Endangered and Threatened Species; Identification and Proposed Listing of Eleven Distinct Population Segments of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings; Second Extension of Comment Period
The green turtle is currently listed under the ESA as a threatened species globally, with the exception of the Florida and Mexican Pacific coast breeding populations, which are listed as endangered. On March 23, 2015 (80 FR 15271), the Services published a proposed rule to revise these listings because we found that the green turtle is composed of 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) that
qualify for listing under the ESA. We proposed to remove the current listings and, in their place, list eight DPSs as threatened and three as endangered. We also proposed to apply existing protective regulations to the DPSs and to continue the existing critical habitat designation (i.e., waters surrounding Culebra Island, Puerto Rico) in effect for the North Atlantic DPS. We solicited comments on these proposed actions and indicated that comments must be received by June 22, 2015. On June 7, 2015 (80 FR 34594), we announced public hearings in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and American Samoa, and extended the public comment period through July 27, 2015. On July 13, 2015, we received requests to further extend the public comment period due to a typhoon and the island-wide loss of internet in Saipan, CNMI. We concur with these requests and hereby extend the public comment period by an additional 30 days, until August 26, 2015. Previously submitted comments do not need to be resubmitted.