Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Bog Buck Moth, 57104-57122 [2021-21856]

Download as PDF 57104 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules Subpart 332.70—Electronic Submission and Processing of Payment Requests Sec. 332.7000 Scope of subpart. 332.7001 Definitions. 332.7002 Policy. 332.7003 Contract clause. Subpart 332.70—Electronic Submission and Processing of Payment Requests 332.7000 Scope of subpart. This subpart prescribes policies and procedures for electronic submission and processing of payment requests. 332.7001 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Policy. (a) Contracts shall require the electronic submission of payment requests, except for— (1) Purchases paid for with a Government-wide commercial purchase card; and (2) Classified contracts or purchases when electronic submission and processing of payment requests could compromise classified information or national security. (b) Where a contract otherwise requires the electronic submission of invoices, the Contracting Officer may authorize alternate procedures only if the Contracting Officer makes a written determination that: (1) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is unable to receive electronic payment requests or provide acceptance electronically; (2) The contractor has demonstrated that electronic submission would be unduly burdensome; or (3) The contractor is in the process of transitioning to electronic submission of payment requests, but needs additional time to complete such transition. Authorizations granted on the basis of this paragraph (b)(3) must specify a date by which the contractor will transition to electronic submission. (c) Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, HHS officials shall process electronic payment submissions through the Department of the Treasury Invoice Processing Platform or successor system. (d) If the requirement for electronic submission of payment requests is waived under paragraph (a)(2) or (b) of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 332.7003 Jkt 256001 Except as provided in 332.7002(a), use the clause at 352.232–71, Electronic Submission of Payment Requests, in all solicitations and contracts. PART 352—SOLICITATIONS PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 3. The authority citation for part 352 continues to read as follows: Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 40 U.S.C. 121(c)(2). 4. Add section 352.232–71 to read as follows: ■ 352.232–71 Electronic submission of payment requests As prescribed in HHSAR 332.7003, use the following clause: Electronic Submission of Payment Requests (DATE TBD) (a) Definitions. As used in this clause— (1) ‘‘Payment request’’ means a bill, voucher, invoice, or request for contract financing payment with associated supporting documentation. The payment request must comply with the requirements identified in FAR 32.905(b), ‘‘Content of Invoices’’ and the applicable Payment clause included in this contract. (b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this clause, the Contractor shall submit payment requests electronically using the Department of Treasury Invoice Processing Platform (IPP) or successor system. Information regarding IPP, including IPP Customer Support contact information, is available at www.ipp.gov or any successor site. (c) The Contractor may submit payment requests using other than IPP only when the Contracting Officer authorizes alternate procedures in writing in accordance with HHS procedures. (d) If alternate payment procedures are authorized, the Contractor shall include a copy of the Contracting Officer’s written authorization with each payment request. (End of Clause) Dated: October 4, 2021. Xavier Becerra, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–21931 Filed 10–13–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4151–19–P PO 00000 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 Contract clause. ■ Definitions. Payment request, as used in this subpart, is defined as a bill, voucher, invoice, or request for contract financing payment with associated supporting documentation. The payment request must comply with the requirements identified in FAR 32.905(b), Content of invoices, and the applicable Payment clause included in this contract. 332.7002 this section, the contract or alternate payment authorization, as applicable, shall specify the form and method of payment request submission. Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 [Docket No. FWS–R5–ES–2021–0029; FF09E21000 FXES1111090FEDR 223] RIN 1018–BF69 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Bog Buck Moth Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the bog buck moth (Hemileuca maia menyanthevora) (=H.iroquois), a moth that occurs in Oswego County, New York (NY), and Ontario, Canada, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the species is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the bog buck moth as an endangered species under the Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and extend the Act’s protections to the species. We have determined that designation of critical habitat for the bog buck moth is not prudent at this time. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before December 13, 2021. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for a public hearing, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by November 29, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number or RIN for this rulemaking (presented above in the document headings). For best results, do not copy and paste either number; instead, type the docket number or RIN into the Search box using hyphens. Then, click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check the Proposed Rule box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on ‘‘Comment.’’ SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R5–ES–2021–0029, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041– 3803. We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on https:// www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Information Requested, below, for more information). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Stilwell, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045; telephone 607–753–9334. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Executive Summary Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, if we determine that a species warrants listing, we are required to promptly publish a proposal in the Federal Register, unless doing so is precluded by higher-priority actions and expeditious progress is being made to add and remove qualified species to or from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The Service will make a determination on our proposal within 1 year. If there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency and accuracy of the available data relevant to the proposed listing, we may extend the final determination for not more than six months. To the maximum extent prudent and determinable, we must designate critical habitat for any species that we determine to be an endangered or threatened species under the Act. Listing a species as an endangered or threatened species and designation of critical habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule. What this document does. We propose to list the bog buck moth as an endangered species under the Act. The basis for our action. Under the Act, we may determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species because of any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that the bog buck moth VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 is at risk of extinction now throughout its range due to a combination of factors. Bog buck moth populations undergo boom and bust cycles and are highly vulnerable to threats during the bust phase (Factor E). All populations are isolated from one another (Factor E). All extant populations are experiencing some degree of habitat alteration from invasive plant species and habitat succession (Factor A). Flooding may drown various life stages of bog buck moths or reduce suitable habitat either by directly making it unavailable (under water) or reducing survival and growth of bog buckbean, an important food source for the bog buck moth larvae (Factor A). Flooding has increased at one New York population over the past several years due to increased winter and spring precipitation from climate change and high Great Lakes water levels (Factor E). Water level management has altered or has the potential to alter several bog buck moth sites (Factor A). Additionally, the sedentary nature of the bog buck moth means that colonization of neighboring fens does not occur naturally, further limiting the species’ ability to respond to stochastic changes (Factor E). Section 4(a)(3) of the Act requires the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to designate critical habitat concurrent with listing to the maximum extent prudent and determinable. We have determined that designating critical habitat for the bog buck moth is not prudent because the moth co-occurs with another species that is highly collected and designating critical habitat for the moth would increase the risk of collection for the other species. Information Requested We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties regarding this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning: (1) The bog buck moth’s biology, range, and population trends, including: (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering; (b) Genetics and taxonomy; (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns; PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57105 (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both. (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, or other natural or manmade factors. (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats. (4) Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, including the locations of any additional populations of this species. (5) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as ‘‘critical habitat’’ under section 4 of the Act, including information to inform the following factors that the regulations identify as reasons why designation of critical habitat may be not prudent: (a) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of such threat to the species; (b) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species’ habitat or range is not a threat to the species, or threats to the species’ habitat stem solely from causes that cannot be addressed through management actions resulting from consultations under section 7(a)(2) of the Act; (c) Areas within the jurisdiction of the United States provide no more than negligible conservation value, if any, for a species occurring primarily outside the jurisdiction of the United States; or (d) No areas meet the definition of critical habitat. Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include. Please note that submissions merely stating support for, or opposition to, the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or a threatened species must be made ‘‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’’ E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 57106 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described 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 your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this 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. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on https://www.regulations.gov. Because we will consider all comments and information we receive during the comment period, our final determination may differ from this proposal. Based on the new information we receive (and any comments on that new information), we may conclude that the species is threatened instead of endangered, or we may conclude that the species does not warrant listing as either an endangered species or a threatened species. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Public Hearing Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for a public hearing on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received by the date specified in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule a public hearing on this proposal, if requested, and announce the date, time, and place of the hearing, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and in local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing. For the immediate future, we will provide these public hearings using webinars that will be announced on the Service’s website, in addition to the Federal Register. The use of these virtual public hearings is consistent with our regulations at 50 CFR 424.16(c)(3). Previous Federal Actions We identified the bog buck moth (Hemileuca sp.) as a Category 2 candidate species for listing in the November 21, 1991, Annual Candidate Notice of Review (56 FR 58804). In the February 28, 1996, Annual Candidate Notice of Review (61 FR 7596), we announced our discontinuation of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 designation of Category 2 species as candidates, which removed the species from the candidate list. We finalized our decision to discontinue the practice of maintaining a list of Category 2 species on December 5, 1996 (61 FR 64481). At our discretion, we prioritized a status review for the species according to the Service’s July 27, 2016, Methodology for Prioritizing Status Reviews and Accompanying 12-Month Findings on Petitions for Listing Under the Endangered Species Act (81 FR 49248) and added the species to the Endangered Species Program’s National Listing Workplan (Workplan) for Fiscal Year 2021. Based on this process, we are making a determination on the bog buck moth’s listing status in this proposed rule. Supporting Documents A species status assessment (SSA) team prepared an SSA report for the bog buck moth. The SSA team, composed of Service biologists and a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) biologist, conducted the SSA in consultation with other species experts. The SSA report represents a compilation of the best scientific and commercial data available concerning the status of the species, including the impacts of past, present, and future factors (both negative and beneficial) affecting the species. In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, memorandum updating and clarifying the role of peer review of listing actions under the Act, we sought the expert opinions of six appropriate specialists regarding the SSA report. We received four responses. In addition, we sent the draft SSA report for review to Canadian partners, State partners, and scientists with expertise in fen ecology and bog buck moth biology, taxonomy, and conservation and received 11 responses. I. Proposed Listing Determination Background The bog buck moth is a large diurnal moth native to fens (groundwater-fed wetland) in Oswego County, NY, and Ontario, Canada. A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the bog buck moth is presented in the SSA report (Service 2021, pp. 6–25). Taxonomy The bog buck moth is a silk moth (family = Saturniidae) in the buck moth genus (Hemileuca). The bog buck moth was first identified as a variant of the maia species group within Hemileuca in PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 1977 by John Cryan and Robert Dirig from four sites (two populations) along the southeast shore of Lake Ontario in Oswego County, NY, but was not formally named at that time (Legge et al. 1996, p. 86; Pryor 1998, p. 126; Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 3). Four additional sites (two populations) were discovered in 1977 in eastern Ontario (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada [COSEWIC] 2009, p. 7). Multiple common names have been used since then (e.g., bogbean buckmoth, Cryan’s buckmoth, fen buck moth). For many years, the bog buck moth’s taxonomic status has been confusing and uncertain. The bog buck moth was classified as part of the Hemileuca maia complex, which is a broadly distributed group of closely related taxa including H. maia, H. lucina, H. nevadensis, among others (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 111). Tuskes et al. (1996, pp. 120–121) further refined the description of populations of buck moths in the Great Lakes region, including the bog buck moth, as the H. maia complex of Great Lakes Region Populations. Kruse (1998, p. 109) included H. maia and H. nevadensis as part of the Great Lakes complex; however, using genomewide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), Dupuis et al. (2018, p. 6) and Dupuis et al. (2020, p. 3) show that H. nevadensis is restricted to the west. The Annotated Taxonomic Checklist of the Lepidoptera of North America (Pohl et al. 2016, p. 735) included the Great Lakes populations of buck moths as part of H. maia (based on Tuskes et al. 1996), pending species-level taxonomic classification. Recently, Dupuis et al. (2018, pp. 5–7) and Dupuis et al. (2020, pp. 2–3) used SNPs and found unambiguous results supporting the conclusion that both Ontario and Oswego County, NY, populations are part of the bog buck moth lineage that is divergent from Hemileuca lucina, H. peigleri, H. slosseri, and all other H. maia. They also found clear differentiation between the group formed by the Ontario and Oswego County, NY, populations and the group formed by Wisconsin and Michigan populations (Dupuis et al. 2020, p. 3). In 2020, Pavulaan (2020, entire) was first to formally describe the bog buck moth as Hemileuca maia menyanthevora and stated that it may actually represent a full species. Pavulaan (2020, pp. 8–14) considered host plant use and morphology for the designation and included the Oswego County, NY, Marquette and Ozaukee County, WI, and Ontario fens as part of the range. All specimens that Pavulaan used for describing morphology were E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 from one location in Oswego County, NY, and he relied on host plant use discussed in Kruse (1998, entire) for inclusion of the two Wisconsin sites (Pavulaan pers. comm., 2020). Subsequently, Cryan and Dirig (2020, pp. 26–31) named the bog buck moth as H. iroquois and included only the Oswego County, NY, and Ontario populations in the designation. Official scientific naming follows the rule of publication priority under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature; therefore, the official name of the bog buck moth is H. maia menyanthevora with the junior synonym of H. iroquois. We conclude that the bog buck moth is a valid taxon for consideration for listing under the Act. Based upon the strong evidence provided by Dupuis et al. (2018, entire and 2020, entire), we consider the current range of Hemileuca maia menyanthevora as Oswego County, NY, and Ontario, Canada. The historical range also included Jefferson County, NY (see below). We find this genetic evidence documented by Dupuis et al. markedly more persuasive than the host plant information that Pavulaan (2020, entire; pers. comm., 2020) relied upon when he included the Wisconsin sites in his designation without specimens from those sites. The Oswego County, NY, and Ontario range is consistent with the range described when the Service originally considered the bog buck moth (Hemileuca sp.) as a Category 2 Candidate in 1991 (56 FR 58804, November 21, 1991). It is also consistent with the range described by NatureServe (2020, pp. 1–4), COSEWIC (2009, pp. 5, 7), and Cryan and Dirig (2020, entire). Physical Description, Life History, and Range Bog buck moth adults have black bodies and black/gray translucent wings with wide, white wing bands and an eyespot (COSEWIC 2009, p. 5; NatureServe 2015, p. 4). Bog buck moths have forewing lengths of 22 to 36 millimeters (mm) (0.9 to 1.4 inches [in]) (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 121; Pavulaan 2020, p. 9). Males and females are generally similar in appearance with the following exceptions. Similar to all saturniids, males have highly branched, feather-like antennae with receptors that respond to female pheromones (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 14), and females have simple antennae. Males also have a redtipped abdomen while females do not; males are also slightly smaller than females (COSEWIC 2009, p. 5). In addition, both male and female adults are larger than other Hemileuca maia and have similar highly translucent VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 wings as H. lucina. White wing bands are much larger than other H. maia (Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 26; Pavulaan 2020, p. 9). Late instar larvae are dark with reddish orange branched urticating (stinging) spines dorsally, and a reddish-brown head capsule and prolegs (COSEWIC 2009, p. 6). Initially egg rings are light green (Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 26) and fade to light brown or tan (Sime, pers. comm.). Mature larvae are usually predominantly black with small white dots and lack yellow markings compared to other Hemileuca maia (COSEWIC 2009, p. 6; NatureServe 2015, p. 4; Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 26). The bog buck moth is restricted to open, calcareous, low shrub fens containing large amounts of Menyanthes trifoliata (COSEWIC 2009, p. 10) (referred to herein as bog buckbean, but also known by bogbean or buckbean). Fens are classified along a gradient that ranges from rich fens to poor fens based on their water chemistry and plant community structure. Rich fens receive more mineral-rich groundwater than poor fens, which results in higher conductivity, pH, and calcium and magnesium ion concentrations (Vitt and Chee 1990, p. 97). The sites in New York are considered medium fens (New York Natural Heritage Program [NYNHP] 2020a, p. 3). Medium fens are fed by waters that are moderately mineralized with pH values generally ranging from 4.5 to 6.5 (Olivero 2001, p. 15). Medium fens often occur as a narrow transition zone between a stream or lake and either a swamp or an upland community (Olivero 2001, p. 15). The dominant species in medium fens are usually woolly-fruit sedge (Carex lasiocarpa) and sweetgale (Myrica gale), with a variety of characteristic shrubs and herbs generally less than 5 meters (m) (16.4 feet [ft]) in height (NYNHP 2020b, pp. 5–11). Bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), spatulateleaved sundew (Drosera intermedia), three-way sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum var. arundinaceum), and green arrow arum (Peltandra virginica) are characteristic only of medium fens, compared to any of the other calcareous fens found in New York (Olivero 2001, p. 14). In Ontario, the bog buck moth is found in calcareous fens with bog buckbean. The fens are either low shrub dominated by sweetgale, bog birch (Betula pumila), bog willow (Salix pedicellaris) and other willows, but with patches of open fen dominated by sedges and water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) or primarily open fens PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57107 dominated by sedges such as woollyfruit sedge (Carex lasiocarpa), smooth sawgrass (Cladium mariscoides), and American common reed (Phragmites australis ssp. americanus) surrounded by conifer swamp (COSEWIC 2009, p. 10). The life cycle of a bog buck moth is similar to other Hemileuca species and generally completed within 1 year (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 103). Nonfeeding adults emerge in the fall. Males and females differ in flight patterns with males flying large, circular paths and females making short, low, direct frequent flights (Pryor 1998, p. 133). Adult males fly for longer periods as well, covering the open area of the fen for approximately 10 minutes compared to females flying short distances lasting a matter of seconds (Pryor 1998, p. 133). After mating, female buck moths lay one large cluster of eggs on sturdy stems of a variety of plant species. The eggs overwinter until the following spring when they hatch into larvae. While early instar larvae rely primarily on the host plant bog buckbean (Stanton 2000, p. 2), eggs are never laid on these plants as they die back each year rendering them unavailable for overwintering. Pupation occurs by mid-July, and the pupal stage lasts about 2 months. While not documented in bog buck moth, in other Hemileuca species (including H. maia maia), individual pupae may remain dormant until the following fall or possibly the fall after that (Cryan and Dirig 1977, p. 10; Tuskes et al. 1996, pp. 103, 114). All populations are located within the beds of former glacial Lake Iroquois (Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 27) and Champlain Sea (COSEWIC 2009, p. 9). The present distribution may be relict populations as a result of a postglacial expansion by Hemileuca from western North America, and subsequent isolation in fens and bogs as forests gradually reclaimed postglacial wetland habitats (Pryor 1998, p. 138). Glacial retreat left suitable habitat in disjointed patches (Gradish and Tonge 2011, p. 6). Based on genetic findings, bog buck moth populations may have been more historically widespread along the wetlands around Lake Ontario (Dupuis et al. 2020, p. 4). While we do not have a full understanding of the historical bog buck moth distribution, there are records from three populations in New York and two in Ontario, Canada. Currently, there are four populations known. In Canada, the White Lake population comprises two sites or subpopulations (White Lake North and White Lake South). The Richmond Fen population comprises two sites or subpopulations (Richmond E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 57108 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules Fen North and Richmond Fen South). In the United States, the Lakeside population occurs along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in Oswego County, NY, and comprises five sites or subpopulations (referred to as Lakeside 1 to Lakeside 5). To the southwest, the Oswego Inland Site population occurs in Oswego County, NY, and is a single site with two fen openings with metapopulation dynamics operating at a smaller scale. The fifth historically known population located in Jefferson County, NY was identified based on specimens collected in the 1950s but the site is no longer suitable for the bog buck moth. The bog buck moth is sedentary (nonmigratory) and therefore present within suitable habitat yearround with small movements of 0.5 kilometers (km) (0.3 miles [mi]) within suitable habitat described as ‘‘common’’ (NatureServe 2015, p. 5). While bog buck moth populations were previously described as individuals separated by areas of unsuitable habitat greater than 2 km (1.24 mi) or areas of suitable habitat greater than 10 km (6.2 mi) with some infrequent dispersal events at slightly longer distances between unsuitable patches (NatureServe 2015, p. 5), movements are now described as ‘‘should be capable of flying several to many kilometers, but seldom leaves habitat’’ NatureServe (2020, p. 5). In NY, some movement likely occurs between sites that are close together. Isolation of populations is likely increased by the short-lived adult stage (not much time for adults to fly far) (COSEWIC 2009, p. 15). In addition, they seem to have no inclination or ability to fly long distances. Adult females that do make short flights are laden with hundreds of eggs. Bog buck moth dispersal events were not observed by Pryor (1998, p. 138) but he suggested the potential for an adult bog buck moth to disperse with strong winds or powered flight if surrounding vegetation does not impede them. Three males were captured on sticky traps in unsuitable habitat located between the Lakeside 1 and Lakeside 2 sites in NY (Stanton 2004, p. 7) supporting some movement outside of suitable habitat but well within the 2 km (1.24 mi) discussed above. We conclude that most movements are likely to be limited to the highly localized fen habitat but that infrequent male dispersal events of a few kilometers are possible. In addition, though we would expect most wind events to primarily disperse males due to their longer localized flights, even less frequent, but possibly longer wind dispersal events of either sex may occur. It is unlikely that other bog buck moth populations exist besides the ones VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 mentioned above. Fairly extensive but unsuccessful searches for bog buck moths have been conducted at other potentially suitable wetland habitat in Ontario, and no new sites have been found (COSEWIC 2009, pp. 9–10). Given the degree of interest by naturalists in these natural areas and the diurnal habits of this large distinctive species, the probability of undiscovered Ontario bog buck moth populations is low (COSEWIC 2009, p. 10). The story is similar in NY. Researchers sought out additional populations during years of exploring the bed of former glacial Lake Iroquois and its tributaries and outlets, and while they found some fens with bog buckbean, they found no additional sites with bog buck moths (Cryan and Dirig 2020, pp. 4–5). In addition, researchers have visited NY fens for many years and likely would have observed the highly conspicuous larvae on bog buckbean or adult male moths, which are readily visible due to their lengthy, localized flight pattern, had they been present. Regulatory and Analytical Framework Regulatory Framework Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for determining whether a species is an ‘‘endangered species’’ or a ‘‘threatened species.’’ The Act defines an endangered species as a species that is ‘‘in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,’’ and a threatened species as a species that is ‘‘likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.’’ The Act requires that we determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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) does not necessarily mean that the species meets the statutory definition of an ‘‘endangered species’’ or a ‘‘threatened species.’’ In determining whether a species meets either definition, we must evaluate all identified threats by considering the expected response by the species, and the effects of the threats—in light of those actions and conditions that will ameliorate the threats—on an individual, population, and species level. We evaluate each threat and its expected effects on the species, then analyze the cumulative effect of all 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 any existing regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts. The Secretary determines whether the species meets the definition of an ‘‘endangered species’’ or a ‘‘threatened species’’ only after conducting this cumulative analysis and describing the expected effect on the species now and in the foreseeable future. The Act does not define the term ‘‘foreseeable future,’’ which appears in the statutory definition of ‘‘threatened species.’’ Our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.11(d) set forth a framework for evaluating the foreseeable future on a case-by-case basis. The term ‘‘foreseeable future’’ extends only so far into the future as the Service can reasonably determine that both the future threats and the species’ responses to those threats are likely. In other words, the foreseeable future is the period of time in which we can make reliable predictions. ‘‘Reliable’’ does not mean ‘‘certain’’; it means sufficient to provide a reasonable degree of confidence in the prediction. Thus, a prediction is reliable if it is reasonable to depend on it when making decisions. It is not always possible or necessary to define foreseeable future as a E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules particular number of years. Analysis of the foreseeable future uses the best scientific and commercial data available and should consider the timeframes applicable to the relevant threats and to the species’ likely responses to those threats in view of its life-history characteristics. Data that are typically relevant to assessing the species’ biological response include speciesspecific factors such as lifespan, reproductive rates or productivity, certain behaviors, and other demographic factors. species’ demographics and habitat characteristics, including an explanation of how the species arrived at its current condition. The final stage of the SSA involved making predictions about the species’ responses to positive and negative environmental and anthropogenic influences. Throughout all of these stages, we used the best available information to characterize viability as the ability of a species to sustain populations in the wild over time. We use this information to inform our regulatory decision. Analytical Framework The SSA report documents the results of our comprehensive biological review of the best scientific and commercial data regarding the status of the species, including an assessment of the potential threats to the species. The SSA report does not represent a decision by the Service on whether the species should be proposed for listing as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. However, it does provide the scientific basis that informs our regulatory decisions, which involve the further application of standards within the Act and its implementing regulations and policies. The following is a summary of the key results and conclusions from the SSA report; the full SSA report can be found at Docket FWS–R5–ES–2021– 0029 on https://www.regulations.gov. To assess bog buck moth viability, we used the three conservation biology principles of resiliency, redundancy, and representation (Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 306–310). Briefly, resiliency supports the ability of populations to withstand environmental and demographic stochasticity (e.g., wet or dry, warm or cold years), redundancy supports the ability of the species to withstand catastrophic events (e.g., drought, large pollution events), and representation supports the ability of the species to adapt over time to longterm changes in the environment (e.g., climate change). In general, the more resilient and redundant a species is and the more representation it has, the more likely it is to sustain populations over time, even under changing environmental conditions. Using these principles, we identified the species’ ecological requirements for survival and reproduction at the individual, population, and species levels, and described the beneficial and risk factors influencing the species’ viability. The SSA process can be categorized into three sequential stages. During the first stage, we evaluated the individual species’ life-history needs. The next stage involved an assessment of the historical and current condition of the Summary of Biological Status and Threats In this discussion, we review the biological condition of the species and its resources, and the threats that influence the species’ current and future condition, in order to assess the species’ overall viability and the risks to that viability. We note that, by using the SSA framework to guide our analysis of the scientific information documented in the SSA report, we have not only analyzed individual effects on the species, but we have also analyzed their potential cumulative effects. We incorporate the cumulative effects into our SSA analysis when we characterize the current and future condition of the species. To assess the current and future condition of the species, we undertake an iterative analysis that encompasses and incorporates the threats individually and then accumulates and evaluates the effects of all the factors that may be influencing the species, including threats and conservation efforts. Because the SSA framework considers not just the presence of the factors, but to what degree they collectively influence risk to the entire species, our assessment integrates the cumulative effects of the factors and replaces a standalone cumulative effects analysis. