Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Two Species, 16819-16822 [2018-07707]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2018 / Proposed Rules Security Directive 023–01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.1D, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a safety zone lasting one hour that would prohibit entry between mile marker 95 and mile marker 94 on the Lower Mississippi River above Head of Passes. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph L60(a) of Appendix A, Table 1 of DHS Instruction Manual 023–01–001–01, Rev. 01. A preliminary Record of Environmental Consideration supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS G. Protest Activities The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels. V. Public Participation and Request for Comments We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https:// www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https:// www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Apr 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 the docket, visit https:// www.regulations.gov/privacyNotice. Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published. List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows: PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05–1, 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. Add § 165.T08–0331 to read as follows: ■ § 165.T08–0331 Safety Zone; Lower Mississippi River, New Orleans, LA. (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River, New Orleans, LA from mile marker (MM) 94 to MM 95 above Head of Passes. (b) Effective period. This section is effective from 9:45 p.m. through 11 p.m. on June 30, 2018. (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector New Orleans (COTP) or designated representative. A designated representative is a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of USCG Sector New Orleans. (2) Vessels requiring entry into this safety zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF–FM Channel 16 or 67 or by telephone at (504) 365–2200. (3) Persons and vessels permitted to enter this safety zone must transit at their slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or the designated representative. (d) Information broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through Broadcast PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16819 Notices to Mariners of any changes in the planned schedule. Dated: April 11, 2018. Wayne R. Arguin, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector New Orleans. [FR Doc. 2018–07908 Filed 4–16–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [4500030115] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Two Species Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of petition findings and initiation of a status review. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90day findings on two petitions to list, reclassify, or delist wildlife or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that one petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate a review of the status of that species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure that this status review is comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this species. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12-month finding on the petition, which will address whether or not the petitioned action is warranted, in accordance with the Act. We also find that one petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating a status review of this species in response to that petition. We refer to this finding as a ‘‘not substantial’’ petition finding. DATES: These findings were made on April 17, 2018. As we commence work on the status review, we seek any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species or its habitat. Any information received during our work on the status review will be considered. ADDRESSES: Supporting documents: Summaries of the bases for the petition findings contained in this document are SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17APP1.SGM 17APP1 16820 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2018 / Proposed Rules available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Supporting information in preparing these findings is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Submitting information: If you have new scientific or commercial data or other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the species for which we made these petition findings, or their habitats, please submit that information by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket number (see Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Then, click on the Search button. After finding the correct document, you may submit information by clicking on ‘‘Comment Now!’’ If your information will fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of https://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041– 3803. We request that you send information only by the methods described above. We will post all information we receive on https://www.regulations.gov. This Common name SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Background Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists). Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to add a species to the Lists (i.e., ‘‘list’’), remove a species from the Lists (i.e., ‘‘delist’’), or to change a listed species’ status from endangered to threatened, or from threatened to endangered (i.e., ‘‘reclassify’’) presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and publish the finding promptly in the Federal Register. Our regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) establish that substantial scientific or commercial information with regard to a 90-day petition finding refers to ‘‘credible scientific or commercial information in support of the petition’s claims such that a reasonable person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that the action proposed in the 17:36 Apr 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact person Cape mountain zebra ............................................................................... Preble’s meadow jumping mouse ............................................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below, for more information). Not-substantial petition finding: A summary of the basis for the notsubstantial petition finding contained in this document is available on https:// www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see Table 2 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Supporting information in preparing this finding is available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. If you have new information concerning the status of, or threats to, this species, or its habitat, please submit that information to the appropriate person. Bridget Fahey, 703–358–2163; bridget_fahey@fws.gov. Mike Thabault, 303–236–4210; michael_thabault@fws.gov. petition may be warranted’’ (50 CFR 424.14(h)(1)(i)). A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C 1531 et seq.). The five factors are: (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A); (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B); (c) Disease or predation (Factor C); (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); or (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence (Factor E). These factors represent broad categories of natural or human-caused actions or conditions that could have an effect on a species’ continued existence. In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as well as other actions or conditions that may ameliorate any negative effects or may have positive effects. We use the term ‘‘threat’’ to refer in general to actions or conditions that are known to or are reasonably likely to negatively affect individuals of a PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 species. The term ‘‘threat’’ includes actions or conditions that have a direct impact on individuals (direct impacts), as well as those that affect individuals through alteration of their habitat or required resources (stressors). The term ‘‘threat’’ may encompass—either together or separately—the source of the action or condition or the action or condition itself. However, the mere identification of any threat(s) may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the information in the petition is substantial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The information presented in the petition must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these threats may be affecting the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of an ‘‘endangered’’ species or ‘‘threatened’’ species under the Act. If we find that a petition presents such information, our subsequent status review will evaluate all identified threats by considering the individual, population, and species-level effects, and the expected response by the species. We will evaluate individual threats and their expected effects on the species, then analyze the cumulative effect of the threats on the species as a whole. We also consider the cumulative effect of the threats in light of those actions and conditions that will have positive effects on the species—such as E:\FR\FM\17APP1.SGM 17APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2018 / Proposed Rules any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts that may ameliorate threats. It is only after conducting this cumulative analysis of threats and the actions that may ameliorate them, and the expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future, that we can determine whether the species meets the definition of an ‘‘endangered species’’ or ‘‘threatened species.’’ If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information, the Act requires us to promptly commence a review of the status of the species, and we will subsequently complete a status review in accordance with our prioritization methodology for 12-month findings (81 FR 49248; July 27, 2016). 16821 Summaries of Petition Findings The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the tables below and the bases for the findings, along with supporting information, are available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number. TABLE 1—STATUS REVIEW Common name Docket No. Cape mountain zebra ................................. FWS–HQ–ES–2017–0100 URL to docket on https://www.regulations.gov. https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2017-0100. TABLE 2—NOT-SUBSTANTIAL PETITION FINDING Common name Docket No. Preble’s meadow jumping mouse ............... FWS–R6–ES–2017–0102 Evaluation of a Petition To Delist the Cape Mountain Zebra or Reclassify the Subspecies as a Threatened Species Under the Act Species and Range Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra): South Africa (Eastern and Western Cape provinces). amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS Petition History On May 10, 2017, we received a petition dated May 10, 2017, from Conservation Force and the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa requesting that we delist the Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra) or reclassify the subspecies from an endangered species to a threatened species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(c). This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Cape mountain zebra due to the reduction or elimination of threats related to the following: Habitat availability (Factor A); commercial and recreational use (Factor B); disease and predation (Factor C); hybridization and inbreeding (Factor E); and the inadequacy of existing regulations with regards to a number of these threats (Factor D) (for information about these factors, see Background, above). However, during our status review, we VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Apr 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 URL to docket on https://www.regulations.gov https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R6-ES-2017-0102. will thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the subspecies, including the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have reduced those threats. Thus, for this subspecies, the Service requests any information relevant to whether the subspecies falls within the definition of either ‘‘endangered species’’ under section 3(6) of the Act or ‘‘threatened species’’ under section 3(20) of the Act, including information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see Request for Information for Status Reviews, below). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at https://www. regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS– HQ–ES–2017–0100 under Supporting Documents. Evaluation of a Petition To Delist the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Under the Act Species and Range Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei): Colorado and Wyoming. Petition History On March 30, 2017, we received a petition dated March 29, 2017, from Pacific Legal Foundation (on behalf of Dr. Rob Roy Ramey II; Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability; Wyoming Stock Growers Association; Colorado Cattlemen’s Association; Colorado Association of Home Builders; and Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs), requesting that the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse be delisted under the Act due to an error in PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 taxonomic information. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioners, required at 50 CFR 424.14(c). This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the petition and the source cited in the petition, we find that the petition presents no additional or new information that would support a taxonomic revision for the Preble’s mouse or that would indicate that the subspecies is not a valid entity under the Act. Therefore, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that delisting the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse may be warranted. Because the petition does not present substantial information indicating that delisting the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse may be warranted, we are not initiating a status review of this species in response to this petition. However, we ask that the public submit to us any new information that becomes available concerning the status of, or threats to, this species or its habitat at any time (see Not-substantial petition finding under ADDRESSES, above). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information regarding our review of this petition, can be found as an appendix at https:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2017–0102 under Supporting Documents. Request for Information for Status Reviews When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial E:\FR\FM\17APP1.SGM 17APP1 16822 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 17, 2018 / Proposed Rules amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with PROPOSALS information indicating that listing, reclassification, or delisting of a species may be warranted, we are required to review the status of the species (a status review). For the status review to be complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request information on the species from governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, and any other interested parties. We seek information on: (1) The species’ biology, range, and population trends, including: (a) Habitat requirements; (b) Genetics and taxonomy; (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; and (d) Historical and current population levels and current and projected trends. (2) The five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Background, above) that are the basis for making a listing, reclassification, or delisting determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Act, including past and ongoing conservation measures that could decrease the extent to which one or more of the factors affect the species, its habitat, or both. (3) The potential effects of climate change on the species and its habitat, and the extent to which it affects the habitat or range of the species. Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ‘‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:36 Apr 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 You may submit your information concerning the status review by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via https:// www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the website. If you submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal identifying information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on https:// www.regulations.gov. It is important to note that the standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act’s standard that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. In making a 90-day finding, we consider information in the petition and sources cited in the petition, as well as information that is readily available, and we evaluate merely whether that information constitutes ‘‘substantial information’’ indicating that the petitioned action ‘‘may be warranted.’’ In a 12-month finding, we must complete a thorough status review of the species and evaluate the ‘‘best scientific and commercial data available’’ to determine whether a petitioned action ‘‘is warranted.’’ Because the Act’s standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, a substantial 90day finding does not mean that the 12month finding will result in a ‘‘warranted’’ finding. Conclusion On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that the petition summarized above for the Cape mountain zebra presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We are, therefore, initiating a status review to determine whether the action is warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status review, we will issue a finding, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether the petitioned action is not warranted, warranted, or warranted but precluded by pending proposals to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species. In addition, we have determined that the petition summarized above for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the requested actions may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating a status review for this species. Authors The primary authors of this document are staff members of the Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Authority The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: February 23, 2018. James W. Kurth, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Exercising the Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2018–07707 Filed 4–16–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\17APP1.SGM 17APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 74 (Tuesday, April 17, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16819-16822]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-07707]


