90-Day Finding on Petition to List Pocillopora meandrina under the Endangered Species Act
We, NOAA Fisheries, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list the cauliflower coral (Pocillopora meandrina) in Hawaii as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The petition requested that the Hawaii population of P. meandrina be considered a significant portion of the range of the species, and that the species be listed because of its status in Hawaii. Our policy on the interpretation of the phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” (SPR) under the ESA states that, before undergoing an SPR analysis, we must first find that the species is neither endangered nor threatened throughout all of its range. Therefore, we interpret the petition as a request to consider the status of P. meandrina throughout its range first. We find that the petition and other readily available information in our files indicates that P. meandrina may warrant listing as a threatened species or an endangered species throughout its range. Thus, we will initiate a global status review of P. meandrina to determine whether listing it throughout its range is warranted. If not, we will determine if Hawaii constitutes an SPR, and proceed accordingly. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to P. meandrina from any interested party.