Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Warton's Cave Meshweaver as Endangered or Threatened, 47413-47415 [2014-19089]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Proposed Rules § 1149.66 How does the authority head dispose of an appeal? Section 3805 of title 31, United States Code, authorizes Judicial review by the appropriate United States District Court of any final NEA decision by the authority head imposing penalties or assessments under this part. To obtain judicial review, you must file a petition with the appropriate court in a timely manner. (See paragraphs (a) through (e) of 31 U.S.C. 3805 for a description of how judicial review is authorized.) (b) The Attorney General is responsible for judicial enforcement of civil penalties or assessments imposed. He/she has exclusive authority to compromise or settle any penalty or assessment during the pendency of any action to collect penalties or assessments under 31 U.S.C. 3806. (c) Penalties or assessments imposed by a final decision may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney General. (1) The district courts of the United States have jurisdiction of such civil actions. (2) The United States Court of Federal Claims has jurisdiction of any civil action to recover any penalty or assessment if the cause of action is asserted by the government as a counterclaim in a matter pending in such court. (3) Civil actions may be joined and consolidated with or asserted as a counterclaim, cross-claim, or set off by the government in any other civil action which includes you and the government as parties. (4) Defenses raised at the hearing, or that could have been raised, may not be raised as a defense in the civil action. Determination of liability and of the amounts of penalties and assessments must not be subject to review. § 1149.69 Can the administrative complaint be settled voluntarily? (a) Parties may make offers of compromise or settlement at any time. Any compromise or settlement must be in writing. (b) The reviewing official has the exclusive authority to compromise or settle the case anytime after the date on which the reviewing official is permitted to issue a complaint and before the ALJ issues an initial decision. (c) The authority head has exclusive authority to compromise or settle the case anytime after the date of the ALJ’s initial decision until the initiation of any judicial review or any action to collect the penalties and assessments. (d) The Attorney General has exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case once any judicial review or any action to recover penalties and assessments is initiated. (e) The investigating official may recommend settlement terms to the reviewing official, the authority head, or the Attorney General, as appropriate. § 1149.71 offset? The amount of any penalty or assessment which has become final, or for which a judgment has been entered, or any amount agreed upon in a compromise or settlement, may be collected by administrative offset, except that an administrative offset may not be made under this subsection against a refund of an overpayment of Federal taxes, then or later owing by the United States to you. (a) The authority head may affirm, reduce, reverse, compromise, remand, or settle any penalty or assessment imposed by the ALJ in the initial decision or reconsideration decision. (b) The authority head will promptly serve each party to the appeal and the ALJ with a copy of his or her decision. This decision must contain a statement describing the right of any person, against whom a penalty or assessment has been made, to seek judicial review. § 1149.67 appeal? Who represents the NEA on an The authority head will designate the NEA’s representative in the event of an appeal. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 1149.68 What judicial review is available? § 1149.70 How are civil penalties and assessments collected? (a) Civil actions to recover penalties or assessments must commence within 3 years after the date of a final decision determining your liability. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:24 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 § 1149.72 Is there a right to administrative What happens to collections? All amounts collected pursuant to this part must be deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States. § 1149.73 What if the investigation indicates criminal misconduct or a violation of the False Claims Act? (a) Investigating officials may: (1) Refer allegations of criminal misconduct or a violation of the False Claims Act directly to the Department of Justice for prosecution and/or civil action, as appropriate; (2) Defer or postpone a report or referral to the reviewing official to avoid interference with a criminal or civil investigation, prosecution or litigation; or PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 47413 (3) Issue subpoenas under any other statutory authority. (b) Nothing in this part limits the requirement that NEA employees report suspected false or fraudulent conduct, claims or statements, and violations of criminal law to the NEA Office of Inspector General or to the Attorney General. § 1149.74 rights? How does the NEA protect your These procedures separate the functions of the investigating official, reviewing official, and the ALJ, each of whom report to a separate organizational authority. Except for purposes of settlement, or as a witness or a representative in public proceedings, no investigating official, reviewing official, or NEA employee or agent who helps investigate, prepare, or present a case may (in such case, or a factually related case) participate in the initial decision or the review of the initial decision by the authority head. This separation of functions and organization is designed to assure the independence and impartiality of each government official during every stage of the proceeding. The representative for the NEA may be employed in the offices of either the investigating official or the reviewing official. Dated: July 30, 2014. India J. Pinkney, General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2014–19034 Filed 8–12–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7537–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2014–0026; 4500030113] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Warton’s Cave Meshweaver as Endangered or Threatened Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Warton’s cave meshweaver (Cicurina wartoni) as an endangered or threatened species and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended. After a review of the SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13AUP1.SGM 13AUP1 47414 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Proposed Rules wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS best available scientific information, we find that C. wartoni is not a distinct species. Therefore, we find that C. wartoni is not a listable entity under the Act and does not warrant listing as an endangered or threatened species. As a result, we are removing this species from the candidate list. