IUCN SSC Colombia Fungal Specialist Group
Overview and description
More than 7,000 species of fungi have been reported from Colombia. However, that represent less than 3% of the expected fungal diversity in the country. There is urgency to document the country’s ...
More than 7,000 species of fungi have been reported from Colombia. However, that represent less than 3% of the expected fungal diversity in the country. There is urgency to document the country’s fungal diversity and assess their threats as Colombia faces high biodiversity loss due to a quick transformation of the natural ecosystems by the expansion of agriculture, mining and infrastructure. Colombia Fungal Specialist Group (ColFunSG) is set with the aim of promoting conservation and raising awareness among academics, citizens, politicians and other conservation stakeholders about the importance of fungi for the preservation of ecosystems, as well as about the potential environmental and industrial applications of fungi that can benefit the country. The group will be tasked with helping to identify priority activities that will help fill important knowledge gaps and to promote advocacy and action in conservancy, particularly in formulating policies that will help reverse species decline
Dr Viviana MOTATO-VÁSQUEZ
Mr Diego SIMIJACA
Dr AIDA M. VASCO-PALACIOS
I am Colombian mycologist. I work for the School of Microbiology at Universidad de Antioquia UdeA (Medellín, Colombia) where I conduct research and teaching on fundamental and applied mycology. I am ...
I am Colombian mycologist. I work for the School of Microbiology at Universidad de Antioquia UdeA (Medellín, Colombia) where I conduct research and teaching on fundamental and applied mycology. I am broadly interested in diversity, ecology, and systematics of tropical fungi. I am also exploring the potential use of these fungal diversity. At present, I am the chairwoman of the Colombian Association of Mycology (ASCOLMIC) and part of the IUCN SSC Fungus Conservation Committee FUNCC.
More about the Specialist Group
The Colombia Fungal Specialist Group (ColFunSG) aims to secure the conservation, management and, where necessary, the recovery of the Colombian fungi by mobilizing technical and scientific expertise and raising awareness of the importance of fungi for the environment and society.
We visualize the recognition of fungi in Colombia as a megadiverse group, essential for the maintenance of all ecosystems on the planet and for the survival of many species with which they are related.
Specialist Group work
The Colombia Fungal Specialist Group is currently building networks of people in order to improve capacity across all aspects of the species conservation cycle and strength the visibility of fungi in biodiversity conservation strategies. The ColFunSG has three main identified thematic sub-groups:
Red List assessments
Complete assessment and publication of approximately 35 endemic fungal species trying to include all the groups of fungi specially those most neglected in conservation initiatives. Also, promote the reassessment of the 31 Colombia fungal species already published at the Global Red List.
The Colombia Fungal Specialist Group understand that field work is vital to compile and generate baseline information missing for the categorization of species, including data on geographic range, population status, habitat and ecology, uses and threat and effects of climate change, among others, that allow the continue review of species lists internationally and nationally, including the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Besides, monitoring is needed to show if trade has significant effects on wild populations. Through field work, we can recognize important sites for priority species and given adequate protection.
Genetic research is needed to reliable identify taxa that require attention. In fungi, genetic research is needed for a variety of conservation targets, mainly for the identification of genetically distinct lineages deserving protection as separate conservation units.