Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Five Species, 53937-53941 [2021-20963]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 / Proposed Rules stakeholders to continue cooperative monitoring and conservation efforts. References Cited A list of the references cited in these petition findings is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in the species assessment form or in the appropriate docket provided above in ADDRESSES, or upon request from the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Authors The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Species Assessment Team, Ecological Services Program. 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.). Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20923 Filed 9–28–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [FF09E21000 FXES11110900000212] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Findings for Five Species Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notification of petition findings and initiation of status reviews. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90day findings on four petitions to add species to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and one SUMMARY: petition to downlist a species from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the petitions to list the American bumble bee (Bombus pensylvanicus), Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.), and Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis) present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to initiate status reviews of these species to determine whether the petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status reviews are comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the species and factors that may affect their status. Based on the status reviews, we will issue 12-month petition findings, which will address whether or not the petitioned actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act. We further find that the petition to list the Tucson shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis annulata klauberi) and the petition to downlist the Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia) do not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, we are not initiating a status review of those two species. DATES: These findings were made on September 29, 2021. As we commence our status reviews, we seek any new information concerning the status of, or threats to, the American bumble bee, Long Valley speckled dace, Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle, or their habitats. Any information we receive during the course of our status reviews will be considered. ADDRESSES: Supporting documents: Summaries of the basis for the petition findings contained in this document are Species common name Florida torreya ........................................... lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Long Valley speckled dace ....................... Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle ............. Tucson shovel-nosed snake ..................... 17:01 Sep 28, 2021 available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see tables under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). In addition, this supporting information is available by contacting the appropriate person, as specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Status reviews: If you have new scientific or commercial data or other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the American bumble bee, Long Valley speckled dace, Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle, or their habitats, please provide those data or 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.’’ 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 to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact person American bumble bee ............................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 53937 Jkt 253001 Louise Clemency, Field Supervisor, Chicago Ecological Services Field Office, 312–489–0777, louise_ Lourdes Mena, Classification and Recovery Division Manager, Florida Ecological Services Field Office, 904–731–3134, lourdes_mena@fws.gov. Marc Jackson, Field Supervisor, Reno Fish and Wildlife Office, 775–861–6337, marc_jackson@ fws.gov. Michele Zwarties, Field Supervisor, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, 503–231–6179, michele_ zwartjes@fws.gov. Jeff Humphrey, Field Supervisor, Arizona Ecological Services Office, 602–242–0210, jeff_humphrey@fws.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\29SEP1.SGM 29SEP1 53938 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 / Proposed Rules If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, 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 species to, removing species from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists or List) in 50 CFR part 17. Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on whether a petition to add a species to the List (i.e., ‘‘list’’ a species), remove a species from the List (i.e., ‘‘delist’’ a species), or change a listed species’ status from endangered to threatened or from threatened to endangered (i.e., ‘‘reclassify’’ a species) 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 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 species or a threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1)). 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); and (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, affect individuals of a species negatively. 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 are expected to have positive effects on the species— such as 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 under the Act. If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, the Act requires that we 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). We note that designating critical habitat is not a petitionable action under the Act. Petitions to designate critical habitat (for species without existing critical habitat) are reviewed under the Administrative Procedure Act and are not addressed here (see 50 CFR 424.14(j)). To the maximum extent prudent and determinable, any proposed critical habitat will be addressed concurrently with a proposed rule to list a species, if applicable. Summaries of Petition Findings The petition findings contained in this document are listed in the tables below, and the basis for each finding, along with supporting information, is available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 TABLE 1—STATUS REVIEWS Common name Docket No. URL to docket on https://www.regulations.gov American bumble bee ............................................. Long Valley speckled dace ..................................... Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle ........................... FWS–R3–ES–2021–0063 FWS–R8–ES–2021–0065 FWS–R1–ES–2021–0066 https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R3-ES-2021-0063 https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R8-ES-2021-0065 https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R1-ES-2021-0066 TABLE 2—NOT-SUBSTANTIAL PETITION FINDINGS Common name Docket No. Florida torreya ......................................................... Tucson shovel-nosed snake ................................... FWS–R4–ES–2021–0064 FWS–R2–ES–2021–0067 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Sep 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4702 URL to Docket on https://www.regulations.gov https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R4-ES-2021-0064 https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R2-ES-2021-0067 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\29SEP1.SGM 29SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 / Proposed Rules Evaluation of a Petition To List American Bumble Bee Species and Range American bumble bee (Bombus pensylvanicus); Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia; Canada (Ontario); and Mexico. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Petition History On February 1, 2021, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and the Bombus Pollinators Association of Law Students of Albany Law School, requesting that the American bumble bee be listed as an endangered species and critical habitat be designated for this 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 We reviewed the petition and sources cited in the petition. We considered the factors under the Act’s section 4(a)(1) and assessed the effect that the threats identified within the factors—as may be ameliorated or exacerbated by any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts—may have on the species now and in the foreseeable future. Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition regarding pathogen spillover (Factor C), we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the American bumble bee as an endangered or threatened species may be warranted. The petitioners also present information suggesting the following may be threats to the American bumble bee: Habitat destruction from agricultural intensification, livestock grazing, and pesticide use; loss of genetic diversity; climate change; and competition from nonnative honeybees. We will fully evaluate these potential threats during our status review, pursuant to the Act’s requirement to review the best scientific and commercial information available when making our 12-month finding. 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:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Sep 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R3–ES–2021–0063 under the Supporting Documents section. Evaluation of a Petition To Downlist Florida Torreya Species and Range Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia); northern Florida and Georgia. Petition History On December 12, 2019, we received a petition dated September 9, 2018, from Connie Barlow, requesting that the Florida torreya be downlisted from endangered to threatened because the species does not meet the definition of an ‘‘endangered species’’ under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, as specified 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 does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted for the Florida torreya. Based on the Service’s 2010 5year review, the species is considered extremely vulnerable due to its limited range, low population numbers, and rarity of habitat. The primary decline in species abundance is thought to have resulted from fungal pathogens during the 1950s and 1960s, and/or a combination of environmental stress and native pathogens, but studies have yet to provide an explanation. We found that the petition does not present credible scientific and commercial information to support the claim that the destruction, modification, or curtailment of the Florida torreya’s habitat or range have been ameliorated (Factor A). Additionally, the petition does not provide substantial evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the historical range of the Florida torreya is larger than described at the time the species was listed. We acknowledge that the petition provides additional documentation on the effects of disease at localities outside of the Florida torreya’s native range (Factor C), including the locations and conditions of many northern outplantings, and provides new information regarding the species’ natural history and best propagation practices (Factor E); however, the petition does not present substantial information indicating that the primary threats to the species have been reduced or removed such that the PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 53939 species may be warranted for downlisting to threatened status. Because the petition does not present substantial information indicating that downlisting the Florida torreya 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 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above). 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–R4–ES–2021–0064 under the Supporting Documents section. Evaluation of a Petition To List Long Valley Speckled Dace Species and Range Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.); historical range: Upper Owens River watershed, Mono County, California; current range: Whitmore Hot Spring, Mono County, California. (Long Valley speckled dace may be extirpated in the wild, and only found in an artificial pond in Inyo County, California, outside of their historical range.) Petition History On June 24, 2020, we received a petition, dated June 8, 2020, from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), requesting that the Service take several actions regarding three speckled dace entities, including the Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.). Only the request to list the Long Valley speckled dace as an endangered, separate subspecies of speckled dace (R. osculus) was found to be a valid petition. The CBD clearly identified their document as a petition and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(c). This finding addresses