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new information that becomes available at any time. DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on August 13, 2014. ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS–R2–ES–2014–0026. Supporting documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite #200, Austin, TX 78758. Please submit any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this finding to the above street address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, Suite #200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512–490–0057; facsimile 512–490–0974. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that, for any petition to revise the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants that contains substantial scientific or commercial information that listing the species may be warranted, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) make a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition. In this finding, we determine that the petitioned action is: (1) Not warranted, (2) warranted, or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove qualified species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we treat a petition for which the requested action is found to VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:24 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 be warranted but precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such finding, that is, requiring a subsequent finding to be made within 12 months. We must publish these 12-month findings in the Federal Register. Previous Federal Actions The Service identified Cicurina wartoni as a candidate for listing in the November 15, 1994, Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species (59 FR 58982). Candidate species are species for which we have sufficient information on file to support a proposal to list as an endangered or threatened species, but for which preparation and publication of a proposal are precluded by higher priority listing actions. Cicurina wartoni was included in subsequent annual Candidate Notices of Reviews through 2013 (59 FR 58982, November 15, 1994; 61 FR 7596, February 28, 1996; 62 FR 49397, September 19, 1997; 64 FR 57534, October 25, 1999; 66 FR 54807, October 30, 2001; 67 FR 40657, June 13, 2002; 69 FR 24876, May 4, 2004; 70 FR 24870, May 11, 2005; 71 FR 53756, September 12, 2006; 72 FR 69034, December 6, 2007; 73 FR 75176, December 10, 2008; 74 FR 57804, November 9, 2009; and 75 FR 69222, November 10, 2010; 76 FR 66370, October 26, 2011; November 21, 2012, 77 FR 69994; and November 22, 2013, 78 FR 70104). On May 11, 2004, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity requesting that Cicurina wartoni be listed as an endangered or threatened species and that critical habitat be designated under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information required at 50 CFR 424.14(a). Even though we already determined the species met the definition of a candidate species, we are required to address petitions and make the appropriate findings. We made a positive 90-day finding that the petition presented substantial information indicating that listing may be warranted, and we subsequently made a positive 12-month finding (70 FR 24869 at 24907, May 11, 2005) indicating that listing was warranted, but was precluded by higher priority listing actions, including court-approved settlements, court-ordered and statutory deadlines for petition findings and listing determinations, emergency listing determinations, and responses to litigation that continue to preclude the proposed and final listing rules for this species. The May 11, 2004, petition was consolidated with several other cases filed by the Center for Biological PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Diversity or WildEarth Guardians relating to petition finding deadlines. A multi-district litigation settlement agreement with these cases was approved by the court on September 9, 2011, in In re Endangered Species Act Section 4 Deadline Litigation, No. 10– 377 (EGS), MDL Docket No. 2165 (D.D.C. May 10, 2011). This not-warranted 12month finding fulfills that requirement of the multi-district litigation settlement agreement for C. wartoni. Species Information This section summarizes the information we evaluated to determine that Cicurina wartoni is not a species or subspecies and cannot be listed as such under the Act, and that, therefore, it must be removed from the candidate list. Several entities of spiders referenced in this finding do not have common names. Consequently, we are using Latin names in this finding for the purposes of clarity in the genetics and taxonomy discussions. However, the use of the Latin name, C. wartoni, is not meant to imply that it is a valid species, but only used for clarity. Cicurina wartoni is an eyeless, caveendemic spider known only from a single geographic location, a privately owned, shallow cave known as Pickle Pit, in Travis County, Texas (Gertsch 1992). It is in the family Dictynidae (meshweavers), genus Cicurina, and subgenus Cicurella. Cicurina derived from surface-dwelling ancestors with eight eyes (typically), and are mostly smaller than their ancestors and are progressively losing or have lost their eyes (Gertsch 1992, pp. 75–76, 79, 97). Cicurina wartoni was first