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 Individual, Subpopulation, and Species Needs The primary requirements for individual bog buck moths include the following: Suitable conditions that support fen ecosystems, perennial plants with bare sections of sturdy small stems above substrate near bog buckbean to provide shelter for the eggs, the presence of bog buckbean and other plants to provide shelter and food for the larvae, and appropriate flying weather of warm fall days with periods of no rain and low winds during the adult life stage. Bog buck moths require medium fens (Olivero 2001, p. 15) with a variety of shrubs and herbs, including the bog PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57109 buckbean, that are generally less than 5 m (16.4 ft) in height (NYNHP 2020b, pp. 5–11). Bog buck moths also depend on shifting mosaics of early successional fen habitat created by regular disturbance (such as periodic flooding) (Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 28). Without disturbances, as with other early successional habitats, vegetation succession will occur; however, in fens with intact hydrology, this succession occurs very slowly. The bog buck moth is univoltine (single adult flight period). The flight period lasts 4 weeks, generally from mid-September to October (Pryor 1998, p. 134; Stanton 2000, p. 15; Schmidt, pers. comm., 2020). Adults are diurnal (fly during the day) avoiding cooler fall night temperatures (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 12; Pryor 1998, p. 133). Bog buck moths fly when temperatures are generally above 68 degrees Fahrenheit (° F) (20 degrees Celsius [° C]) and when winds are less than 24 kilometers per hour (kmph) (15 miles per hour [mph]) (Stanton 1998, pp. 19–20–20, 29). Female bog buck moths mate once and deposit eggs (Pryor 1998, p. 129; Stanton 1998, p. 8) around bare sections of rigid, vertical plant stems (Stanton 2000, p. 11). Unlike other Hemileuca species (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 103), bog buck moths do not lay eggs on their primary larval host plants (Legge et al. 1996, p. 88; Stanton 2000, pp. 2, 11). Eggs overwinter and hatch into larvae in the spring. Bog buck moth larvae require bog buckbean and other host plant species. During the early instars, bog buckbean is the primary food source for the larvae; however, latter instars will feed on a larger variety of host plants. Overall, bog buckbean is essential, but other foodplants may be important, particularly in later larval stages. Please refer to the SSA report for a list of documented larval host plants and oviposition plants (Service 2021, pp. 13–14). Healthy or resilient populations are those that are able to respond to and recover from stochastic events (e.g., flooding, storms) and normal year-toyear environmental variation (e.g., temperature, rainfall). Simply said, healthy populations are those able to sustain themselves through good and bad years. For the purpose of the SSA, we defined viability as the ability of the species to sustain populations in the wild over time. The bog buck moth needs multiple healthy (resilient) populations. The more populations, and the wider the distribution of those populations (redundancy), the less likely that the species as a whole will be negatively impacted if an area of the E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 57110 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules species’ range is negatively affected by a catastrophic event, and the more likely that natural gene flow and ecological processes will be maintained (Wolf et al. 2015, pp. 205–206). Species that are well distributed across their historical range are less susceptible to the risk of extinction as a result of a catastrophic event than species confined to smaller areas of their historical range. Furthermore, diverse and widespread populations of bog buck moth may contribute to the adaptive diversity (representation) of the species if redundant populations are adapting to different conditions. In considering what may be important to capture in terms of representation for the bog buck moth, we identified two primary means of defining bog buck moth diversity: genetic differences and potential adaptation to variation in climatic conditions across latitudinal gradients. Gene flow is influenced by the degree of connectivity and landscape permeability (Lankau et al. 2011, p. 320). Gene flow may be somewhat limited among bog buck moth populations due to their rare and patchy distributions and sedentary (nonmigratory) behavior. The Inland Oswego Site population is genetically distinct from the nearest of the Lakeside populations (about 30 km [18.6 mi] away), although there is or was likely some limited migration between them (Buckner et al. 2014, pp. 510–512). In addition, while an unambiguously close relationship was found between the bog buck moth specimens from Ontario and the populations in Oswego County, NY, both of these populations formed distinct sister clusters (Dupuis et al. 2020, pp. 2–3). Maintaining populations in both Canada and New York is important to conserve this genetic diversity. The bog buck moth has a fairly narrow distribution; however, Lake Ontario influences local climatic conditions, and, at more northern latitudes, the Canadian populations experience colder winters. In Ottawa, Canada, average monthly temperatures range from 5.4 to 21.6 °F (¥14.8 to ¥5.8 °C) in January to 60 to 79.7 °F (15.5 to 26.5 °C) in July, and average yearly snowfall is 88 in (2.23 m). In Oswego, NY (directly on Lake Ontario), temperatures range from 18 to 30 °F (¥7.8 to ¥1.1 °C) in January to 63 to 79 °F (17.2 to 26.1 °C) in July, an average yearly snowfall is 141 in (3.58 m). Adult males have been documented to fly 3 to 5 days earlier at the Oswego Inland Site compared to Lakeside 2 and potentially due to the climate-tempering effects of Lake Ontario on the Lakeside 2 site (Stanton 1998, p. 26). Maintaining VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 populations across historical latitudinal and climatic gradients increases the likelihood that the species will retain the potential for adaptation over time. Local adaptation to temperature, precipitation, host plants, and community interactions have all been identified for butterflies and is anticipated for the bog buck moth (Aardema et al. 2011, pp. 295–297). Risk Factors for the Bog Buck Moth The primary factors currently influencing bog buck moth population health are inherent factors (e.g., narrow habitat niche) and several external factors resulting in loss or alteration of habitat or directly influencing demographic rates. As discussed above, bog buck moths are found in medium fens. Medium fens are listed as imperiled or vulnerable in New York (NYNHP 2020b, p. 2). Threats to medium fens include hydrological change, habitat alteration in the adjacent landscape, development, and recreational overuse (NYNHP 2020b, p. 3). Fens are especially sensitive to relatively small changes in hydrology (van Diggelen et al. 2006, p. 159). Additionally, several medium fens where bog buck moths occur in New York are negatively impacted by invasive species, such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), reed grass (Phragmites australis), and buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.) (NYNHP 2020, p. 3). In Canada, the most significant threat to the buck moth is habitat degradation either due to alteration of water regime within the species’ habitat or the invasion of habitat by nonnative plant species (COSEWIC 2009, p. 18; Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). Several sources of habitat alteration identified at bog buck moth sites are discussed below. We do not fully understand the cause of declines at bog buck moth sites, and so it is likely that additional factors (e.g., predation, disease, pesticides) are important. For comprehensive discussion of the primary factors as well as these other likely stressors, please refer to the SSA report Chapter 3— Factors Influencing Viability (Service 2021, pp. 26–50). Change in Water Levels Water level changes can directly kill individuals (e.g., flooding of pupae) or result in changes in habitat suitability and availability. Flooding can result in reductions in suitable oviposition sites, larval food sources and shelter, or pupation sites. Below we will discuss water management as it pertains to the Canadian and U.S. populations. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Water Level Management—Canadian Populations Both White Lake subpopulations are influenced by manipulation of the White Lake outlet dam in the town of White Lake (Schmidt, pers. comm., 2020), and large fluctuations may cause mortality (COSEWIC 2009, p. 18). Alteration of the water regime can be mitigated or avoided through appropriate water management policies, actions, and land stewardship techniques; however, there were no clear prescriptive actions provided (Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). The Strategy for the Bogbean Buckmoth in Ontario (Ontario Recovery Strategy) includes recovery actions to understand the specific hydrology of Richmond Fen wetlands and the White Lake wetlands and to work with stakeholders to mitigate impacts from land use change, particularly water level manipulation at White Lake (Gradish and Tonge 2011, pp. 12–13). We have no information to indicate these actions have been initiated to date, and Ontario’s 5-year review of the bog buck moth (OMNR 2017, pp. 11–17) does not mention anything about these specific actions. However, through regulation, Ontario formally designated ‘‘habitat’’ for the bog buck moth in 2014 (Environment Canada 2015, p. 9). Environment Canada then adopted the description of bog buck moth ‘‘habitat’’ as ‘‘critical habitat’’ in the Federal recovery strategy (Environment Canada 2015, p. 10). The designation includes a list of activities that alter the fen’s water regime as those likely to destroy critical habitat for the buck moth (Environment Canada 2015, p. 17). We will discuss more information about Ontario and Canadian laws and regulations in Conservation Measures, below. Water Level Management—U.S. Populations Water level management resulted in the extirpation of a Jefferson County, NY, population in the 1970s (Bonanno and White 2011, p. 9) by flooding the fen habitat and creating a freshwater marsh. The site is currently being maintained by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as a marsh for flood control, septic system management, and New York State-listed endangered black tern (Chlidonias niger) habitat (Bonanno, pers. comm., 2020). However, it is no longer suitable habitat for the bog bug moth. The Lakeside population is currently influenced by water levels associated with management of Lake Ontario through regulation of the Moses- E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules Saunders hydroelectric dam and precipitation events. The St. Lawrence River is located at the northeast end of Lake Ontario and is the natural outlet for the Great Lakes. Approximately 160 km (100 mi) downstream from Lake Ontario are the structures used to control the flow from Lake Ontario, most of which is used by the MosesSaunders powerhouses (IJC 2014, p. 4). The International Joint Commission (IJC) and its International Lake Ontario—St. Lawrence River Board (Board) oversee management of these flows. The Lake Ontario water level changes in response to the difference between the supply it receives and its outflow. The supply is uncontrolled, and the use of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam to change outflow provides some control over Lake Ontario water levels, but there are limits to the amount of water that can be released (IJC 2014, p. 5). Most of the episodic changes in Great Lakes water levels over the past century are attributable to corresponding changes in annual precipitation (Gronewold and Stow 2014, p. 1084). Prior to the construction of the dams on the St. Lawrence River, recorded lake levels of Lake Ontario from 1860 to 1960 show a pattern of variation with highs and lows captured within each decade or so (Wilcox et al. 2008, p. 302). The historical range of monthly average water levels was more than 1.8 m (6 ft) between low and high levels, and the IJC recommended regulating within a narrow 1.2-m (4-ft) target from April to November (IJC 2014, p. 8). This has resulted in compressing the range of Lake Ontario water levels to 0.7 m (2.3 ft) from 1.5 m (5 ft) (Wilcox et al. 2008, p. 302). The IJC (2014, p. 43) found that regulation of Lake Ontario has restricted the natural fluctuation of its water levels, both in terms of reducing its extremes and year-to-year variability. The existing shoreline vegetation of the Great Lakes depends on regular fluctuation in water levels (Keddy and Reznicek 1986, p. 35). Fluctuating water levels increase the area of shoreline vegetation and the diversity of vegetation types and plant species (Keddy and Reznicek 1986, p. 35). High lake levels periodically eliminate densecanopy emergent plants, and low lake levels allow less competitive understory species to grow (Keddy and Reznicek 1986, entire; Wilcox et al. 2008, p. 301). Stabilization of Lake Ontario water levels after the construction of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam may have subsequently increased cattail (Typha spp.) dominance (Rippke et al. 2010, p. 814). Specifically, lack of low lake levels shifted the competitive advantage VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 to the taller cattails resulting in loss of large expanses of sedge/grass meadows (Wilcox et al. 2008, p. 316). The IJC (2014, p. 43) found that the compressed lake level range has allowed trees and shrubs to grow closer to the water, and cattails and other emergent plants that tolerate persistent flooding to expand their range up the shoreline, reducing the sedge meadow plants that occurred in between. Increased cattails have been documented at Lakeside bog buck moth subpopulations including Lakeside 3 and Lakeside 4 (Bonanno, pers. comm., 2020; Sime 2019, p. 38). These changes in vegetation from Carex spp., sweetgale, herbs, and shrubs to cattail marsh result in overall habitat loss through permanent reductions in the amount of suitable oviposition sites, larval food sources, and pupal habitat. In addition to changes in vegetation discussed above, water levels can directly impact survival of bog buck moth in various life stages. The Lakeside population includes sites that have been described as physically ‘‘protected wetlands’’ located behind sandbars and connected to Lake Ontario by intermittent or indirect surface water openings or ground water (Vaccaro et al. 2009, p. 1038). Water levels in these sites are greatly influenced by precipitation and highly variable depending on their unique connection to Lake Ontario (Vaccaro et al. 2009, p. 1045). Barrier beaches along Lake Ontario restrict flow out of the wetlands, causing water levels to rise sharply in response to local precipitation events in the ‘‘protected wetlands’’ (Vaccaro et al. 2009, p. 1045). These sharp rises can result in flooding events. Though flood events may be related to water level management, they are more strongly connected to precipitation events (Gronewold and Stow 2014, p. 1084) and are further discussed below in the Climate Change section. In addition to the larger scale water level management of Lake Ontario, more localized water level management may influence bog buck moth sites. Water levels may be influenced by impoundments (human or beaver) or roads that restrict flow into or out of the fens. Restriction of flow into fens results in drying of sites and increases in shrubs. Taller shrubs shade out bog buckbean, reducing optimal larval host plants. One example of localized water level influences is the impact of a road at the Lakeside 1 and Lakeside 2 sites. Historically connected, these two sites became separated due in part to the construction of a road in the mid-1950s and impoundment in an adjacent PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57111 management area (Bonanno 2006, p. 8). Fen habitat contracted from 6 to 2 ha (15 to 5 ac) at the Lakeside 1 site and 32.4 to 24.7 ha (80 to 61 ac) at the Lakeside 2 site from 1998 to 2001 (Olivero 2001, p. 10). This was corroborated with personal observations by Bonanno (2014, p. 6), who found that vegetation in the Lakeside 1 site was succeeding to a black spruce-tamarack bog forest with deep sphagnum, taller shrubs, and scarce bog buckbean. At the Lakeside 2 site, succession is documented to the point where significant habitat restoration is required (Bonanno 2014, p. 5; 2015, p. 7; 2016, p. 8). Water levels on Lake Ontario have no direct effect on the Oswego Inland Site population, and we are unaware of any smaller scale water level management at this site; however, temperature, precipitation, and evaporation potential will impact hydrology (Stanton 2004, p. 11) (see Climate Change, below). Change in Vegetation Both invasive species and succession can reduce the amount of available suitable oviposition plants and/or larval host plants. Invasive species and later successional plants directly compete for space and nutrients or shade out bog buckbean. Changes in the quality or quantity of bog buckbean is a potential cause of documented declines in bog buck moths in New York (Stanton 2004, p. 11). We evaluated the relative threats posed by invasive understory species and determined that Typha spp., common reed (Phragmites australis), and glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) are currently the primary species that could affect population-level dynamics of the bog buck moth. Common reed is abundant across the northern hemisphere including most of the United States and the southern portions of Canada (Galowitsch et al. 1999, pp. 739–741). Native fen plants like Myrica gale are reduced with the presence of common reed (Richburg et al. 2001, p. 253). Glossy buckthorn is a shrub of Eurasian origin that is aggressive in bogs and fens. Drier portions or less frequently inundated sections of wetlands with available hummock surfaces are more readily invaded (Berg et al. 2016, p. 1370). Glossy buckthorn displaces or shades out native fen plant species (Fiedler and Landis 2012, pp. 41, 44, 51). Bog buckbean typically does not grow well in shade (Hewett 1964, p. 730); although it can be found in shaded areas of some fens (Helquist, pers. comm., 2020). Glossy buckthorn transpiration in mid-summer has been shown to lower the water table (Godwin E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 57112 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules 1943, p. 81) resulting in faster decomposition rates and reduction of hummocks in sites (Fiedler and Landis 2012, pp. 41, 44, 51). Sites with glossy buckthorn also have lower soil pH, although it is unclear whether buckthorn invaded these areas more frequently or created this change (Fiedler and Landis 2012, p. 51). As stated above, in Canada, the most significant threat to bog buck moth populations includes habitat degradation from cattails, common reed, and glossy buckthorn (COSEWIC 2009, p. 18; Gradish and Tonge 2011, pp. 6– 7; Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). These plants occur in or adjacent to all Ontario sites and pose an ongoing and future threat of habitat reduction. While invasive plant species have been found within or near all four sites where the buck moth is known to occur in Ontario, the risk posed by these species can be assessed regularly through targeted monitoring and, to the extent feasible, invasive plant control can be employed as appropriate and necessary to help mitigate this threat (Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). Invasive vegetation control would likely require long-term management. These species are also documented at the New York sites. For example, glossy buckthorn makes up a substantial portion of the shrubby component at Lakeside 5 and is present at the Oswego Inland Site (Bonanno 2006, p. 7; 2013, p. 2). Cattail had been expanding at the Oswego Inland Site, and Bonanno (2013, p. 2) noted the only obvious change in potential drivers of vegetation was the large expansion of a subdivision along the lakeshore. Narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia) encroachment at the Oswego Inland Site has been managed sporadically prior to 2016, and annually from 2016 to 2020 (Helquist, pers. comm., 2020). Other invasive species management projects have also been undertaken at the Oswego Inland Site and Lakeside 5; however, invasive plants remain at these sites. In addition, several clones of both the introduced and the native phragmites occur near bog buck moth habitat at Lakeside 3 (Bonanno 2004, p. 9). There may be multiple sources of vegetation succession, including natural succession from early successional to late successional plant species, as well as human-induced or accelerated succession from sources such as increased nutrient input (enrichment) and altered wetland hydrology (discussed above in Water Level Management). Here we provide some additional details about nutrient input. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 Fens are characterized by a very low supply of nitrogen and phosporous (Bedford and Godwin 2003, p. 614), and many fens in New York are degraded by altered hydrology or by nitrate moving in ground water, by phosphate adsorbed to sediment in runoff, or by altered water chemistry caused by development within fen watersheds (Drexler and Bedford 2002, p. 278; Bedford and Godwin 2003, p. 617). Drexler and Bedford (2002, pp. 276–278) observed that nutrient loading of a fen in New York (not a bog buck moth site) resulted in reductions in species richness of both vascular plants and bryophytes and increases in monotypic stands of bluejoint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis), lake sedge (Carex lacustris), hair willow herb (Epilobium hirsutum), and broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia), especially in an area adjacent to a farm field. Dense cover reduces fen biodiversity through direct space competition, or by reducing seedling growth from decreased available light and increased litter layer (Jensen and Meyer 2001, pp. 173–179). Increased nutrient inputs have been documented at both the Lakeside and Oswego Inland Site populations (Service 2021, p. 36). The Lakeside 3 and 4 sites are adjacent to a recreational vehicle (RV) campground that may contribute to nutrient enrichment encouraging growth and size of the common reed (Phragmites australis). The Lakeside 2 site is also subject to surface water inputs from the adjacent pond, the Lakeside 1 site is surrounded by seasonal camps and an RV campground, and the Lakeside 5 site is abutted by a very large RV campground. The Oswego Inland Site has seen recent residential development along the lake shoreline. Parasitoids Parasitoids are small insects whose immature stages develop within or attached to their host insects. Parasitoids eventually kill their hosts as compared to parasites that typically feed upon hosts without killing them. Most saturniids are attacked during the larval stage, and late instar larvae often suffer heavy losses (Tuskes et al. 1996, pp. 25– 27). For the bog buck moth, parasitism of egg masses has been documented; while larval parasitoids have not been directly observed, they are also believed to be the cause of mortality (COSEWIC 2009, p. 17). Nearly all of the bog buck moth egg masses found at the Lakeside 1 site since 1996 were parasitized by the native wasp Anastatus furnissi (Burks) (Stanton 2000, p. 4) and it is plausible that the wasp was the primary mortality PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 factor at other Lakeside subpopulations (Stanton 2000, p. 13). Wasp parasitism of egg masses has also been documented at the Oswego Inland Site (Sime 2019, p. 15). The parasitism rates do not appear to be density-dependent as parasitism levels have been consistent at the Lakeside and Oswego Inland sites at 25 to 30 percent of egg clusters affected/ year since 2009, while bog buck moth populations have undergone dramatic fluctuations in that time period (Sime 2019, p. 15). Larval parasitoids are common in Hemileuca species (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 103), Parasitoids can include native and nonnative species, such as the native ichneumonid wasp Hyposter fugitivus (Say) and tachinid fly Leschenaultia fulvipes (Bigot), and the introduced tachinid fly Compsilura concinnata (Meigen) for the control of gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar). Although C. concinnata is likely present at the Canadian sites, no evidence of parasitism of bog buck moth has been reported (Wood, pers. comm., 2020, as cited in COSEWIC 2009, p. 14). Parasitism is assumed to be occurring at the Canadian populations (COSEWIC 2009, p. 17). Similarly, while not documented at the bog buck moth sites in the United States, we find the New York populations are likely to be susceptible to larval parasitism from the tachinid fly and other parasitoids, and observed boom/bust cycles may be related to such parasitism. Bonanno (2016, p. 5) reported the 2016 crash of adult bog buck moths at the Oswego Inland Site after abundant larvae of all sizes were observed in May and June and suggested looking further into larval or pupal parasitoids as a possible cause. If bog buck moths are not killed by predators (e.g., small mammals and other invertebrates) or parasitoids, larval behavior may still be affected by the presence of predators or parasitoids. Early instar larvae tend to stay together and defend themselves while late instar larvae disperse, leading to increased subdivision of clusters (Cornell et al. 1987, p. 387). At sites with higher predator or parasitoid densities, buck moth larvae likely experience slower growth rates, prolonged development, and reduced body mass (Stamp and Bowers 1990, p. 1037) because they would be forced to forage closer to the center of plants where it is cooler and where older, lower quality leaves are present. Climate Change While there are many possible effects to bog buck moths from climate change into the future, here we focus on the effects to bog buck moths from observed E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules changes in precipitation and temperature to date. Lake Ontario water levels naturally fluctuate within and among years; however, record high water levels have recently occurred, resulting in impacts to bog buck moth sites. Between 1951 and 2017, the total precipitation with the Great Lakes Basin increased by approximately 14 percent with heavy precipitation events increasing by 35 percent (Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program 2019, entire). After 15 years of below-average water levels on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron, water levels of the upper Great Lakes started rising in 2013 and have been well above-average for several years (Board 2020, p. 7). With all of the Great Lakes water levels above or near record-highs, the increase represented an unprecedented volume of water in the Great Lakes system funneled into Lake Ontario and out the St. Lawrence River (Board 2020, p. 7) resulting in the Lakeside population fens being vulnerable to flooding for an extended period of time. Flooding that negatively impacts bog buck moths can be described as longer duration flooding, as long-term flooding of bog buck moth fens submerges vegetation and makes the site unsuitable for most life stages and may directly kill individuals. In contrast, periodic flooding that is shorter in duration helps maintain habitat suitability. Furthermore, bog buck moth eggs can tolerate short-term submersion but are not viable after long-term flooding events (Service 2021, p. 34). Two high-water events across the entire Great Lakes basin caused by above-normal precipitation (January to May 2017 and November 2018 through May 2019) compounded the already high-water levels in the Great Lakes basin (Board 2020, pp. 6–9). These events resulted in long-term submersion of bog buck moth eggs and subsequent crashes in adult flights at Lakeside 5. In addition to changes in water levels, climate change has also brought about changes in temperature. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (2011, p. 1) reported the average temperature in Ontario has gone up by as much as 2.5 °F (1.4 °C) since 1948. Similarly, between 1951 and 2017, the average annual temperature in the Great Lakes Region has increased by 2.3 °F (1.3 °C) (GLISA 2019, entire). We have no detailed studies to assess whether observed declines in bog buck moth counts of the U.S. populations are related to these increased annual temperatures. However, seasonal changes in temperature can influence the form of precipitation and snowpack VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 in winter and shifts in phenology. For example, the timing of fall flights may be shifting to later in September. Bog buck moth monitoring windows have been September 12 to 26 at the Oswego Inland Site and September 18 to October 1 at the Lakeside sites since surveys began, and in recent years there has been little or no activity near the beginning of the survey window (Bonanno 2019, pp. 1–2). Throughout the Great Lakes Basin, average winter minimum and maximum temperatures increased from 1960 to 2009 by 3.24 and 1.98 °F (1.8 and 1.1 °C), respectively (Suriano et al. 2019, pp. 6–8). Increased winter temperatures are associated with decreases in Great Lakes ice cover and increases in winter precipitation occurring as rain. Increased temperatures may also reduce snowpack, impacting bog buck moth food sources. During the first half of the 20th century, the Great Lakes basin experienced an increase in snowfall; however, snowfall has declined through the latter half of the 20th and early 21st centuries (Baijnath-Rodino et al. 2018, p. 3947). Similarly, Suriano et al. (2019, p. 4) found a reduction in snow depth in the Great Lakes Basin of approximately 25 percent from 1960 to 2009. Trends during this timeframe are variable by subbasin, and there were no significant trends for the Lake Ontario subbasin (Suriano et al. 2019, p. 5). At a finer scale (1 degree latitude by 1 degree longitude grids), there were also no significant changes observed for snow depth or snowfall for the grid along Lake Ontario that includes the bog buck moth sites, but there was a significant increase of the number of ablation events (i.e., snow mass loss from melt, sublimation, or evaporation) (Suriano et al. 2019, pp. 6–7). These events are associated with rapid snow melt and often lead to localized flooding. Snowpack reductions lead to longer periods of frost, earlier disappearance of standing water, deeper frost levels and reduced bog buckbean biomass (Benoy et al. 2007, p. 505–508). Reduced bog buckbean will negatively affect bog buck moth larval growth and survival. Reduced snowpack can also impact bog buck moths directly; however, limited research is available on the impacts to bog buck moth associated with the presence, depth, and duration of winter snow. The presence of a consistent seasonal snowpack can prevent freeze-thaw cycles. While bog buck moths overwinter in the egg stage, which is less vulnerable to freezing than other life stages, they may also periodically overwinter in the pupal stage, which would be vulnerable to PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57113 these cycles. Their egg-clustering habit may decrease the amount of egg surface exposed to ambient conditions and reduce the possibility of desiccation (Stamp 1980, p. 369). However, eggs that are not covered by snowpack are exposed to increased risk of predation. Increased temperatures in winter and early spring may lead to earlier egg hatch. As temperatures have increased, many insects have been emerging earlier (temperature-induced emergence) (Patterson et al. 2020, p. 2), resulting in phenological mismatch with host plants. For example, Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) larvae have been known to hatch earlier than its host plant, wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis), after unseasonably warm late-winter temperatures (Patterson et al. 2020, p. 6). Similar to the Karner blue butterfly, bog buck moth early instar larvae rely on specific host plants and are at greater risk of impacts from phenological mismatch than species with wide host plant usage. Earlier spring hatch followed by subsequent spring freezes also increases the risk of mortality of early instar larvae. Overall, interacting changes in temperature and precipitation are highly influential in terms of flooding or drying out bog buck moth sites. There may be additional compounding effects from changes in temperature associated with shifts in phenology or reduced snowpack, but we lack sufficient information on those potential relationships. Conservation Measures New York Populations The bog buck moth was listed as endangered by the State of New York in 1999 and is protected by Environmental Conservation Law section 11–0535 and the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR Part 182). An incidental take permit is required for any proposed project that may result in a take of bog buck moths, including, but not limited to, actions that may kill or harm individual animals or result in the adverse modification, degradation, or destruction of habitat occupied by the bog buck moth. Additionally, the bog buck moth is a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the NYSDEC’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (NYSDEC 2005, Appendix 5, pp. 14–17; NYSDEC 2015, not numbered). NYSDEC has a draft recovery plan for the bog buck moth (Bonanno and White 2011, entire) that has not been finalized. All known populations are in conservation ownership and are E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 57114 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules protected from effects from humaninduced habitat destruction or alteration of the wetland itself (e.g., wetland fill associated with roads or development). Habitat management has been conducted at a few of these sites, but invasive plants and/or vegetation succession have reduced the amount of available habitat at most sites and remain an ongoing threat. The State of New York provides protection for wetlands greater than 12.4 acres in size or of unusual local importance. Regulated activities within the wetland or adjacent buffer require permits from the NYSDEC. In addition, in accordance with section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority to regulate discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. In New York, placing fill into bogs and fens is not authorized under the Nationwide Permit Program. