Green abalone, Haliotis fulgens

About this species

Green abalone (Photo © Jonathan Williams)

Federal status: Species of Concern

(=) Stable

Haliotidae, the abalone family

Green abalone range from Point Conception, California, to Bahia de Magdalena, Mexico


The green abalone has an oval-shaped shell with slight waves on top, which are usually brown.

Habitat & Behavior

Green abalone live in shallow water (from the intertidal zone to depths of 10 meters), where they can be found in under rocks or in rock crevices. They feed mostly on fleshy red algae and drift algae.


The decline of green abalone has been due to illegal harvesting, disease (withering syndrome), and elevated water temperatures, especially during El Niño events when water warms up along the coast.

About this map

The bright yellow areas in this map show reef habitat that is more suitable for green abalone, while dark blue areas are less suitable. Researchers modeled suitability across all currently known reefs in the Southern California Bight (the dashed gray line shows the extent of the modeled area). The model has a spatial resolution of 200 meters and includes areas shallower than or equal to 45 meters deep.

Green abalone (Photo © Jonathan Williams)

Data source: Species distribution model derived from Zellmer et al. 2019 in Frontiers in Marine Science, 6. [link]

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Amanda J. Zellmer for generously sharing this coastal marine biodiversity data.