collected from Pickle Pit in Travis County, Texas, in 1990 by James Reddell, Marcelino Reyes, and Lee Sherrod and described by Gertsch (1992, p. 101). Gertsch recognized the species as distinct based on the epigynal (female reproductive organs used for identifying the species) morphology of a single adult female specimen. Paquin and Hedin (2004, pp. 3,239–3,240) conducted genetic studies on three other species of cave-dwelling, blind Cicurina meshweavers occurring in southern Travis and northern Hays Counties, Texas, to develop genetic assessment techniques for species-level identification of immature specimens of blind Cicurina spiders. At the time, the owners of Pickle Pit did not grant access to the researchers; consequently, specimens from this location could not be included in that study. ´ ´ Paquin and Duperre (2009, p. 55) examined a voucher specimen (an animal preserved for scientific use) from Pickle Pit at the American Museum of Natural History and, in greater detail E:\FR\FM\13AUP1.SGM 13AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 156 / Wednesday, August 13, 2014 / Proposed Rules wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS than previously done, redescribed the morphology of the specimen (e.g., carapace (body) length, leg length, etc.) and reillustrated the epigynum (female reproductive organs used for identifying the species). Based on this more detailed comparison, Paquin and ´ ´ Duperre (2009, p. 55) suggested that C. wartoni should be synonymized with or considered part of C. buwata (no ´ ´ common name). Paquin and Duperre (2009, p. 55) also suggested that C. reddelli (no common name) and C. travisae (no common name) should be synonymized with C. buwata because there are only minor variations in the epigynum of these species and they occur in close proximity to one another ´ ´ (Paquin and Duperre 2009, pp. 99, 101). Access to Pickle Pit was granted on November 22, 2011, March 26, 2012, and April 26, 2013. During those site visits, three immature blind Cicurina specimens were collected. Hedin (2014, entire) reevaluated the taxonomic status of Cicurina wartoni. Hedin (2014, pp. 2, 3, 5–6, 8, 12) employed several rigorous analytical methods (genetic and morphological) to test species limits. Hedin (2014, entire) analyzed multiple genes (one mitochondrial gene and eight nuclear genes) and the reproductive morphology. This study compared specimens from Pickle Pit to specimens from 27 regional caves, plus a handful of samples from outside the region of interest. Based on this analysis, Hedin (2014, pp. 7–8) found that C. wartoni is not a distinct species. Rather, Hedin (pp. 8–9) recommends that C. wartoni, C. travisae, and C. reddelli should all be considered a single taxonomic entity until formal taxonomic changes can be published. We requested a peer review of Hedin (2014) from five individuals with expertise in arachnology, genetics, or cave ecology to assess whether the conclusions were scientifically sound. We received three responses, which all supported the conclusions of Hedin VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:24 Aug 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 (2014). In addition, we conducted internal Service review by our Conservation Genetics Laboratory, who supported the conclusions of Hedin (2014). Evaluation of Listable Entity Under the Act, the term ‘‘species’’ includes ‘‘any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature’’ (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). Based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the taxonomic entity that was known as Cicurina wartoni is not a distinct species (Hedin 2014, pp. 7–8). Therefore, we conclude that C. wartoni does not meet the definition of a species under section 3(16) of the Act. Additionally, invertebrates are precluded by statute from distinct population segment consideration. Therefore, we conclude that the petitioned entity does not constitute a listable entity and cannot be listed under the Act. Finding Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires that, for any petition to revise the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants that contains substantial scientific or commercial information that listing the species may be warranted, we make a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition. In this finding, we determine that the petitioned action is: (1) Not warranted, (2) warranted, or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove qualified species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 47415 Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under the Act, a species is defined as including any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, Cicurina wartoni does not meet the definition of a ‘‘species’’ and is, therefore, not a listable entity under the Act because Cicurina wartoni is not itself a valid species or subspecies. As an invertebrate, C. wartoni cannot be considered under the Act’s distinct population segment provisions. Therefore, we find C. wartoni is not a valid taxonomic entity and does not meet the definition of a species or subspecies under the Act, and further does not warrant listing under the Act. As a result, we are removing this species from the candidate list. References Cited A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS–R2–ES–2014–0026 and upon request from the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES). Authors The primary authors of this notice are staff members of the Austin Ecological Services Field Office. Authority The authority for this action is section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: July 24, 2014. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2014–19089 Filed 8–12–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\13AUP1.SGM 13AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 156 (Wednesday, August 13, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 47413-47415]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19089]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2014-0026; 4500030113]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding 
on a Petition To List the Warton's Cave Meshweaver as Endangered or 
Threatened