the petition for the Long Valley speckled dace. Finding We reviewed the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other readily available information. Based on our review of the petition and readily available information regarding geothermal energy development (Factor A), surface water diversions (Factor A), habitat alteration from recreational activities (Factor A), livestock grazing (Factor A), disease (Factor C), regulatory E:\FR\FM\29SEP1.SGM 29SEP1 53940 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 / Proposed Rules mechanisms regarding water quality and groundwater management (Factor D), introduced species (Factor E), and climate change (Factor E), we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.) as an endangered subspecies of speckled dace (R. osculus) may be warranted. We will fully evaluate all potential threats during our status review, pursuant to the Act’s requirement to review the best scientific and commercial information available when making our 12-month finding. 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–R8–ES–2021–0065 under the Supporting Documents section. Evaluation of a Petition To List Siuslaw Hairy-Necked Tiger Beetle Species and Range lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis); Coos, Curry, Douglas, and Lane County, Oregon; and Grays Harbor and Pacific County, Washington. To support the claim that the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis (Graves 1988)) is a valid subspecies and therefore eligible for protection under the Act, the petition described below cites to two sources: the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2020, p. 1) and Pearson et al. (2015, p. 79). ITIS considers Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis to be a valid subspecies. However, Pearson et al. (2015) calls the validity of the subspecies into question and recommends further study. For this finding, the fact that ITIS (2020) recognizes Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis as a valid taxon, and to our knowledge no further study has invalidated its taxonomic status as a subspecies, leads us to conclude that there is substantial information that the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle may be a valid listable entity under the Act. However, we will conduct a complete review of the best available scientific information on taxonomy at the time of our status review, pursuant to the Act’s requirements. Petition History On November 12, 2020, we received a petition dated November 9, 2020, from the CBD and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation requesting that the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela hirticollis VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Sep 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 siuslawensis) be listed as an endangered or threatened species and critical habitat be designated for this 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 We reviewed the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other readily available information. Based on our review of the petition and readily available information regarding offhighway vehicle (OHV) use (Factor A), breaching and dredge spoil deposition (Factor A), invasive species (Factor A), bulldozing and sand deposition (Factor A), regulatory mechanisms regarding OHV use and controlling recreational use (Factor D), human disturbance (Factor E), sea level rise and flooding (Factor E), and coastal erosion (Factor E), we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle as an endangered or threatened species may be warranted. The petitioners also presented information suggesting that habitat destruction or fragmentation as a result of development and inbreeding depression may be threats to the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle. We will fully evaluate all potential threats during our status review, pursuant to the Act’s requirement to review the best available scientific information when making our 12-month finding. 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–R1–ES–2021–0066 under the Supporting Documents section. Evaluation of a Petition To List the Tucson Shovel-Nosed Snake Species and Range Tucson shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis annulata klauberi). Historical range—The range of the western shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis occipitalis), which includes the Tucson shovel-nosed snake subspecies, extended from southern Nevada and southern California, across southwestern Arizona and into Mexico. The Tucson shovel-nosed snake has been recognized as a subspecies of the western shovel-nosed snake since 1941, but its range was not defined. Klauber (1951) described locations of the Tucson shovel-nosed snake subspecies in eastern Pima and Pinal Counties, Arizona, from Tucson northwest to PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Picacho and then north to Florence Junction. These locations were primarily based on morphological color patterns of the subspecies. He also described intergradation (areas where populations of two distinct subspecies are connected that have the characteristics of both) with another western shovel-nosed snake subspecies in Maricopa County and western portions of Pinal and Pima Counties from Casa Grande West to Gila Bend, north to Aguila, and South to Ajo, Arizona. Current range—In our 2014 species status assessment (SSA) of the Tucson shovel-nosed snake, we determined the current range of the Tucson shovelnosed snake to encompass 7,783,875 acres (3,150,022 hectares) within Pima, Pinal, Maricopa, Yavapai, Yuma, and La Paz Counties in central and western Arizona (Wood et al. 2014; Service 2014b, p. 14). Because the Tucson shovel-nosed snake exhibits many different color patterns throughout its range, we relied on genetic data to define the subspecies’ range (Service 2014b, pp. 13–14). The petitioner disagrees with our determination of current range in our 2014 SSA and subsequent 12-month finding that listing the species was not warranted (79 FR 56730; September 23, 2014). The petitioner believes that the current range of the Tucson shovelnosed snake includes western Pima, Pinal, and Maricopa Counties in central Arizona, based on a different interpretation of the taxonomic revision described in Wood et al. (2014, entire) than our interpretation. The petitioner limits the current range of the subspecies to include snakes that share genetic characteristics with C. a. klauberi and also have the same color pattern as the Tucson shovel-nosed snake. The petitioner’s