In order to afford the public more time to comment on a July 2022 proposal to delist the Puerto Rican boa from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period on the proposal and will hold a virtual public hearing. The hearing will be held on February 16, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time (7-8:30 p.m. Atlantic Time) via the Zoom platform.
The virtual public hearing extends the original 60-day comment period on the proposal which ended September 12, 2022. We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before March 3, 2023. Comments previously submitted do not need to be resubmitted, and they will be considered in the Service’s final decision. Copies of the proposed rule and its associated documents are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket Number FWS-R4-ES-2021-0162.
Puerto Rican boas are nonvenomous snakes native only to Puerto Rico. They are the largest snakes in Puerto Rico with adults reaching near seven feet in length. Their coloration is reddish brown to dark brown with several dark bars or spots along their bodies. Originally listed as an endangered species under the Endan and gered Species Conservation Act of 1969, the boa remained listed with the passage of the ESA in 1973 due to its population decline and habitat deforestation. The Service proposed delisting the Puerto Rican boa in 2022. For more information on that proposal, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.
Registration is required to participate in the February 16, 2023 virtual public hearing. All participants must register to listen and view the hearing via Zoom, listen to the hearing by telephone, or provide oral public comments at the hearing by Zoom or telephone. For information on how to register, or if technical problems occur joining Zoom on the day of the hearing, visit: https://www.fws.gov/office/caribbean-ecological-services/library
Registrants will receive the Zoom link the telephone number for the virtual public hearing. If applicable, interested members of the public not familiar with the Zoom platform should view the Zoom video tutorials (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-video-tutorials) prior to the hearing.
The Service is committed to providing access to the virtual public hearing for all participants. Closed captioning will be available during the hearing in both English and Spanish. Participants will also have access to live audio during the hearing via their telephone or computer speakers. Persons with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodations to participate in the hearing should contact Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office. Email address: Caribbean_es@fws.gov. Mailing address: P.O. Box 491, Boquerón, Puerto Rico 00622. telephone: 786-244-0081 at least five business days prior to the date of the hearing to help ensure availability.
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