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Title 50

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§ 226.201 Critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi).

Critical habitat is designated for Hawaiian monk seals as described in this section. The textual descriptions of critical habitat in this section are the definitive source for determining the critical habitat boundaries.

(a) Critical habitat boundaries. Critical habitat is designated to include all areas in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section and as described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section:

(1) Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat areas include all beach areas, sand spits and islets, including all beach crest vegetation to its deepest extent inland, lagoon waters, inner reef waters, and including marine habitat through the water's edge, including the seafloor and all subsurface waters and marine habitat within 10 m of the seafloor, out to the 200-m depth contour line (relative to mean lower low water) around the following 10 areas:

(i) Kure Atoll,

(ii) Midway Islands,

(iii) Pearl and Hermes Reef,

(iv) Lisianski Island,

(v) Laysan Island,

(vi) Maro Reef,

(vii) Gardner Pinnacles,

(viii) French Frigate Shoals,

(ix) Necker Island, and

(x) Nihoa Island.

(2) Main Hawaiian Islands: Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat areas surrounding the following islands listed below are defined in the marine environment by a seaward boundary that extends from the 200-m depth contour line (relative to mean lower low water), including the seafloor and all subsurface waters and marine habitat within 10 m of the seafloor, through the water's edge into the terrestrial environment where the inland boundary extends 5 m (in length) from the shoreline between identified boundary points listed in the table below around the areas listed in paragraphs (a)(2)(i)-(vi) of this section. The shoreline is described by the upper reaches of the wash of the waves, other than storm or seismic waves, at high tide during the season in which the highest wash of the waves occurs, usually evidenced by the edge of vegetation growth or the upper limit of debris (except those areas identified in paragraph (c) of this section). In areas where critical habitat does not extend inland, the designation has a seaward boundary of a line that marks mean lower low water.

