Final Policy for “Significant Portion of Its Range” Interpretation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service published their final policy for the interpretation of “significant portion of its range” in the definitions for endangered and threatened species in the Endangered Species Act in the Federal Register on July 1, 2014. The policy became effective July 31, 2014. “This policy clarifies that the Services can list a species if it is endangered or threatened in a “significant portion of its range,” even if that species is not endangered or threatened throughout all of its range. Under the policy, a portion of the range of a species is defined as “significant” if the species is not currently endangered or threatened throughout all of its range, but the portion’s contribution to the viability of the species is so important that, without the members in that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction, or likely to become so in the foreseeable future, throughout all of its range.”

Additional information about the policy can be found at the websites: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/SPR.html
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/pdf/20140602_SPR_FR.pdf

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