February 2, 2023

Removal of the Louisiana Black Bear From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Removal of Similarity-of-Appearance Protections for the American Black Bear

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are removing the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List). This action is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, which indicates that this subspecies has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our review of the status of this subspecies shows that the threats have been eliminated or reduced, adequate regulatory mechanisms exist, and populations are stable such that the species is not currently, and is not likely to again become, a threatened species within the foreseeable future in all or a significant portion of its range. This rule also removes from the List the American black bear, which is listed within the historical range of the Louisiana black bear due to similarity of appearance, and removes designated critical habitat for the Louisiana black bear. Finally, this rule also announces the availability of a final post-delisting monitoring (PDM) plan for the Louisiana black bear.<<<Read More>>>