NOAA designates critical habitat for North Pacific right whales
73 Fed. Reg. 19000 (April 8, 2008) (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Marine Fisheries Service; Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for North Pacific Right Whale)
SUMMARY: We, NMFS, designate critical habitat for the North Pacific right whale in this rulemaking. The North Pacific right whale was recently listed as a separate, endangered species, and because this was a newly listed entity, we were required to designate critical habitat for it. This rule is effective on May 8, 2008.
ADDITIONAL EXCERPT: On December 27, 2006, we published a proposed rule (71 FR 77694) to list the North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) as an endangered species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and we listed this species as endangered on March 6, 2008 (73 FR 12024). On October 29, 2007, we published a proposed rule (72 FR 61089) to designate critical habitat for the North Pacific right whale. We proposed the same two areas that we had previously designated as critical habitat for the northern right whale in the North Pacific Ocean (71 FR 38277, July 6, 2006). We now designate these same areas as critical habitat for the North Pacific right whale.
Threatened and Thriving poster from NOAA, available online. The North Pacific right whale became one of the world’s most endangered mammals after it was hunted to near extinction by whalers. Current population estimates are between 400 and 900 individuals, with several recent sightings in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In contrast, the western gull thrives along the California coast, with more than 50,000 breeding age birds. Western gulls are supreme opportunists, feeding on fish, invertebrates and even human garbage. Their adaptability is their greatest survival skill.