In February 2009, black abalone was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and the Act requires critical habitat be designated, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, whenever a species is listed for protection.
Once areas are designated as critical habitat, federal projects or permits and projects with federal funding are required to ensure their actions do not adversely modify the animal's habitat. Designating critical habitat does not affect citizens engaged in activities on private land that do not involve a federal agency.
Since the 1980s, the black abalone population has plummeted primarily from a bacterial disease known as withering syndrome. The impacts of withering syndrome may have been worsened by the warming of coastal waters from long-and-short-term changes in climate or from power plants' discharge of warm water. Other causes that likely contributed to the decline in black abalone populations are historical overfishing and poaching.
From Del Mar Landing Ecological Reserve to Point Bonita.
From the southern point at the mouth of San Francisco Bay to Natural Bridges State Beach.
From Pacific Grove to Cayucos.From Montaña de Oro State Park to just south of Government Point.
The circumference of: the Farallon Islands; Año Nuevo Island; San Miguel Island; Santa Rosa Island; Santa Cruz Island; Anacapa Island; Santa Barbara Island; and Santa Catalina Island.
NOAA's Fisheries Service excluded the area of rocky habitat from Corona Del Mar State Beach to Dana Point from the designation, because the economic benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusion, and the exclusion will not result in the extinction of the species. It was also determined that San Clemente Island and San Nicolas Island were no longer eligible for designation due to the development of integrated natural resources management plans that provide benefits to black abalone.
Jim Milbury | EurekAlert!
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