The present study focused on documentation of wild mushroom species used by the local communities in the Selous-Niassa corridor in Namtumbo district, Ruvuma region, Tanzania. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected by interviewing 50 local informants from different localities in the Selous-Niassa wildlife corridor in Namtumbo district. The data documented include types of wild mushroom species, taxonomical information, social-demographic information, indigenous knowledge and uses. The majority of participants in the hunting of wild mushrooms were females aged between 31 and 45 years who were literate peasants with primary education only. The knowledge about edibility of wild mushroom species was mainly transferred to others by old women whereby those eaten by insects and wild animals or do not form much foam during cooking were considered edible. A total of 32 edible and inedible wild mushroom species belonging to thirteen genera and eleven families were documented. Among the documented wild mushrooms, 34.38% were edible, 25% were medicinal and edible, 31.25% did not have known uses, 6.25% were medicinal only and 3.12% were poisonous. The fidelity level (FL) and informant consensus factor (ICF) of the 32 collected wild mushroom species ranged from 50 to 100% and 0.33 to 0.91, respectively. The documentation of wild mushroom species in communities is important for conservation, transfer of knowledge and information regarding their uses across one generation to another. This study provides information that may, in the future, be used for cultivation, pharmacological, and drug discovery studies to improve public healthcare.
Key words: Utilization, ethnomycological survey, edible mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms, indigenous knowledge, mushroom hunters.
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