Nail fungus is possibly the rarest fungus in Europe. It occurs in the dung of horses and ponies which have fed on unimproved pasture or hay. Formerly widespread in the UK, it is now confined to the New Forest, and is otherwise found only in a few places in south-east Europe.
The fungus is listed on the GB Red List as Endangered and in the IUCN/WCMC RDL as Indeterminate.
Current factors causing loss or decline
Changes in agricultural practices, particularly the decline in use of horses and the loss of unimproved grasslands (particularly hay meadows)
Action plan objectives and targets
Maintain the population at viable levels in the New Forest.
If biologically feasible, restore to ten former sites by 2004.
Proposed actions with lead agencies
Policy and legislation
No action proposed.
Site safeguard and management
Encourage positive management for this species at remaining sites, especially the traditional practice of pony grazing in the New Forest and the maintenance of improved grassland, particularly hay meadows. (ACTION: NE, FE)
Seek to ensure the needs of this species are taken into account for any SSSI management plan where it occurs. (ACTION: NE)
Species management and protection
If feasible, restore to ten former sites by 2004. (ACTION: NE)
Ensure landowners and managers of re-discovered sites are aware of the presence and importance of this species, and appropriate methods of habitat management for its conservation. (ACTION: NE)
Future Research and Monitoring
Carry out a survey in the New Forest to establish current status of this species. (ACTION: NE)
Consider research into the ecological requirements of this species to assess whether it is a suitable candidate for re-introduction or translocation. (ACTION: NE)
Promote research on the effects of veterinary products used for horses on the ecology of this species. (ACTION: NE, JNCC)
Pass information gathered during survey and monitoring of this species to JNCC or BRC so that it can be incorporated in national databases. (ACTION: NE)
Provide information annually to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre on the UK status of the species to contribute to maintenance of an up-to-date global Red Data List. (ACTION: JNCC)
Communications and Publicity
No action proposed.
Links with other action plans
The following LBAPs are working on Poronia punctata:
Originally published in: Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report - Volume II: Action Plans (December 1995, Tranche 1, Vol 2, p202)
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