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

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[4500030115]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings 
for Two Species

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of petition findings and initiation of a status review.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-
day findings on two petitions to list, reclassify, or delist wildlife 
or plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). 
Based on our review, we find that one petition presents substantial 
scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned 
action may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this 
document, we announce that we plan to initiate a review of the status 
of that species to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To 
ensure that this status review is comprehensive, we are requesting 
scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this 
species. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12-month finding 
on the petition, which will address whether or not the petitioned 
action is warranted, in accordance with the Act. We also find that one 
petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. 
Therefore, we are not initiating a status review of this species in 
response to that petition. We refer to this finding as a ``not 
substantial'' petition finding.

DATES: These findings were made on April 17, 2018. As we commence work 
on the status review, we seek any new information concerning the status 
of, or threats to, the species or its habitat. Any information received 
during our work on the status review will be considered.

ADDRESSES: 
    Supporting documents: Summaries of the bases for the petition 
findings contained in this document are

[[Page 16820]]

available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket 
number (see table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Supporting 
information in preparing these findings is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting 
the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    Submitting information: If you have new scientific or commercial 
data or other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the 
species for which we made these petition findings, or their habitats, 
please submit that information by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the appropriate docket 
number (see Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Then, click on 
the Search button. After finding the correct document, you may submit 
information by clicking on ``Comment Now!'' If your information will 
fit in the provided comment box, please use this feature of https://www.regulations.gov, as it is most compatible with our information 
review procedures. If you attach your information as a separate 
document, our preferred file format is Microsoft Word. If you attach 
multiple comments (such as form letters), our preferred format is a 
spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public 
Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see Table 
1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: 
BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We request that you send information only by the methods described 
above. We will post all information we receive on https://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see Request for Information for 
Status Reviews, below, for more information).
    Not-substantial petition finding: A summary of the basis for the 
not-substantial petition finding contained in this document is 
available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket 
number (see Table 2 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). Supporting 
information in preparing this finding is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours by contacting 
the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT. If you have new information concerning the status of, or 
threats to, this species, or its habitat, please submit that 
information to the appropriate person.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Common name                         Contact person
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cape mountain zebra....................  Bridget Fahey, 703-358-2163;
                                          [email protected].
Preble's meadow jumping mouse..........  Mike Thabault, 303-236-4210;
                                          [email protected].
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please 
call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR part 
424) set forth the procedures for adding a species to, or removing a 
species from, the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants (Lists). Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make 
a finding on whether a petition to add a species to the Lists (i.e., 
``list''), remove a species from the Lists (i.e., ``delist''), or to 
change a listed species' status from endangered to threatened, or from 
threatened to endangered (i.e., ``reclassify'') presents substantial 
scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned 
action may be warranted. To the maximum extent practicable, we are to 
make this finding within 90 days of our receipt of the petition and 
publish the finding promptly in the Federal Register.
    Our regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) establish 
that substantial scientific or commercial information with regard to a 
90-day petition finding refers to ``credible scientific or commercial 
information in support of the petition's claims such that a reasonable 
person conducting an impartial scientific review would conclude that 
the action proposed in the petition may be warranted'' (50 CFR 
424.14(h)(1)(i)).
    A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 
4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C 1531 et seq.). The five factors are:
    (a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range (Factor A);
    (b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes (Factor B);
    (c) Disease or predation (Factor C);
    (d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D); or
    (e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence (Factor E).

