[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 50 (Tuesday, March 17, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11319-11327]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-5348]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[FWS-R1-ES-2008-0016; MO 9221050083-B2]
RIN 1018-AV00


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing 
Phyllostegia hispida (No Common Name) as Endangered Throughout Its 
Range

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine 
endangered status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act), for Phyllostegia hispida (no common name), a plant species from 
the island of Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands. This final rule 
implements the Federal protections provided by the Act for this 
species. We have also determined that critical habitat for P. hispida 
is prudent but not determinable at this time.

DATES: This rule becomes effective April 16, 2009.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http://
www.regulations.gov and http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands. Comments and 
materials received, as well as supporting documentation used in the 
preparation of this rule, will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana 
Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850; telephone, 808-
792-9400; facsimile, 808-792-9581.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Leonard, Field Supervisor, 
Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section). If 
you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Phyllostegia hispida is known only from the island of Molokai, 
Hawaii, where 24 wild and 214 outplanted individuals currently exist. 
Molokai is approximately 38 miles (mi) (61 kilometers (km)) long and up 
to 10 mi (16 km) wide, and encompasses an area of about 260 square (sq) 
mi (674 sq km) (Foote et al. 1972, p. 11; Department of Geography 1998, 
p. 13). Three shield volcanoes make up most of the land mass, dividing 
the island into roughly three geographic segments: West Molokai 
Mountain, East Molokai Mountain, and a volcano that formed Kalaupapa 
Peninsula (Department of Geography 1998, pp. 11, 13).
    The taller and larger East Molokai Mountain, which makes up eastern 
Molokai, rises 4,970 feet (ft) (1,514 meters (m)) above sea level on 
the island's summit at Kamakou and comprises roughly 50 percent of the 
island's land area (Department of Geography 1998, p. 11; Foote et al. 
1972, p. 11). Phyllostegia hispida is known only from the wet forests 
of eastern Molokai, at elevations from 2,300 to 4,200 ft (700 to 1,280 
m) (Wagner et al. 1999, p. 819). The wet forests where P. hispida has 
been recorded are found only on the windward side of East Molokai, 
which differs topographically from the leeward side. Precipitous cliffs 
line the northern windward coast, with deep inaccessible valleys 
dissecting the coastline. The annual rainfall on the windward side 
ranges from 75 to over 150 inches (in) (200 to over 375 centimeters 
(cm)), distributed throughout the year. The soils are poorly drained 
and high in organic matter. The gulches and valleys are usually very 
steep, but sometimes gently sloping (Foote et al. 1972, p. 14).
    The native habitats and vegetation of the Hawaiian Islands have 
undergone extreme alterations because of past and present land use, as 
well as the intentional or inadvertent introduction of nonnative animal 
and plant species. Introduced mammals, particularly feral pigs (Sus 
scrofa), have greatly affected native Hawaiian plant communities. Feral 
pigs have been described as the most pervasive and disruptive nonnative 
influence on the unique native forests of the Hawaiian Islands, and are 
widely recognized as one of the greatest threats to forest ecosystems 
in Hawaii today (Aplet et al. 1991, p. 56; Anderson and Stone 1993, p. 
195; Loope 1998, p. 752). Introduced (nonnative) plant species, which 
now comprise approximately half of the plant taxa in the islands, have 
come to dominate many Hawaiian ecosystems, and frequently outcompete 
native plants for space, light, water, and nutrients, as well as alter 
ecosystem function, rendering habitats unsuitable for native species 
(Cuddihy and Stone 1990, pp. 73-91; Vitousek et al. 1997, p. 6).
    The plant Phyllostegia hispida has only a few recorded occurrences 
and until recently was thought to be extinct in the wild. Alterations 
of the plant's native habitat by feral pigs and nonnative plants have 
been the primary threats to P. hispida, in conjunction

[[Page 11320]]

with the threat of predation by feral pigs, competition with nonnative 
plants, and more recently the negative demographic and genetic 
consequences of extremely small population size, as well as the 
consequent vulnerability to extinction through deterministic or 
stochastic (chance) events.

