Kari Eckdahl

Kari Eckdahl

Former Graduate Student

M.S. Biology 2015

ENDANGERED BLACK ABALONE (HALIOTIS CRACHERODII) ABUNDANCE AND HABITAT AVAILABILITY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

CV

The black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii) is an endangered species that was once abundant in the rocky intertidal zone of southern California until overfishing and Withering Disease drastically reduced populations on the mainland and the Channel Islands. The current geographic range of black abalone is from Point Arena, CA to Bahia Tortugas, Mexico; however, since the mid 1990s, black abalone have been rare south of Point Conception on the California mainland coast. In recent years black abalone populations on the Channel Islands have experienced recruitment, but the current state of black abalone on the southern CA mainland remains unknown. Kari conducted rocky intertidal surveys for black abalone from Point Conception to San Diego to determine if recruitment recently occurred on the mainland and to measure population density. She also conducted habitat assessments to document the availability of good black abalone habitat.  Findings demonstrate that black abalone are present but rare along the southern CA coast. Habitat assessments indicate there are some areas where good black abalone habitat is present, however, in many areas sessile organisms are taking up recruitment space, potentially transforming good habitat into poor habitat.

Kari is currently serving as a Sea Grant Fellow with NOAA Fisheries-Aquaculture in Sacramento, CA.