Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule To Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife for the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS) are re-evaluating the listing of the Minnesota population of gray wolves (Canis lupus) and propose to revise it to conform to current statutory and policy requirements. We propose to identify the Minnesota population as a Western Great Lakes (WGL) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the gray wolf and to remove this DPS from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We propose these actions because the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the WGL DPS does not meet the definitions of threatened or endangered under the Act. This proposed rule, if made final, would remove the currently designated critical habitat for the gray wolf in Minnesota and Michigan and the current special regulations for gray wolves in Minnesota. We also propose to revise the range of the gray wolf (the species C. lupus) by removing all or parts of 29 eastern states that we now recognize were not part of the historical range of the gray wolf. New information indicates that these areas should not have been included in the original listing of the gray wolf. In this proposed rule, we recognize recent taxonomic information indicating that the gray wolf subspecies Canis lupus lycaon should be elevated to the full species C. lycaon. Given that a complete status review of this newly recognized species has never been conducted, we are initiating a rangewide review of the conservation status of C. lycaon in the United States and Canada. This rule also constitutes the initiation of our five-year review of the status of gray wolves under section 4(c)(2) of the Act, as well as the initiation of status reviews specific to gray wolves in the Pacific Northwest and Mexican wolves in the Southwest United States and Mexico.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reissuance of Final Rule To Identify the Northern Rocky Mountain Population of Gray Wolf as a Distinct Population Segment and To Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed the Department of Defense and Full-Year Appropriations Act, 2011. A section of that Appropriations Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to reissue within 60 days of enactment the final rule published on April 2, 2009, that identified the Northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolf (Canis lupus) as a distinct population segment (DPS) and to revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife by removing most of the gray wolves in the DPS. This rule complies with that directive.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of Sonoran Pronghorn in Southwestern Arizona
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are reestablishing the Sonoran pronghorn, a federally listed endangered mammal, in its historical habitat in King Valley, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, in Yuma County, and the Barry M. Goldwater Range East, Maricopa County, in southwestern Arizona. We are reestablishing the Sonoran pronghorn under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, and classify that reestablished population as a nonessential experimental population (NEP). The NEP is located in southwestern Arizona in an area north of Interstate 8 and south of Interstate 10, bounded by the Colorado River on the west and Interstate 10 on the east; and an area south of Interstate 8, bounded by Highway 85 on the west, Interstates 10 and 19 on the east, and the United States-Mexico border on the south. This action is one of the recovery actions that the Service, Federal and State agencies, and other partners are conducting throughout the historical range of the species. This final rule establishes the NEP and provides for limited allowable legal taking of Sonoran pronghorn within the defined NEP area. An Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact have been prepared for this action (see ADDRESSES section below).