NOAA: 90-Day Finding To List Three Manta Rays Under the Endangered Species Act
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Parts 223 and 224
[Docket No. 160105011-6011-01]
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife;
90-Day Finding on a Petition To List Three Manta Rays as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.
ACTION: 90-day petition finding; request for information.
SUMMARY: We, NMFS, announce a 90-day finding on a petition to list three manta rays, identified as the giant manta ray (Manta birostris), reef manta ray (M. alfredi), and Caribbean manta ray (M. c.f. birostris), range-wide or, in the alternative, any identified distinct population segments (DPSs), as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and to designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing. We find that the petition and information in our files present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the giant manta ray and the reef manta ray. We will conduct a status review of these species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that the status review is comprehensive, we are soliciting scientific and commercial information pertaining to these two species from any interested party. We also find that the petition and information in our files does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the Caribbean manta ray is a taxonomically valid species or subspecies for listing, and, therefore, it does not warrant listing at this time.
DATES: Information and comments on the subject action must be received by April 25, 2016.