definition of the current range relies on color pattern to limit the range of the subspecies, whereas our definition relies solely on the genetics of the subspecies. The western shovel-nosed snake is a highly variable species with regard to color patterns throughout its range. Although some western shovel-nosed snakes may look like a particular subspecies, genetic analyses commonly indicate a snake is actually a different subspecies than its color pattern suggests. Similar to the western shovelnosed snake species as a whole, finding snakes that are phenotypically diverse but genetically similar is the norm for several valleys in the Tucson shovelnosed snake’s historical range in Arizona. Therefore, we concluded in our 2014 SSA that the species’ current range includes an additional 4,943,728 E:\FR\FM\29SEP1.SGM 29SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 / Proposed Rules acres (2,000,655 hectares) that extents westward into La Paz County, Arizona because of their genetic similarity, which expands the range beyond what the petitioners’ identify as the current range in their petition. Refer to our 2014 SSA, available at https:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2021–0067, for more information on the genetic analysis of this subspecies. Petition History lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 On October 20, 2020, we received a petition dated September 24, 2020, from the CBD requesting that the Tucson shovel-nosed snake be listed as an endangered or threatened species and critical habitat be designated for this 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. We previously received a petition from the same petitioner requesting that the Tucson shovel-nosed snake be listed as an endangered or threatened species and critical habitat be designated under the Act on December 14, 2004. We subsequently completed a substantial 90-day finding (73 FR 43905; July 29, 2008) and found listing was warranted but precluded by higher priority actions in a 12-month finding, when the Tucson shovel-nosed snake was added to the list of candidate species (75 FR 16050; March 31, 2010). On September 9, 2011, the Service entered into a settlement agreement where we were required to submit a proposed rule or not warranted 12-month finding for the Tucson shovelnosed snake by September 30, 2014. Therefore, we completed an SSA in 2014 (Service 2014b) and published a 12-month finding (79 FR 56730; September 23, 2014) that concluded that listing the Tucson shovel-nosed snake as an endangered or threatened species was not warranted, and, therefore, we removed the subspecies from our candidate list. Where the prior review resulted in a final agency action, a petitioned action generally would not be considered to present substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the action may be warranted unless the petition provides VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Sep 28, 2021 Jkt 253001 new information not previously considered (see 50 CFR 424.14(h)(iii)), which this petition did not. Finding We reviewed the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other readily available information. Based on our review of the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other readily available information, we find that the petition does not provide substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Tucson shovel-nosed snake as an endangered or threatened species may be warranted. The key difference between the petitioners’ conclusions regarding the species’ likely status and the conclusions in our 2014 finding relate to the difference in interpretation of the current range of the species, as described above. We stand by our previous determination that genetic analysis is a better scientific method than color patterns for determining which subspecies a shovelnosed snake belongs to, and the petition did not contain any substantial or new information that indicated otherwise. Additionally, almost all of the information regarding potential threats to the Tucson shovel-nosed snake provided in and cited by the petition were previously considered in our 2014 not warranted finding. Although the petition provides some new information regarding specific impacts from proposed Interstate 11, our previous finding considered the likely additional impacts of future development in this area. Our review of the petition found that any potential impact to the Tucson shovel-nosed snake from proposed Interstate 11 is not likely to significantly affect Tucson shovel-nosed snake individuals. Because the petition does not present substantial information indicating that listing the Tucson shovel-nosed snake may be warranted, we are not initiating a status review of this subspecies 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 subspecies or its habitat at any time (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above). The basis for our finding on this petition, and other information PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 53941 regarding our review of the petition, can be found as an appendix at https:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2021–0067 under the Supporting Documents section. Conclusion On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the petitions under sections 4(b)(3)(A) and 4(b)(3)(D)(i) of the Act, we have determined that the petitions summarized above for American bumble bee, Long Valley speckled dace, and Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. We are, therefore, initiating status reviews of these species to determine whether the actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status reviews, we will issue findings, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act, as to whether the petitioned actions are 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 petitions summarized above for the Florida torreya and Tucson shovel-nosed snake do not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted. We are, therefore, not initiating a status review of either of these species in response to the petitions. 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.). Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20963 Filed 9–28–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\29SEP1.SGM 29SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 186 (Wednesday, September 29, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53937-53941]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20963]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[FF09E21000 FXES11110900000212]