Previous Federal Actions

    We first identified Phyllostegia hispida as a candidate for listing 
in the September 19, 1997, Notice of Review of Plant and Animal Taxa 
that are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened 
Species (Notice of Review) (62 FR 49397). Candidates are those taxa for 
which we have on file sufficient information on biological 
vulnerability and threats to support preparation of a listing proposal, 
but for which development of a listing regulation is precluded by other 
higher priority listing activities.
    On May 4, 2004, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the 
Service to list 225 species of plants and animals as endangered under 
the provisions of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including 
Phyllostegia hispida. In our Notice of Review, dated September 12, 2006 
(71 FR 53756), we retained a listing priority number of 2 for this 
species, in accordance with our priority guidance published on 
September 21, 1983 (48 FR 43098). A listing priority of 2 reflects 
threats that are both imminent and high in magnitude, as well as the 
taxonomic classification of P. hispida as a full species. We determined 
that publication of a proposed rule to list the species was precluded 
by our work on higher priority listing actions during the period from 
May 2, 2005, through August 23, 2006 (71 FR 53756). However, we have 
since completed those actions. As such, we had available resources to 
propose to list this species.
    On February 19, 2008, we published a proposed rule to list 
Phyllostegia hispida as endangered throughout its range (73 FR 9078). 
We solicited data and comments from the public on the proposed rule. 
The comment period opened on February 19, 2008, and closed on April 21, 
2008.

Species Information

    Phyllostegia hispida was first described by William Hillebrand in 
1870 from a specimen collected from an area that he described as the 
``heights of Mopulehu'' on the island of Molokai (see ``Type 
Description,'' Smithsonian Institution and National Tropical Botanical 
Garden 2008), and is recognized as a distinct taxon in Wagner et al. 
(1999, pp. 817-819). A non-aromatic member of the mint family 
(Lamiaceae), P. hispida is a loosely spreading, many-branched vine that 
often forms large, tangled masses. Leaves are thin and flaccid with 
hispid hairs (rough with firm, stiff hairs) and glands. The leaf 
margins are irregularly and shallowly lobed. Six to eight white flowers 
make up each verticillaster (a false whorl, composed of a pair of 
nearly sessile cymes (a flat-topped or round-topped flower cluster) in 
the axils of opposite leaves or bracts), and nutlets are approximately 
0.1 inches (in) (2.5 millimeters (mm)) long (Wagner et al. 1999, pp. 
817-819). No life history information is currently available on this 
species.
    The few documented specimens of Phyllostegia hispida have typically 
been found in wet Metrosideros polymorpha (ohia)-dominated forest, with 
most at an elevation between 3,650 and 4,200 ft (1,112 and 1,280 m). 
Associated native species include Cheirodendron trigynum (olapa), Ilex 
anomala (aiae), Cibotium glaucum (hapuu), Broussaisia argutus 
(kanawao), Rubus hawaiensis (akala), Sadleria cyatheoides (amau), 
Pipturus albidus (mamaki), Nertera granadensis (makole), Athyrium 
microphyllum (no common name), Elaphoglossum fauriei (no common name), 
and bryophytes (Hawaii Biodiversity and Mapping Program (HBMP) 2007).
    From 1910 through 1979, a total of 8 occurrences of Phyllostegia 
hispida were recorded from the wet forests of eastern Molokai (HBMP 
2007). None of these historical occurrences have been relocated during 
surveys conducted in the wet forests of east Molokai over the past 
several years (The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNCH) 1997b, pp. 1-19; 
Perlman 2006a). In 1996, two adult plants were found in eastern Molokai 
within TNCH's Kamakou Preserve, one next to the Pepeopae Boardwalk and 
the other east of Hanalilolilo growing along the fence within the State 
of Hawaii's Puu Alii Natural Area Reserve (NAR). In 1997, a single 
Phyllostegia individual was discovered on the rim of Pelekunu Valley in 
the Puu Alii NAR (HBMP 2005; TNCH 1997b, p. 6). There is some 
uncertainty, however, as to whether this individual was P. hispida, as 
it was identified as P. manni by Hawaii Division of Forestry and 
Wildlife (DOFAW) staff, based upon the size and lobing of its leaves 
(Hobdy 2006; Lau 2006; Nohara 2006). This individual plant was 
protected from feral ungulates inside a fenced exclosure. Seeds were 
collected, and seedlings were produced by DOFAW and outplanted into the 
exclosure with the wild plant (Nohara 2006).
    In November 1996, TNCH erected an exclosure around the Pepeopae 
Boardwalk individual and began frequent, recurrent weeding and 
monitoring within the fenced area (TNCH 1997a, p. 2). They also built 
an exclosure approximately 656 ft (200 m) away for future outplantings 
of propagated individuals. Plants grown from leaf buds collected from 
the Pepeopae Boardwalk plant were outplanted into the exclosure in 
December 1997 (TNCH 1998a, p. 7). They survived through 1998 (TNCH 
1998b, Appendix 1, dot 28), but have since been confirmed dead (Aruch 
2006; Misaki 2006).
    The Pepeopae Boardwalk individual died in 1998 or 1999 (HBMP 2005), 
and the wild plant and outplantings in Puu Alii NAR, which may possibly 
have been Phyllostegia manni and not P. hispida (see above; the 
question of taxonomic identity was never resolved), died several years 
ago (Perlman 2005; Wood 2005; Hughes 2006b). The University of Hawaii's 
Lyon Arboretum has material from the individual that was growing along 
the Puu Alii fence and from the Pepeopae Boardwalk individual in 
micropropagation (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2005).
    Surveys have been conducted in the wet forests of east Molokai, but 
no additional Phyllostegia hispida plants were found. The species was 
thought to have been extirpated from the wild until 2005, when two 
seedlings were found in a Hanalilolilo stream bank in Kamakou Preserve, 
indicating the possible presence of a mature plant, or plants, 
somewhere in the vicinity (TNCH 1997b, pp. 1-19; Perlman 2005; Perlman 
2006a; Wood 2006). One of the seedlings was collected by a botanist 
with HBMP and provided to Lyon Arboretum in Honolulu, which in turn 
provided it to Kalaupapa National Historic Park (KNHP) on Molokai for 
attempted propagation. That plant has since died (Hughes 2006a; Garnett 
2006). The other seedling was collected by a botanist with the National 
tropical Botanic Gardens. Cuttings were propagated from this seedling 
and providedto KNHP (Perlman 2006b). Plants grown from these cuttings 
have since been outplanted into TNCH's Kamakou Preserve (see below).
    Phyllostegia hispida was again thought to be extirpated from the 
wild until a single juvenile plant was discovered in May 2006 within 
the Puu Alii NAR along the Puu Alii fenceline at 4,100 ft (1,250 m) 
elevation (Perlman 2006b). Although protected within a 10-ft (3-m) 
diameter fenced exclosure (Stevens 2006), that individual has died for 
unknown reasons (Oppenheimer

