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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fungimap?

Fungimap is a non-profit, nation-wide, citizen-science organisation dedicated to furthering the conservation and knowledge of Australian fungi. 

Our emphasis is on enjoying and learning about fungi and our focus is on macrofungi in the natural environment. Our mottos are 'Putting Australian fungi on the map' and 'Community based science in action'.

Fungimap maintains the National Australian Fungimap Database (NAFD) containing over 100,000 records and 6,500 images of fungi from over 700 contributors nationwide. This valuable resource is used for research, conservation, and policy purposes and has been provided to state and Commonwealth environment agencies.

In addition, Fungimap delivers national and local events and training in fungal identification and surveying, and produces innovative tools for fungal identification, such as the Fungimap CD-Rom and the field guide Fungi Down Under.

The major activity of Fungimap is a community-based mapping scheme. With the help of many volunteer observers across Australia, from professionals to amateurs, Fungimap aims to map the distribution of 125 target species of Australian fungi. These target species have been chosen so as to be reasonably easy to identify by amateurs in the field, and are generally wide-spread; you can find species descriptions of the first 100 species chosen in the Fungimap field guide Fungi Down Under.  Becoming involved in Fungimap is a very good way to gain an introduction to the world of fungi.

If you are interested in fungi, you can contribute to the Fungimap project by sending in records of any fungus you come across, either at home or in your travels. As so little is known about Australian fungi, all contributions are very valuable, even if you only learn to recognise a couple of species.

Can I get a speaker about fungi at my event or for my group?

We have a number of volunteers and associates around Australia who are skilled communicators with many years of experience in identifying fungi. We would be happy to put you in touch with an appropriate speaker. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the date and location of your event, some background about the group and the duration of the talk you are hoping to have. In general, speakers will need to at least be reimbursed for their travel expenses.

What species is this mushroom?

Send us a picture with an observation record and we will try to identify it, but not all species are identifiable just by looking at them. Some need to have a spore-print taken or need to be viewed under a microscope; but note you must never remove a fungus from its habitat in a national park unless you have a permit.

Can I eat this mushroom?

The edibility or toxicity of most wild Australian boletes is not known, and some Australian fungi are deadly poisonous though they may look very similar to edible varieties that grow in Europe and Asia. The only ones you can safely eat, if you know their identity for sure, are the ones that have come here from Europe. Many Australian fungi are known to be toxic and there are no rules to easily distinguish between edible and poisonous fungi.  Several people die each year in Australia from incorrectly identifying and eating poisonous fungi, so we advise caution at all times.

Poison Control: 1311 26

When ringing Poison Control about the ingestion of a fungus, try to have clear photographs of the specimen available to send them. This will make identification easier.

Far safer, and an interesting hobby in itself, is to grow your own mushrooms. Forest Fungi, a proud supporter of Fungimap, runs courses and sells spawn and other supplies for growing your own mushrooms. Fungimap members get a 10% discount on Forest Fungi courses. 

How do I get rid of this fungus?

Most fungi, even ones that are bizarre looking or smell bad, are beneficial and harmless to your plants and garden.There is little that you can do to get rid of a fungus permanently; when the fungus runs out of the nutrient that it is consuming, like mulch and other decomposing plant material, it will disappear.

How can I find out more about fungi in my area?

See our list of regional fungi groups by clicking here.

How can I find out which species have been observed in my area?

You can find out more about which species have been observed in your area by going to the Atlas of Living Australia, www.ala.org.au . Fungimap submitted all of its records to the Atlas in early 2012, and will update them there periodically.

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