On November 2, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule adding ten species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, and updating the listings of five other species. Of the ten new species added, only one, the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), occurs in the United States. The grouper, which is found in Florida, was listed as a threatened species. The nine other species include three angelshark species (Squatina aculeata, S. oculata, and S. squatina), found in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic; three coral species (Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana), found in New Guinea and New Caledonia; the dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus), found in Australia; the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), found in Indonesia; and the Tanzanian distinct population segment (DPS) of African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), found in South Africa. The angelshark species, coral species, and dusky sea snake were listed as endangered, while the Banggai cardinalfish and Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth were listed as threatened.
The listings for all ten species were previously finalized by the National Marine Fisheries Service over the past several months. Pursuant to section 4(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, the Service’s final rule simply codifies these additions to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, found at 50 C.F.R. § 17.11(h).
The Service also updated the Code of Federal Regulations’ entries for Puget Sound- Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to reflect the designation of critical habitat. Lastly, the Service updated the Code of Federal Regulations’ entry for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) to remove a citation that expired.