The critically endangered “bamboo coral” Isidella elongata is a near-endemic protected species for which limited information exists in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

This study aimed to update the known geographical distribution of I. elongata in the Eastern Mediterranean by combining literature data with unpublished records made within the last two decades.

The study revealed 35 records of I. elongata occurrence spanning across the Aegean ecoregion. The species has been found at a depth range of 126-1125 m. A considerable number of records were identified in the North Aegean Sea and the Hellenic Trench.

The authors highlight that, according to the obtained results, the distribution range of this key species in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea is wider than previously thought. Some records were represented by multiple living colonies, indicating areas of potential interest which require further study for the adoption of appropriate management and protection measures.

It is concluded that this study updates the documented distribution of this critically endangered species and provides a baseline for future research in the deep waters of the Eastern Mediterranean.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352485518302809

Gerovasileiou et al. (2019) Updating the distribution status of the critically endangered bamboo coral Isidella elongata (Esper, 1788) in the deep Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Regional Studies in Marine Science 28:100610.