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce a 12-month 
finding on a petition to list the Warton's cave meshweaver (Cicurina 
wartoni) as an endangered or threatened species and to designate 
critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as 
amended. After a review of the

[[Page 47414]]

best available scientific information, we find that C. wartoni is not a 
distinct species. Therefore, we find that C. wartoni is not a listable 
entity under the Act and does not warrant listing as an endangered or 
threatened species. As a result, we are removing this species from the 
candidate list. However, we ask the public to submit to us any new 
information that becomes available at any time.

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on August 13, 
2014.

ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2014-0026. Supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 
10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758. Please submit 
any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this 
finding to the above street address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 
10711 Burnet Road, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512-
490-0057; facsimile 512-490-0974. If you use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay 
Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act, 16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) requires that, for any petition to revise the Federal 
Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants that contains 
substantial scientific or commercial information that listing the 
species may be warranted, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) 
make a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition. 
In this finding, we determine that the petitioned action is: (1) Not 
warranted, (2) warranted, or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal 
of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by 
other pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or 
threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove 
qualified species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we 
treat a petition for which the requested action is found to be 
warranted but precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such 
finding, that is, requiring a subsequent finding to be made within 12 
months. We must publish these 12-month findings in the Federal 
Register.

Previous Federal Actions

    The Service identified Cicurina wartoni as a candidate for listing 
in the November 15, 1994, Animal Candidate Review for Listing as 
Endangered or Threatened Species (59 FR 58982). Candidate species are 
species for which we have sufficient information on file to support a 
proposal to list as an endangered or threatened species, but for which 
preparation and publication of a proposal are precluded by higher 
priority listing actions. Cicurina wartoni was included in subsequent 
annual Candidate Notices of Reviews through 2013 (59 FR 58982, November 
15, 1994; 61 FR 7596, February 28, 1996; 62 FR 49397, September 19, 
1997; 64 FR 57534, October 25, 1999; 66 FR 54807, October 30, 2001; 67 
FR 40657, June 13, 2002; 69 FR 24876, May 4, 2004; 70 FR 24870, May 11, 
2005; 71 FR 53756, September 12, 2006; 72 FR 69034, December 6, 2007; 
73 FR 75176, December 10, 2008; 74 FR 57804, November 9, 2009; and 75 
FR 69222, November 10, 2010; 76 FR 66370, October 26, 2011; November 
21, 2012, 77 FR 69994; and November 22, 2013, 78 FR 70104).
    On May 11, 2004, we received a petition from the Center for 
Biological Diversity requesting that Cicurina wartoni be listed as an 
endangered or threatened species and that critical habitat be 
designated under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as 
such and included the requisite identification information required at 
50 CFR 424.14(a). Even though we already determined the species met the 
definition of a candidate species, we are required to address petitions 
and make the appropriate findings. We made a positive 90-day finding 
that the petition presented substantial information indicating that 
listing may be warranted, and we subsequently made a positive 12-month 
finding (70 FR 24869 at 24907, May 11, 2005) indicating that listing 
was warranted, but was precluded by higher priority listing actions, 
including court-approved settlements, court-ordered and statutory 
deadlines for petition findings and listing determinations, emergency 
listing determinations, and responses to litigation that continue to 
preclude the proposed and final listing rules for this species. The May 
11, 2004, petition was consolidated with several other cases filed by 
the Center for Biological Diversity or WildEarth Guardians relating to 
petition finding deadlines. A multi-district litigation settlement 
agreement with these cases was approved by the court on September 9, 
2011, in In re Endangered Species Act Section 4 Deadline Litigation, 
No. 10-377 (EGS), MDL Docket No. 2165 (D.D.C. May 10, 2011). This not-
warranted 12-month finding fulfills that requirement of the multi-
district litigation settlement agreement for C. wartoni.

Species Information

    This section summarizes the information we evaluated to determine 
that Cicurina wartoni is not a species or subspecies and cannot be 
listed as such under the Act, and that, therefore, it must be removed 
from the candidate list. Several entities of spiders referenced in this 
finding do not have common names. Consequently, we are using Latin 
names in this finding for the purposes of clarity in the genetics and 
taxonomy discussions. However, the use of the Latin name, C. wartoni, 
is not meant to imply that it is a valid species, but only used for 
clarity.
    Cicurina wartoni is an eyeless, cave-endemic spider known only from 
a single geographic location, a privately owned, shallow cave known as 
Pickle Pit, in Travis County, Texas (Gertsch 1992). It is in the family 
Dictynidae (meshweavers), genus Cicurina, and subgenus Cicurella. 
Cicurina derived from surface-dwelling ancestors with eight eyes 
(typically), and are mostly smaller than their ancestors and are 
progressively losing or have lost their eyes (Gertsch 1992, pp. 75-76, 
79, 97). Cicurina wartoni was first collected from Pickle Pit in Travis 
County, Texas, in 1990 by James Reddell, Marcelino Reyes, and Lee 
Sherrod and described by Gertsch (1992, p. 101). Gertsch recognized the 
species as distinct based on the epigynal (female reproductive organs 
used for identifying the species) morphology of a single adult female 
specimen. Paquin and Hedin (2004, pp. 3,239-3,240) conducted genetic 
studies on three other species of cave-dwelling, blind Cicurina 
meshweavers occurring in southern Travis and northern Hays Counties, 
Texas, to develop genetic assessment techniques for species-level 
identification of immature specimens of blind Cicurina spiders. At the 
time, the owners of Pickle Pit did not grant access to the researchers; 
consequently, specimens from this location could not be included in 
that study.
    Paquin and Dup[eacute]rr[eacute] (2009, p. 55) examined a voucher 
specimen (an animal preserved for scientific use) from Pickle Pit at 
the American Museum of Natural History and, in greater detail