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

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notification of petition findings and initiation of status 
reviews.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 90-
day findings on four petitions to add species to the Lists of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and one petition to 
downlist a species from endangered to threatened under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find 
that the petitions to list the American bumble bee (Bombus 
pensylvanicus), Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.), 
and Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela hirticollis 
siuslawensis) present substantial scientific or commercial information 
indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Therefore, 
with the publication of this document, we announce that we plan to 
initiate status reviews of these species to determine whether the 
petitioned actions are warranted. To ensure that the status reviews are 
comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and 
other information regarding the species and factors that may affect 
their status. Based on the status reviews, we will issue 12-month 
petition findings, which will address whether or not the petitioned 
actions are warranted, in accordance with the Act. We further find that 
the petition to list the Tucson shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis annulata 
klauberi) and the petition to downlist the Florida torreya (Torreya 
taxifolia) do not present substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating the petitioned action may be warranted. 
Therefore, we are not initiating a status review of those two species.

DATES: These findings were made on September 29, 2021. As we commence 
our status reviews, we seek any new information concerning the status 
of, or threats to, the American bumble bee, Long Valley speckled dace, 
Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle, or their habitats. Any information 
we receive during the course of our status reviews will be considered.

ADDRESSES: 
    Supporting documents: Summaries of the basis for the petition 
findings contained in this document are available on https://www.regulations.gov under the appropriate docket number (see tables 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). In addition, this supporting 
information is available by contacting the appropriate person, as 
specified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Status reviews: If you have new scientific or commercial data or 
other information concerning the status of, or threats to, the American 
bumble bee, Long Valley speckled dace, Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger 
beetle, or their habitats, please provide those data or 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.'' 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 to: Public Comments 
Processing, Attn: [Insert appropriate docket number; see Table 1 under 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION], U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 
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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Species common name                    Contact person
------------------------------------------------------------------------
American bumble bee...............................  Louise Clemency,
                                                     Field Supervisor,
                                                     Chicago Ecological
                                                     Services Field
                                                     Office, 312-489-
                                                     0777,
                                                     [email protected].
Florida torreya...................................  Lourdes Mena,
                                                     Classification and
                                                     Recovery Division
                                                     Manager, Florida
                                                     Ecological Services
                                                     Field Office, 904-
                                                     731-3134,
                                                     [email protected].
Long Valley speckled dace.........................  Marc Jackson, Field
                                                     Supervisor, Reno
                                                     Fish and Wildlife
                                                     Office, 775-861-
                                                     6337,
                                                     [email protected].
Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle.................  Michele Zwarties,
                                                     Field Supervisor,
                                                     Oregon Fish and
                                                     Wildlife Office,
                                                     503-231-6179,
                                                     [email protected].
Tucson shovel-nosed snake.........................  Jeff Humphrey, Field
                                                     Supervisor, Arizona
                                                     Ecological Services
                                                     Office, 602-242-
                                                     0210,
                                                     [email protected].
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 53938]]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf, 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 species to, removing species 
from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists or List) in 50 CFR part 17. 
Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that we make a finding on 
whether a petition to add a species to the List (i.e., ``list'' a 
species), remove a species from the List (i.e., ``delist'' a species), 
or change a listed species' status from endangered to threatened or 
from threatened to endangered (i.e., ``reclassify'' a species) 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 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 species or a 
threatened species because of one or more of the five factors described 
in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(1)). 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); 
and
    (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, affect 
individuals of a species negatively. 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 are expected to have positive effects on the 
species--such as 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 under the Act.
    If we find that a petition presents substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be 
warranted, the Act requires that we 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).
    We note that designating critical habitat is not a petitionable 
action under the Act. Petitions to designate critical habitat (for 
species without existing critical habitat) are reviewed under the 
Administrative Procedure Act and are not addressed here (see 50 CFR 
424.14(j)). To the maximum extent prudent and determinable, any 
proposed critical habitat will be addressed concurrently with a 
proposed rule to list a species, if applicable.

Summaries of Petition Findings

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

                                             Table 1--Status Reviews
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      URL to docket on https://
              Common name                               Docket No.                       www.regulations.gov
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
American bumble bee...................  FWS-R3-ES-2021-0063                         https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R3-ES-2021-0063
Long Valley speckled dace.............  FWS-R8-ES-2021-0065                         https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R8-ES-2021-0065
Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle.....  FWS-R1-ES-2021-0066                         https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R1-ES-2021-0066
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                   Table 2--Not-Substantial Petition Findings
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      URL to Docket on https://
              Common name                               Docket No.                       www.regulations.gov
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Florida torreya.......................  FWS-R4-ES-2021-0064                         https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R4-ES-2021-0064
Tucson shovel-nosed snake.............  FWS-R2-ES-2021-0067                         https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FWS-R2-ES-2021-0067
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 53939]]

