Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Rule To List the Maui's Dolphin as Endangered and the South Island Hector's Dolphin as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act
We, NMFS, propose to list the Maui's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) as endangered and the South Island Hector's dolphin (C. hectori hectori) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We have reviewed the best available scientific and commercial data and completed a comprehensive status review for these two subspecies of Hector's dolphin (C. hectori). The Maui's dolphin faces serious demographic risks due to critically low abundance, a low population growth rate, a restricted range, low genetic diversity, and ongoing threats such as bycatch in commercial and recreational gillnets. We have determined Maui's dolphin is currently in danger of extinction throughout its range and, therefore, meets the definition of an endangered species. The relatively more abundant and more widely distributed South Island Hector's dolphin has experienced large historical declines and is expected to continue to slowly decline due to bycatch and other lesser threats, such as disease and impacts associated with tourism. We have determined that this subspecies is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, but is likely to become so within the foreseeable future; and therefore, it meets the definition of a threatened species. Both subspecies occur only in New Zealand. We are authorized to designate critical habitat within U.S. jurisdiction only, and we are not aware of any areas within U.S jurisdiction that may meet the definition of critical habitat under the ESA. Therefore, we are not proposing to designate critical habitat. We are soliciting public comments on our status review report and proposal to list these two subspecies.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Rule To List Two Guitarfishes as Threatened
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the common guitarfish (Rhinobatos rhinobatos) and the blackchin guitarfish (Rhinobatos cemiculus). We have determined that, based on the best scientific and commercial data available, and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, both species meet the definition of a threatened species under the ESA. Therefore, we propose to list both species as threatened species under the ESA. We are not proposing to designate critical habitat for either of the species proposed for listing because the geographical areas occupied by these species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction. We are soliciting comments on our proposal to list these two foreign marine guitarfish species.