Photo credit: Genevieve Anderson
The Black Abalone, Haliotis cracherodii, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This large marine mollusc is found in rocky intertidal and subtidal habitats on the coasts of Baja California, Mexico, and California, USA.
Over the last few decades, the Black Abalone has suffered a serious decline, primarily due to a disease known as withering syndrome, which has spread through a large proportion of the population. The disease causes wasting of the foot muscle, preventing the abalone from properly adhering to the substrate, causing it to become discolored, lose weight, and die. Other threats include commercial and recreational fishing, coastal development, and pollution.
All abalone fisheries in California are managed with seasonal closures and restrictions on catch size, while in Mexico there is a total allowable catch limit. In January 2009, the Black Abalone was finally listed under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under the ESA, this species should benefit from the compulsory development of a recovery plan, protection and restoration of critical habitat, scientific research, and public education.
To learn more about the Black Abalone, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.