Management Report for 82 Corals Status Review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
On October 20, 2009, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to list 83 species of coral as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In response, NMFS issued a 90-day finding (75 FR 6616, February 10, 2010), wherein the petition was determined to contain substantial information indicating listing may be warranted for all of the petitioned species except Oculina varicosa (see the 90-day finding for information included in the petition). Thus, NMFS initiated a status review of the remaining 82 species of corals; O. varicosa will not be considered further. NMFS convened a Coral Biological Review Team (BRT) to assess the biological status of each of the 82 corals, and threats to these species with regard to the factors listed under section 4(a)(1) of the ESA. The BRT’s Status Review Report (hereafter “BRT Report”, cited as Brainard et al. 2011) evaluated the status of these species and the risk of extinction faced by each using the best available scientific and commercial data and analyses, including the best available climate change and ocean acidification scenarios. In addition, the Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) staff developed this report on management actions relevant to the species across their range, including existing regulatory mechanisms and conservation efforts (hereafter “Management Report”). Finally, as a result of a unique public engagement process over the summer of 2012, in which additional scientific and management information was sought, both PIRO and the Southeast Regional Office (SERO) developed a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) based on new information since the BRT’s report was published in 2011. Thus, the BRT Report, the Supplemental Information Report, and this Management Report together constitute the comprehensive status review for the 82 coral species.