Migratory Birds; Double-Crested Cormorant Increased Take Limits for Depredation Permits in the Central and Eastern United States
In November 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, completed an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact for the issuance of depredation permits for double- crested cormorants. The scope of the EA covered issuance of depredation permits for the purposes of health and human safety, aquaculture, property damage, and concern for co-nesting threatened or endangered species. This notice is to inform the public that, based on an adaptive management approach, we have reviewed recent data and are moving from the preferred alternative to the proposed action of using a higher annual take threshold, as prescribed in the 2017 EA.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Two Species
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90- day findings on two petitions to add species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate status reviews of the Bethany Beach firefly (Photuris bethaniensis) and Gulf Coast solitary bee (Hesperapis oraria) to determine whether the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the species and factors that may affect their status. Based on the status reviews, we will issue 12-month petition findings, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing any of the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Five Species Not Warranted for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 12- month findings on petitions to list three species as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) and two additional findings that current candidate species no longer warrant listing. After a thorough review of the best scientific and commercial data available, we find that it is not warranted at this time to list the Ozark chub, purpledisk honeycombhead, red tree vole (North Oregon Coast distinct population segment (DPS)), sand verbena moth, and skiff milkvetch. However, we ask the public to submit to us at any time any new information relevant to the status of any of the species mentioned above or their habitats.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for West Coast Distinct Population Segment of Fisher With Section 4(d) Rule
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), recently published a document proposing changes to our October 7, 2014, proposed rule to list the West Coast distinct population segment (DPS) of fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (Act) and proposing a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act for this DPS. We announced the opening of a 30-day public comment period on the revised proposed rule, ending December 9, 2019. We now reopen the public comment period for an additional 15 days, to allow all interested parties more time to comment on the revised proposed rule. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted and will be fully considered in preparation of the final determination.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassifying the Hawaiian Goose From Endangered to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
Under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine threatened status for the Hawaiian goose (nene) (Branta sandvicensis). This rule changes the listing status of the nene from an endangered species to a threatened species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We call this ``reclassifying'' or ``downlisting'' the species. We are also adopting a rule under the authority of section 4(d) of the Act (a ``4(d) rule'') to enhance conservation of the species through range expansion and management flexibility. This final rule is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific data, which indicate that the threats to this species have been reduced to the point that it no longer meets the definition of endangered under the Act, but that it is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future. In addition, this rule corrects the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to reflect that Nesochen is not currently a scientifically accepted generic name for this species, and acknowledges the Hawaiian name ``nene'' as an alternative common name.