Listing Guadalupe Fur Seal Under the ESA
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has determined that the Guadalupe fur seal (Actocephalus townsendi) should be listed as a threatened species according to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). This determination is based on information contained in a petition to list the species submitted by the Center for Environmental Education/ Seal Rescue Fund, in a Status Review conducted by the NMFS, and in comments received in response to publication of the proposed rule to list the species. The NMFS has determined that such listing is warranted because: (1) The population was reduced to very low numbers by 19th century commercial exploitation; (2) the current population remains small (about 1,800) relative to the presumed minimum pre-exploitation population size (30,000): and (3) the population has been increasing slowly but persistently since its rediscovery in 1954. Critical habitat is not being established at this time because the only areas that are essential to the conservation of the species and may require special management considerations or protection are outside of the jurisdiction of the United States. Concurrent with this rule, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, is amending the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife by adding the Guadalupe fur seal as a threatened species. The intended effect of listing the Guadalupe fur seal is to provide it with the protection afforded threatened species under the ESA.