Notice of Determination - Not Proposing Critical Habitat for the Western Arctic Stock of Bowhead Whales

Overview

Description
Notice of Determination - Not Proposing Critical Habitat for the Western Arctic Stock of Bowhead Whales
Authority
Endangered Species Act
Affected Species
Action Status
Notice
Published
08/30/2002

Summary

NOAA Fisheries received a petition on February 22, 2000, requesting that portions of the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi Seas be designated as critical habitat for the Western Arctic stock (which is also referred to as the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort stock, among other names) of bowhead whales, Balaena mysticetus, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under the ESA, the designation of critical habitat for species listed prior to 1978 is discretionary. NOAA Fisheries is not proposing designation of critical habitat for this population of bowhead whales for the following reasons: (1) the decline and reason for listing the species was overexploitation by commercial whaling, and habitat issues were not a factor in the decline; (2) there is no indication that habitat degradation is having any negative impact on the increasing population in the present; (3) the population is abundant and increasing; and (4) existing laws and practices adequately protect the species and its habitat.

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 10/28/2019

Critical Habitat