NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Populations collapsed in the 1970's and it is now approaching extinction from natural causes after intense exploitation. Survival will depend on how many refugia exist and the reproductive success of these refugia.
Intrinsic Vulnerability: Unknown
Environmental Specificity: Unknown
Other Considerations: Based on the size distribution of shells found by Davis et al. (1996) they suggest recruitment failure is responsible for the population collapse and that recruitment failure is likely due to low population densities, but disease could also be a contributing factor. In October 1999 the Abalone Restoration Consortium (a group of academic, government, and non-government biologists) used a two person submersible to search for abalones on the ocean floor around the Channel Islands National Park. Hour long trips to search and map findings were scheduled. Searches were video taped. Information gained is to be used for a captive breeding program and to further ellucidate habitat type, presence of abalone and associated animals, and abalone food availability for restoration efforts (USGS 1999).