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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Sonoran Desert Population of the Bald Eagle as a Threatened or Endangered Distinct Population Segment
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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Sonoran Desert Area population of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) as a distinct population segment (DPS). In the petition, we were asked that the DPS be recognized, listed as endangered, and that critical habitat be designated under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that the Sonoran Desert Area population of the bald eagle does not meet the definition of a DPS and, therefore, is not a listable entity under the Act. As a result, listing is not warranted, and we intend to publish a separate notice to remove this population from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife once the District Court for the District of Arizona has been notified. We ask the public to continue to submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the taxonomy, biology, ecology, and status of this population of the bald eagle and to support cooperative conservation of the bald eagle within the Sonoran Desert Area.

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on February 25, 2010.

ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number [FWS-R2-ES-2008-0044]. Supporting documentation for this finding is available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Arizona Ecological Services Office, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, AZ 85021-4951. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this species or this finding to the above address, Attention: Sonoran Desert Area bald eagle.

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