Protected Resources

ESA Section 4: Listings, Critical Habitat, and Recovery

Listings

Under Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) may initiate status reviews of marine species. Also, any U.S. citizen or organization may petition us to list a species as "threatened" or "endangered", reclassify a species, or to revise critical habitat under the ESA. For more information on the ESA Section 4 listing process, please see the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' ESA Section 4 listing page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/listing/.

Hawaiian Insular False Killer Whale
An October 1, 2009 petition to list the "insular population of Hawaiian false killer whales" as endangered under the ESA was received from the Natural Resources Defense Council. A status review report of the species was completed in August 2010 by the false killer whale Biological Review Team (BRT). NOAA Fisheries announced the proposed listing of the Hawaiian Insular False Killer Whale as an endangered distinct population segment (DPS) under the ESA, on November 17, 2010 (75 FR 70169). Please visit our False Killer Whale page for more information on management issues and threats to the species: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_false_killer_whale.html

Bumphead Parrotfish
NOAA Fisheries received a petition from WildEarth Guardians on December 31, 2009 to list the bumphead parrotfish under the ESA. On April 4, 2010, NOAA Fisheries announced in the Federal Register (75 FR 16713) a finding that the petition to list the bumphead parrotfish as threatened or endangered under the ESA and designate critical habitat presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. NOAA Fisheries initiated a status review of the species to determine if listing under the ESA is warranted. After completing a species status review, we have determined that listing the bumphead parrotfish as either threatened or endangered under the ESA is not warranted. Please visit our Bumphead Parrotfish page for more information on management issues and threats to the species:http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_bumphead_parrotfish.html

Coral

NOAA Fisheries is proposing Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings for 59 coral species in the Pacific, and seven in the Caribbean, for a total of 66 proposed coral species.  In the Pacific, seven species would be listed as endangered and 52 as threatened. This proposed listing is not yet final. Before making a final decision on this proposal, we are asking for comments from all interested parties. For more information, including the proposed rule itself, supporting documents, and instructions on how to provide public comments, please visit the PIRO Corals webpage: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_coral.html

Critical Habitat

Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat for any species it lists under the ESA. Critical habitat is an area that is designated because it is considered essential for the conservation of a species. These areas have primary constituent elements or physical and biological elements that are necessary for the species to survive and recover to a healthy population. In turn, the ESA prohibits any changes or "destruction or adverse modification" to these areas (as a result of federally funded or authorized activities) that will diminish its value as important habitat for the survival and recovery of the species. For more information on critical habitat, please see the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources' ESA Section 4 Critical Habitat page: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/criticalhabitat.htm.

Hawaiian Monk Seal
A July 9th, 2008 petition to review and revise designated critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal was received from three conservation groups. The 12-month finding announcing our intention to revise Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat was published in the Federal Register on June 12th, 2009 (74 FR 27988). On June 2, 2011 NOAA Fisheries announced the proposed revision to Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat in the Federal Register. For more information on the status of Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat revision, please visit our Critical Habitat page: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_critical_habitat.html.

Recovery

Section 4(f) of the ESA requires NOAA Fisheries to develop and implement recovery plans for ESA-listed species. For information on the Hawaiian monk seal Recovery Plan, please visit our Hawaiian Monk Seal page: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_hms_index.html.

Other ESA Section 4 Activities

The ESA Section 4 Program also includes Species of Concern. For information on the Pacific Islands Region's Species of Concern, please visit our Species of Concern page: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_species_of_concern.html.