Fungi are amazing: they make soil, digest pollutants, help make human medicines and even produce food. More than 90% of plants on earth depend on symbiotic fungi! Yet while these organisms are absolutely vital to life on our planet, we know relatively little about fungi overall, and there is scant attention paid to their conservation. But a simple added category could fix that and make sure earth's precious fungi are protected.
It is time conservation organizations around the world add a third "F" of funga to their existing lists of flora and fauna!
Many scientists argue that human life itself only evolved because of the work of fungi. In fact, the only reason plants even made it out of the water over 500 million years ago was because of fungi, which helped plants by serving as root systems until species could evolve to develop their own.
Unfortunately, because fungi don't fit neatly into "flora" or "fauna," they are often overlooked by major conservation organizations. And as a result, many are at risk. Fungi are threatened by fungicides and fertilizers most directly, but also experience many of the same risks that plants and animals do. Plowing, deforestation, and climate change all threaten these vital organisms.
We must protect and continue to study these miraculous organisms! Sign now to tell the international conservation community: embrace the third "F" and protect funga as much as flora and fauna!