Listing Loggerhead Sea Turtle Under the ESA
We (NOAA Fisheries and USFWS; also collectively referred to as the Services) have determined that the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is composed of nine distinct population segments (DPSs) that constitute “species” that may be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In this final rule, we are listing four DPSs as threatened and five as endangered under the ESA. We will propose to designate critical habitat for the two loggerhead sea turtle DPSs occurring within the United States in a future rulemaking. We encourage interested parties to provide any information related to the identification of critical habitat and essential physical or biological features for this species, as well as economic or other relevant impacts of designation of critical habitat, to assist us with this effort.