Evaluation of a Petition To List American Bumble Bee

Species and Range
    American bumble bee (Bombus pensylvanicus); Alabama, Arizona, 
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, 
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, 
Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New 
Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, 
South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West 
Virginia; Canada (Ontario); and Mexico.
Petition History
    On February 1, 2021, we received a petition from the Center for 
Biological Diversity and the Bombus Pollinators Association of Law 
Students of Albany Law School, requesting that the American bumble bee 
be listed as an endangered species and critical habitat be designated 
for this 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
    We reviewed the petition and sources cited in the petition. We 
considered the factors under the Act's section 4(a)(1) and assessed the 
effect that the threats identified within the factors--as may be 
ameliorated or exacerbated by any existing regulatory mechanisms or 
conservation efforts--may have on the species now and in the 
foreseeable future. Based on our review of the petition and sources 
cited in the petition regarding pathogen spillover (Factor C), we find 
that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that listing the American bumble bee as an 
endangered or threatened species may be warranted. The petitioners also 
present information suggesting the following may be threats to the 
American bumble bee: Habitat destruction from agricultural 
intensification, livestock grazing, and pesticide use; loss of genetic 
diversity; climate change; and competition from nonnative honeybees. We 
will fully evaluate these potential threats during our status review, 
pursuant to the Act's requirement to review the best scientific and 
commercial information available when making our 12-month finding.
    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-R3-ES-2021-0063 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Evaluation of a Petition To Downlist Florida Torreya

Species and Range
    Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia); northern Florida and Georgia.
Petition History
    On December 12, 2019, we received a petition dated September 9, 
2018, from Connie Barlow, requesting that the Florida torreya be 
downlisted from endangered to threatened because the species does not 
meet the definition of an ``endangered species'' under the Act. The 
petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite 
identification information for the petitioner, as specified 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 does not present substantial 
scientific or commercial information indicating the petitioned action 
may be warranted for the Florida torreya. Based on the Service's 2010 
5-year review, the species is considered extremely vulnerable due to 
its limited range, low population numbers, and rarity of habitat. The 
primary decline in species abundance is thought to have resulted from 
fungal pathogens during the 1950s and 1960s, and/or a combination of 
environmental stress and native pathogens, but studies have yet to 
provide an explanation.
    We found that the petition does not present credible scientific and 
commercial information to support the claim that the destruction, 
modification, or curtailment of the Florida torreya's habitat or range 
have been ameliorated (Factor A). Additionally, the petition does not 
provide substantial evidence that would lead a reasonable person to 
believe that the historical range of the Florida torreya is larger than 
described at the time the species was listed. We acknowledge that the 
petition provides additional documentation on the effects of disease at 
localities outside of the Florida torreya's native range (Factor C), 
including the locations and conditions of many northern outplantings, 
and provides new information regarding the species' natural history and 
best propagation practices (Factor E); however, the petition does not 
present substantial information indicating that the primary threats to 
the species have been reduced or removed such that the species may be 
warranted for downlisting to threatened status.
    Because the petition does not present substantial information 
indicating that downlisting the Florida torreya 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 FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT, above).
    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-R4-ES-2021-0064 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Evaluation of a Petition To List Long Valley Speckled Dace

Species and Range
    Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.); historical 
range: Upper Owens River watershed, Mono County, California; current 
range: Whitmore Hot Spring, Mono County, California. (Long Valley 
speckled dace may be extirpated in the wild, and only found in an 
artificial pond in Inyo County, California, outside of their historical 
range.)
Petition History
    On June 24, 2020, we received a petition, dated June 8, 2020, from 
the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), requesting that the Service 
take several actions regarding three speckled dace entities, including 
the Long Valley speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.). Only the 
request to list the Long Valley speckled dace as an endangered, 
separate subspecies of speckled dace (R. osculus) was found to be a 
valid petition.
    The CBD clearly identified their document as a petition and 
included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, 
required at 50 CFR 424.14(c). This finding addresses the petition for 
the Long Valley speckled dace.
Finding
    We reviewed the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other 
readily available information. Based on our review of the petition and 
readily available information regarding geothermal energy development 
(Factor A), surface water diversions (Factor A), habitat alteration 
from recreational activities (Factor A), livestock grazing (Factor A), 
disease (Factor C), regulatory

[[Page 53940]]

mechanisms regarding water quality and groundwater management (Factor 
D), introduced species (Factor E), and climate change (Factor E), we 
find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial 
information indicating that listing the Long Valley speckled dace 
(Rhinichthys osculus ssp.) as an endangered subspecies of speckled dace 
(R. osculus) may be warranted. We will fully evaluate all potential 
threats during our status review, pursuant to the Act's requirement to 
review the best scientific and commercial information available when 
making our 12-month finding.
    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-R8-ES-2021-0065 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Evaluation of a Petition To List Siuslaw Hairy-Necked Tiger Beetle