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Canadian Populations The bog buck moth was recommended for listing as endangered by COSEWIC in 2009 (COSEWIC 2009, entire), listed as endangered under the Ontario Endangered Species Act in 2010, and listed as endangered on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2012. These listings provided the bog buck moth protection from being killed, harmed, harassed, captured, or taken in Canada. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Ministry) published a recovery strategy for the bog buck moth on December 7, 2011 (Gradish and Tonge 2011, entire). Major actions identified in the plan include; improve monitoring standards to the bog buck moth, assess the risk posed by invasive species, and evaluate the hydrology of the species’ habitat. In 2017, the Ministry published a 5-year review of progress towards the protection and recovery of the bog buck moth (Ministry 2017, pp. 11–17). Initial progress has been made towards assessing the risk posed to the bog buck moth by invasive species and, where appropriate, implementing invasive species control within and adjacent to occupied fen ecosystems. Bog buck moth habitat has generally been afforded protection from authorized damage or destruction in Canada since the species was listed in Ontario in 2010. Bog buck moth habitat is further protected through Ontario habitat regulation and Federal critical habitat protection. Section 41(1)(c) of SARA requires that recovery strategies include an identification of the species’ ‘‘critical habitat,’’ to the extent possible, as well as examples of activities that are likely to result in its destruction (Environment Canada 2015, p. 9). Environment Canada (2015, p. 10) adopted the description of the buck PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 moth ‘‘habitat’’ under section 24.1.1.1 of Ontario Regulation 242/08 as ‘‘critical habitat’’ in the Federal recovery strategy. The area defined under Ontario’s habitat regulation contains the biophysical attributes required by the buck moth to carry out its life processes. To meet specific requirements of SARA, the biophysical attributes of critical habitat were further detailed in the Federal strategy (Environment Canada 2015, p. 11). However, under SARA, specific requirements and processes are set out regarding the finalization of protection of critical habitat and whether the prohibition against destruction of critical habitat is extended to any non-Federal land. Protection of critical habitat under SARA was to be assessed following publication of the final bog buck moth Federal recovery strategy (Environment Canada 2015, p. 10). There is no indication that this assessment has occurred to date. Current Condition Similar to other Hemileuca species, bog buck moth populations (and subpopulations) experience boom and bust cycles. Table 1 and Figure 1 summarize male peak flight counts at four U.S. subpopulations. Three of the subpopulations have crashed and not recovered. BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules 57115 Table 1. Bog buck moth fall flight information for the Oswego Inland Site and three Lakeside subpopulations, NY, 22-year record. Data are site mean of 5-minute counts on the peak date. Zero means a search was made, no moths seen. Empty cells indicate no data were collected at that site that year. Cells with counts higher than 100 are highlighted. Data from Bonanno (2018, p. 4; 2019, p. 4) and Bonanno and Rosenbaum 2020, p. 2). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 10.6 14.8 18.6 3.3 22.5 21.2 0 26.8 4.8 2.2 6.3 20.2 14.4 26.3 50.0 14.2 14.3 10.0 9.4 1.0 0 0 0 0 >O 2 total moths 0 0.1 3.0 0.3 0 98.7 5.0 0.7 0 0 0 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 0 Frm 00038 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 EP14OC21.000</GPH> lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 57116 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules Bog Buck Moth Mean Count on Peak Date, 1998-2020 l ' w\ • \ -Lakeslde3 - - Lalteside :t •"·~•"••··O~o 1rnanct Ste so (I Figure 1. Mean male bog buck moth peak counts (1998 - 2020). Data from Bonanno (2018, p. 4; 2019, p. 4) and Bonanno and Rosenbaum 2020, p. 2). BILLING CODE 4333–15–C In Canada, the status of many of the populations is unknown due to a lack of surveys. Of the four sites found in Canada, only two were recently surveyed. The subpopulation at Richmond Fen South was visited in 2019 where an estimated minimum of 1,500 early instar larvae were found in a small portion of core habitat. Another site visit to the same location in early July 2020 documented the presence of hundreds of mid-instar larvae. At White Lake North, more than 100 adult moths were observed in mid-September 2020. Prior to 2020, larval surveys were conducted, and larvae were last observed in 2016, with no surveys in 2017, and larvae were absent in 2018 and 2019. The status of the two other subpopulations in Canada (Richmond Fen North and White Lake South) is unknown because no surveys have been conducted at those sites. It is unlikely that there are other bog buck moth populations besides the ones mentioned above. Fairly extensive but unsuccessful searches for bog buck moths have been conducted at other potentially suitable wetland habitat in Ontario, and no new sites have been found (COSEWIC 2009, pp. 9–10). COSEWIC (2009, p. 10) found that given the degree of interest by naturalists in these natural areas and the diurnal habits of this large distinctive species, the probability of undiscovered Ontario buck moth populations is low. The circumstances are similar in New York. Cryan and Dirig (2020, pp. 4–5) described several years of exploring the bed of former glacial Lake Iroquois and its tributaries and outlets, and while they found some fens with bog buckbean, they found no additional sites with bog buck moth. In addition, researchers had visited New York fens for many years and likely would have observed the highly conspicuous bog buckbean larvae or flying adult males had they been present. Bonanno and White (2011, p. 10) describe multiple visitations to possible habitat by NYNHP and researchers familiar with the bog buck moth without locating any individuals. We evaluated the bog buck moth current condition by assessing whether there were multiple resilient populations spread across its geographical extent to maintain its ecological and genetic diversity and withstand catastrophic events (table 2). Information to date suggests that bog buck moths are genetically structured across their range and we believe the breadth of adaptive diversity can be captured by two representative units, Canadian and United States. 3Rs Resiliency (able to stochastic events). VerDate Sep<11>2014 withstand 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Requisites Metric Healthy populations ....................... Populations with: • Both sexes present. • Sufficient survival of all life stages. • Sufficient number of bog buck moths to survive bust portion of boom and bust cycles. • Stable to increasing trend over last 10 years (10 generations). Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 EP14OC21.001</GPH> lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 TABLE 2—ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIES-LEVEL VIABILITY Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules 57117 TABLE 2—ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIES-LEVEL VIABILITY—Continued 3Rs Requisites Metric Representation (to maintain evolutionary capacity). Maintain adaptive diversity ............ Redundancy (to withstand catastrophic events). Sufficient distribution of healthy populations. Sufficient number of healthy populations. We lacked specific demographic rates for most locations for most years; therefore, we used alternative metrics • Multiple occupied suitable habitat patches within metapopulation. • Sufficient habitat size. • Sufficient habitat quality. • Intact hydrology and ecological processes. Healthy populations distributed across areas of unique adaptive diversity (e.g., across latitudinal gradients) with sufficient connectivity for periodic genetic exchange. Sufficient distribution to guard against catastrophic events significantly compromising species adaptive diversity. Adequate number of healthy populations to buffer against catastrophic losses of adaptive diversity. for assessing population resiliency (number of bog buck moth adult males observed, presence of bog buck moth at multiple subpopulations) and the condition of the supporting habitat (habitat quality) (table 3). TABLE 3—METRICS FOR SCORING BOG BUCK MOTH POPULATION CONDITION Condition Sufficient number Connectivity Suitable habitat Unknown .......................... Extirpated ......................... Unknown ............................................ Not applicable .................................... Unknown ............................................ Not applicable .................................... Presumed Extirpated ....... No moths or any other life stage were observed during multiple subsequent surveys. Negative trend over last 10 years ..... Not applicable .................................... Neutral or positive trend over last 10 years. Multiple subpopulations and >0 count for each subpopulation within the last 5 years. Unknown. Habitat is completely unsuitable due to alteration or loss. Habitat present and can be suitable or unsuitable given ‘‘sufficient N’’ results. Insufficient suitable habitat for any of the life stages: • Insufficient bog buckbean (<4% areal coverage). • Relatively limited oviposition sites. • Lack of suitable pupation sites. Sufficient suitable habitat for all life stages: • Sufficient bog buckbean (>4% areal coverage). • Relatively abundant oviposition sites. • Suitable pupation sites. Poor ................................. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Good ................................ As discussed above, we are aware of five bog buck moth populations, two in Canada and three in New York. We are unaware of any changes to the distribution in Canada; however, we have information from only two of the four subpopulations. In New York, the Jefferson County site was converted to a marsh, having been impounded decades ago by beavers, then maintained by management for park flooding control, septic management, and black tern habitat (Bonanno, pers. obs.). Of the Lakeside subpopulations, only the Lakeside 5 site remains extant. Lastly, the Oswego Inland Site population was recently presumed to be extirpated. Using our ranking methods mentioned above, we find that for all the bog buck moth populations in the U.S. Representative Unit, one population has been extirpated since the 1970s, one is now presumed extirpated, and one is in poor condition (table 4). The Lakeside population has VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 No subpopulations or if subpopulations are present each subpopulation did not have at least one >0 count within the last 5 years. experienced multiple sources of habitat loss and degradation and remaining buck moths have faced high flood years. While these may or may not be the true cause of declines and site-level extirpations, they likely contributed to them. The cause of decline and the bog buck moth’s inability to rebound at the Oswego Inland Site is unclear as flooding has not been a concern at this site and seemingly suitable habitat remains. Similar declines at sites with apparently suitable habitat have been documented for another endangered fen species, the Poweshiek skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek), suggesting that other factors (e.g., contaminants, climate change, disease, and low levels of genetic diversity) may be driving the current distribution and losses (Pogue et al. 2019, pp. 383–386). In the Canadian Representative Unit, both populations are in unknown/likely good condition. This assessment has a high degree of uncertainty given that it PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 is based on current knowledge from half of the associated Canadian Representative Unit subpopulations (one out of the two subpopulations for each population). Most recently, Richmond Fen South had hundreds of mid-instar larvae in early July 2020 with ample suitable habitat. Richmond Fen North has not had any recent moth or larval surveys, but observations during a site visit in 2015 suggested that the habitat remains in good condition. At White Lake North, more than 100 bog buck moth adults were observed in September 2020. Prior to that, surveys were based on larvae, with larvae last observed in 2016 and none seen in 2018 or 2019. There is no information on White Lake South. Although both populations have been described as unknown/likely good, invasive species such as cattails, common reed, and glossy buckthorn have been identified in the habitat and are likely to have a negative effect and reduce the resiliency E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 57118 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules of these populations (COSEWIC 2009, p. 18; Gradish and Tonge 2011, pp. 6– 7; Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). Overall, three subpopulations (White Lake North, Richmond Fen South, and Lakeside 5) associated with three separate populations are known to have remaining bog buck moths. While some genetic diversity remains through the current existence of at least one subpopulation within each of the representative units, there is no redundancy of healthy populations in the U.S. Representative Unit, and there is uncertainty about the status of the Canadian Representative Unit. TABLE 4—SUMMARY OF BOG BUCK MOTH CURRENT CONDITION 3Rs Requisites Metric Current condition Resiliency (able to withstand stochastic events). Healthy populations ........... Poor. Of the 5 historically known populations: 1 extirpated. 1 presumed extirpated. 1 poor. 2 unknown/likely good. Representation (to maintain evolutionary capacity). Maintain adaptive diversity Populations with: ........................................................... • Both sexes present • Sufficient survival of all life stages ............................ • Sufficient number of bog buck moths to survive bust portion of boom and bust cycles. • Stable to increasing trend over last 10 years (10 generations). • Multiple occupied suitable habitat patches within metapopulation. • Sufficient habitat size • Sufficient habitat quality • Intact hydrology and ecological processes. Healthy populations distributed across areas of unique adaptive diversity (e.g., across latitudinal gradients) with sufficient connectivity for periodic genetic exchange. Redundancy (to withstand catastrophic events). Sufficient distribution of healthy populations. Sufficient number of healthy populations. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Future Condition As part of the SSA, we developed two future condition scenarios to capture the range of uncertainties regarding future threats and the projected responses by the bog buck moth. Our scenarios assumed increased winter and spring precipitation, increased annual temperatures, and either continuation or increases in invasive plant species and succession. Because we determined that the current condition of the bog buck moth was consistent with an endangered species (see Determination section, below), we are not presenting the results of the future scenarios in this proposed rule; however, under both scenarios the future condition is projected to worsen. Please refer to the SSA report (Service 2021, pp. 67–83) for the full analysis of future scenarios. Determination of Bog Buck Moth’s Status Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for determining whether a species meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species. The Act defines an endangered species as a species ‘‘in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,’’ and a threatened species as a species ‘‘likely VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 Sufficient distribution to guard against catastrophic events significantly compromising species adaptive diversity. Adequate number of healthy populations to buffer against catastrophic losses of adaptive diversity. to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.’’ The Act requires that we determine whether a species meets the definition of endangered species or threatened species because of any of the following factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Status Throughout All of Its Range After evaluating threats to the species and assessing the cumulative effect of the threats under the Act’s section 4(a)(1) factors, we have determined that the bog buck moth is at risk of extinction now throughout its range due to a combination of factors. Bog buck moth populations undergo boom and bust cycles and are highly vulnerable to stochastic events or threats during the bust phase (Factor E). All populations are isolated from one another and cannot repopulate extirpated sites (Factor E). We find that past and ongoing stressors, including habitat PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Poor. There are two potentially healthy populations in the Canadian Representative Unit and none in the U.S. Representative Unit. Poor. See above. Poor. See above. alteration due to water level management, vegetative succession and invasive plant species (Factor A), and death of individuals due to flooding (Factor E) have caused and are highly likely to continue to cause a decline in the species’ viability through reduction of resilience, redundancy, and representation to such a degree that the species is particularly vulnerable to extinction presently and is highly likely to become more vulnerable to extinction. We do not fully understand the cause of declines at bog buck moth sites, and so it is likely that additional factors are important such as inherent factors (e.g., narrow habitat niche) (Factor E), parasitoids (Factor E), predation (Factor C), disease (Factor C), and pesticides (Factor E). Of the three historical U.S. populations, two have been extirpated or presumed extirpated. The Jefferson County population was extirpated due to habitat conversion in the 1970s. The reason for the extirpation of the Inland Oswego County Site population is unclear, as the habitat still appears suitable. For the remaining U.S. population, the Lakeside population, the overall condition is poor with four of the five sites (Lakeside 1–4) presumed extirpated. Lakeside 5 is the last site with a confirmed moth E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 population as of 2019. However, even this site is considered to be in poor condition with severe habitat degradation. The Canadian populations comprise two potentially healthy populations. However, there is high uncertainty about their status. Unlike the New York populations, no standardized transect counts are available to assess long-term trends. In addition, we have information on just two of the four subpopulations associated with these populations. While there are bog buck moths known at two of these subpopulations and suitable habitat remains, invasive plant species are present at these sites and active management is not underway. All of the extant bog buck moth populations are currently facing a multitude of threats including water level changes, succession, and invasive species. Additionally, other factors, including parasitoids, predation, disease, and pesticides, as well as the species’ limited dispersal range and small numbers, likely play a role in its decline. As studies in the New York population have shown, attempts at managing and controlling the spread of invasive plants or woody plants from succession in fens have proven to be extremely labor intensive and have limited effect. We find that the magnitude and imminence of threats facing the bog buck moth place the species in danger of extinction now, and therefore we find that threatened status is not appropriate. Thus, after assessing the best available information, we determine that the bog buck moth is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. Status Throughout a Significant Portion of Its Range Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We have determined that the bog buck moth is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range, and accordingly did not undertake an analysis of any significant portion of its range. Because the bog buck moth warrants listing as endangered throughout all of its range, our determination is consistent with the decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. Everson, 2020 WL 437289 (D.D.C. Jan. 28, 2020), in which the court vacated the aspect of the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase ‘‘Significant Portion of Its Range’’ in the Endangered Species Act’s Definitions of ‘‘Endangered Species’’ and ‘‘Threatened Species’’ (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014) VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 that provided the Service does not undertake an analysis of significant portions of a species’ range if the species warrants listing as threatened throughout all of its range. Determination of Status Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the bog buck moth meets the definition of an endangered species. Therefore, we propose to list the bog buck moth as an endangered species in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act. Available Conservation Measures Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, and conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below. The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Section 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species’ decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, selfsustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems. Recovery planning consists of preparing draft and final recovery plans, beginning with the development of a recovery outline, and making it available to the public within 30 days of a final listing determination. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. The recovery plan PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57119 also identifies recovery criteria for review of when a species may be ready for reclassification from endangered to threatened (‘‘downlisting’’) or removal from protected status (‘‘delisting’’), and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop recovery plans. When completed, the recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan will be available on our website (https://www.fws.gov/ endangered), or from our New York Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands. If this species is listed, funding for recovery actions will be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State programs, and cost-share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the State of New York would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of the bog buck moth. Section 8(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1537(a)) authorizes the provision of limited financial assistance for the development and management of programs that the Secretary of the Interior determines to be necessary or useful for the conservation of endangered or threatened species in foreign countries. Sections 8(b) and 8(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1537(b) and (c)) also authorize the Secretary to encourage conservation programs for listed species found outside the US, and to provide assistance for such programs, in the form of personnel and the training of personnel. Information on our grant programs that are available to E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 57120 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules aid species recovery can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/grants. Although the bog buck moth is only proposed for listing under the Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for this species. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on this species whenever it becomes available and any information you may have for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to endangered wildlife. The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, codified at 50 CFR 17.21, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) endangered wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any species listed as an endangered species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees of the Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, other Federal land management agencies, and State conservation agencies. Federal agency actions that may require conference or consultation or VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 both as described in the preceding paragraph include management and any other landscape-altering activities on lands near bog buck moth subpopulations. We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22. With regard to endangered wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: for scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities. The statute also contains certain exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act. It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the species proposed for listing. Based on the best available information, the following actions are unlikely to result in a violation of section 9, if these activities are carried out in accordance with existing regulations and permit requirements; this list is not comprehensive: Normal recreational hunting, fishing, or boating activities that are carried out in accordance with all existing hunting, fishing, and boating regulations, and following reasonable practices and standards. Based on the best available information, the following activities may potentially result in a violation of section 9 of the Act if they are not authorized in accordance with applicable law; this list is not comprehensive: (1) Unauthorized collecting, handling, possessing, selling, delivering, carrying, or transporting of the bog buck moth, including import or export across State lines and international boundaries, except for properly documented antique specimens of the taxon at least 100 years old, as defined by section 10(h)(1) of the Act; (2) Unauthorized modification, removal, or destruction of the wetland vegetation, soils, or hydrology in which the bog buck moth is known to occur; (3) Unauthorized discharge of chemicals or fill material into any wetlands in which the bog buck moth is known to occur; and PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (4) Unauthorized release of biological control agents that attack any life stage of the bog buck moth, including parasitoids, herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals in habitats in which the bog buck moth is known to occur. Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the New York Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). III. Critical Habitat Background Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as: (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and (b) Which may require special management considerations or protection; and (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.02 define the geographical area occupied by the species as an area that may generally be delineated around species’ occurrences, as determined by the Secretary (i.e., range). Such areas may include those areas used throughout all or part of the species’ life cycle, even if not used on a regular basis (e.g., migratory corridors, seasonal habitats, and habitats used periodically, but not solely by vagrant individuals). Additionally, our regulations at 50 CFR 424.02 define the word ‘‘habitat’’ as follows: ‘‘For the purposes of designating critical habitat only, habitat is the abiotic and biotic setting that currently or periodically contains the resources and conditions necessary to support one or more life processes of a species.’’ Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking. Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Designation also does not allow the government or public to access private lands, nor does designation require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the Federal agency would be required to consult with the Service under section 7(a)(2) of the Act. However, even if the Service were to conclude that the proposed activity would result in destruction or adverse modification of the critical habitat, the Federal action agency and the landowner are not required to abandon the proposed activity, or to restore or recover the species; instead, they must implement ‘‘reasonable and prudent alternatives’’ to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106–554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical habitat. Prudency Determination Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.12) require that, to the maximum extent prudent and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 determinable, the Secretary shall designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the Secretary may, but is not required to, determine that a designation would not be prudent in the following circumstances: (i) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of such threat to the species; (ii) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species’ habitat or range is not a threat to the species, or threats to the species’ habitat stem solely from causes that cannot be addressed through management actions resulting from consultations under section 7(a)(2) of the Act; (iii) Areas within the jurisdiction of the United States provide no more than negligible conservation value, if any, for a species occurring primarily outside the jurisdiction of the United States; (iv) No areas meet the definition of critical habitat; or (v) The Secretary otherwise determines that designation of critical habitat would not be prudent based on the best scientific data available. We find that designating critical habitat for the bog buck moth is not prudent based on the fifth category. Within the New York populations, the bog buck moth co-occurs with another federally listed species that was listed, in part, due to collection pressure, which has not abated and has been documented recently in New York. Designation of critical habitat requires the publication of maps and a narrative description of specific critical habitat areas in the Federal Register. The degree of detail necessary to properly designate critical habitat for the bog buck moth is considerably greater than the general descriptions of location provided in this proposal to list the bog buck moth as an endangered species. We find that the publication of maps and descriptions outlining the locations of bog buck moth would further facilitate unauthorized collection and trade of the co-occurring species, by providing heretofore unavailable precise location information. As such, we have determined that the increased collection risk to the co-occurring species outweighs the benefits that would be afforded to the bog buck moth from the designation of critical habitat. In conclusion, we find that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent for the bog buck moth, in accordance with 50 CFR 424.12(a)(1), PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 57121 because the co-occurring listed species faces an ongoing threat of unauthorized collection and trade, and critical habitat designation can reasonably be expected to increase the degree of these threats to this co-occurring species. Critical habitat is just one conservation tool under the Act and is not required for recovery planning and implementation efforts for the bog buck moth. Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (1) Be logically organized; (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (3) Use clear language rather than jargon; (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior’s manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 57122 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 196 / Thursday, October 14, 2021 / Proposed Rules to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with Tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that Tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to Tribes. There are no known Tribal lands with bog buck moth populations. However, we will coordinate with Tribes to determine their interest in this proposed rule throughout the listing process as appropriate. Common name * * Moth, bog buck ............... * * * List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Where listed * * Hemileuca maia menyanthevora) (=H. iroquois). Status * PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 1531– 1544; and 4201–4245, unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.11(h) by adding an entry for ‘‘Moth, bog buck’’ to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order under Insects to read as set forth below: ■ * * * (h) * * * * * E * * * * [FR Doc. 2021–21856 Filed 10–13–21; 8:45 am] lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 BILLING CODE 4333–15–P 16:48 Oct 13, 2021 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 * * * * [Federal Register citation when published as a final rule]. Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. VerDate Sep<11>2014 * Listing citations and applicable rules * * Wherever found .............. * 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. Proposed Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title * * * Authors The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Service’s Species Assessment Team and the New York Ecological Services Field Office. Scientific name * INSECTS * References Cited A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the New York Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). E:\FR\FM\14OCP1.SGM 14OCP1 *

