[MARMAM] NMFS proposes endangered listing for Hawaiian whale population

Jasny, Michael mjasny at nrdc.org
Wed Nov 17 13:15:36 PST 2010

Dear All,


I want to let the community know about some significant news from NMFS.
The agency has just proposed listing the insular Hawaiian false killer
whale, whose best abundance estimate lies somewhere between about 150
and 170 animals, as an endangered population under the U.S. Endangered
Species Act.  The proposal was published in today's Federal Register at


The proposal comes at the end of a year-long status review by an expert
NMFS panel, following a petition for listing from NRDC.  The panel found
that the whales constitute a distinct population segment of false killer
whales, and that the population is in danger of extinction (or
extirpation) throughout its range - the standard for listing.  Today's
proposal affirms the panel's findings.  NMFS' population viability
analysis is particularly alarming: under most model runs, the whales
were likely to decline within 3 generations to fewer than 20 animals, at
which point the population was considered effectively irrecoverable.  


Under the Endangered Species Act, NMFS now has one year in which to make
a final decision and, hopefully, list the population.  With listing
comes a recovery plan, resources, and greater attention to bycatch and
other threats.  


The agency is taking comments through Feb. 15, 2011 on both the proposed
listing and on areas to designate as critical habitat should the listing
proceed.  Again, more detail here:






Michael Jasny

Senior Policy Analyst, NRDC

4479 W. 5th Avenue

Vancouver, BC  V6R1S4

t 604-736-9386

c 310-560-5536

mjasny at nrdc.org

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