[[Page 11321]]

2007). However, 10 new wild plants were discovered in April 2007: 9 
within Kamakou Preserve and 1 within Puu Alii NAR. Four of the 
individuals found within Kamakou Preserve were seedlings that were 
closely clustered next to a fenceline. These were protected with 
temporary fencing; however, two of these individuals are now dead. Two 
of the remaining eight wild individuals discovered in April 2007 are 
mature and have fruited and produced seeds. Seeds and cuttings have 
been removed from these individuals for attempted cultivation 
(Oppenheimer 2008b). Other than the two remaining seedlings that were 
protected with temporary fencing, the remainder of the wild individuals 
are not currently protected within exclosures.
    Since April 2007, 15 additional Phyllostegia hispida individuals 
have been found within Kamakou Preserve while conducting Rubus argutus 
(Florida prickly blackberry) control trips (Oppenheimer 2008a,b; 
Oppenheimer 2008d). Most of the remaining wild individuals, which now 
number 24, are located on landslides or in windthrow areas (areas in 
which trees have been uprooted or overthrown by wind) (Oppenheimer 
2008b,c).
    In addition, several outplantings of cultivated individuals have 
been completed within TNCH's Kamakou Preserve as of April 2007. Twelve 
individuals were outplanted into exclosures in April 2007, and 11 of 
these were still doing well as of April 2008. Another 12 were 
outplanted in June 2007, all of which remained as of April 2008 
(Oppenheimer 2008b). A third outplanting of 6 plants was done in August 
2007 (Oppenheimer 2008b), another 124 individuals were outplanted in 
August 2008 (Oppenheimer 2008d), and 61 more were outplanted in 
September 2008 (Oppenheimer 2008c), bringing the total number of 
Phyllostegia hispida plants in the wild to 24 naturally occurring and 
214 outplanted individuals. One of the wild individuals is located 
within Puu Alii NAR; all of the remaining individuals are located 
within Kamakou Preserve.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule published on February 19, 2008 (73 FR 9078), 
we requested that all interested parties submit written comments on the 
proposal by April 21, 2008. We also contacted appropriate Federal and 
State agencies, scientific experts and organizations, and other 
interested parties and invited them to comment on the proposal. 
Newspaper notices inviting general public comment were published in the 
Honolulu Advertiser and Molokai Advertiser News. We did not receive any 
requests for a public hearing.
    During the comment period for the proposed rule, we received one 
written public comment in support of listing Phyllostegia hispida with 
endangered status. In addition, the commenter concurred with our 
assessment that feral pigs and invasive, nonnative plants are both 
important and immediate threats to Hawaii's native plants and to P. 
hispida in particular. No further additional information was offered 
beyond these statements of support; therefore we will not address this 
comment further here.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our peer review policy published on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinion from seven individuals with 
scientific expertise that included familiarity with Phyllostegia 
hispida and its habitat, biological needs, and threats. We received 
written comments from two experts, both of whom agreed with the 
assessment that P. hispida meets the definition of an endangered 
species. In addition, both experts pointed out that while the 
continuing invasion of alien plants and feral ungulates undoubtedly 
poses threats to the species and its habitat, the limited area 
currently occupied by P. hispida has not yet become highly modified by 
nonnative plants and feral pigs, due to ongoing management by TNCH. The 
remaining plants are found in a native-dominated plant community within 
TNCH's Kamakou Preserve where control efforts for both alien plants and 
feral ungulates are ongoing. Both experts also point out that they 
believe P. hispida may be dependent upon tree-fall openings in the 
canopy or similar disturbances that provide increased sunlight for 
germination. Information provided by the peer reviewers has been 
incorporated into this final rule.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 424) 
set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. A species may be 
determined to be an endangered or threatened species due to one or more 
of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act: (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. Listing actions may 
be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in 
combination. Each of these factors is discussed below.