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 196 (Thursday, October 14, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57104-57122]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-21856]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2021-0029; FF09E21000 FXES1111090FEDR 223]
RIN 1018-BF69


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species 
Status for Bog Buck Moth

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
list the bog buck moth (Hemileuca maia menyanthevora) (=H.iroquois), a 
moth that occurs in Oswego County, New York (NY), and Ontario, Canada, 
as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and 
commercial information, we find that listing the species is warranted. 
Accordingly, we propose to list the bog buck moth as an endangered 
species under the Act. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would 
add this species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and 
extend the Act's protections to the species. We have determined that 
designation of critical habitat for the bog buck moth is not prudent at 
this time.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
December 13, 2021. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 
p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for a 
public hearing, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT by November 29, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter the docket number or RIN 
for this rulemaking (presented above in the document headings). For 
best results, do not copy and paste either number; instead, type the 
docket number or RIN into the Search box using hyphens. Then, click on 
the Search button. On the resulting page, in the panel on the left side 
of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check the Proposed Rule 
box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on 
``Comment.''

[[Page 57105]]

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail to: Public Comments 
Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2021-0029, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on https://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see Information Requested, below, for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Stilwell, Field Supervisor, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, 
Cortland, NY 13045; telephone 607-753-9334. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay 
Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Act, if we determine that 
a species warrants listing, we are required to promptly publish a 
proposal in the Federal Register, unless doing so is precluded by 
higher-priority actions and expeditious progress is being made to add 
and remove qualified species to or from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The Service will make a determination 
on our proposal within 1 year. If there is substantial disagreement 
regarding the sufficiency and accuracy of the available data relevant 
to the proposed listing, we may extend the final determination for not 
more than six months. To the maximum extent prudent and determinable, 
we must designate critical habitat for any species that we determine to 
be an endangered or threatened species under the Act. Listing a species 
as an endangered or threatened species and designation of critical 
habitat can only be completed by issuing a rule.
    What this document does. We propose to list the bog buck moth as an 
endangered species under the Act.
    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we may determine that a 
species is an endangered or threatened species because of any of five 
factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for 
commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) 
disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory 
mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its 
continued existence. We have determined that the bog buck moth is at 
risk of extinction now throughout its range due to a combination of 
factors. Bog buck moth populations undergo boom and bust cycles and are 
highly vulnerable to threats during the bust phase (Factor E). All 
populations are isolated from one another (Factor E). All extant 
populations are experiencing some degree of habitat alteration from 
invasive plant species and habitat succession (Factor A). Flooding may 
drown various life stages of bog buck moths or reduce suitable habitat 
either by directly making it unavailable (under water) or reducing 
survival and growth of bog buckbean, an important food source for the 
bog buck moth larvae (Factor A). Flooding has increased at one New York 
population over the past several years due to increased winter and 
spring precipitation from climate change and high Great Lakes water 
levels (Factor E). Water level management has altered or has the 
potential to alter several bog buck moth sites (Factor A). 
Additionally, the sedentary nature of the bog buck moth means that 
colonization of neighboring fens does not occur naturally, further 
limiting the species' ability to respond to stochastic changes (Factor 
E).
    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act requires the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) to designate critical habitat concurrent with listing to 
the maximum extent prudent and determinable. We have determined that 
designating critical habitat for the bog buck moth is not prudent 
because the moth co-occurs with another species that is highly 
collected and designating critical habitat for the moth would increase 
the risk of collection for the other species.

Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule 
will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request 
comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, 
Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any 
other interested parties regarding this proposed rule.
    We particularly seek comments concerning:
    (1) The bog buck moth's biology, range, and population trends, 
including:
    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including 
habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;
    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;
    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;
    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and 
projected trends; and
    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its 
habitat, or both.
    (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, 
which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, 
disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, 
or other natural or manmade factors.
    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations 
that may be addressing those threats.
    (4) Additional information concerning the historical and current 
status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, 
including the locations of any additional populations of this species.
    (5) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as 
``critical habitat'' under section 4 of the Act, including information 
to inform the following factors that the regulations identify as 
reasons why designation of critical habitat may be not prudent:
    (a) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity and 
identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the 
degree of such threat to the species;
    (b) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of a species' habitat or range is not a threat to the 
species, or threats to the species' habitat stem solely from causes 
that cannot be addressed through management actions resulting from 
consultations under section 7(a)(2) of the Act;
    (c) Areas within the jurisdiction of the United States provide no 
more than negligible conservation value, if any, for a species 
occurring primarily outside the jurisdiction of the United States; or
    (d) No areas meet the definition of critical habitat.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.
    Please note that submissions merely stating support for, or 
opposition to, the action under consideration without providing 
supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in 
making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that 
determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or a 
threatened species must be made ``solely on the basis of the best 
scientific and commercial data available.''

[[Page 57106]]

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you 
send comments only by the methods described 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 your submission is made via a hardcopy 
that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the 
top of your document that we withhold this 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.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on https://www.regulations.gov.
    Because we will consider all comments and information we receive 
during the comment period, our final determination may differ from this 
proposal. Based on the new information we receive (and any comments on 
that new information), we may conclude that the species is threatened 
instead of endangered, or we may conclude that the species does not 
warrant listing as either an endangered species or a threatened 
species.

Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for a public hearing on this 
proposal, if requested. Requests must be received by the date specified 
in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule a public hearing on this 
proposal, if requested, and announce the date, time, and place of the 
hearing, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the 
Federal Register and in local newspapers at least 15 days before the 
hearing. For the immediate future, we will provide these public 
hearings using webinars that will be announced on the Service's 
website, in addition to the Federal Register. The use of these virtual 
public hearings is consistent with our regulations at 50 CFR 
424.16(c)(3).

Previous Federal Actions

    We identified the bog buck moth (Hemileuca sp.) as a Category 2 
candidate species for listing in the November 21, 1991, Annual 
Candidate Notice of Review (56 FR 58804). In the February 28, 1996, 
Annual Candidate Notice of Review (61 FR 7596), we announced our 
discontinuation of the designation of Category 2 species as candidates, 
which removed the species from the candidate list. We finalized our 
decision to discontinue the practice of maintaining a list of Category 
2 species on December 5, 1996 (61 FR 64481).
    At our discretion, we prioritized a status review for the species 
according to the Service's July 27, 2016, Methodology for Prioritizing 
Status Reviews and Accompanying 12-Month Findings on Petitions for 
Listing Under the Endangered Species Act (81 FR 49248) and added the 
species to the Endangered Species Program's National Listing Workplan 
(Workplan) for Fiscal Year 2021. Based on this process, we are making a 
determination on the bog buck moth's listing status in this proposed 
rule.

Supporting Documents

    A species status assessment (SSA) team prepared an SSA report for 
the bog buck moth. The SSA team, composed of Service biologists and a 
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) 
biologist, conducted the SSA in consultation with other species 
experts. The SSA report represents a compilation of the best scientific 
and commercial data available concerning the status of the species, 
including the impacts of past, present, and future factors (both 
negative and beneficial) affecting the species. In accordance with our 
joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 
1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, memorandum updating and 
clarifying the role of peer review of listing actions under the Act, we 
sought the expert opinions of six appropriate specialists regarding the 
SSA report. We received four responses. In addition, we sent the draft 
SSA report for review to Canadian partners, State partners, and 
scientists with expertise in fen ecology and bog buck moth biology, 
taxonomy, and conservation and received 11 responses.

I. Proposed Listing Determination

Background

    The bog buck moth is a large diurnal moth native to fens 
(groundwater-fed wetland) in Oswego County, NY, and Ontario, Canada. A 
thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the bog 
buck moth is presented in the SSA report (Service 2021, pp. 6-25).
Taxonomy
    The bog buck moth is a silk moth (family = Saturniidae) in the buck 
moth genus (Hemileuca). The bog buck moth was first identified as a 
variant of the maia species group within Hemileuca in 1977 by John 
Cryan and Robert Dirig from four sites (two populations) along the 
southeast shore of Lake Ontario in Oswego County, NY, but was not 
formally named at that time (Legge et al. 1996, p. 86; Pryor 1998, p. 
126; Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 3). Four additional sites (two 
populations) were discovered in 1977 in eastern Ontario (Committee on 
the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada [COSEWIC] 2009, p. 7). 
Multiple common names have been used since then (e.g., bogbean 
buckmoth, Cryan's buckmoth, fen buck moth).
    For many years, the bog buck moth's taxonomic status has been 
confusing and uncertain. The bog buck moth was classified as part of 
the Hemileuca maia complex, which is a broadly distributed group of 
closely related taxa including H. maia, H. lucina, H. nevadensis, among 
others (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 111). Tuskes et al. (1996, pp. 120-121) 
further refined the description of populations of buck moths in the 
Great Lakes region, including the bog buck moth, as the H. maia complex 
of Great Lakes Region Populations. Kruse (1998, p. 109) included H. 
maia and H. nevadensis as part of the Great Lakes complex; however, 
using genomewide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), Dupuis et al. 
(2018, p. 6) and Dupuis et al. (2020, p. 3) show that H. nevadensis is 
restricted to the west. The Annotated Taxonomic Checklist of the 
Lepidoptera of North America (Pohl et al. 2016, p. 735) included the 
Great Lakes populations of buck moths as part of H. maia (based on 
Tuskes et al. 1996), pending species-level taxonomic classification.
    Recently, Dupuis et al. (2018, pp. 5-7) and Dupuis et al. (2020, 
pp. 2-3) used SNPs and found unambiguous results supporting the 
conclusion that both Ontario and Oswego County, NY, populations are 
part of the bog buck moth lineage that is divergent from Hemileuca 
lucina, H. peigleri, H. slosseri, and all other H. maia. They also 
found clear differentiation between the group formed by the Ontario and 
Oswego County, NY, populations and the group formed by Wisconsin and 
Michigan populations (Dupuis et al. 2020, p. 3).
    In 2020, Pavulaan (2020, entire) was first to formally describe the 
bog buck moth as Hemileuca maia menyanthevora and stated that it may 
actually represent a full species. Pavulaan (2020, pp. 8-14) considered 
host plant use and morphology for the designation and included the 
Oswego County, NY, Marquette and Ozaukee County, WI, and Ontario fens 
as part of the range. All specimens that Pavulaan used for describing 
morphology were

[[Page 57107]]

from one location in Oswego County, NY, and he relied on host plant use 
discussed in Kruse (1998, entire) for inclusion of the two Wisconsin 
sites (Pavulaan pers. comm., 2020). Subsequently, Cryan and Dirig 
(2020, pp. 26-31) named the bog buck moth as H. iroquois and included 
only the Oswego County, NY, and Ontario populations in the designation. 
Official scientific naming follows the rule of publication priority 
under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature; therefore, the 
official name of the bog buck moth is H. maia menyanthevora with the 
junior synonym of H. iroquois. We conclude that the bog buck moth is a 
valid taxon for consideration for listing under the Act.
    Based upon the strong evidence provided by Dupuis et al. (2018, 
entire and 2020, entire), we consider the current range of Hemileuca 
maia menyanthevora as Oswego County, NY, and Ontario, Canada. The 
historical range also included Jefferson County, NY (see below). We 
find this genetic evidence documented by Dupuis et al. markedly more 
persuasive than the host plant information that Pavulaan (2020, entire; 
pers. comm., 2020) relied upon when he included the Wisconsin sites in 
his designation without specimens from those sites. The Oswego County, 
NY, and Ontario range is consistent with the range described when the 
Service originally considered the bog buck moth (Hemileuca sp.) as a 
Category 2 Candidate in 1991 (56 FR 58804, November 21, 1991). It is 
also consistent with the range described by NatureServe (2020, pp. 1-
4), COSEWIC (2009, pp. 5, 7), and Cryan and Dirig (2020, entire).
Physical Description, Life History, and Range
    Bog buck moth adults have black bodies and black/gray translucent 
wings with wide, white wing bands and an eyespot (COSEWIC 2009, p. 5; 
NatureServe 2015, p. 4). Bog buck moths have forewing lengths of 22 to 
36 millimeters (mm) (0.9 to 1.4 inches [in]) (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 
121; Pavulaan 2020, p. 9). Males and females are generally similar in 
appearance with the following exceptions. Similar to all saturniids, 
males have highly branched, feather-like antennae with receptors that 
respond to female pheromones (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 14), and females 
have simple antennae. Males also have a red-tipped abdomen while 
females do not; males are also slightly smaller than females (COSEWIC 
2009, p. 5). In addition, both male and female adults are larger than 
other Hemileuca maia and have similar highly translucent wings as H. 
lucina. White wing bands are much larger than other H. maia (Cryan and 
Dirig 2020, p. 26; Pavulaan 2020, p. 9).
    Late instar larvae are dark with reddish orange branched urticating 
(stinging) spines dorsally, and a reddish-brown head capsule and 
prolegs (COSEWIC 2009, p. 6). Initially egg rings are light green 
(Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 26) and fade to light brown or tan (Sime, 
pers. comm.). Mature larvae are usually predominantly black with small 
white dots and lack yellow markings compared to other Hemileuca maia 
(COSEWIC 2009, p. 6; NatureServe 2015, p. 4; Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 
26).
    The bog buck moth is restricted to open, calcareous, low shrub fens 
containing large amounts of Menyanthes trifoliata (COSEWIC 2009, p. 10) 
(referred to herein as bog buckbean, but also known by bogbean or 
buckbean). Fens are classified along a gradient that ranges from rich 
fens to poor fens based on their water chemistry and plant community 
structure. Rich fens receive more mineral-rich groundwater than poor 
fens, which results in higher conductivity, pH, and calcium and 
magnesium ion concentrations (Vitt and Chee 1990, p. 97). The sites in 
New York are considered medium fens (New York Natural Heritage Program 
[NYNHP] 2020a, p. 3). Medium fens are fed by waters that are moderately 
mineralized with pH values generally ranging from 4.5 to 6.5 (Olivero 
2001, p. 15). Medium fens often occur as a narrow transition zone 
between a stream or lake and either a swamp or an upland community 
(Olivero 2001, p. 15). The dominant species in medium fens are usually 
woolly-fruit sedge (Carex lasiocarpa) and sweetgale (Myrica gale), with 
a variety of characteristic shrubs and herbs generally less than 5 
meters (m) (16.4 feet [ft]) in height (NYNHP 2020b, pp. 5-11). Bog 
rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne 
calyculata), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), spatulate-leaved sundew 
(Drosera intermedia), three-way sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum var. 
arundinaceum), and green arrow arum (Peltandra virginica) are 
characteristic only of medium fens, compared to any of the other 
calcareous fens found in New York (Olivero 2001, p. 14).
    In Ontario, the bog buck moth is found in calcareous fens with bog 
buckbean. The fens are either low shrub dominated by sweetgale, bog 
birch (Betula pumila), bog willow (Salix pedicellaris) and other 
willows, but with patches of open fen dominated by sedges and water 
horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) or primarily open fens dominated by 
sedges such as woolly-fruit sedge (Carex lasiocarpa), smooth sawgrass 
(Cladium mariscoides), and American common reed (Phragmites australis 
ssp. americanus) surrounded by conifer swamp (COSEWIC 2009, p. 10).
    The life cycle of a bog buck moth is similar to other Hemileuca 
species and generally completed within 1 year (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 
103). Nonfeeding adults emerge in the fall. Males and females differ in 
flight patterns with males flying large, circular paths and females 
making short, low, direct frequent flights (Pryor 1998, p. 133). Adult 
males fly for longer periods as well, covering the open area of the fen 
for approximately 10 minutes compared to females flying short distances 
lasting a matter of seconds (Pryor 1998, p. 133). After mating, female 
buck moths lay one large cluster of eggs on sturdy stems of a variety 
of plant species. The eggs overwinter until the following spring when 
they hatch into larvae. While early instar larvae rely primarily on the 
host plant bog buckbean (Stanton 2000, p. 2), eggs are never laid on 
these plants as they die back each year rendering them unavailable for 
overwintering. Pupation occurs by mid-July, and the pupal stage lasts 
about 2 months. While not documented in bog buck moth, in other 
Hemileuca species (including H. maia maia), individual pupae may remain 
dormant until the following fall or possibly the fall after that (Cryan 
and Dirig 1977, p. 10; Tuskes et al. 1996, pp. 103, 114).
    All populations are located within the beds of former glacial Lake 
Iroquois (Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 27) and Champlain Sea (COSEWIC 2009, 
p. 9). The present distribution may be relict populations as a result 
of a postglacial expansion by Hemileuca from western North America, and 
subsequent isolation in fens and bogs as forests gradually reclaimed 
postglacial wetland habitats (Pryor 1998, p. 138). Glacial retreat left 
suitable habitat in disjointed patches (Gradish and Tonge 2011, p. 6). 
Based on genetic findings, bog buck moth populations may have been more 
historically widespread along the wetlands around Lake Ontario (Dupuis 
et al. 2020, p. 4).
    While we do not have a full understanding of the historical bog 
buck moth distribution, there are records from three populations in New 
York and two in Ontario, Canada. Currently, there are four populations 
known. In Canada, the White Lake population comprises two sites or 
subpopulations (White Lake North and White Lake South). The Richmond 
Fen population comprises two sites or subpopulations (Richmond

[[Page 57108]]

Fen North and Richmond Fen South). In the United States, the Lakeside 
population occurs along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in Oswego 
County, NY, and comprises five sites or subpopulations (referred to as 
Lakeside 1 to Lakeside 5). To the southwest, the Oswego Inland Site 
population occurs in Oswego County, NY, and is a single site with two 
fen openings with metapopulation dynamics operating at a smaller scale. 
The fifth historically known population located in Jefferson County, NY 
was identified based on specimens collected in the 1950s but the site 
is no longer suitable for the bog buck moth. The bog buck moth is 
sedentary (nonmigratory) and therefore present within suitable habitat 
year-round with small movements of 0.5 kilometers (km) (0.3 miles [mi]) 
within suitable habitat described as ``common'' (NatureServe 2015, p. 
5). While bog buck moth populations were previously described as 
individuals separated by areas of unsuitable habitat greater than 2 km 
(1.24 mi) or areas of suitable habitat greater than 10 km (6.2 mi) with 
some infrequent dispersal events at slightly longer distances between 
unsuitable patches (NatureServe 2015, p. 5), movements are now 
described as ``should be capable of flying several to many kilometers, 
but seldom leaves habitat'' NatureServe (2020, p. 5). In NY, some 
movement likely occurs between sites that are close together. Isolation 
of populations is likely increased by the short-lived adult stage (not 
much time for adults to fly far) (COSEWIC 2009, p. 15). In addition, 
they seem to have no inclination or ability to fly long distances. 
Adult females that do make short flights are laden with hundreds of 
eggs.
    Bog buck moth dispersal events were not observed by Pryor (1998, p. 
138) but he suggested the potential for an adult bog buck moth to 
disperse with strong winds or powered flight if surrounding vegetation 
does not impede them. Three males were captured on sticky traps in 
unsuitable habitat located between the Lakeside 1 and Lakeside 2 sites 
in NY (Stanton 2004, p. 7) supporting some movement outside of suitable 
habitat but well within the 2 km (1.24 mi) discussed above. We conclude 
that most movements are likely to be limited to the highly localized 
fen habitat but that infrequent male dispersal events of a few 
kilometers are possible. In addition, though we would expect most wind 
events to primarily disperse males due to their longer localized 
flights, even less frequent, but possibly longer wind dispersal events 
of either sex may occur.
    It is unlikely that other bog buck moth populations exist besides 
the ones mentioned above. Fairly extensive but unsuccessful searches 
for bog buck moths have been conducted at other potentially suitable 
wetland habitat in Ontario, and no new sites have been found (COSEWIC 
2009, pp. 9-10). Given the degree of interest by naturalists in these 
natural areas and the diurnal habits of this large distinctive species, 
the probability of undiscovered Ontario bog buck moth populations is 
low (COSEWIC 2009, p. 10).
    The story is similar in NY. Researchers sought out additional 
populations during years of exploring the bed of former glacial Lake 
Iroquois and its tributaries and outlets, and while they found some 
fens with bog buckbean, they found no additional sites with bog buck 
moths (Cryan and Dirig 2020, pp. 4-5). In addition, researchers have 
visited NY fens for many years and likely would have observed the 
highly conspicuous larvae on bog buckbean or adult male moths, which 
are readily visible due to their lengthy, localized flight pattern, had 
they been present.

Regulatory and Analytical Framework

Regulatory Framework

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for determining 
whether a species is an ``endangered species'' or a ``threatened 
species.'' The Act defines an endangered species as a species that is 
``in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of 
its range,'' and a threatened species as a species that is ``likely to 
become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout 
all or a significant portion of its range.'' The Act requires that we 
determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened 
species because of any of the following factors:
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence.
    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) does not 
necessarily mean that the species meets the statutory definition of an 
``endangered species'' or a ``threatened species.'' In determining 
whether a species meets either definition, we must evaluate all 
identified threats by considering the expected response by the species, 
and the effects of the threats--in light of those actions and 
conditions that will ameliorate the threats--on an individual, 
population, and species level. We evaluate each threat and its expected 
effects on the species, then analyze the cumulative effect of all 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 any existing 
regulatory mechanisms or conservation efforts. The Secretary determines 
whether the species meets the definition of an ``endangered species'' 
or a ``threatened species'' only after conducting this cumulative 
analysis and describing the expected effect on the species now and in 
the foreseeable future.
    The Act does not define the term ``foreseeable future,'' which 
appears in the statutory definition of ``threatened species.'' Our 
implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.11(d) set forth a framework for 
evaluating the foreseeable future on a case-by-case basis. The term 
``foreseeable future'' extends only so far into the future as the 
Service can reasonably determine that both the future threats and the 
species' responses to those threats are likely. In other words, the 
foreseeable future is the period of time in which we can make reliable 
predictions. ``Reliable'' does not mean ``certain''; it means 
sufficient to provide a reasonable degree of confidence in the 
prediction. Thus, a prediction is reliable if it is reasonable to 
depend on it when making decisions.
    It is not always possible or necessary to define foreseeable future 
as a

[[Page 57109]]

particular number of years. Analysis of the foreseeable future uses the 
best scientific and commercial data available and should consider the 
timeframes applicable to the relevant threats and to the species' 
likely responses to those threats in view of its life-history 
characteristics. Data that are typically relevant to assessing the 
species' biological response include species-specific factors such as 
lifespan, reproductive rates or productivity, certain behaviors, and 
other demographic factors.

