SEMINAR – To Foray or to Forage?

Seminar: To foray or to forage?

Every mushroomer knows the danger of not being able to differentiate an edible mushroom from toxic lookalike species. In Switzerland, the Pilzkontrolleure, or mushroom inspectors have been saving lives for over a century by plucking poisonous mushrooms from people’s baskets and sending them home with the edible fare. Although only a little more than half the size of Tasmania, Switzerland has 409 mushroom inspection offices staffed by 1500 inspectors.

Furthermore, a publicly accessible online atlas of fungus distribution (including 937 endangered species) helps foragers find their target mushrooms. The Swiss are well versed in fungi and foraging and this has also stimulated mycological research and resources.

Australia has taken a very different approach to protecting biodiversity including fungi, with all biodiversity being protected at all three levels of government. Hence mushroom foraging on public land is illegal. But are foraying and foraging necessarily mutually exclusive? Could carefully managed foraging be a stimulus for conservation and research? In Australia, conservation initiatives have included other unlikely bedfellows including the military and mining.

Over the last 23 years Alison has divided her time between hemispheres working both with fungi and their fans. In this talk, Alison will explore the tensions between foraging and conservation and the different approaches of various nations to both protect species and keep mushroom hunters happy.

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EVENING SEMINAR 6:30pm – 7:30pm


WILDBARK: 25 Rosenberg Street, Throsby ACT 2914