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Designation of Critical Habitat for the threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American Green Sturgeon Final Biological Report
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    Section 4 of the Federal Endangered Species Act requires the designation of critical habitat for threatened and endangered species. This report contains a biological assessment in support of a final critical habitat designation for the threatened Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris; hereafter, “Southern DPS”). A critical habitat review team (CHRT) consisting of 9 Federal biologists was convened to evaluate critical habitat for the Southern DPS. The CHRT was tasked with compiling and assessing the best available data to identify habitat features essential to the conservation of the species, determine the geographical area occupied by the species, delineate specific areas within the geographical area occupied that contain at least one essential habitat feature, identify special management considerations or protections required within each area, and evaluate the conservation value of each specific area for the Southern DPS. The CHRT defined the geographical area occupied to range from the California/Mexico border north to the Bering Sea, AK. Within the geographical area occupied, 41 specific areas were delineated within freshwater rivers, coastal bays and estuaries, and coastal marine waters. The CHRT also identified 7 presently unoccupied areas that may be essential to conservation, but for which there is insufficient information at this time to determine whether any are essential for conservation. This report summarizes the available data on green sturgeon presence, distribution, and use of each specific area and the CHRT’s evaluation of the conservation value ratings for each area.
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