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ESA Section 4: Listings, Critical Habitat, and Recovery
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
Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale
An October 1, 2009, petition to list the Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) under the ESA was received from the Natural Resources Defense Council. NOAA Fisheries listed the Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale as an endangered distinct population segment on November 28, 2012 (77 FR 70915).
For more information, please visit our False Killer Whale page.
A January 4, 2010, petition to list the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) under the ESA was received from WildEarth Guardians. On November 7, 2012, a Not Warranted 12-month finding was published in the Federal Register announcing that listing the bumphead parrotfish as either threatened or endangered under the ESA is not warranted (77 FR 66799).
For more information, please visit our Bumphead Parrotfish page.
An October 20, 2010, petition to list 83 species of coral under the ESA was received from the Center for Biological Diversity.
For more information, please visit our Coral page.
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark
An August 14, 2011, petition to list the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphryna lewini) under the ESA was received from WildEarth Guardians.
For more information, please visit our Scalloped Hammerhead Shark page.
A November 1, 2012, petition to list the humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) under the ESA was received from WildEarth Guardians. For more information, please visit our humphead wrasse page.
Additional information about humphead wrasse can be found on NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources page here. For how to submit information and public comment about the finding, please refer to the Federal Register notice here.
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.
- Petition to Revise Critical Habitat for the Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi) under the Endangered Species Act (July 2008, pdf 757.49 kB)
- 90-day Finding for a Petition to Revise Critical Habitat Designation for the Hawaiian Monk Seal, Federal Register/Vol. 73, No. 193 / Friday, October 3, 2008 (October 2008, pdf 54.71 kB)
- 12-Month Finding for a Petition to Revise Critical Habitat for Hawaiian Monk Seal, Federal Register/Vol. 74, No. 112 / Friday, June 12, 2009 (June 2009, pdf 74.75 kB)
- Proposed Rule to Revise Hawaiian Monk Seal Critical Habitat, Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 106 / Thursday, June 2, 2011 (June 2011, pdf 1.08 MB)
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.