Analytical Framework

    The SSA report documents the results of our comprehensive 
biological review of the best scientific and commercial data regarding 
the status of the species, including an assessment of the potential 
threats to the species. The SSA report does not represent a decision by 
the Service on whether the species should be proposed for listing as an 
endangered or threatened species under the Act. However, it does 
provide the scientific basis that informs our regulatory decisions, 
which involve the further application of standards within the Act and 
its implementing regulations and policies. The following is a summary 
of the key results and conclusions from the SSA report; the full SSA 
report can be found at Docket FWS-R5-ES-2021-0029 on https://www.regulations.gov.
    To assess bog buck moth viability, we used the three conservation 
biology principles of resiliency, redundancy, and representation 
(Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 306-310). Briefly, resiliency supports the 
ability of populations to withstand environmental and demographic 
stochasticity (e.g., wet or dry, warm or cold years), redundancy 
supports the ability of the species to withstand catastrophic events 
(e.g., drought, large pollution events), and representation supports 
the ability of the species to adapt over time to long-term changes in 
the environment (e.g., climate change). In general, the more resilient 
and redundant a species is and the more representation it has, the more 
likely it is to sustain populations over time, even under changing 
environmental conditions. Using these principles, we identified the 
species' ecological requirements for survival and reproduction at the 
individual, population, and species levels, and described the 
beneficial and risk factors influencing the species' viability.
    The SSA process can be categorized into three sequential stages. 
During the first stage, we evaluated the individual species' life-
history needs. The next stage involved an assessment of the historical 
and current condition of the species' demographics and habitat 
characteristics, including an explanation of how the species arrived at 
its current condition. The final stage of the SSA involved making 
predictions about the species' responses to positive and negative 
environmental and anthropogenic influences. Throughout all of these 
stages, we used the best available information to characterize 
viability as the ability of a species to sustain populations in the 
wild over time. We use this information to inform our regulatory 
decision.

Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    In this discussion, we review the biological condition of the 
species and its resources, and the threats that influence the species' 
current and future condition, in order to assess the species' overall 
viability and the risks to that viability.
    We note that, by using the SSA framework to guide our analysis of 
the scientific information documented in the SSA report, we have not 
only analyzed individual effects on the species, but we have also 
analyzed their potential cumulative effects. We incorporate the 
cumulative effects into our SSA analysis when we characterize the 
current and future condition of the species. To assess the current and 
future condition of the species, we undertake an iterative analysis 
that encompasses and incorporates the threats individually and then 
accumulates and evaluates the effects of all the factors that may be 
influencing the species, including threats and conservation efforts. 
Because the SSA framework considers not just the presence of the 
factors, but to what degree they collectively influence risk to the 
entire species, our assessment integrates the cumulative effects of the 
factors and replaces a standalone cumulative effects analysis.

Individual, Subpopulation, and Species Needs

    The primary requirements for individual bog buck moths include the 
following: Suitable conditions that support fen ecosystems, perennial 
plants with bare sections of sturdy small stems above substrate near 
bog buckbean to provide shelter for the eggs, the presence of bog 
buckbean and other plants to provide shelter and food for the larvae, 
and appropriate flying weather of warm fall days with periods of no 
rain and low winds during the adult life stage.
    Bog buck moths require medium fens (Olivero 2001, p. 15) with a 
variety of shrubs and herbs, including the bog buckbean, that are 
generally less than 5 m (16.4 ft) in height (NYNHP 2020b, pp. 5-11). 
Bog buck moths also depend on shifting mosaics of early successional 
fen habitat created by regular disturbance (such as periodic flooding) 
(Cryan and Dirig 2020, p. 28). Without disturbances, as with other 
early successional habitats, vegetation succession will occur; however, 
in fens with intact hydrology, this succession occurs very slowly.
    The bog buck moth is univoltine (single adult flight period). The 
flight period lasts 4 weeks, generally from mid-September to October 
(Pryor 1998, p. 134; Stanton 2000, p. 15; Schmidt, pers. comm., 2020). 
Adults are diurnal (fly during the day) avoiding cooler fall night 
temperatures (Tuskes et al. 1996, p. 12; Pryor 1998, p. 133). Bog buck 
moths fly when temperatures are generally above 68 degrees Fahrenheit 
([deg] F) (20 degrees Celsius [[deg] C]) and when winds are less than 
24 kilometers per hour (kmph) (15 miles per hour [mph]) (Stanton 1998, 
pp. 19-20-20, 29).
    Female bog buck moths mate once and deposit eggs (Pryor 1998, p. 
129; Stanton 1998, p. 8) around bare sections of rigid, vertical plant 
stems (Stanton 2000, p. 11). Unlike other Hemileuca species (Tuskes et 
al. 1996, p. 103), bog buck moths do not lay eggs on their primary 
larval host plants (Legge et al. 1996, p. 88; Stanton 2000, pp. 2, 11). 
Eggs overwinter and hatch into larvae in the spring.
    Bog buck moth larvae require bog buckbean and other host plant 
species. During the early instars, bog buckbean is the primary food 
source for the larvae; however, latter instars will feed on a larger 
variety of host plants. Overall, bog buckbean is essential, but other 
foodplants may be important, particularly in later larval stages. 
Please refer to the SSA report for a list of documented larval host 
plants and oviposition plants (Service 2021, pp. 13-14).
    Healthy or resilient populations are those that are able to respond 
to and recover from stochastic events (e.g., flooding, storms) and 
normal year-to-year environmental variation (e.g., temperature, 
rainfall). Simply said, healthy populations are those able to sustain 
themselves through good and bad years. For the purpose of the SSA, we 
defined viability as the ability of the species to sustain populations 
in the wild over time. The bog buck moth needs multiple healthy 
(resilient) populations. The more populations, and the wider the 
distribution of those populations (redundancy), the less likely that 
the species as a whole will be negatively impacted if an area of the

[[Page 57110]]

species' range is negatively affected by a catastrophic event, and the 
more likely that natural gene flow and ecological processes will be 
maintained (Wolf et al. 2015, pp. 205-206). Species that are well 
distributed across their historical range are less susceptible to the 
risk of extinction as a result of a catastrophic event than species 
confined to smaller areas of their historical range.
    Furthermore, diverse and widespread populations of bog buck moth 
may contribute to the adaptive diversity (representation) of the 
species if redundant populations are adapting to different conditions. 
In considering what may be important to capture in terms of 
representation for the bog buck moth, we identified two primary means 
of defining bog buck moth diversity: genetic differences and potential 
adaptation to variation in climatic conditions across latitudinal 
gradients.
    Gene flow is influenced by the degree of connectivity and landscape 
permeability (Lankau et al. 2011, p. 320). Gene flow may be somewhat 
limited among bog buck moth populations due to their rare and patchy 
distributions and sedentary (nonmigratory) behavior. The Inland Oswego 
Site population is genetically distinct from the nearest of the 
Lakeside populations (about 30 km [18.6 mi] away), although there is or 
was likely some limited migration between them (Buckner et al. 2014, 
pp. 510-512). In addition, while an unambiguously close relationship 
was found between the bog buck moth specimens from Ontario and the 
populations in Oswego County, NY, both of these populations formed 
distinct sister clusters (Dupuis et al. 2020, pp. 2-3). Maintaining 
populations in both Canada and New York is important to conserve this 
genetic diversity.
    The bog buck moth has a fairly narrow distribution; however, Lake 
Ontario influences local climatic conditions, and, at more northern 
latitudes, the Canadian populations experience colder winters. In 
Ottawa, Canada, average monthly temperatures range from 5.4 to 21.6 
[deg]F (-14.8 to -5.8 [deg]C) in January to 60 to 79.7 [deg]F (15.5 to 
26.5 [deg]C) in July, and average yearly snowfall is 88 in (2.23 m). In 
Oswego, NY (directly on Lake Ontario), temperatures range from 18 to 30 
[deg]F (-7.8 to -1.1 [deg]C) in January to 63 to 79 [deg]F (17.2 to 
26.1 [deg]C) in July, an average yearly snowfall is 141 in (3.58 m). 
Adult males have been documented to fly 3 to 5 days earlier at the 
Oswego Inland Site compared to Lakeside 2 and potentially due to the 
climate-tempering effects of Lake Ontario on the Lakeside 2 site 
(Stanton 1998, p. 26). Maintaining populations across historical 
latitudinal and climatic gradients increases the likelihood that the 
species will retain the potential for adaptation over time. Local 
adaptation to temperature, precipitation, host plants, and community 
interactions have all been identified for butterflies and is 
anticipated for the bog buck moth (Aardema et al. 2011, pp. 295-297).

Risk Factors for the Bog Buck Moth

    The primary factors currently influencing bog buck moth population 
health are inherent factors (e.g., narrow habitat niche) and several 
external factors resulting in loss or alteration of habitat or directly 
influencing demographic rates. As discussed above, bog buck moths are 
found in medium fens. Medium fens are listed as imperiled or vulnerable 
in New York (NYNHP 2020b, p. 2). Threats to medium fens include 
hydrological change, habitat alteration in the adjacent landscape, 
development, and recreational overuse (NYNHP 2020b, p. 3). Fens are 
especially sensitive to relatively small changes in hydrology (van 
Diggelen et al. 2006, p. 159). Additionally, several medium fens where 
bog buck moths occur in New York are negatively impacted by invasive 
species, such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), reed grass 
(Phragmites australis), and buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.) (NYNHP 2020, p. 
3). In Canada, the most significant threat to the buck moth is habitat 
degradation either due to alteration of water regime within the 
species' habitat or the invasion of habitat by nonnative plant species 
(COSEWIC 2009, p. 18; Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). Several sources 
of habitat alteration identified at bog buck moth sites are discussed 
below. We do not fully understand the cause of declines at bog buck 
moth sites, and so it is likely that additional factors (e.g., 
predation, disease, pesticides) are important. For comprehensive 
discussion of the primary factors as well as these other likely 
stressors, please refer to the SSA report Chapter 3--Factors 
Influencing Viability (Service 2021, pp. 26-50).
Change in Water Levels
    Water level changes can directly kill individuals (e.g., flooding 
of pupae) or result in changes in habitat suitability and availability. 
Flooding can result in reductions in suitable oviposition sites, larval 
food sources and shelter, or pupation sites. Below we will discuss 
water management as it pertains to the Canadian and U.S. populations.
Water Level Management--Canadian Populations
    Both White Lake subpopulations are influenced by manipulation of 
the White Lake outlet dam in the town of White Lake (Schmidt, pers. 
comm., 2020), and large fluctuations may cause mortality (COSEWIC 2009, 
p. 18). Alteration of the water regime can be mitigated or avoided 
through appropriate water management policies, actions, and land 
stewardship techniques; however, there were no clear prescriptive 
actions provided (Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). The Strategy for the 
Bogbean Buckmoth in Ontario (Ontario Recovery Strategy) includes 
recovery actions to understand the specific hydrology of Richmond Fen 
wetlands and the White Lake wetlands and to work with stakeholders to 
mitigate impacts from land use change, particularly water level 
manipulation at White Lake (Gradish and Tonge 2011, pp. 12-13). We have 
no information to indicate these actions have been initiated to date, 
and Ontario's 5-year review of the bog buck moth (OMNR 2017, pp. 11-17) 
does not mention anything about these specific actions. However, 
through regulation, Ontario formally designated ``habitat'' for the bog 
buck moth in 2014 (Environment Canada 2015, p. 9). Environment Canada 
then adopted the description of bog buck moth ``habitat'' as ``critical 
habitat'' in the Federal recovery strategy (Environment Canada 2015, p. 
10). The designation includes a list of activities that alter the fen's 
water regime as those likely to destroy critical habitat for the buck 
moth (Environment Canada 2015, p. 17). We will discuss more information 
about Ontario and Canadian laws and regulations in Conservation 
Measures, below.
Water Level Management--U.S. Populations
    Water level management resulted in the extirpation of a Jefferson 
County, NY, population in the 1970s (Bonanno and White 2011, p. 9) by 
flooding the fen habitat and creating a freshwater marsh. The site is 
currently being maintained by the New York State Office of Parks, 
Recreation and Historic Preservation as a marsh for flood control, 
septic system management, and New York State-listed endangered black 
tern (Chlidonias niger) habitat (Bonanno, pers. comm., 2020). However, 
it is no longer suitable habitat for the bog bug moth.
    The Lakeside population is currently influenced by water levels 
associated with management of Lake Ontario through regulation of the 
Moses-

[[Page 57111]]

Saunders hydroelectric dam and precipitation events. The St. Lawrence 
River is located at the northeast end of Lake Ontario and is the 
natural outlet for the Great Lakes. Approximately 160 km (100 mi) 
downstream from Lake Ontario are the structures used to control the 
flow from Lake Ontario, most of which is used by the Moses-Saunders 
powerhouses (IJC 2014, p. 4). The International Joint Commission (IJC) 
and its International Lake Ontario--St. Lawrence River Board (Board) 
oversee management of these flows.
    The Lake Ontario water level changes in response to the difference 
between the supply it receives and its outflow. The supply is 
uncontrolled, and the use of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam to change 
outflow provides some control over Lake Ontario water levels, but there 
are limits to the amount of water that can be released (IJC 2014, p. 
5). Most of the episodic changes in Great Lakes water levels over the 
past century are attributable to corresponding changes in annual 
precipitation (Gronewold and Stow 2014, p. 1084). Prior to the 
construction of the dams on the St. Lawrence River, recorded lake 
levels of Lake Ontario from 1860 to 1960 show a pattern of variation 
with highs and lows captured within each decade or so (Wilcox et al. 
2008, p. 302). The historical range of monthly average water levels was 
more than 1.8 m (6 ft) between low and high levels, and the IJC 
recommended regulating within a narrow 1.2-m (4-ft) target from April 
to November (IJC 2014, p. 8). This has resulted in compressing the 
range of Lake Ontario water levels to 0.7 m (2.3 ft) from 1.5 m (5 ft) 
(Wilcox et al. 2008, p. 302). The IJC (2014, p. 43) found that 
regulation of Lake Ontario has restricted the natural fluctuation of 
its water levels, both in terms of reducing its extremes and year-to-
year variability.
    The existing shoreline vegetation of the Great Lakes depends on 
regular fluctuation in water levels (Keddy and Reznicek 1986, p. 35). 
Fluctuating water levels increase the area of shoreline vegetation and 
the diversity of vegetation types and plant species (Keddy and Reznicek 
1986, p. 35). High lake levels periodically eliminate dense-canopy 
emergent plants, and low lake levels allow less competitive understory 
species to grow (Keddy and Reznicek 1986, entire; Wilcox et al. 2008, 
p. 301).
    Stabilization of Lake Ontario water levels after the construction 
of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam may have subsequently increased cattail 
(Typha spp.) dominance (Rippke et al. 2010, p. 814). Specifically, lack 
of low lake levels shifted the competitive advantage to the taller 
cattails resulting in loss of large expanses of sedge/grass meadows 
(Wilcox et al. 2008, p. 316). The IJC (2014, p. 43) found that the 
compressed lake level range has allowed trees and shrubs to grow closer 
to the water, and cattails and other emergent plants that tolerate 
persistent flooding to expand their range up the shoreline, reducing 
the sedge meadow plants that occurred in between. Increased cattails 
have been documented at Lakeside bog buck moth subpopulations including 
Lakeside 3 and Lakeside 4 (Bonanno, pers. comm., 2020; Sime 2019, p. 
38). These changes in vegetation from Carex spp., sweet-gale, herbs, 
and shrubs to cattail marsh result in overall habitat loss through 
permanent reductions in the amount of suitable oviposition sites, 
larval food sources, and pupal habitat.
    In addition to changes in vegetation discussed above, water levels 
can directly impact survival of bog buck moth in various life stages. 
The Lakeside population includes sites that have been described as 
physically ``protected wetlands'' located behind sandbars and connected 
to Lake Ontario by intermittent or indirect surface water openings or 
ground water (Vaccaro et al. 2009, p. 1038). Water levels in these 
sites are greatly influenced by precipitation and highly variable 
depending on their unique connection to Lake Ontario (Vaccaro et al. 
2009, p. 1045). Barrier beaches along Lake Ontario restrict flow out of 
the wetlands, causing water levels to rise sharply in response to local 
precipitation events in the ``protected wetlands'' (Vaccaro et al. 
2009, p. 1045). These sharp rises can result in flooding events. Though 
flood events may be related to water level management, they are more 
strongly connected to precipitation events (Gronewold and Stow 2014, p. 
1084) and are further discussed below in the Climate Change section.
    In addition to the larger scale water level management of Lake 
Ontario, more localized water level management may influence bog buck 
moth sites. Water levels may be influenced by impoundments (human or 
beaver) or roads that restrict flow into or out of the fens. 
Restriction of flow into fens results in drying of sites and increases 
in shrubs. Taller shrubs shade out bog buckbean, reducing optimal 
larval host plants.
    One example of localized water level influences is the impact of a 
road at the Lakeside 1 and Lakeside 2 sites. Historically connected, 
these two sites became separated due in part to the construction of a 
road in the mid-1950s and impoundment in an adjacent management area 
(Bonanno 2006, p. 8). Fen habitat contracted from 6 to 2 ha (15 to 5 
ac) at the Lakeside 1 site and 32.4 to 24.7 ha (80 to 61 ac) at the 
Lakeside 2 site from 1998 to 2001 (Olivero 2001, p. 10). This was 
corroborated with personal observations by Bonanno (2014, p. 6), who 
found that vegetation in the Lakeside 1 site was succeeding to a black 
spruce-tamarack bog forest with deep sphagnum, taller shrubs, and 
scarce bog buckbean. At the Lakeside 2 site, succession is documented 
to the point where significant habitat restoration is required (Bonanno 
2014, p. 5; 2015, p. 7; 2016, p. 8).
    Water levels on Lake Ontario have no direct effect on the Oswego 
Inland Site population, and we are unaware of any smaller scale water 
level management at this site; however, temperature, precipitation, and 
evaporation potential will impact hydrology (Stanton 2004, p. 11) (see 
Climate Change, below).
Change in Vegetation
    Both invasive species and succession can reduce the amount of 
available suitable oviposition plants and/or larval host plants. 
Invasive species and later successional plants directly compete for 
space and nutrients or shade out bog buckbean. Changes in the quality 
or quantity of bog buckbean is a potential cause of documented declines 
in bog buck moths in New York (Stanton 2004, p. 11).
    We evaluated the relative threats posed by invasive understory 
species and determined that Typha spp., common reed (Phragmites 
australis), and glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) are currently the 
primary species that could affect population-level dynamics of the bog 
buck moth. Common reed is abundant across the northern hemisphere 
including most of the United States and the southern portions of Canada 
(Galowitsch et al. 1999, pp. 739-741). Native fen plants like Myrica 
gale are reduced with the presence of common reed (Richburg et al. 
2001, p. 253).
    Glossy buckthorn is a shrub of Eurasian origin that is aggressive 
in bogs and fens. Drier portions or less frequently inundated sections 
of wetlands with available hummock surfaces are more readily invaded 
(Berg et al. 2016, p. 1370). Glossy buckthorn displaces or shades out 
native fen plant species (Fiedler and Landis 2012, pp. 41, 44, 51). Bog 
buckbean typically does not grow well in shade (Hewett 1964, p. 730); 
although it can be found in shaded areas of some fens (Helquist, pers. 
comm., 2020). Glossy buckthorn transpiration in mid-summer has been 
shown to lower the water table (Godwin

[[Page 57112]]

