Petition To Delist Southern Resident Killer Whales Under The Endangered Species Act

August 5, 2013: We issued a 12-month finding that delisting the Southern Resident killer whale distinct population segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is not warranted.  After reviewing the petition, public comments, and the best available information, we found that the new information supports or strengthens identification of North Pacific Resident killer whales as a subspecies and the resultant Southern Resident killer whale DPS determination in our previous 2004 status review and the 2005 endangered listing.  Therefore, our original listing was not in error, and the Southern Resident killer whale DPS will remain listed as endangered under the ESA.  

Comments received on the delisting petition are posted to In the "Search" box, enter the docket number, "NOAA-NMFS-2012-0241" and click on the "Search" button. Click on the "Public Submission" box under "Document Type."

Nov. 27, 2012: We accepted a petition to delist Southern Resident killer whales, which are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. We'll begin a review to determine the population's ESA status, and are soliciting scientific and commercial information about these whales to ensure that the status review is comprehensive. Acceptance of this petition doesn't presuppose any particular outcome. The comment period closed Jan. 28, 2013. See the Federal Register notice and other materials below for more information; or contact Lynne Barre, 206-526-4745.