Area Island Textual description of segment Boundary points Latitude Longitude
13 Kauai Southeast coast of Kauai (Nomilu Fishpond area through Mahaulepu) KA 11
KA 12
21°53′08″ N.
21°53′34″ N.
159°31′48″ W.
159°24′25″ W.
13 Kauai Kawelikoa Point to Molehu KA 21
KA 22
21°54′26″ N.
21°54′48″ N.
159°23′26″ W.
159°23′08″ W.
13 Kauai Lydgate Park through Wailua canal KA 31
KA 32
22°02′11″ N.
22°02′41″ N.
159°20′08″ W.
159°20′11″ W.
13 Kauai Wailua canal through Waikaea canal KA 41
KA 42
22°02′45″ N.
22°04′14″ N.
159°20′10″ W.
159°18′60″ W.
13 Kauai Waikaea canal through Kealia KA 51
KA 52
22°04′15″ N.
22°05′59″ N.
159°19′01″ W.
159°18′08″ W.
13 Kauai Anahola and Aliomanu areas KA 61
KA 62
22°07′46″ N.
22°09′28″ N.
159°17′35″ W.
159°18′18″ W.
13 Kauai Moloaa Bay through Kepuhi Point KA 71
KA 72
22°11′38″ N.
22°12′52″ N.
159°19′46″ W.
159°21′14″ W.
13 Kauai Southeast of Kilauea KA 81
KA 82
22°13′48″ N.
22°13′55″ N.
159°23′52″ W.
159°24′06″ W.
13 Kauai Wainiha Beach Park through Kee Beach Park KA 91
KA 92
22°12′60″ N.
22°13′13″ N.
159°32′30″ W.
159°35′01″ W.
13 Kauai Milolii State Park Beach Area KA 101
KA 102
22°09′13″ N.
22°08′59″ N.
159°42′52″ W.
159°43′21″ W.
14 Oahu Keana Point Area OA 11
OA 12
21°34′43″ N.
21°32′45″ N.
158°15′37″ W.
158°14′25″ W.
14 Oahu Maili Beach through Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor OA 21
OA 22
21°25′43″ N.
21°19′24″ N.
158°10′48″ W.
158°07′20″ W.
14 Oahu Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor through Iroquois Point OA 31
OA 32
21°19′18″ N.
21°19′20″ N.
158°07′17″ W.
157°58′17″ W.
14 Oahu Diamond Head area OA 41
OA 42
21°15′27″ N.
21°15′24″ N.
157°49′05″ W.
157°47′45″ W.
14 Oahu Hanauma Bay through Sandy Beach OA 51
OA 52
21°16′05″ N.
21°17′45″ N.
157°41′50″ W.
157°39′27″ W.
14 Oahu Makapuu Beach Area OA 61
OA 62
21°18′36″ N.
21°18′58″ N.
157°39′31″ W.
157°39′55″ W.
14 Oahu Lori Point through Waimea Bay OA 71
OA 72
21°40′26″ N.
21°38′18″ N.
157°56′00″ W.
158°03′56″ W.
14 Oahu Kapapa Island (Kaneohe Bay) OAi 1 21°28′36″ N. 157°47′55″ W.
14 Oahu Mokulua - Moku Nui OAi 2 21°23′30″ N. 157°41′56”W.
14 Oahu Mokulua - Moku Iki OAi 3 21°23′16″ N. 157°41′52″ W.
14 Oahu Manana (Rabbit Island) OAi 4 21°19′44″ N. 157°39′24″ W.
15 Molokai Laau Point Area MO 11
MO 12
21°07′49″ N.
21°05′21″ N.
157°17′47″ W.
157°15′50″ W.
15 Molokai Kalaupapa Area MO 21
MO 22
21°12′33″ N.
21°11′28″ N.
156°58′52″ W.
156°59′06″ W.
15 Molokai Moku Hooniki MOi 1 21°07′59″ N. 156°42′10″ W.
15 Lanai Shipwreck Beach Area LA 11
LA 12
20°54′45″ N.
20°55′20″ N.
156°53′45″ W.
156°56′45″ W.
15 Lanai Northwest Lanai (Including Polihua Beach) LA 21
LA 22
20°55′42″ N.
20°52′02″ N.
156°59′47″ W.
157°02′33″ W.
15 Lanai North of Kamalapau Harbor LA 31
LA 32
20°48′38″ N.
20°47′17″ N.
156°59′15″ W.
156°59′24″ W.
15 Lanai Kamalapau Harbor through Kaholo Pali LA 41
LA 42
20°47′13″ N.
20°46′59″ N.
156°59′27″ W.
156°59′31″ W.
15 Lanai Kaholo Pali through Manele Harbor LA 51
LA 52
20°44′13″ N.
20°44′29″ N.
156°58′01″ W.
156°53′15″ W.
15 Lanai Manele Harbor through Nakalahale Cliff LA 61
LA 62
20°44′35″ N.
20°44′49″ N.
156°53′14″ W.
156°52′16″ W.
15 Lanai Nakalahale Cliff through Lopa Beach LA 71
LA 72
20°45′07″ N.
20°48′21″ N.
156°51′50″ W.
156°48′24″ W.
15 Lanai Puupehe * LAi 1 20°44′04″ N. 156°53′25″ W.
15 Kahoolawe Mid-North coast (including Kaukamoku and Ahupuiki) KH 11
KH 12
20°34′36″ N.
20°34′10″ N.
156°37′36″ W.
156°38′15″ W.
15 Kahoolawe Eastern coast of Kahoolawe (Honokoa through Sailer's Hat) KH 21
KH 22
20°33′08″ N.
20°30′04″ N.
156°40′35″ W.
156°40′23″ W.
15 Maui Kuloa Point through Hana Wharf and Ramp MA 11
MA 12
20°40′02″ N.
20°45′21″ N.
156°02′27″ W.
155°58′54″ W.
15 Maui Hana Wharf and Ramp through Kainalimu Bay MA 21
MA 22
20°45′20″ N.
20°46′08″ N.
