Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Listing of Nine Distinct Population Segments of Loggerhead Sea Turtles as Endangered or Threatened
We (NMFS and USFWS; also collectively referred to as the Services) are extending the date by which a final determination will be made regarding the March 16, 2010, proposed rule to list nine Distinct Population Segments (DPS) of loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We are taking this action because substantial disagreement exists regarding the interpretation of the existing data on status and trends and its relevance to the assessment of risk of extinction to the Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS of the loggerhead turtle. Additionally, considerable disagreement exists regarding the magnitude and immediacy of the fisheries bycatch threat and measures to reduce this threat to the Northwest Atlantic Ocean DPS of the loggerhead turtle. We are soliciting new information or analyses that will help clarify these issues. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they already have been incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final rule. The Services believe that allowing an additional 6 months to evaluate and assess the best scientific and commercial data available would better inform our final determination on the listing status of the nine proposed DPSs of the loggerhead turtle.
Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications
The following applicants have applied for scientific research permits to conduct certain activities with endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Act requires that we invite public comment on these permit applications.
Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing the Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) as Injurious Fish
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) adds the bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), a large fish native to eastern Asia, to the list of injurious fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. The importation into the United States and interstate transportation between States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States of all forms of live bighead carp, gametes, viable eggs, and hybrids thereof is prohibited, except by permit for zoological, education, medical, or scientific purposes (in accordance with permit regulation at 50 CFR 16.22) or by Federal agencies without a permit solely for their own use.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Berry Cave Salamander as Endangered
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Berry Cave salamander (Gyrinophilus gulolineatus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the Berry Cave salamander is warranted. Currently, however, listing is precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Upon publication of this 12-month petition finding, we will add the Berry Cave salamander to our candidate species list. We will develop a proposed rule to list the Berry Cave salamander as our priorities allow. We will make any determination on critical habitat during development of the proposed listing rule. During any interim period, we will address the status of the candidate taxon through our annual Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR).
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for the Pacific Coast Population of the Western Snowy Plover
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to revise the designated critical habitat for the Pacific Coast population of the Western Snowy Plover (Pacific Coast WSP) (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The areas identified in this proposed rule constitute a revision of the areas designated as critical habitat for the Pacific Coast WSP, published in the Federal Register on September 29, 2005. In the final rule, we designated a total of 12,145 acres (ac) (4,915 hectares (ha)) of critical habitat range-wide in 32 units in Washington, Oregon, and California. We are now proposing to revise the existing critical habitat to a total of 68 units totaling approximately 28,261 ac (11,436 ha). The area breakdown by State is as follows: Washington: 6,265 ac (2,497 ha) in 4 units; Oregon: 5,219 ac (2,112 ha) in 13 units; and California: 16,777 ac (6,789 ha) in 51 units.