Fish & Wildlife Service
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Initiation of a 5-Year Status Review of the Polar Bear
Notice; request for information.
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce our intention to conduct a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, for the polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ). The polar bear was listed as threatened in 2008. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review. We are requesting submission of information that has become available since the last review of the species in 2017.
To ensure consideration of your comments in our preparation of this 5-year status review, we must receive your comments and information by December 6, 2021. However, we will accept information about any species at any time.
Please submit your information on the current status of the polar bear by one of the following methods:
- U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R7-ES-2021-0075, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: PRB/3W; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3803; or
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting information to Docket No. FWS-R7-ES-2021-0075. For more about submitting information, see Request for Information in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, below.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
David Gustine, Polar Bear Lead, Marine Mammals Management, by telephone at 907-786-3800. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 for TTY assistance.
We are initiating a 5-year status review under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. ), for the polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ). A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any new information on this species that has become available since the last 5-year review was conducted in 2017.
Why do we conduct a 5-year review?
Under the ESA, we maintain Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (which we collectively refer to as the List) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.11 (for animals) and 17.12 (for plants). Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA requires us to review each listed species' status at least once every 5 years. Further, our regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing those species Start Printed Page 54997 under active review. For additional information about 5-year reviews, go to http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/recovery-overview.html.
What information do we consider in our review?
In conducting these reviews, we consider the best scientific and commercial data that have become available since the listing determination or most recent status review, such as:
(1) The biology of the species, including, but not limited to, population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;
(2) Habitat conditions, including, but not limited to, amount, distribution, and suitability;
(3) Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species;
(4) Threat status and trends in relation to the five listing factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA); and
(5) Other new information, data, or corrections, including, but not limited to, taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the List, and improved analytical methods.
Any new information will be considered during the 5-year review and will also be useful in evaluating the ongoing recovery programs for the species.
Species Under Review
Entity listed: Polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ).
- Where listed: wherever found.
- Classification: Threatened.
- Date listed (publication date for final listing rule): May 15, 2008.
- Federal Register citation for final listing rule: 73 FR 28212.
Request for Information
To ensure that a 5-year review is complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request new information from all sources. See What Information Do We Consider in Our Review? for specific criteria. If you submit information, please support it with documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods used to gather and analyze the data, and/or copies of any pertinent publications, reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources.
Public Availability of Comments
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Completed and Active Reviews
A list of all completed and currently active 5-year reviews addressing species for which the Alaskan Region of the Service has lead responsibility is available at https://www.fws.gov/alaska/pages/endangered-species-program/recovery-endangered-species.
This document is published under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. ).
Assistant Regional Director, Fisheries and Ecological Service, Alaska Region.
[FR Doc. 2021-21713 Filed 10-4-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
DatesTo ensure consideration of your comments in our preparation of this 5-year status review, we must receive your comments and information by December 6, 2021. However, we will accept information about any species at any time.
LinksAs published in the Federal Register