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Soundings Archive

NMFS Reopens Comment Period for Stellar Sea Lion
On August 31, 2010, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that NMFS has reopened the comment period on its initiation of the 5-year review period for the eastern Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Steller Sea Lion under the Endangered Species Act. NMFS extended the public comment period for an additional 45 days, to October 14, 2010.

The eastern DPS of the Steller Sea Lion is currently listed as threatened under the ESA. A 5-year review is a periodic process conducted to ensure that the ESA listing classification of a species is accurate and it is based on the best scientific and commercial data. The categories of information that NMFS will review for the Stellar Sea Lion include: (A) species biology, including, but not limited to, population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics; (B) habitat conditions, including, but not limited to, amount, distribution, and suitability; (C) conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species; (D) status and trends of threats; and (E) other new information, data, or corrections, including, but not limited to, taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the list, and improved analytical methods.

The eastern DPS of the Steller Sea Lion is listed as a Distinct Population Segment of a vertebrate taxon. During its review, NMFS will also consider application of the DPS policy for vertebrate taxa. DPS is defined in the February 7, 1996, Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate in Population Segments (61 FR 4722). For a population to be listed under the ESA as a DPS, three elements are considered: (1) the discreteness of the population segment in relation to the remainder of the species to which it belongs; (2) the significance of the population segment to the species to which it belongs; and (3) the DPS's conservation status in relation to the ESA's standards for listing (i.e., is the population segment endangered or threatened?). DPSs of vertebrate species, as well as subspecies of all listed species, may be proposed for separate reclassification or for removal from the list.

NMFS is extending the comment period on its initiation of the Stellar sea Lion review because NMFS original notice provided the wrong the email address and fax number to which comments and information should be sent.

  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice

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