The field of natural products and their use in the development of medicinal or other health-related products vis-à-vis their conservation needs special focus. The challenges for fungal conservation are daunting. As nature's recyclers, fungi are like municipal refuse collectors employed to take away our rubbish. We do not notice them until they go on strike. The well-being of fungi is necessary for sustainable life on this planet. Mushrooms have long been used as a valuable food source, widely appreciated for their unique taste and flavor and as traditional medicines around the world since ancient times, especially in Japan and China. In recent years, the interest in mushrooms as a dietary fiber or healthy food has increased. Scientists have known for over 100 years that, like animals and plants, fungi too are affected by the destructive activities of mankind. The impact of air pollution on lichen forming fungi is one particularly well documented example. Although there is still insufficient information about the conservation status of fungi, there is no reason to suppose that fungi are any less vulnerable than other groups of organisms to habitat loss and climate change. The topic is far too important to ignore. Knowledge gap is one of the challenges which should be solved to strengthen connections between the pharmaceutical industry and conservation biology. Public awareness of their importance is, however, very low, not least because biodiversity - the full and wonderful diversity of life - is still widely portrayed as "flora and fauna" or "animals and plants".
Key words: Mushrooms, medicinal value, conservation.