NMFS Changes ESA Listing for Humpback Whale

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has decided to revise the listing status of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) under the Endangered Species Act. NMFS has decided to divide the globally listed endangered species into 14 distinct population segments, remove the current species-level listing, and in its place list four DPSs as endangered and one DPS as threatened. Based on their current statuses, the remaining nine DPSs do not warrant listing. At this time, NMFS finds that critical habitat is not determinable for the three listed DPSs that occur in U.S. waters (Western North Pacific, Mexico, Central America). NMFS will consider designating critical habitat for these three DPSs in a separate rulemaking.

Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice of this action, which provides more details.

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