Oaks are the dominant forest in the country, occupying 29.3% of the total area but they also comprise the most degraded stands, especially the distinctly thermophilous forests (Kolevska et al. 2017). The species is generally threatened by continuous loss and fragmentation of oak forests due to logging activities. Forest exploitation has been practised for centuries, and at the moment 91% of the total area under forest in North Macedonia is managed whereas the largest part (93%) is treated as productive forest. In practice, the silvicultural system applies clear-cutting in oak forest, and, as a result, bare lands and even-aged forests are created while old-growth forests are reduced in size (Trajkov et al. 2016, Kolevska et al. 2017). In North Macedonia, ca. 1% of forests are logged annually by national forestry service (Kolevska et al. 2017, State Statistics Office 2018), while illegal logging is considerably high, with additional 30% to legal wood extraction. According to the National action plan for fight against desertification in the Republic of Macedonia (2017), in the 2000–2012 period, a decrease of 35,000 ha (4%) of forest area had occurred based on analysis of CORINE land cover. Therefore, the quality of the appropriate habitat is continuously reducing, posing a major threat to maintenance of a stable fungal population. Тhe thermophilous deciduous woodland (Annex I HD G1.7) in North Macedonia, according to the latest Biodiversity Strategy (2018), is categorised in the group of habitats having the highest intensity of threat, due to clearcutting and fires. Moreover, vast areas of the newly-formed bare lands in the lower oak belt have been planted with invasive alien species, such as Cupressus sempervirens, C. arizonica, Robinia pseudoacacia or Pinus nigra. An assessment should also be made of the impact that these activities have on fungal populations. Decline in health of forest stands, due to diseases on Quercus spp. with varying degrees of intensity, have been reported (DPRS 2019). Diseases of oak stands are primarily caused by Euproctis chrysorrhoe L., Lymantria dispar L. and species of the family Tortricidae.
Besides the exploitation of forest, the habitat is under pressure of excavation of raw minerals such as limestone, gypsum or marble. In the period 1999-2014 more than 140 permissions for exploitation of this type of materials have been issued and the number have considerably increased in the following years (Spatial planning agency Annual Report 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019), leading to additional deprivation of the possible sites for distribution of the species.
The loss and degradation of habitat triggered by clear-cutting, exploitation of minerals and by infrastructure development pose the highest threat. Forest fires are also common in thermophilous oak woodlands.
Thus, the suitable habitat for Rubroboletus dupainii has a very small distribution area.
At the only site, extensive use of the forest in the recent years has been noticed, and in some parts bare land is created due to clear-cuttings. Near the site a quarry for limestone has been built.