The main threats to the Florida perforate reindeer lichen are loss of habitat from development, and disturbance by fires and hurricanes (1). In 1992, only 15 percent of Florida scrubland remained (6). Many populations of the Florida perforate reindeer lichen are found on high-value real estate, making their long-term survival unlikely without any protection (1). Land conversion to citrus plantations and residential development continues to diminish scrub habitat almost daily (2).
Protected populations of the Florida reindeer lichen are also vulnerable to disturbances. Fires are a natural periodic disturbance in Florida scrubland, but much of this habitat is severely fragmented, meaning these fires can increase in frequency and severity, severely hindering the Florida reindeer lichen’s ability to reproduce (1). This lichen also suffers from trampling by vehicles, and by people using sand dunes for recreational purposes (6).
An additional threat to the Florida reindeer lichen is hurricanes. Extremely high winds and storm surges of a hurricane in 1996 caused the extinction of two populations in the North Gulf Coast regions and reduced a third population by more than 70 percent (7).