Since its description in 1984, little attention has been paid to the New Caledonian endemic mushroom coral Cantharellus noumeae (Fungiidae), an IUCN Red-listed, endangered coral species. Our study presents the first ever quantitative assessment conducted on C. noumeae populations for two contrasting sites in the same turbid bay. Sites differed by their substrates of artificial or natural origins. Metal concentrations of superficial sediment were measured. C. noumeae was found in high densities in metal-rich and turbid environments at both locations, reaching up to 288 individuals per 50m2. It was 3.5 times more abundant on natural rock than on artificial substrates. Recruitment was also higher proportionally on rock (47% vs 7-14%). The composition of the associated coral communities included 30-37 species occurring in low densities. Our findings clarify the environmental niche of this species and its colonization potential, in order to eventually better characterize its conservation status.