1943, p. 81) resulting in faster decomposition rates and reduction of 
hummocks in sites (Fiedler and Landis 2012, pp. 41, 44, 51). Sites with 
glossy buckthorn also have lower soil pH, although it is unclear 
whether buckthorn invaded these areas more frequently or created this 
change (Fiedler and Landis 2012, p. 51).
    As stated above, in Canada, the most significant threat to bog buck 
moth populations includes habitat degradation from cattails, common 
reed, and glossy buckthorn (COSEWIC 2009, p. 18; Gradish and Tonge 
2011, pp. 6-7; Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). These plants occur in or 
adjacent to all Ontario sites and pose an ongoing and future threat of 
habitat reduction. While invasive plant species have been found within 
or near all four sites where the buck moth is known to occur in 
Ontario, the risk posed by these species can be assessed regularly 
through targeted monitoring and, to the extent feasible, invasive plant 
control can be employed as appropriate and necessary to help mitigate 
this threat (Environment Canada 2015, p. 7). Invasive vegetation 
control would likely require long-term management.
    These species are also documented at the New York sites. For 
example, glossy buckthorn makes up a substantial portion of the shrubby 
component at Lakeside 5 and is present at the Oswego Inland Site 
(Bonanno 2006, p. 7; 2013, p. 2). Cattail had been expanding at the 
Oswego Inland Site, and Bonanno (2013, p. 2) noted the only obvious 
change in potential drivers of vegetation was the large expansion of a 
subdivision along the lakeshore. Narrow-leaved cattail (Typha 
angustifolia) encroachment at the Oswego Inland Site has been managed 
sporadically prior to 2016, and annually from 2016 to 2020 (Helquist, 
pers. comm., 2020). Other invasive species management projects have 
also been undertaken at the Oswego Inland Site and Lakeside 5; however, 
invasive plants remain at these sites. In addition, several clones of 
both the introduced and the native phragmites occur near bog buck moth 
habitat at Lakeside 3 (Bonanno 2004, p. 9).
    There may be multiple sources of vegetation succession, including 
natural succession from early successional to late successional plant 
species, as well as human-induced or accelerated succession from 
sources such as increased nutrient input (enrichment) and altered 
wetland hydrology (discussed above in Water Level Management). Here we 
provide some additional details about nutrient input.
    Fens are characterized by a very low supply of nitrogen and 
phosporous (Bedford and Godwin 2003, p. 614), and many fens in New York 
are degraded by altered hydrology or by nitrate moving in ground water, 
by phosphate adsorbed to sediment in runoff, or by altered water 
chemistry caused by development within fen watersheds (Drexler and 
Bedford 2002, p. 278; Bedford and Godwin 2003, p. 617). Drexler and 
Bedford (2002, pp. 276-278) observed that nutrient loading of a fen in 
New York (not a bog buck moth site) resulted in reductions in species 
richness of both vascular plants and bryophytes and increases in 
monotypic stands of bluejoint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis), lake 
sedge (Carex lacustris), hair willow herb (Epilobium hirsutum), and 
broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia), especially in an area adjacent to 
a farm field. Dense cover reduces fen biodiversity through direct space 
competition, or by reducing seedling growth from decreased available 
light and increased litter layer (Jensen and Meyer 2001, pp. 173-179).
    Increased nutrient inputs have been documented at both the Lakeside 
and Oswego Inland Site populations (Service 2021, p. 36). The Lakeside 
3 and 4 sites are adjacent to a recreational vehicle (RV) campground 
that may contribute to nutrient enrichment encouraging growth and size 
of the common reed (Phragmites australis). The Lakeside 2 site is also 
subject to surface water inputs from the adjacent pond, the Lakeside 1 
site is surrounded by seasonal camps and an RV campground, and the 
Lakeside 5 site is abutted by a very large RV campground. The Oswego 
Inland Site has seen recent residential development along the lake 
shoreline.
Parasitoids
    Parasitoids are small insects whose immature stages develop within 
or attached to their host insects. Parasitoids eventually kill their 
hosts as compared to parasites that typically feed upon hosts without 
killing them. Most saturniids are attacked during the larval stage, and 
late instar larvae often suffer heavy losses (Tuskes et al. 1996, pp. 
25-27). For the bog buck moth, parasitism of egg masses has been 
documented; while larval parasitoids have not been directly observed, 
they are also believed to be the cause of mortality (COSEWIC 2009, p. 
17).
    Nearly all of the bog buck moth egg masses found at the Lakeside 1 
site since 1996 were parasitized by the native wasp Anastatus furnissi 
(Burks) (Stanton 2000, p. 4) and it is plausible that the wasp was the 
primary mortality factor at other Lakeside subpopulations (Stanton 
2000, p. 13). Wasp parasitism of egg masses has also been documented at 
the Oswego Inland Site (Sime 2019, p. 15). The parasitism rates do not 
appear to be density-dependent as parasitism levels have been 
consistent at the Lakeside and Oswego Inland sites at 25 to 30 percent 
of egg clusters affected/year since 2009, while bog buck moth 
populations have undergone dramatic fluctuations in that time period 
(Sime 2019, p. 15).
    Larval parasitoids are common in Hemileuca species (Tuskes et al. 
1996, p. 103), Parasitoids can include native and nonnative species, 
such as the native ichneumonid wasp Hyposter fugitivus (Say) and 
tachinid fly Leschenaultia fulvipes (Bigot), and the introduced 
tachinid fly Compsilura concinnata (Meigen) for the control of gypsy 
moths (Lymantria dispar). Although C. concinnata is likely present at 
the Canadian sites, no evidence of parasitism of bog buck moth has been 
reported (Wood, pers. comm., 2020, as cited in COSEWIC 2009, p. 14). 
Parasitism is assumed to be occurring at the Canadian populations 
(COSEWIC 2009, p. 17). Similarly, while not documented at the bog buck 
moth sites in the United States, we find the New York populations are 
likely to be susceptible to larval parasitism from the tachinid fly and 
other parasitoids, and observed boom/bust cycles may be related to such 
parasitism. Bonanno (2016, p. 5) reported the 2016 crash of adult bog 
buck moths at the Oswego Inland Site after abundant larvae of all sizes 
were observed in May and June and suggested looking further into larval 
or pupal parasitoids as a possible cause.
    If bog buck moths are not killed by predators (e.g., small mammals 
and other invertebrates) or parasitoids, larval behavior may still be 
affected by the presence of predators or parasitoids. Early instar 
larvae tend to stay together and defend themselves while late instar 
larvae disperse, leading to increased subdivision of clusters (Cornell 
et al. 1987, p. 387). At sites with higher predator or parasitoid 
densities, buck moth larvae likely experience slower growth rates, 
prolonged development, and reduced body mass (Stamp and Bowers 1990, p. 
1037) because they would be forced to forage closer to the center of 
plants where it is cooler and where older, lower quality leaves are 
present.
Climate Change
    While there are many possible effects to bog buck moths from 
climate change into the future, here we focus on the effects to bog 
buck moths from observed

[[Page 57113]]

changes in precipitation and temperature to date.
    Lake Ontario water levels naturally fluctuate within and among 
years; however, record high water levels have recently occurred, 
resulting in impacts to bog buck moth sites. Between 1951 and 2017, the 
total precipitation with the Great Lakes Basin increased by 
approximately 14 percent with heavy precipitation events increasing by 
35 percent (Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program 
2019, entire). After 15 years of below-average water levels on Lake 
Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron, water levels of the upper Great Lakes 
started rising in 2013 and have been well above-average for several 
years (Board 2020, p. 7). With all of the Great Lakes water levels 
above or near record-highs, the increase represented an unprecedented 
volume of water in the Great Lakes system funneled into Lake Ontario 
and out the St. Lawrence River (Board 2020, p. 7) resulting in the 
Lakeside population fens being vulnerable to flooding for an extended 
period of time. Flooding that negatively impacts bog buck moths can be 
described as longer duration flooding, as long-term flooding of bog 
buck moth fens submerges vegetation and makes the site unsuitable for 
most life stages and may directly kill individuals. In contrast, 
periodic flooding that is shorter in duration helps maintain habitat 
suitability. Furthermore, bog buck moth eggs can tolerate short-term 
submersion but are not viable after long-term flooding events (Service 
2021, p. 34).
    Two high-water events across the entire Great Lakes basin caused by 
above-normal precipitation (January to May 2017 and November 2018 
through May 2019) compounded the already high-water levels in the Great 
Lakes basin (Board 2020, pp. 6-9). These events resulted in long-term 
submersion of bog buck moth eggs and subsequent crashes in adult 
flights at Lakeside 5. In addition to changes in water levels, climate 
change has also brought about changes in temperature. The Ontario 
Ministry of the Environment (2011, p. 1) reported the average 
temperature in Ontario has gone up by as much as 2.5 [deg]F (1.4 
[deg]C) since 1948. Similarly, between 1951 and 2017, the average 
annual temperature in the Great Lakes Region has increased by 2.3 
[deg]F (1.3 [deg]C) (GLISA 2019, entire). We have no detailed studies 
to assess whether observed declines in bog buck moth counts of the U.S. 
populations are related to these increased annual temperatures. 
However, seasonal changes in temperature can influence the form of 
precipitation and snowpack in winter and shifts in phenology. For 
example, the timing of fall flights may be shifting to later in 
September. Bog buck moth monitoring windows have been September 12 to 
26 at the Oswego Inland Site and September 18 to October 1 at the 
Lakeside sites since surveys began, and in recent years there has been 
little or no activity near the beginning of the survey window (Bonanno 
2019, pp. 1-2).
    Throughout the Great Lakes Basin, average winter minimum and 
maximum temperatures increased from 1960 to 2009 by 3.24 and 1.98 
[deg]F (1.8 and 1.1 [deg]C), respectively (Suriano et al. 2019, pp. 6-
8). Increased winter temperatures are associated with decreases in 
Great Lakes ice cover and increases in winter precipitation occurring 
as rain. Increased temperatures may also reduce snowpack, impacting bog 
buck moth food sources. During the first half of the 20th century, the 
Great Lakes basin experienced an increase in snowfall; however, 
snowfall has declined through the latter half of the 20th and early 
21st centuries (Baijnath-Rodino et al. 2018, p. 3947). Similarly, 
Suriano et al. (2019, p. 4) found a reduction in snow depth in the 
Great Lakes Basin of approximately 25 percent from 1960 to 2009. Trends 
during this timeframe are variable by subbasin, and there were no 
significant trends for the Lake Ontario subbasin (Suriano et al. 2019, 
p. 5). At a finer scale (1 degree latitude by 1 degree longitude 
grids), there were also no significant changes observed for snow depth 
or snowfall for the grid along Lake Ontario that includes the bog buck 
moth sites, but there was a significant increase of the number of 
ablation events (i.e., snow mass loss from melt, sublimation, or 
evaporation) (Suriano et al. 2019, pp. 6-7). These events are 
associated with rapid snow melt and often lead to localized flooding.
    Snowpack reductions lead to longer periods of frost, earlier 
disappearance of standing water, deeper frost levels and reduced bog 
buckbean biomass (Benoy et al. 2007, p. 505-508). Reduced bog buckbean 
will negatively affect bog buck moth larval growth and survival.
    Reduced snowpack can also impact bog buck moths directly; however, 
limited research is available on the impacts to bog buck moth 
associated with the presence, depth, and duration of winter snow. The 
presence of a consistent seasonal snowpack can prevent freeze-thaw 
cycles. While bog buck moths overwinter in the egg stage, which is less 
vulnerable to freezing than other life stages, they may also 
periodically overwinter in the pupal stage, which would be vulnerable 
to these cycles. Their egg-clustering habit may decrease the amount of 
egg surface exposed to ambient conditions and reduce the possibility of 
desiccation (Stamp 1980, p. 369). However, eggs that are not covered by 
snowpack are exposed to increased risk of predation.
    Increased temperatures in winter and early spring may lead to 
earlier egg hatch. As temperatures have increased, many insects have 
been emerging earlier (temperature-induced emergence) (Patterson et al. 
2020, p. 2), resulting in phenological mismatch with host plants. For 
example, Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) larvae have 
been known to hatch earlier than its host plant, wild blue lupine 
(Lupinus perennis), after unseasonably warm late-winter temperatures 
(Patterson et al. 2020, p. 6). Similar to the Karner blue butterfly, 
bog buck moth early instar larvae rely on specific host plants and are 
at greater risk of impacts from phenological mismatch than species with 
wide host plant usage. Earlier spring hatch followed by subsequent 
spring freezes also increases the risk of mortality of early instar 
larvae.
    Overall, interacting changes in temperature and precipitation are 
highly influential in terms of flooding or drying out bog buck moth 
sites. There may be additional compounding effects from changes in 
temperature associated with shifts in phenology or reduced snowpack, 
but we lack sufficient information on those potential relationships.
Conservation Measures
New York Populations
    The bog buck moth was listed as endangered by the State of New York 
in 1999 and is protected by Environmental Conservation Law section 11-
0535 and the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR Part 182). 
An incidental take permit is required for any proposed project that may 
result in a take of bog buck moths, including, but not limited to, 
actions that may kill or harm individual animals or result in the 
adverse modification, degradation, or destruction of habitat occupied 
by the bog buck moth. Additionally, the bog buck moth is a Species of 
Greatest Conservation Need in the NYSDEC's Comprehensive Wildlife 
Conservation Strategy (NYSDEC 2005, Appendix 5, pp. 14-17; NYSDEC 2015, 
not numbered). NYSDEC has a draft recovery plan for the bog buck moth 
(Bonanno and White 2011, entire) that has not been finalized.
    All known populations are in conservation ownership and are

[[Page 57114]]

protected from effects from human-induced habitat destruction or 
alteration of the wetland itself (e.g., wetland fill associated with 
roads or development). Habitat management has been conducted at a few 
of these sites, but invasive plants and/or vegetation succession have 
reduced the amount of available habitat at most sites and remain an 
ongoing threat. The State of New York provides protection for wetlands 
greater than 12.4 acres in size or of unusual local importance. 
Regulated activities within the wetland or adjacent buffer require 
permits from the NYSDEC. In addition, in accordance with section 404 of 
the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority 
to regulate discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the 
United States, including wetlands. In New York, placing fill into bogs 
and fens is not authorized under the Nationwide Permit Program.
Canadian Populations
    The bog buck moth was recommended for listing as endangered by 
COSEWIC in 2009 (COSEWIC 2009, entire), listed as endangered under the 
Ontario Endangered Species Act in 2010, and listed as endangered on 
Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in 2012. These listings 
provided the bog buck moth protection from being killed, harmed, 
harassed, captured, or taken in Canada.
    The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Ministry) 
published a recovery strategy for the bog buck moth on December 7, 2011 
(Gradish and Tonge 2011, entire). Major actions identified in the plan 
include; improve monitoring standards to the bog buck moth, assess the 
risk posed by invasive species, and evaluate the hydrology of the 
species' habitat. In 2017, the Ministry published a 5-year review of 
progress towards the protection and recovery of the bog buck moth 
(Ministry 2017, pp. 11-17). Initial progress has been made towards 
assessing the risk posed to the bog buck moth by invasive species and, 
where appropriate, implementing invasive species control within and 
adjacent to occupied fen ecosystems.
    Bog buck moth habitat has generally been afforded protection from 
authorized damage or destruction in Canada since the species was listed 
in Ontario in 2010. Bog buck moth habitat is further protected through 
Ontario habitat regulation and Federal critical habitat protection. 
Section 41(1)(c) of SARA requires that recovery strategies include an 
identification of the species' ``critical habitat,'' to the extent 
possible, as well as examples of activities that are likely to result 
in its destruction (Environment Canada 2015, p. 9). Environment Canada 
(2015, p. 10) adopted the description of the buck moth ``habitat'' 
under section 24.1.1.1 of Ontario Regulation 242/08 as ``critical 
habitat'' in the Federal recovery strategy. The area defined under 
Ontario's habitat regulation contains the biophysical attributes 
required by the buck moth to carry out its life processes. To meet 
specific requirements of SARA, the biophysical attributes of critical 
habitat were further detailed in the Federal strategy (Environment 
Canada 2015, p. 11). However, under SARA, specific requirements and 
processes are set out regarding the finalization of protection of 
critical habitat and whether the prohibition against destruction of 
critical habitat is extended to any non-Federal land. Protection of 
critical habitat under SARA was to be assessed following publication of 
the final bog buck moth Federal recovery strategy (Environment Canada 
2015, p. 10). There is no indication that this assessment has occurred 
to date.

Current Condition

    Similar to other Hemileuca species, bog buck moth populations (and 
subpopulations) experience boom and bust cycles. Table 1 and Figure 1 
summarize male peak flight counts at four U.S. subpopulations. Three of 
the subpopulations have crashed and not recovered.
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    In Canada, the status of many of the populations is unknown due to 
a lack of surveys. Of the four sites found in Canada, only two were 
recently surveyed. The subpopulation at Richmond Fen South was visited 
in 2019 where an estimated minimum of 1,500 early instar larvae were 
found in a small portion of core habitat. Another site visit to the 
same location in early July 2020 documented the presence of hundreds of 
mid-instar larvae. At White Lake North, more than 100 adult moths were 
observed in mid-September 2020. Prior to 2020, larval surveys were 
conducted, and larvae were last observed in 2016, with no surveys in 
2017, and larvae were absent in 2018 and 2019. The status of the two 
other subpopulations in Canada (Richmond Fen North and White Lake 
South) is unknown because no surveys have been conducted at those 
sites.
    It is unlikely that there are other bog buck moth populations 
besides the ones mentioned above. Fairly extensive but unsuccessful 
searches for bog buck moths have been conducted at other potentially 
suitable wetland habitat in Ontario, and no new sites have been found 
(COSEWIC 2009, pp. 9-10). COSEWIC (2009, p. 10) found that given the 
degree of interest by naturalists in these natural areas and the 
diurnal habits of this large distinctive species, the probability of 
undiscovered Ontario buck moth populations is low.
    The circumstances are similar in New York. Cryan and Dirig (2020, 
pp. 4-5) described several years of exploring the bed of former glacial 
Lake Iroquois and its tributaries and outlets, and while they found 
some fens with bog buckbean, they found no additional sites with bog 
buck moth. In addition, researchers had visited New York fens for many 
years and likely would have observed the highly conspicuous bog 
buckbean larvae or flying adult males had they been present. Bonanno 
and White (2011, p. 10) describe multiple visitations to possible 
habitat by NYNHP and researchers familiar with the bog buck moth 
without locating any individuals.
    We evaluated the bog buck moth current condition by assessing 
whether there were multiple resilient populations spread across its 
geographical extent to maintain its ecological and genetic diversity 
and withstand catastrophic events (table 2). Information to date 
suggests that bog buck moths are genetically structured across their 
range and we believe the breadth of adaptive diversity can be captured 
by two representative units, Canadian and United States.

      Table 2--Ecological Requirements for Species-Level Viability
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              3Rs                   Requisites             Metric
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Resiliency (able to withstand   Healthy            Populations with:
 stochastic events).             populations.       Both sexes
                                                    present.
                                                    Sufficient
                                                    survival of all life
                                                    stages.
                                                    Sufficient
                                                    number of bog buck
                                                    moths to survive
                                                    bust portion of boom
                                                    and bust cycles.
                                                    Stable to
                                                    increasing trend
                                                    over last 10 years
                                                    (10 generations).

[[Page 57117]]

 
                                                    Multiple
                                                    occupied suitable
                                                    habitat patches
                                                    within
                                                    metapopulation.
                                                    Sufficient
                                                    habitat size.
                                                    Sufficient
                                                    habitat quality.
                                                    Intact
                                                    hydrology and
                                                    ecological
                                                    processes.
Representation (to maintain     Maintain adaptive  Healthy populations
 evolutionary capacity).         diversity.         distributed across
                                                    areas of unique
                                                    adaptive diversity
                                                    (e.g., across
                                                    latitudinal
                                                    gradients) with
                                                    sufficient
                                                    connectivity for
                                                    periodic genetic
                                                    exchange.
Redundancy (to withstand        Sufficient         Sufficient
 catastrophic events).           distribution of    distribution to
                                 healthy            guard against
                                 populations.       catastrophic events
                                                    significantly
                                                    compromising species
                                                    adaptive diversity.
                                Sufficient number  Adequate number of
                                 of healthy         healthy populations
                                 populations.       to buffer against
                                                    catastrophic losses
                                                    of adaptive
                                                    diversity.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We lacked specific demographic rates for most locations for most 
years; therefore, we used alternative metrics for assessing population 
resiliency (number of bog buck moth adult males observed, presence of 
bog buck moth at multiple subpopulations) and the condition of the 
supporting habitat (habitat quality) (table 3).

