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FR Notice – Final Rule To List Eleven Distinct Population Segments of the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings Under the Endangered Species Act

SUMMARY: NMFS and USFWS issue a final rule to list 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas; hereafter referred to as the green turtle) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on the best available scientific and commercial data, and after considering comments on the proposed rule, we have determined that three DPSs are endangered species and eight DPSs are threatened species. This rule supersedes the 1978 final listing rule for green turtles. It applies the existing protective regulations to the DPSs. Critical habitat is not determinable at this time but will be proposed in a future rulemaking. In the interim, the existing critical habitat designation (i.e., waters surrounding Culebra Island, Puerto Rico) remains in effect for the North Atlantic DPS.

DATES: This final rule is effective May 6, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13535, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Florida Ecological Services Office, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256. The final rule, list of references, and other materials relating to this determination can be found at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/green.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Schultz, NMFS (ph. 301–427– 8443, email jennifer.schultz@noaa.gov), or Ann Marie Lauritsen, USFWS (ph. 904–731–3032, email annmarie_lauritsen@fws.gov). Persons who use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

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