We, NMFS, announce the availability of new information that may identify a previously unrecognized population of false killer whales in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). This new information may be relevant to the final determination of whether the Hawaiian insular false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a distinct population segment (DPS) that qualifies for listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA). We intend to take this new information into consideration as we make our final listing determination on the Hawaiian insular false killer whale. We are reopening the public comment period on the November 17, 2010, proposed rule to list the Hawaiian insular false killer whale DPS as endangered throughout its range under the ESA. We are reopening the comment period for an additional 15 days for the limited purpose of allowing interested parties to comment on the new information listed below and whether it affects the determination that the insular false killer whale is a DPS that is eligible for ESA listing. Please note that comments previously submitted should not be resubmitted.
Agency Contact: Krista Graham, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808-944-2238; Lance Smith, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office, 808-944-2258; or Dwayne Meadows, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, Silver Spring, MD, 301-427-8403.
This is a proposed regulation. Comments were due on October 3, 2012.