[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 5, 2021)]
[Pages 54996-54997]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-21713]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-ES-2021-0075; FXFR133707PB000-212-FF07CAMM00]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of a 5-
Year Status Review of the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for information.


SUMMARY: 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.

DATES: 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.

ADDRESSES: 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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

[[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 
    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 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 

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.).

Peter Fasbender,
Assistant Regional Director, Fisheries and Ecological Service, Alaska 
[FR Doc. 2021-21713 Filed 10-4-21; 8:45 am]