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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Adding Ten Species and Updating Five Species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), in accordance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), are amending the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) by adding: three foreign coral species (Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana), dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus), Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), the Tanzanian distinct population segment (DPS) of African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), and three angelshark species (Squatina aculeata, S. oculata, and S. squatina). We are also updating the entries for Puget Sound-Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to reflect the designation of critical habitat, and we are updating the entry for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) to reflect an applicable rule citation. These amendments are based on previously published determinations by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, which has jurisdiction for these species.

DATES:

This rule is effective November 2, 2016. Applicability date: The three coral and dusky sea snake listings were applicable as of November 6, 2015. The Banggai cardinalfish listing was applicable as of February 19, 2016. The Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth listing was applicable as of April 28, 2016. The Nassau grouper listing was applicable as of July 29, 2016. The three angelshark listings were applicable as of August 31, 2016. The critical habitat designations for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) and Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) were applicable as of February 11, 2015. The critical habitat designations for the lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were applicable as of March 25, 2016. The applicable rule citation for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) was applicable as of December 6, 2013.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah Quamme, Chief, Unified Listing Team, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS-ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; 703-358-1796.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

In accordance with the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 (35 FR 15627; October 6, 1970), NMFS has jurisdiction over the marine and anadromous taxa specified in this rule. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, NMFS must decide whether a species under its jurisdiction should be classified as endangered or threatened. Under section 4(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Act, NMFS must designate any habitat of endangered or threatened species which is then considered to be critical habitat. NMFS makes these determinations and critical habitat designations via its rulemaking process. Under section 4(a)(2) of the Act, we, the Service, are then responsible for publishing final rules to amend the List in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

On December 16, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule (79 FR 74953) to list the dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus) and three foreign corals (Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana) as endangered species, and the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) as a threatened species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through February 17, 2015. On October 7, 2015, NMFS published a final rule (80 FR 60560) to list the dusky sea snake and the three foreign coral species as endangered species. On January 20, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 3023) to list the Banggai cardinalfish as a threatened species.

The listing of the dusky sea snake and three foreign coral species was applicable as of November 6, 2015. The listing of the Banggai cardinalfish was applicable as of February 19, 2016. In the final rules for these species (dusky sea snake and three corals: 80 FR 60560; Start Printed Page 76312Banggai cardinalfish: 81 FR 3023), NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

On March 3, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 11363) to list the Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) as a threatened species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through May 4, 2015. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule, and on March 29, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 17398) to list the Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth as a threatened species. The listing of the Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth was applicable as of April 28, 2016. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

On September 2, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule (79 FR 51929) to list Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) as a threatened species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through December 31, 2014. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule, and on June 29, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 42268) to list Nassau grouper as a threatened species. The listing of Nassau grouper was applicable as of July 29, 2016. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

On July 14, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 40969) to list the sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata), smoothback angelshark (Squatina oculata), and the common angelshark (Squatina squatina) as endangered species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through September 14, 2015. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule, and on August 1, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 50394) to list these three angelshark species as endangered species. The listing of these three angelshark species was applicable as of August 31, 2016. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

We are also updating the entries on the List for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to reflect the final designation of critical habitat for these four species. On August 6, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule (78 FR 47635) identifying critical habitat for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPSs of yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through November 4, 2013. On November 13, 2014, NMFS published a final rule (79 FR 68042) designating critical habitat for these two rockfish species. On January 14, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule (78 FR 2726) identifying critical habitat for the lower Columbia River coho salmon and Puget Sound steelhead. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through April 15, 2013. On February 24, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 9252) designating critical habitat for these two species.

The designation of critical habitat for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin rockfish DPSs was applicable as of February 11, 2015. The designation of critical habitat for the lower Columbia River coho salmon and Puget Sound steelhead was applicable as of March 25, 2016. In the respective final rules (79 FR 68042 and 81 FR 9252), NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rules. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

Finally, we are updating the entry on the List for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) to reflect the publication of a final rule eliminating the expiration date (or “sunset clause”) contained in regulations at 50 CFR 224.105 requiring vessel speed restrictions to reduce the likelihood of lethal vessel collisions with North Atlantic right whales. NMFS published the proposed rule on June 6, 2013 (78 FR 34024), and solicited public comments through August 5, 2013. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule. On December 9, 2013, NMFS published a final rule (78 FR 73726), followed by a correction to the final rule (79 FR 34245, June 16, 2014), removing the sunset clause. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

The rulemaking actions discussed above are presented in Table 1. As mentioned above, in all cases, NMFS addressed the public comments received.