155°58′56″ W.
155°59′04″ W.
15 Maui Keanae Pennisula to Nauailua Bay MA 31
MA 32
20°51′56″ N.
20°51′41″ N.
156°08′46″ W.
156°08′55″ W.
15 Maui Maliko Bay through Papaula Point MA 41
MA 42
20°56′11″ N.
20°54′30″ N.
156°21′11″ W.
156°25′06″ W.
15 Maui Kahului Harbor West through Waihee Beach Park MA 51
MA 52
20°53′53″ N.
20°56′04″ N.
156°28′47″ W.
156°30′15″ W.
15 Maui Punalau Beach through to Mala Wharf MA 61
MA 62
21°01′20″ N.
20°53′09″ N.
156°37′28″ W.
156°41′10″ W.
15 Maui Southeast of Mala Wharf through to Lahaina Harbor MA 71
MA 72
20°53′04″ N.
20°52′26″ N.
156°41′12″ W.
156°40′43″ W.
15 Maui Southeast of Lahaina Harbor through to Papalaua MA 81
MA 82
20°52′12″ N.
20°47′34″ N.
156°40′39″ W.
156°34′00″ W.
15 Maui East of Maalaea Harbor through to Kihei boat ramp MA 91
MA 92
20°47′32″ N.
20°42′29″ N.
156°30′34″ W.
156°26′46″ W.
15 Maui South of Kihei Boat Ramp through Ahihi Bay MA 101
MA 102
20°42′27″ N.
20°37′39″ N.
156°26′47″ W.
156°26′40″ W.
15 Maui La Perouse Bay from Kalaeloa Point through Pohakueaea Point MA 111
MA 112
20°35′43″ N.
20°34′45″ N.
156°25′33″ W.
156°23′29″ W.
15 Maui Molokini Crater MAi 1 20°37′51″ N. 156°29′43″ W.
16 Hawaii Waimanu through Laupahoehoenui HA 11
HA 12
20°08′35″ N.
20°09′54″ N.
155°37′59″ W.
155°39′18″ W.
16 Hawaii Keokea Bay through Kauhola Point HA 21
HA 22
20°13′39″ N.
20°14′44″ N.
155°44′49″ W.
155°46′18″ W.
16 Hawaii Kapaa Beach County Park to Mahukona Harbor HA 31
HA 32
20°12′16″ N.
20°11′04″ N.
155°54′06″ W.
155°54′05″ W.
16 Hawaii South of Mahukona Harbor HA 41
HA 42
20°10′60″ N.
20°10′51″ N.
155°54′03″ W.
155°54′07″ W.
16 Hawaii Pauoa Bay to Makaiwa Bay area HA 51
HA 52
19°57′03″ N.
19°56′38″ N.
155°51′49″ W.
155°52′10″ W.
16 Hawaii Anaehoomalu Bay area through Keawaiki Bay area HA 61
HA 62
19°54′42″ N.
19°53′09″ N.
155°53′26″ W.
155°54′34″ W.
16 Hawaii Puu Alii Bay Area through Mahaiula Bay HA 71
HA 72
19°47′37″ N.
19°46′53″ N.
156°01′33″ W.
156°02′18″ W.
16 Hawaii Keahole Point through Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park HA 81
HA 82
19°43′54″ N.
19°40′28″ N.
156°03′26″ W.
156°01′34″ W.
16 Hawaii South of Oneo Bay area through to Holualoa Bay area HA 91
HA 92
19°38′10″ N.
19°36′31″ N.
155°59′29″ W.
155°58′41″ W.
16 Hawaii Kahaluu Bay Area through Keauhou Bay Area HA 101
HA 102
19°34′49″ N.
19°33′43″ N.
155°57′59″ W.
155°57′43″ W.
16 Hawaii Kealakekua Bay Area HA 111
HA 112
19°28′38″ N.
19°28′25″ N.
155°55′13″ W.
155°55′10″ W.
16 Hawaii Honaunau Bay Area HA 121
HA 122
19°25′35″ N.
19°25′01″ N.
155°55′02″ W.
155°54′42″ W.
16 Hawaii Milolii Bay Area through Honomalino Bay Area HA 131
HA 132
19°11′07″ N.
19°10′04″ N.
155°54′29″ W.
155°54′35″ W.
16 Hawaii Ka Lae National Historic Landmark District through Mahana Bay HA 141
HA 142
18°54′54″ N.
18°55′00″ N.
155°40′59″ W.
155°40′09″ W.
16 Hawaii Papakolea Green Sand Beach Area HA 151
HA 152
18°56′10″ N.
18°56′11″ N.
155°38′47″ W.
155°38′45″ W.
16 Hawaii Kaalualu Bay Area HA 161
HA 162
18°58′14″ N.
18°58′18″ N.
155°37′01″ W.
155°36′49″ W.
16 Hawaii Whittington Beach Area through Punaluu Beach Area HA 171
HA 172
19°05′04″ N.
19°08′06″ N.
155°33′03″ W.
155°30′09″ W.
16 Hawaii Halape Area through Keauhou Point Area HA 181
HA 182
19°16′14″ N.
19°15′45″ N.
155°15′20″ W.
155°13′59″ W.
16 Hawaii Kapoho Bay Area HA 191
HA 192
19°29′38″ N.
19°30′10″ N.
154°49′01″ W.
154°48′46″ W.
16 Hawaii Lehia Beach Park through to Hilo Harbor HA 201
HA 202
19°44′07″ N.
19°43′56″ N.
155°00′38″ W.
155°03′02″ W.
16 Hawaii Papaikou Area HA 211
HA 212
19°46′39″ N.
19°46′43″ N.
155°05′18″ W.
155°05′18″ W.
16 Hawaii Onomea Bay Area HA 221
HA 222
19°48′33″ N.
19°48′37″ N.
155°05′34″ W.
155°05′22″ W.
16 Hawaii Hakalau Area HA 231
HA 232
19°54′02″ N.
19°54′05″ N.
155°07′32″ W.
155°07′43″ W.

