Find lost fungi

Fungi that reproduce infrequently, in low numbers and/or from a single or few sites are what we call uncommon or ‘lost fungi’ and, as such, they are at greater risk of extinction than those that are common. To help conserve ‘lost fungi’, we need to know more about them and to collect data nationally on where and when they are sighted.

Photographers taking pictures of the rare Stemless Earpick which is only known from a single tree in the Wombat Forest (SJM McMullan-Fisher CC-BY-SA)

(The search for more information about lost fungi began as part of a project in Victoria in 2017.)

How you can help.

Fungal enthusiasts can play a crucial role in this by recording these fungi when they visit sites where they have been seen before, or sites that are similar and where they might be expected but are absent – we will address this gap by capturing this ‘lost data’.

Please share sightings, even historical, of lost fungi.

For these lost fungi, NOT seeing them in the field during surveys is equally important. Typical and traditional systems rarely record species that could be expected at a location but are absent at the time. We are addressing this gap by capturing absence data (also known as ‘zero data’ in a Biocollect project. We encourage the recording of site conditions and images to help inform conservation actions.

For more information on how to share data please download identification booklets below and visit our project app:

We are happy to help or receive sightings as chatty emails so contact us here.

Meet the lost fungi

We are putting together as much information as we can about the different species and possible look-alikes. Lost fungi are not seen often, so browse these pages to get to know some of these fungi and increase your chances of recoginising them in the bush.

We have grouped these species into:

Tips for using Biocollect – Lost fungi Australia

From a controlled list of uncommon fungi, this project encourages people to learn their local uncommon fungi, so when they go out seeking fungi they can also record the “lost” (absence) data which is important to support conservation efforts. This project will also record the “found” data for these uncommon fungi, which will allow a faster response when uncommon fungi are found. The project also encourages recorders to collect more data about the fungi, their habitat and how many individuals were in the area.

Experience has shown us that to make recording “lost” (absence or zero) data and “found” data easier we have two forms for Point Locations and Area Survey.

For each new record or “found” record is worth recording each individual or group of individuals if they are all together like on the same branch or tree. This data is called point data as the exact location is important. So record this using Lost fungi – Point Locations.

For the times when you are in likely habitat or places where you have seen the lost fungi before but didn’t see them this time you should record absence or zero data. This is easiest done as a patch or area so use the Lost fungi – Area Survey form.

People often have regular places they visit. This is useful as at the end of the visit all of the likely lost fungi that were absent that day can be recorded in the same record. For example in the same patch may have previously had Lost Pins, Velvet Tooths, Morels and the Canary Skinhead.

Tea-tree Fingers site, area frequencly surveyed location details in Biocollect Lost Fungi Australia project.

For these Lost fungi – Area Survey forms, the site name can be saved. So you don’t need to draw a new patch each time rather you can choose the location and just add the new date and data. For these location names we suggest you use consistent naming convention starting with place or species of interest then brief patch description. Remember when you add the record you can see the area (polygon) in question. These patches should cover the regular area visited. Polygons can be drawn to follow either side of walking tracks and the like.

For example:

  • JCR near CP GSE  = Jack Cann Reserve, near Blackwood, the area within 150 m of carpark at Garden of St Erth
  • Gadji top block = property name and the area known as the top block. Using descriptors already in use is best.
  • TTF AdamsC type patch north east of carpark = All the sites with Tea-tree Fingers will all start with the TTF abbreviation and then the reserve abbreviation, and finally a direction of the patch from the carpark or other local geographic feature.

Biocollect can be used either with your computer or smart devices, with apps available for iOS and Android. We have found for the Area Survey forms that setting up the polygon is easier on a larger screen device. But repeated visits are easy to add at the end of the day.

Please include habitat and condition photos in case a fire or other disturbance goes through before your next visit.

Prevent weedy fungi

Protect our bush by arriving in the bush with clean and dry equipment, including footwear and hats. Below are two fungal weeds that are commonly spread by people, so best to Arrive clean and leave clean!