discovers a rare fungi, and the secrets it reveals about the area it’s found in. Learn why recording fungi like this is so important.

Take part in the #WaxcapWatch
A red fungi growing in grass

Take part in the #WaxcapWatch

Did you spot colourful waxcaps last autumn? It's not too late to tell us by taking part in the #WaxcapWatch, helping us to identify and protect waxcap grasslands.

What problems are grassland fungi facing?

What problems are grassland fungi facing?

Discover the pressures grassland waxcaps and their habitats face, and how you can take action to protect them for the future.