Table 1—Rulemaking Actions by NMFS

Common nameScientific nameProposed rule publication date, actionFinal rule publication dateApplicability date
Dusky sea snakeAipysurus fuscusDecember 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangeredOctober 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560)November 6, 2015.
Coral (no common name)Cantharellus noumeaeDecember 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangeredOctober 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560)November 6, 2015.
Coral (no common name)Siderastrea glynniDecember 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangeredOctober 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560)November 6, 2015.
Coral (no common name)Tubastraea floreanaDecember 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangeredOctober 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560)November 6, 2015.
Banggai cardinalfishPterapogon kauderniDecember 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as threatenedJanuary 20, 2016 (81 FR 3023)February 19, 2016.
African coelacanth (Tanzanian DPS)Latimeria chalumnaeMarch 3, 2015 (80 FR 11363), to list as threatenedMarch 29, 2016 (81 FR 17398)April 28, 2016.
Nassau grouperEpinephelus striatusSeptember 2, 2014 (79 FR 51929), to list as threatenedJune 29, 2016 (81 FR 42268)July 29, 2016.
Sawback angelsharkSquatina aculeataJuly 14, 2015 (80 FR 40969), to list as endangeredAugust 1, 2016 (81 FR 50394)August 31, 2016.
Smoothback angelsharkSquatina oculataJuly 14, 2015 (80 FR 40969), to list as endangeredAugust 1, 2016 (81 FR 50394)August 31, 2016.
Start Printed Page 76313
Common angelsharkSquatina squatinaJuly 14, 2015 (80 FR 40969), to list as endangeredAugust 1, 2016 (81 FR 50394)August 31, 2016.
Canary rockfish (Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS)Sebastes pinnigerAugust 6, 2013 (78 FR 47635), to designate critical habitatNovember 13, 2014 (79 FR 68042)February 11, 2015.
Yelloweye rockfish (Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS)Sebastes ruberrimusAugust 6, 2013 (78 FR 47635), to designate critical habitatNovember 13, 2014 (79 FR 68042)February 11, 2015.
Coho salmon (lower Columbia River)Oncorhynchus kisutchJanuary 14, 2013 (78 FR 2726), to designate critical habitatFebruary 24, 2016 (81 FR 9252)March 25, 2016.
Steelhead (Puget Sound DPS)Oncorhynchus mykissJanuary 14, 2013 (78 FR 2726), to designate critical habitatFebruary 24, 2016 (81 FR 9252)March 25, 2016.
North Atlantic right whaleEubalaena glacialisJune 6, 2013 (78 FR 34024), to eliminate the “sunset clause”December 9, 2013 (78 FR 73726); correction to final rule on June 16, 2014 (79 FR 34245)December 6, 2013.

Administrative Procedure Act

Because NMFS provided a public comment period on the proposed rules for these taxa, and because this action of the Service to amend the List in accordance with the determination by NMFS is nondiscretionary, the Service finds good cause that the notice and public comment procedures of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary for this action. We also find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule effective immediately. The NMFS rules extended protection under the Act to these species and listed them in 50 CFR parts 223 and 224 or designated critical habitat under 50 CFR part 226; this rule is an administrative action to amend the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h) to reflect that NMFS has completed final listing determinations or revisions, or final critical habitat determinations, for these species. The public would not be served by delaying the effective date of this rulemaking action.

Required Determinations

National Environmental Policy Act

We have determined that an environmental assessment, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. We outlined our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

  • Endangered and threatened species
  • Exports
  • Imports
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Transportation
End List of Subjects

Regulation Promulgation

Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

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PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

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1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

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2. Amend § 17.11(h), the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, by:

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a. Revising the entry for “Whale, North Atlantic right” under MAMMALS;

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b. Adding an entry for “Sea snake, dusky” in alphabetical order under REPTILES;

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c. Adding entries for “Angelshark, common,” “Angelshark, sawback,” “Angelshark, smoothback,” “Cardinalfish, Banggai,” “Coelacanth, African [Tanzanian DPS],” and “Grouper, Nassau” in alphabetical order under FISHES;

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d. Revising the entries for “Rockfish, canary [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS],” “Rockfish, yelloweye [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS],” “Salmon, coho [Lower Columbia River ESU],” and “Steelhead [Puget Sound DPS]” under FISHES; and

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e. Adding entries for “Coral, (no common name)” [ Cantharellus noumeae], “Coral, (no common name)” [Siderastrea glynni], and “Coral, (no common name)” [Tubastraea floreana] in alphabetical order by scientific name under CORALS.

End Amendment Part

The revisions and additions read as follows:

Endangered and threatened wildlife.
* * * * *

(h) * * *

Common nameScientific nameWhere listedStatusListing citations and applicable rules
MAMMALS
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Whale, North Atlantic rightEubalaena glacialisWherever foundE35 FR 8491; 6/2/1970, 73 FR 12024; 3/6/2008,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 224.103, 50 CFR 224.105, 50 CFR 226.203.CH
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
REPTILES
Start Printed Page 76314
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Sea snake, duskyAipysurus fuscusWherever foundE80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015.N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
FISHES
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Angelshark, commonSquatina squatinaWherever foundE81 FR 50394; 8/1/2016.N
Angelshark, sawbackSquatina aculeataWherever foundE81 FR 50394; 8/1/2016.N
Angelshark, smoothbackSquatina oculataWherever foundE81 FR 50394; 8/1/2016.N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Cardinalfish, BanggaiPterapogon kauderniWherever foundT81 FR 3023; 1/20/2016.N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Coelacanth, African [Tanzanian DPS]Latimeria chalumnaeTanzanian DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102T81 FR 17398;. 3/29/2016N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Grouper, NassauEpinephelus striatusWherever foundT81 FR 42268; 6/29/2016.N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Rockfish, canary [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS]Sebastes pinnigerPuget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102T75 FR 22276; 4/28/2010,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 226.224.CH
Rockfish, yelloweye [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS]Sebastes ruberrimusPuget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102T75 FR 22276; 4/28/2010,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 226.224.CH
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Salmon, coho [Lower Columbia River ESU]Oncorhynchus kisutchLower Columbia River ESU—see 50 CFR 223.102T70 FR 37160; 6/28/2005,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 223.203,4d 50 CFR 226.212.CH
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Steelhead [Puget Sound DPS]Oncorhynchus mykissPuget Sound DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102T72 FR 26722; 5/11/2007,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 223.203,4d 50 CFR 226.212.CH
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
CORALS
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Coral, (no common name)Cantharellus noumeaeWherever foundE80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015. N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Coral, (no common name)Siderastrea glynniWherever foundE80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015. N
Coral, (no common name)Tubastraea floreanaWherever foundE80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015. N
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Start Signature

Dated: October 14, 2016.

Stephen Guertin,

Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-26241 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am]

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