Species and Range
    Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela hirticollis 
siuslawensis); Coos, Curry, Douglas, and Lane County, Oregon; and Grays 
Harbor and Pacific County, Washington.
    To support the claim that the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle 
(Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis (Graves 1988)) is a valid 
subspecies and therefore eligible for protection under the Act, the 
petition described below cites to two sources: the Integrated Taxonomic 
Information System (ITIS 2020, p. 1) and Pearson et al. (2015, p. 79). 
ITIS considers Cicindela hirticollis siuslawensis to be a valid 
subspecies. However, Pearson et al. (2015) calls the validity of the 
subspecies into question and recommends further study. For this 
finding, the fact that ITIS (2020) recognizes Cicindela hirticollis 
siuslawensis as a valid taxon, and to our knowledge no further study 
has invalidated its taxonomic status as a subspecies, leads us to 
conclude that there is substantial information that the Siuslaw hairy-
necked tiger beetle may be a valid listable entity under the Act. 
However, we will conduct a complete review of the best available 
scientific information on taxonomy at the time of our status review, 
pursuant to the Act's requirements.
Petition History
    On November 12, 2020, we received a petition dated November 9, 
2020, from the CBD and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation 
requesting that the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle (Cicindela 
hirticollis siuslawensis) be listed as an endangered or threatened 
species and critical habitat be designated for this 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
    We reviewed the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other 
readily available information. Based on our review of the petition and 
readily available information regarding off-highway vehicle (OHV) use 
(Factor A), breaching and dredge spoil deposition (Factor A), invasive 
species (Factor A), bulldozing and sand deposition (Factor A), 
regulatory mechanisms regarding OHV use and controlling recreational 
use (Factor D), human disturbance (Factor E), sea level rise and 
flooding (Factor E), and coastal erosion (Factor E), we find that the 
petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information 
indicating that listing the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle as an 
endangered or threatened species may be warranted. The petitioners also 
presented information suggesting that habitat destruction or 
fragmentation as a result of development and inbreeding depression may 
be threats to the Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle. We will fully 
evaluate all potential threats during our status review, pursuant to 
the Act's requirement to review the best available scientific 
information when making our 12-month finding.
    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-R1-ES-2021-0066 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Evaluation of a Petition To List the Tucson Shovel-Nosed Snake

Species and Range
    Tucson shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis annulata klauberi).
    Historical range--The range of the western shovel-nosed snake 
(Chionactis occipitalis), which includes the Tucson shovel-nosed snake 
subspecies, extended from southern Nevada and southern California, 
across southwestern Arizona and into Mexico. The Tucson shovel-nosed 
snake has been recognized as a subspecies of the western shovel-nosed 
snake since 1941, but its range was not defined. Klauber (1951) 
described locations of the Tucson shovel-nosed snake subspecies in 
eastern Pima and Pinal Counties, Arizona, from Tucson northwest to 
Picacho and then north to Florence Junction. These locations were 
primarily based on morphological color patterns of the subspecies. He 
also described intergradation (areas where populations of two distinct 
subspecies are connected that have the characteristics of both) with 
another western shovel-nosed snake subspecies in Maricopa County and 
western portions of Pinal and Pima Counties from Casa Grande West to 
Gila Bend, north to Aguila, and South to Ajo, Arizona.
    Current range--In our 2014 species status assessment (SSA) of the 
Tucson shovel-nosed snake, we determined the current range of the 
Tucson shovel-nosed snake to encompass 7,783,875 acres (3,150,022 
hectares) within Pima, Pinal, Maricopa, Yavapai, Yuma, and La Paz 
Counties in central and western Arizona (Wood et al. 2014; Service 
2014b, p. 14). Because the Tucson shovel-nosed snake exhibits many 
different color patterns throughout its range, we relied on genetic 
data to define the subspecies' range (Service 2014b, pp. 13-14).
    The petitioner disagrees with our determination of current range in 
our 2014 SSA and subsequent 12-month finding that listing the species 
was not warranted (79 FR 56730; September 23, 2014). The petitioner 
believes that the current range of the Tucson shovel-nosed snake 
includes western Pima, Pinal, and Maricopa Counties in central Arizona, 
based on a different interpretation of the taxonomic revision described 
in Wood et al. (2014, entire) than our interpretation. The petitioner 
limits the current range of the subspecies to include snakes that share 
genetic characteristics with C. a. klauberi and also have the same 
color pattern as the Tucson shovel-nosed snake. The petitioner's 
definition of the current range relies on color pattern to limit the 
range of the subspecies, whereas our definition relies solely on the 
genetics of the subspecies.
    The western shovel-nosed snake is a highly variable species with 
regard to color patterns throughout its range. Although some western 
shovel-nosed snakes may look like a particular subspecies, genetic 
analyses commonly indicate a snake is actually a different subspecies 
than its color pattern suggests. Similar to the western shovel-nosed 
snake species as a whole, finding snakes that are phenotypically 
diverse but genetically similar is the norm for several valleys in the 
Tucson shovel-nosed snake's historical range in Arizona. Therefore, we 
concluded in our 2014 SSA that the species' current range includes an 
additional 4,943,728

