2008 Supplemental Status Review and Extinction Assessment of Cook Inlet Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas)
AFSC PROCESSED REPORT 2008-08: The abundance estimate from 2008 and revised trend and extinction risk analyses.
The Status Review published in November 2006 provided a summary of the best available science to aid NMFS managers in this process. Based on the findings from the Status Review and consideration of the factors affecting this species, NMFS concluded Cook Inlet belugas constituted a distinct population segment (DPS) that was in danger of extinction throughout its range. NMFS issued a proposed rule to list the Cook Inlet beluga DPS as an endangered species on April 20, 2007. Since completion of the 2006 Status Review and extinction assessment of Cook Inlet belugas, NMFS completed analyses of the 2006 and 2007 aerial survey data and generated abundance estimates for those years. In November 2007, NMFS initiated a review of the science presented in the 2006 Status Review by a panel of independent experts through the Center for Independent Experts (CIE). This review led to the publication of a new report in April 2008. The report provided an update of the best available science obtained since publication of the 2006 Status Review in response to the CIE review and public comments. After completion of the 2008 aerial survey and abundance estimate, a supplemental Status Review was completed in October 2008. This document provides the abundance estimate from 2008 and revised trend and extinction risk analyses.