WDFW seeking information on endangered pinto abalone


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News release

Contact: Katie Sowul, 360-902-2737
Media: Anour Esa, 564-233-8339

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking information about the pinto abalone as part of a periodic review of the species’ status in Washington.

"Public input is an essential part of WDFW’s Periodic Status Review process," said Katie Sowul, WDFW lead for pinto abalone recovery. "Your input will help us assess the current status of this kelp forest resident in Washington and whether we should recommend a different conservation classification."

WDFW is specifically looking for details about recent sightings of pinto abalone and any data on demographic trends, current habitat conditions, or threats to populations. New data collected since the last status review in 2019 is most helpful for biologists. 

"We are interested in obtaining information from the public, including non-governmental organizations, universities, private researchers, and naturalists," Sowul said. "These groups and individuals could have valuable data that may help us inform the current status of this species."

The current comment opportunity is part of a year-long process to update the status report for pinto abalone and determine whether the species warrants its current conservation classification of state endangered.

After developing the status review, Department staff will brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on the status and the Department’s classification recommendation. Changes to a species’ classification are subject to the public rule making process. Department staff will post an updated status report for pinto abalone to WDFW's species status review webpage when it is completed.

The public may submit written comments via email or by mailing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ATTN: Katie Sowul, P.O. Box 43150, Olympia, WA 98504-3150.

All members of the public are invited to share their perspectives and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.

The pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) is a large marine snail found in the Salish Sea. The species is currently listed as endangered in Washington and is the only abalone species found in Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Learn more about pinto abalone on WDFW’s website.

WDFW works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.