North Pacific Ocean Distinct Population Segment of Loggerhead Sea Turtle 5-Year Review
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North Pacific Ocean Distinct Population Segment of Loggerhead Sea Turtle 5-Year Review
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    The purpose of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is to provide a means to conserve and recover endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Under the ESA, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), together “we” or “the Services,” share responsibility to conserve sea turtles (as described in the 2015 revision of the Memorandum of Understanding Defining the Roles of USFWS and NMFS in Joint Administration of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as to Sea Turtles). NMFS has jurisdiction for sea turtles in the marine environment, and USFWS has jurisdiction for sea turtles in the terrestrial habitat. One of our responsibilities under the ESA is to conduct a review of each listed species at least every 5 years to determine whether its endangered or threatened status should be changed or removed (i.e., 5-year review, 16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(2)). The ESA requires us to make these determinations solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(1)(A)). Under the ESA, the definition of species includes any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment (i.e., DPS) of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532). In 2011, after a status review of the species (the Status Review; Conant et al. 2009), the Services identified nine loggerhead sea turtle DPSs, including the North Pacific Ocean DPS (i.e., the DPS; 76 FR 58868; September 22, 2011), in accordance with the Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population Segments Under the ESA (i.e., the DPS Policy; 61 FR 4722, February 7, 1996). In 2016, we initiated this 5-year review for the DPS (81 FR 70394; October 12, 2016).
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