[[Page 53941]]

acres (2,000,655 hectares) that extents westward into La Paz County, 
Arizona because of their genetic similarity, which expands the range 
beyond what the petitioners' identify as the current range in their 
petition. Refer to our 2014 SSA, available at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2021-0067, for more 
information on the genetic analysis of this subspecies.
Petition History
    On October 20, 2020, we received a petition dated September 24, 
2020, from the CBD requesting that the Tucson shovel-nosed snake be 
listed as an endangered or threatened species and critical habitat be 
designated for this 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.
    We previously received a petition from the same petitioner 
requesting that the Tucson shovel-nosed snake be listed as an 
endangered or threatened species and critical habitat be designated 
under the Act on December 14, 2004. We subsequently completed a 
substantial 90-day finding (73 FR 43905; July 29, 2008) and found 
listing was warranted but precluded by higher priority actions in a 12-
month finding, when the Tucson shovel-nosed snake was added to the list 
of candidate species (75 FR 16050; March 31, 2010). On September 9, 
2011, the Service entered into a settlement agreement where we were 
required to submit a proposed rule or not warranted 12-month finding 
for the Tucson shovel-nosed snake by September 30, 2014. Therefore, we 
completed an SSA in 2014 (Service 2014b) and published a 12-month 
finding (79 FR 56730; September 23, 2014) that concluded that listing 
the Tucson shovel-nosed snake as an endangered or threatened species 
was not warranted, and, therefore, we removed the subspecies from our 
candidate list. Where the prior review resulted in a final agency 
action, a petitioned action generally would not be considered to 
present substantial scientific and commercial information indicating 
that the action may be warranted unless the petition provides new 
information not previously considered (see 50 CFR 424.14(h)(iii)), 
which this petition did not.
Finding
    We reviewed the petition, sources cited in the petition, and other 
readily available information. Based on our review of the petition, 
sources cited in the petition, and other readily available information, 
we find that the petition does not provide substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that listing the Tucson shovel-nosed 
snake as an endangered or threatened species may be warranted. The key 
difference between the petitioners' conclusions regarding the species' 
likely status and the conclusions in our 2014 finding relate to the 
difference in interpretation of the current range of the species, as 
described above. We stand by our previous determination that genetic 
analysis is a better scientific method than color patterns for 
determining which subspecies a shovel-nosed snake belongs to, and the 
petition did not contain any substantial or new information that 
indicated otherwise. Additionally, almost all of the information 
regarding potential threats to the Tucson shovel-nosed snake provided 
in and cited by the petition were previously considered in our 2014 not 
warranted finding. Although the petition provides some new information 
regarding specific impacts from proposed Interstate 11, our previous 
finding considered the likely additional impacts of future development 
in this area. Our review of the petition found that any potential 
impact to the Tucson shovel-nosed snake from proposed Interstate 11 is 
not likely to significantly affect Tucson shovel-nosed snake 
individuals.
    Because the petition does not present substantial information 
indicating that listing the Tucson shovel-nosed snake may be warranted, 
we are not initiating a status review of this subspecies 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 subspecies or its habitat at any time (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT, above).
    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-R2-ES-2021-0067 under 
the Supporting Documents section.

Conclusion

    On the basis of our evaluation of the information presented in the 
petitions under sections 4(b)(3)(A) and 4(b)(3)(D)(i) of the Act, we 
have determined that the petitions summarized above for American bumble 
bee, Long Valley speckled dace, and Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle 
present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned actions may be warranted. We are, therefore, 
initiating status reviews of these species to determine whether the 
actions are warranted under the Act. At the conclusion of the status 
reviews, we will issue findings, in accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B) 
of the Act, as to whether the petitioned actions are 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 petitions summarized above for 
the Florida torreya and Tucson shovel-nosed snake do not present 
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the 
petitioned action may be warranted. We are, therefore, not initiating a 
status review of either of these species in response to the petitions.

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.).

Martha Williams,
Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-20963 Filed 9-28-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P