These factors represent broad categories of natural or human-caused 
actions or conditions that could have an effect on a species' continued 
existence. In evaluating these actions and conditions, we look for 
those that may have a negative effect on individuals of the species, as 
well as other actions or conditions that may ameliorate any negative 
effects or may have positive effects.
    We use the term ``threat'' to refer in general to actions or 
conditions that are known to or are reasonably likely to negatively 
affect individuals of a species. The term ``threat'' includes actions 
or conditions that have a direct impact on individuals (direct 
impacts), as well as those that affect individuals through alteration 
of their habitat or required resources (stressors). The term ``threat'' 
may encompass--either together or separately--the source of the action 
or condition or the action or condition itself. However, the mere 
identification of any threat(s) may not be sufficient to compel a 
finding that the information in the petition is substantial information 
indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. The information 
presented in the petition must include evidence sufficient to suggest 
that these threats may be affecting the species to the point that the 
species may meet the definition of an ``endangered'' species or 
``threatened'' species under the Act.
    If we find that a petition presents such information, our 
subsequent status review will evaluate all identified threats by 
considering the individual, population, and species-level effects, and 
the expected response by the species. We will evaluate individual 
threats and their expected effects on the species, then analyze the 
cumulative effect of the threats on the species as a whole. We also 
consider the cumulative effect of the threats in light of those actions 
and conditions that will have positive effects on the species--such as

[[Page 16821]]

any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts that may 
ameliorate threats. It is only after conducting this cumulative 
analysis of threats and the actions that may ameliorate them, and the 
expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future, that 
we can determine whether the species meets the definition of an 
``endangered species'' or ``threatened species.''
    If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information, the Act requires us to promptly commence a 
review of the status of the species, and we will subsequently complete 
a status review in accordance with our prioritization methodology for 
12-month findings (81 FR 49248; July 27, 2016).

Summaries of Petition Findings

    The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the 
tables below and the bases for the findings, along with supporting 
information, are available on https://www.regulations.gov under the 
appropriate docket number.

                                             Table 1--Status Review
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    URL to docket on https://
             Common name                             Docket No.                       www.regulations.gov.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cape mountain zebra.................  FWS-HQ-ES-2017-0100                       https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2017-0100.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                    Table 2--Not-Substantial Petition Finding
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    URL to docket on https://
             Common name                             Docket No.                        www.regulations.gov
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Preble's meadow jumping mouse.......  FWS-R6-ES-2017-0102                       https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FWS-R6-ES-2017-0102.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Evaluation of a Petition To Delist the Cape Mountain Zebra or 
Reclassify the Subspecies as a Threatened Species Under the Act

Species and Range

    Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra): South Africa (Eastern and 
Western Cape provinces).

Petition History

    On May 10, 2017, we received a petition dated May 10, 2017, from 
Conservation Force and the Professional Hunters Association of South 
Africa requesting that we delist the Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra 
zebra) or reclassify the subspecies from an endangered species to a 
threatened species under the Act. The petition clearly identified 
itself as such and included the requisite identification information 
for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(c). This finding 
addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the 
petition, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted for the Cape mountain zebra due to the reduction or 
elimination of threats related to the following: Habitat availability 
(Factor A); commercial and recreational use (Factor B); disease and 
predation (Factor C); hybridization and inbreeding (Factor E); and the 
inadequacy of existing regulations with regards to a number of these 
threats (Factor D) (for information about these factors, see 
Background, above). However, during our status review, we will 
thoroughly evaluate all potential threats to the subspecies, including 
the extent to which any protections or other conservation efforts have 
reduced those threats. Thus, for this subspecies, the Service requests 
any information relevant to whether the subspecies falls within the 
definition of either ``endangered species'' under section 3(6) of the 
Act or ``threatened species'' under section 3(20) of the Act, including 
information on the five listing factors under section 4(a)(1) (see 
Request for Information for Status Reviews, below).
    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information 
regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at 
https://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2017-0100 under 
Supporting Documents.