(i) Kaula Island,

(ii) Niihau,

(iii) Kauai,

(iv) Oahu,

(v) Maui Nui (including Kahoolawe, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai), and

(vi) Hawaii.

(b) Essential features. The essential features for the conservation of the Hawaiian monk seal are the following:

(1) Terrestrial areas and adjacent shallow, sheltered aquatic areas with characteristics preferred by monk seals for pupping and nursing. Preferred areas that serve an essential service or function for Hawaiian monk seal conservation are defined as those areas where two or more females have given birth or where a single female chooses to return to the same site more than one year. Preferred pupping areas generally include sandy, protected beaches located adjacent to shallow sheltered aquatic areas, where the mother and pup may nurse, rest, swim, thermoregulate, and shelter from extreme weather. Additionally, this habitat area provides relatively protected space for the newly weaned pup to acclimate to life on its own. The newly weaned pup uses these areas for swimming, exploring, socializing, thermoregulatory cooling and the first attempts at foraging. Characteristics of terrestrial pupping habitat may include various substrates such as sand, shallow tide pools, coral rubble, or rocky substrates, as long as these substrates provide accessibility to seals for hauling out. Some preferred sites may also incorporate areas with low lying vegetation used by the pair for shade or cover, or relatively low levels of anthropogenic disturbance. Characteristics of the adjoined sheltered aquatic sites may include reefs, tide pools, gently sloping beaches, and shelves or coves that provide refuge from storm surges and predators.

(2) Marine areas from 0 to 200 m in depth that support adequate prey quality and quantity for juvenile and adult monk seal foraging. Inshore, benthic and offshore teleosts, cephalopods, and crustaceans are commonly described as monk seal prey items. Habitat types that are regularly used for foraging include the sand terraces, talus slopes, submerged reefs and banks, nearby seamounts, barrier reefs, and slopes of reefs and islands. Monk seals focus foraging in bottom habitats on bottom-associated prey species, with most foraging occurring in waters between 0 to 200 m in depth. Habitat conditions, such as water quality, substrate composition and available habitat, should support growth and recruitment of bottom-associated prey species to the extent that monk seal populations are able to successfully forage.

(3) Significant areas used by monk seals for hauling out, resting or molting. Significant haul-out areas are defined by the frequency with which local populations of seals use a stretch of coastline or particular beach. Significant haul-out areas are defined as natural coastlines that are accessible to Hawaiian monk seals and are frequented by Hawaiian monk seals at least 10 percent as often as the highest used haul out site(s) on individual islands, or islets. Significant haul-out areas are essential to Hawaiian monk seal conservation because these areas provide space that supports natural behaviors important to health and development, such as resting, molting, and social interactions. Hawaiian monk seals use terrestrial habitat to haul out for resting, and molting. Certain areas of coastline are more often favored by Hawaiian monk seals for hauling out. These favored areas may be located near preferred foraging areas, allow for relatively undisturbed periods of rest, or allow small numbers of Hawaiian monk seals to socially interact as young seals and reproductive adults. These haul-out sites are generally characterized by sandy beaches, sand spits, or low shelving reef rocks accessible to seals.

(c) Areas not included in critical habitat. Critical habitat does not include the following particular areas where they overlap with the areas described in paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) Pursuant to ESA section 3(5)(A)(i), all cliffs and manmade structures, such as docks, seawalls, piers, fishponds, roads, pipelines, boat ramps, platforms, buildings, ramparts and pilings existing within the legal boundaries on September 21, 2015.

(2) Pursuant to ESA section 4(a)(3)(B) all areas subject to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans.

(3) Pursuant to ESA section 4(b)(2) the following areas have been excluded from the designation: The Kingfisher Underwater Training area in marine areas off the northeast coast of Niihau; the Pacific Missile Range Facility Offshore Areas in marine areas off the western coast of Kauai; the Puuloa Underwater Training Range in marine areas outside Pearl Harbor, Oahu; and the Shallow Water Minefield Sonar Training Range off the western coast of Kahoolawe in the Maui Nui area.

(d) Maps of Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat. The following are the overview maps of Hawaiian monk seal critical habitat:

[80 FR 50974, Aug. 21, 2015]