The Center for Biological Diversity issued a Notice of Intent to file suit against the federal government for failing to establish critical habitat for black abalone, which is listed as an endangered species.
The black abalone was listed in January of 2009 in response to a petition filed by the CBD. The government has one year within listing to determine critical habitat.
Although otters prey on abalone, they don’t seem to pose any real threat to the population. In spite of this, those who wish to curtail the sea otters inevitable range expansion like to pit otters against abalones. In reality, withering foot syndrome is the current largest threat to the population–although overfishing initially drove the population into decline.
The CBD cites warming temperatures from climate change and ocean acidification as serious concerns that could exacerbate existing problems for black abalone. Staff attorney Catherine Kilduff noted that otters don’t seem to rank highly as a threat.
Also, check out my 2009 op ed on the fictitious otter/abalone show down: Otters or abalones? It’s a false choice.