                         Table 3--Metrics for Scoring Bog Buck Moth Population Condition
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Condition                   Sufficient number           Connectivity           Suitable habitat
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unknown..............................  Unknown................  Unknown................  Unknown.
Extirpated...........................  Not applicable.........  Not applicable.........  Habitat is completely
                                                                                          unsuitable due to
                                                                                          alteration or loss.
Presumed Extirpated..................  No moths or any other    Not applicable.........  Habitat present and can
                                        life stage were                                   be suitable or
                                        observed during                                   unsuitable given
                                        multiple subsequent                               ``sufficient N''
                                        surveys.                                          results.
Poor.................................  Negative trend over      No subpopulations or if  Insufficient suitable
                                        last 10 years.           subpopulations are       habitat for any of the
                                                                 present each             life stages:
                                                                 subpopulation did not    Insufficient
                                                                 have at least one >0     bog buckbean (<4%
                                                                 count within the last    areal coverage).
                                                                 5 years.                 Relatively
                                                                                          limited oviposition
                                                                                          sites.
                                                                                          Lack of
                                                                                          suitable pupation
                                                                                          sites.
Good.................................  Neutral or positive      Multiple subpopulations  Sufficient suitable
                                        trend over last 10       and >0 count for each    habitat for all life
                                        years.                   subpopulation within     stages:
                                                                 the last 5 years.        Sufficient bog
                                                                                          buckbean (>4% areal
                                                                                          coverage).
                                                                                          Relatively
                                                                                          abundant oviposition
                                                                                          sites.
                                                                                          Suitable
                                                                                          pupation sites.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed above, we are aware of five bog buck moth populations, 
two in Canada and three in New York. We are unaware of any changes to 
the distribution in Canada; however, we have information from only two 
of the four subpopulations. In New York, the Jefferson County site was 
converted to a marsh, having been impounded decades ago by beavers, 
then maintained by management for park flooding control, septic 
management, and black tern habitat (Bonanno, pers. obs.). Of the 
Lakeside subpopulations, only the Lakeside 5 site remains extant. 
Lastly, the Oswego Inland Site population was recently presumed to be 
extirpated.
    Using our ranking methods mentioned above, we find that for all the 
bog buck moth populations in the U.S. Representative Unit, one 
population has been extirpated since the 1970s, one is now presumed 
extirpated, and one is in poor condition (table 4). The Lakeside 
population has experienced multiple sources of habitat loss and 
degradation and remaining buck moths have faced high flood years. While 
these may or may not be the true cause of declines and site-level 
extirpations, they likely contributed to them. The cause of decline and 
the bog buck moth's inability to rebound at the Oswego Inland Site is 
unclear as flooding has not been a concern at this site and seemingly 
suitable habitat remains. Similar declines at sites with apparently 
suitable habitat have been documented for another endangered fen 
species, the Poweshiek skipperling (Oarisma poweshiek), suggesting that 
other factors (e.g., contaminants, climate change, disease, and low 
levels of genetic diversity) may be driving the current distribution 
and losses (Pogue et al. 2019, pp. 383-386).
    In the Canadian Representative Unit, both populations are in 
unknown/likely good condition. This assessment has a high degree of 
uncertainty given that it is based on current knowledge from half of 
the associated Canadian Representative Unit subpopulations (one out of 
the two subpopulations for each population). Most recently, Richmond 
Fen South had hundreds of mid-instar larvae in early July 2020 with 
ample suitable habitat. Richmond Fen North has not had any recent moth 
or larval surveys, but observations during a site visit in 2015 
suggested that the habitat remains in good condition. At White Lake 
North, more than 100 bog buck moth adults were observed in September 
2020. Prior to that, surveys were based on larvae, with larvae last 
observed in 2016 and none seen in 2018 or 2019. There is no information 
on White Lake South. Although both populations have been described as 
unknown/likely good, invasive species such as cattails, common reed, 
and glossy buckthorn have been identified in the habitat and are likely 
to have a negative effect and reduce the resiliency

[[Page 57118]]

of these populations (COSEWIC 2009, p. 18; Gradish and Tonge 2011, pp. 
6-7; Environment Canada 2015, p. 7).
    Overall, three subpopulations (White Lake North, Richmond Fen 
South, and Lakeside 5) associated with three separate populations are 
known to have remaining bog buck moths. While some genetic diversity 
remains through the current existence of at least one subpopulation 
within each of the representative units, there is no redundancy of 
healthy populations in the U.S. Representative Unit, and there is 
uncertainty about the status of the Canadian Representative Unit.

                               Table 4--Summary of Bog Buck Moth Current Condition
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                3Rs                        Requisites                   Metric               Current condition
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Resiliency (able to withstand        Healthy populations...  Populations with:..........  Poor.
 stochastic events).                                          Both sexes present  Of the 5 historically
                                                              Sufficient           known populations:
                                                              survival of all life        1 extirpated.
                                                              stages.                     1 presumed extirpated.
                                                              Sufficient number
                                                              of bog buck moths to
                                                              survive bust portion of
                                                              boom and bust cycles.
                                                              Stable to           1 poor.
                                                              increasing trend over last  2 unknown/likely good.
                                                              10 years (10 generations).
                                                              Multiple occupied
                                                              suitable habitat patches
                                                              within metapopulation.
                                                              Sufficient habitat
                                                              size
                                                              Sufficient habitat
                                                              quality.
                                                              Intact hydrology
                                                              and ecological processes.
Representation (to maintain          Maintain adaptive       Healthy populations          Poor.
 evolutionary capacity).              diversity.              distributed across areas    There are two
                                                              of unique adaptive           potentially healthy
                                                              diversity (e.g., across      populations in the
                                                              latitudinal gradients)       Canadian
                                                              with sufficient              Representative Unit
                                                              connectivity for periodic    and none in the U.S.
                                                              genetic exchange.            Representative Unit.
Redundancy (to withstand             Sufficient              Sufficient distribution to   Poor.
 catastrophic events).                distribution of         guard against catastrophic  See above.
                                      healthy populations.    events significantly
                                                              compromising species
                                                              adaptive diversity.
                                     Sufficient number of    Adequate number of healthy   Poor.
                                      healthy populations.    populations to buffer       See above.
                                                              against catastrophic
                                                              losses of adaptive
                                                              diversity.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Future Condition

    As part of the SSA, we developed two future condition scenarios to 
capture the range of uncertainties regarding future threats and the 
projected responses by the bog buck moth. Our scenarios assumed 
increased winter and spring precipitation, increased annual 
temperatures, and either continuation or increases in invasive plant 
species and succession. Because we determined that the current 
condition of the bog buck moth was consistent with an endangered 
species (see Determination section, below), we are not presenting the 
results of the future scenarios in this proposed rule; however, under 
both scenarios the future condition is projected to worsen. Please 
refer to the SSA report (Service 2021, pp. 67-83) for the full analysis 
of future scenarios.

Determination of Bog Buck Moth's Status

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for determining 
whether a species meets the definition of an endangered species or a 
threatened species. The Act defines an endangered species as a species 
``in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of 
its range,'' and a threatened species as a species ``likely to become 
an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range.'' The Act requires that we determine 
whether a species meets the definition of endangered species or 
threatened species because of any of the following factors: (A) The 
present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its 
habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, 
scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The 
inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or 
manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

Status Throughout All of Its Range

    After evaluating threats to the species and assessing the 
cumulative effect of the threats under the Act's section 4(a)(1) 
factors, we have determined that the bog buck moth is at risk of 
extinction now throughout its range due to a combination of factors. 
Bog buck moth populations undergo boom and bust cycles and are highly 
vulnerable to stochastic events or threats during the bust phase 
(Factor E). All populations are isolated from one another and cannot 
repopulate extirpated sites (Factor E). We find that past and ongoing 
stressors, including habitat alteration due to water level management, 
vegetative succession and invasive plant species (Factor A), and death 
of individuals due to flooding (Factor E) have caused and are highly 
likely to continue to cause a decline in the species' viability through 
reduction of resilience, redundancy, and representation to such a 
degree that the species is particularly vulnerable to extinction 
presently and is highly likely to become more vulnerable to extinction. 
We do not fully understand the cause of declines at bog buck moth 
sites, and so it is likely that additional factors are important such 
as inherent factors (e.g., narrow habitat niche) (Factor E), 
parasitoids (Factor E), predation (Factor C), disease (Factor C), and 
pesticides (Factor E).
    Of the three historical U.S. populations, two have been extirpated 
or presumed extirpated. The Jefferson County population was extirpated 
due to habitat conversion in the 1970s. The reason for the extirpation 
of the Inland Oswego County Site population is unclear, as the habitat 
still appears suitable. For the remaining U.S. population, the Lakeside 
population, the overall condition is poor with four of the five sites 
(Lakeside 1-4) presumed extirpated. Lakeside 5 is the last site with a 
confirmed moth

[[Page 57119]]

population as of 2019. However, even this site is considered to be in 
poor condition with severe habitat degradation.
    The Canadian populations comprise two potentially healthy 
populations. However, there is high uncertainty about their status. 
Unlike the New York populations, no standardized transect counts are 
available to assess long-term trends. In addition, we have information 
on just two of the four subpopulations associated with these 
populations. While there are bog buck moths known at two of these 
subpopulations and suitable habitat remains, invasive plant species are 
present at these sites and active management is not underway.
    All of the extant bog buck moth populations are currently facing a 
multitude of threats including water level changes, succession, and 
invasive species. Additionally, other factors, including parasitoids, 
predation, disease, and pesticides, as well as the species' limited 
dispersal range and small numbers, likely play a role in its decline. 
As studies in the New York population have shown, attempts at managing 
and controlling the spread of invasive plants or woody plants from 
succession in fens have proven to be extremely labor intensive and have 
limited effect. We find that the magnitude and imminence of threats 
facing the bog buck moth place the species in danger of extinction now, 
and therefore we find that threatened status is not appropriate. Thus, 
after assessing the best available information, we determine that the 
bog buck moth is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range.

Status Throughout a Significant Portion of Its Range

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may 
warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so 
in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of 
its range. We have determined that the bog buck moth is in danger of 
extinction throughout all of its range, and accordingly did not 
undertake an analysis of any significant portion of its range. Because 
the bog buck moth warrants listing as endangered throughout all of its 
range, our determination is consistent with the decision in Center for 
Biological Diversity v. Everson, 2020 WL 437289 (D.D.C. Jan. 28, 2020), 
in which the court vacated the aspect of the Final Policy on 
Interpretation of the Phrase ``Significant Portion of Its Range'' in 
the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of ``Endangered Species'' and 
``Threatened Species'' (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014) that provided the 
Service does not undertake an analysis of significant portions of a 
species' range if the species warrants listing as threatened throughout 
all of its range.

Determination of Status

    Our review of the best available scientific and commercial 
information indicates that the bog buck moth meets the definition of an 
endangered species. Therefore, we propose to list the bog buck moth as 
an endangered species in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of 
the Act.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, 
requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain 
practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, and 
conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, private 
organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the 
States and other countries and calls for recovery actions to be carried 
out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and 
the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, 
below.
    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered 
and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The 
ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these 
listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of 
the Act. Section 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and 
implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and 
threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the 
identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the 
species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and 
recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a 
point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning 
components of their ecosystems.
    Recovery planning consists of preparing draft and final recovery 
plans, beginning with the development of a recovery outline, and making 
it available to the public within 30 days of a final listing 
determination. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation 
of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to 
develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address 
continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive 
information becomes available. The recovery plan also identifies 
recovery criteria for review of when a species may be ready for 
reclassification from endangered to threatened (``downlisting'') or 
removal from protected status (``delisting''), and methods for 
monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework 
for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates 
of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of 
species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental 
organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop 
recovery plans. When completed, the recovery outline, draft recovery 
plan, and the final recovery plan will be available on our website 
(https://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our New York Field Office (see 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the 
participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal 
agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, 
and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat 
restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive 
propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The 
recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on 
Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-
Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires 
cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands.
    If this species is listed, funding for recovery actions will be 
available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State 
programs, and cost-share grants for non-Federal landowners, the 
academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, 
pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the State of New York would be 
eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote 
the protection or recovery of the bog buck moth. Section 8(a) of the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1537(a)) authorizes the provision of limited financial 
assistance for the development and management of programs that the 
Secretary of the Interior determines to be necessary or useful for the 
conservation of endangered or threatened species in foreign countries. 
Sections 8(b) and 8(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1537(b) and (c)) also 
authorize the Secretary to encourage conservation programs for listed 
species found outside the US, and to provide assistance for such 
programs, in the form of personnel and the training of personnel. 
Information on our grant programs that are available to

[[Page 57120]]

aid species recovery can be found at: https://www.fws.gov/grants.
    Although the bog buck moth is only proposed for listing under the 
Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in 
participating in recovery efforts for this species. Additionally, we 
invite you to submit any new information on this species whenever it 
becomes available and any information you may have for recovery 
planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their 
actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an 
endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical 
habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the 
continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in 
destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a 
species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires 
Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or 
carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the 
species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a 
Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the 
responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the 
Service.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to endangered wildlife. 
The prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act, codified at 50 CFR 
17.21, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of 
the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, 
shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of 
these) endangered wildlife within the United States or on the high 
seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, 
carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the 
course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate 
or foreign commerce any species listed as an endangered species. It is 
also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any 
such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply 
to employees of the Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, 
other Federal land management agencies, and State conservation 
agencies.
    Federal agency actions that may require conference or consultation 
or both as described in the preceding paragraph include management and 
any other landscape-altering activities on lands near bog buck moth 
subpopulations.
    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations 
governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22. With regard to 
endangered wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: 
for scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the 
species, and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful 
activities. The statute also contains certain exemptions from the 
prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.
    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 
1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at 
the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not 
constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this 
policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed 
listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the 
species proposed for listing. Based on the best available information, 
the following actions are unlikely to result in a violation of section 
9, if these activities are carried out in accordance with existing 
regulations and permit requirements; this list is not comprehensive: 
Normal recreational hunting, fishing, or boating activities that are 
carried out in accordance with all existing hunting, fishing, and 
boating regulations, and following reasonable practices and standards.
    Based on the best available information, the following activities 
may potentially result in a violation of section 9 of the Act if they 
are not authorized in accordance with applicable law; this list is not 
comprehensive:
    (1) Unauthorized collecting, handling, possessing, selling, 
delivering, carrying, or transporting of the bog buck moth, including 
import or export across State lines and international boundaries, 
except for properly documented antique specimens of the taxon at least 
100 years old, as defined by section 10(h)(1) of the Act;
    (2) Unauthorized modification, removal, or destruction of the 
wetland vegetation, soils, or hydrology in which the bog buck moth is 
known to occur;
    (3) Unauthorized discharge of chemicals or fill material into any 
wetlands in which the bog buck moth is known to occur; and
    (4) Unauthorized release of biological control agents that attack 
any life stage of the bog buck moth, including parasitoids, herbicides, 
pesticides, or other chemicals in habitats in which the bog buck moth 
is known to occur.
    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a 
violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the New York 
Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

III. Critical Habitat

Background

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:
    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the 
species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which 
are found those physical or biological features
    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and
    (b) Which may require special management considerations or 
protection; and
    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the 
species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas 
are essential for the conservation of the species.
    Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.02 define the geographical area 
occupied by the species as an area that may generally be delineated 
around species' occurrences, as determined by the Secretary (i.e., 
range). Such areas may include those areas used throughout all or part 
of the species' life cycle, even if not used on a regular basis (e.g., 
migratory corridors, seasonal habitats, and habitats used periodically, 
but not solely by vagrant individuals). Additionally, our regulations 
at 50 CFR 424.02 define the word ``habitat'' as follows: ``For the 
purposes of designating critical habitat only, habitat is the abiotic 
and biotic setting that currently or periodically contains the 
resources and conditions necessary to support one or more life 
processes of a species.''
    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use 
and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring 
an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures 
provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and 
procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated 
with scientific resources management such as research, census, law 
enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance,

[[Page 57121]]

propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the 
extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem 
cannot be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation 
with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is 
not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect 
land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or 
other conservation area. Designation also does not allow the government 
or public to access private lands, nor does designation require 
implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by 
non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency 
funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species 
or critical habitat, the Federal agency would be required to consult 
with the Service under section 7(a)(2) of the Act. However, even if the 
Service were to conclude that the proposed activity would result in 
destruction or adverse modification of the critical habitat, the 
Federal action agency and the landowner are not required to abandon the 
proposed activity, or to restore or recover the species; instead, they 
must implement ``reasonable and prudent alternatives'' to avoid 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on 
Information Standards Under the Endangered Species Act (published in 
the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information 
Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658)), 
and our associated Information Quality Guidelines provide criteria, 
establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions 
are based on the best scientific data available. They require our 
biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and with the use of 
the best scientific data available, to use primary and original sources 
of information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical 
habitat.

Prudency Determination

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing 
regulations (50 CFR 424.12) require that, to the maximum extent prudent 
and determinable, the Secretary shall designate critical habitat at the 
time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the Secretary 
may, but is not required to, determine that a designation would not be 
prudent in the following circumstances:
    (i) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity and 
identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the 
degree of such threat to the species;
    (ii) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of a species' habitat or range is not a threat to the 
species, or threats to the species' habitat stem solely from causes 
that cannot be addressed through management actions resulting from 
consultations under section 7(a)(2) of the Act;
    (iii) Areas within the jurisdiction of the United States provide no 
more than negligible conservation value, if any, for a species 
occurring primarily outside the jurisdiction of the United States;
    (iv) No areas meet the definition of critical habitat; or
    (v) The Secretary otherwise determines that designation of critical 
habitat would not be prudent based on the best scientific data 
available.
    We find that designating critical habitat for the bog buck moth is 
not prudent based on the fifth category. Within the New York 
populations, the bog buck moth co-occurs with another federally listed 
species that was listed, in part, due to collection pressure, which has 
not abated and has been documented recently in New York. Designation of 
critical habitat requires the publication of maps and a narrative 
description of specific critical habitat areas in the Federal Register. 
The degree of detail necessary to properly designate critical habitat 
for the bog buck moth is considerably greater than the general 
descriptions of location provided in this proposal to list the bog buck 
moth as an endangered species. We find that the publication of maps and 
descriptions outlining the locations of bog buck moth would further 
facilitate unauthorized collection and trade of the co-occurring 
species, by providing heretofore unavailable precise location 
information. As such, we have determined that the increased collection 
risk to the co-occurring species outweighs the benefits that would be 
afforded to the bog buck moth from the designation of critical habitat.
    In conclusion, we find that the designation of critical habitat is 
not prudent for the bog buck moth, in accordance with 50 CFR 
424.12(a)(1), because the co-occurring listed species faces an ongoing 
threat of unauthorized collection and trade, and critical habitat 
designation can reasonably be expected to increase the degree of these 
threats to this co-occurring species. Critical habitat is just one 
conservation tool under the Act and is not required for recovery 
planning and implementation efforts for the bog buck moth.

Required Determinations

Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (1) Be logically organized;
    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us 
revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For 
example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs 
that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, 
the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be 
prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or 
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a 
notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal 
Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 
(Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the 
Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility

[[Page 57122]]

to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a 
government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 
3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal 
Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily 
acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with Tribes in 
developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that Tribal 
lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to 
remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available 
to Tribes. There are no known Tribal lands with bog buck moth 
populations. However, we will coordinate with Tribes to determine their 
interest in this proposed rule throughout the listing process as 
appropriate.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available 
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the 
New York Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT).

Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of 
the Service's Species Assessment Team and the New York Ecological 
Services Field Office.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter 
I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 17--ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless 
otherwise noted.

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) by adding an entry for ``Moth, bog buck'' to 
the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order 
under Insects to read as set forth below:


Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          Listing citations and
           Common name              Scientific name      Where listed         Status         applicable rules
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
             Insects
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Moth, bog buck..................  Hemileuca maia      Wherever found....  E              [Federal Register
                                   menyanthevora)                                         citation when
                                   (=H. iroquois).                                        published as a final
                                                                                          rule].
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

Martha Williams,
Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-21856 Filed 10-13-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P