Evaluation of a Petition To Delist the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse 
Under the Act

Species and Range

    Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei): Colorado 
and Wyoming.

Petition History

    On March 30, 2017, we received a petition dated March 29, 2017, 
from Pacific Legal Foundation (on behalf of Dr. Rob Roy Ramey II; 
Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability; Wyoming 
Stock Growers Association; Colorado Cattlemen's Association; Colorado 
Association of Home Builders; and Housing and Building Association of 
Colorado Springs), requesting that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse be 
delisted under the Act due to an error in taxonomic information. The 
petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite 
identification information for the petitioners, required at 50 CFR 
424.14(c). This finding addresses the petition.

Finding

    Based on our review of the petition and the source cited in the 
petition, we find that the petition presents no additional or new 
information that would support a taxonomic revision for the Preble's 
mouse or that would indicate that the subspecies is not a valid entity 
under the Act. Therefore, we find that the petition does not present 
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that 
delisting the Preble's meadow jumping mouse may be warranted. Because 
the petition does not present substantial information indicating that 
delisting the Preble's meadow jumping mouse may be warranted, we are 
not initiating a status review of this species in response to this 
petition. However, we ask that the public submit to us any new 
information that becomes available concerning the status of, or threats 
to, this species or its habitat at any time (see Not-substantial 
petition finding under ADDRESSES, above).
    The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information 
regarding our review of this petition, can be found as an appendix at 
https://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0102 under 
Supporting Documents.

Request for Information for Status Reviews

    When we make a finding that a petition presents substantial

[[Page 16822]]

information indicating that listing, reclassification, or delisting of 
a species may be warranted, we are required to review the status of the 
species (a status review). For the status review to be complete and 
based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we 
request information on the species from governmental agencies, Native 
American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, and any other 
interested parties. We seek information on:
    (1) The species' biology, range, and population trends, including:
    (a) Habitat requirements;
    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; 
and
    (d) Historical and current population levels and current and 
projected trends.
    (2) The five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see 
Background, above) that are the basis for making a listing, 
reclassification, or delisting determination for a species under 
section 4(a) of the Act, including past and ongoing conservation 
measures that could decrease the extent to which one or more of the 
factors affect the species, its habitat, or both.
    (3) The potential effects of climate change on the species and its 
habitat, and the extent to which it affects the habitat or range of the 
species.
    Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the actions 
under consideration without providing supporting information, although 
noted, will not be considered in making a determination. Section 
4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any 
species is an endangered or threatened species must be made ``solely on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.''
    You may submit your information concerning the status review by one 
of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit information via 
https://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission--including any 
personal identifying information--will be posted on the website. If you 
submit a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you 
may request at the top of your document that we withhold this personal 
identifying information from public review. However, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy 
submissions on https://www.regulations.gov.
    It is important to note that the standard for a 90-day finding 
differs from the Act's standard that applies to a status review to 
determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. In making a 90-day 
finding, we consider information in the petition and sources cited in 
the petition, as well as information that is readily available, and we 
evaluate merely whether that information constitutes ``substantial 
information'' indicating that the petitioned action ``may be 
warranted.'' In a 12-month finding, we must complete a thorough status 
review of the species and evaluate the ``best scientific and commercial 
data available'' to determine whether a petitioned action ``is 
warranted.'' Because the Act's standards for 90-day and 12-month 
findings are different, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that 
the 12-month finding will result in a ``warranted'' finding.

Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the 
petitions under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we have determined that 
the petition summarized above for the Cape mountain zebra presents 
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the 
petitioned action may be warranted. We are, therefore, initiating a 
status review to determine whether the action is warranted under the 
Act. At the conclusion of the status review, we will issue a finding, 
in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether the 
petitioned action is not warranted, warranted, or warranted but 
precluded by pending proposals to determine whether any species is an 
endangered species or a threatened species.
    In addition, we have determined that the petition summarized above 
for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse does not present substantial 
scientific or commercial information indicating that the requested 
actions may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating a status 
review for this species.

Authors

    The primary authors of this document are staff members of the 
Ecological Services Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Authority

    The authority for these actions is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: February 23, 2018.
James W. Kurth,
Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Exercising the 
Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

[FR Doc. 2018-07707 Filed 4-16-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P