Biological Report for Designation of Critical Habitat for the Endangered Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, critical habitat be designated for endangered and threatened species based on the best scientific data available. This report contains a biological assessment in support of a critical habitat designation for the endangered Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whale (MHI IFKW), Pseudorca crassidens. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) convened a critical habitat review team (CHRT) consisting of five NMFS biologists to evaluate critical habitat for the MHI IFKW DPS. Members of the team were tasked with using the best scientific data and knowledge available to 1) determine the geographical area occupied by the species, 2) identify habitat features essential to the conservation of the species, and 3) delineate specific areas within the geographical area occupied that contain at least one essential habitat feature that may require special management considerations or protection.