[[Page 47415]]

than previously done, redescribed the morphology of the specimen (e.g., 
carapace (body) length, leg length, etc.) and reillustrated the 
epigynum (female reproductive organs used for identifying the species). 
Based on this more detailed comparison, Paquin and 
Dup[eacute]rr[eacute] (2009, p. 55) suggested that C. wartoni should be 
synonymized with or considered part of C. buwata (no common name). 
Paquin and Dup[eacute]rr[eacute] (2009, p. 55) also suggested that C. 
reddelli (no common name) and C. travisae (no common name) should be 
synonymized with C. buwata because there are only minor variations in 
the epigynum of these species and they occur in close proximity to one 
another (Paquin and Dup[eacute]rr[eacute] 2009, pp. 99, 101).
    Access to Pickle Pit was granted on November 22, 2011, March 26, 
2012, and April 26, 2013. During those site visits, three immature 
blind Cicurina specimens were collected. Hedin (2014, entire) 
reevaluated the taxonomic status of Cicurina wartoni. Hedin (2014, pp. 
2, 3, 5-6, 8, 12) employed several rigorous analytical methods (genetic 
and morphological) to test species limits. Hedin (2014, entire) 
analyzed multiple genes (one mitochondrial gene and eight nuclear 
genes) and the reproductive morphology. This study compared specimens 
from Pickle Pit to specimens from 27 regional caves, plus a handful of 
samples from outside the region of interest. Based on this analysis, 
Hedin (2014, pp. 7-8) found that C. wartoni is not a distinct species. 
Rather, Hedin (pp. 8-9) recommends that C. wartoni, C. travisae, and C. 
reddelli should all be considered a single taxonomic entity until 
formal taxonomic changes can be published.
    We requested a peer review of Hedin (2014) from five individuals 
with expertise in arachnology, genetics, or cave ecology to assess 
whether the conclusions were scientifically sound. We received three 
responses, which all supported the conclusions of Hedin (2014). In 
addition, we conducted internal Service review by our Conservation 
Genetics Laboratory, who supported the conclusions of Hedin (2014).

Evaluation of Listable Entity

    Under the Act, the term ``species'' includes ``any subspecies of 
fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any 
species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature'' 
(16 U.S.C. 1532(16)).
    Based on our review of the best available scientific and commercial 
information, the taxonomic entity that was known as Cicurina wartoni is 
not a distinct species (Hedin 2014, pp. 7-8). Therefore, we conclude 
that C. wartoni does not meet the definition of a species under section 
3(16) of the Act. Additionally, invertebrates are precluded by statute 
from distinct population segment consideration. Therefore, we conclude 
that the petitioned entity does not constitute a listable entity and 
cannot be listed under the Act.

Finding

    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires 
that, for any petition to revise the Federal Lists of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants that contains substantial scientific or 
commercial information that listing the species may be warranted, we 
make a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition. 
In this finding, we determine that the petitioned action is: (1) Not 
warranted, (2) warranted, or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal 
of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by 
other pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or 
threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove 
qualified species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife and Plants. Under the Act, a species is defined as including 
any subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct 
population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which 
interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532).
    Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, 
Cicurina wartoni does not meet the definition of a ``species'' and is, 
therefore, not a listable entity under the Act because Cicurina wartoni 
is not itself a valid species or subspecies. As an invertebrate, C. 
wartoni cannot be considered under the Act's distinct population 
segment provisions. Therefore, we find C. wartoni is not a valid 
taxonomic entity and does not meet the definition of a species or 
subspecies under the Act, and further does not warrant listing under 
the Act. As a result, we are removing this species from the candidate 
list.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R2-ES-2014-0026 and 
upon request from the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see 
ADDRESSES).

Authors

    The primary authors of this notice are staff members of the Austin 
Ecological Services Field Office.

Authority

    The authority for this action is section 4 of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 24, 2014.
Stephen Guertin,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-19089 Filed 8-12-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P