Pink abalone, Haliotis corrugata

About this species

Federal status: Species of Concern

(-) Decreasing

Haliotidae, the abalone family

Pink abalone range from Point Conception, California to Bahia de Santa Maria, Baja California


Pink abalone are a marine snail with a shell on top and a strong “foot” underneath. The pink abalone has a thick wavy shell and generally more circular shape than other abalones in California. The shell has two to four elevated openings.

Habitat & Behavior

Pink abalone live in sheltered waters at depths between 6 to 36 meters. Pink abalone feed mainly on kelp and drift algae, and can live up to 30 years.


Pink abalone populations have declined to just 1% of the average density reported between 1950 and 1970, and their numbers continue to decline today. The decline of pink abalones is primarily due to illegal harvesting, disease (withering syndrome), and elevated water temperatures, especially during El Niño events when water warms up along the coast.


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife closed commercial and recreational abalone fisheries in Southern California in 1996.

About this map

The bright yellow areas in this map show reef habitat that is more suitable for pink 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

Pink 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.

References: NOAA Fisheries. “Pink Abalone.” [link]