A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment 
of its Habitat or Range

    As with virtually every other native plant community in the 
islands, the wet forests of Molokai where Phyllostegia hispida occurs 
have been affected by introduced (nonnative) feral pigs and introduced 
(nonnative) plants (DOFAW 1991, pp. 3, 14-23; TNCH 1994, pp. 6, 9-12; 
HBMP 2007). The poor reproduction and survivorship of P. hispida 
clearly indicate that the current conditions are less than optimal for 
this species, although we do not yet fully understand the specific 
mechanisms that are undermining its viability.
Feral Pigs
    European pigs, introduced to Hawaii by Captain James Cook in 1778, 
hybridized with domesticated Polynesian pigs, became feral, and invaded 
forested areas, especially wet and mesic forests and dry areas at high 
elevations. They are currently present on Kauai, Niihau, Oahu, Molokai, 
Maui, and Hawaii. These introduced feral pigs are extremely destructive 
and have both direct and indirect impacts on native plant communities. 
While rooting in the earth in search of invertebrates and plant 
material, feral pigs directly affect native plants by disturbing and 
destroying vegetative cover, trampling plants and seedlings, and 
possibly reducing or eliminating plant regeneration by damaging or 
eating seeds and seedlings (further discussion of predation is under 
Factor C, below). Feral pigs are a major vector for the establishment 
and spread of competing invasive, nonnative plant species, by 
dispersing these plant seeds on their hooves and coats as well as 
through their digestive tracts, and by fertilizing the disturbed soil 
through their feces. Feral pigs feed preferentially on the fruits of 
many nonnative plants, such as Passiflora tarminiana (banana poka) and 
Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava), thereby facilitating the spread 
of these invasive species, and also contribute to erosion by clearing 
vegetation and creating large areas of disturbed soil, especially on 
slopes (Aplet et al. 1991, p. 56; Smith 1985, pp. 190, 192, 196, 200, 
204, 230-231; Stone 1985, pp. 254-255, 262-264; Medeiros et al. 1986, 
pp.

[[Page 11322]]

27-28; Scott et al. 1986, pp. 360-361; Tomich 1986, pp. 120-126; 
Cuddihy and Stone 1990, pp. 64-65; Loope et al. 1991, pp. 1-21; Wagner 
et al. 1999, p. 52).
    Feral pigs are present in the wet forest habitat formerly and 
currently inhabited by Phyllostegia hispida within Puu Alii NAR and 
Kamakou Preserve, and although control efforts are underway, they 
continue to degrade the condition of the forest there (DOFAW 1991, pp. 
3, 14-23; TNCH 1994, pp. 6, 9-12; HBMP 2007). They are considered a 
major threat to native species and to the overall health of the 
watershed in which P. hispida occurs (DOFAW 1991, pp. 3, 14-23; TNCH 
1994, pp. 6, 9-12). Significant management actions are directed at 
feral ungulate control in the area where P. hispida has been found 
within Puu Alii NAR and Kamakou Preserve on Molokai, such as large-
scale watershed fencing, construction of ungulate exclosures around 
rare plants, and hunting of feral pigs by both staff and the public 
(TNCH 1997a, pp. 2-3; TNCH 1998a, pp. 1-2, 7; DOFAW 2000, pp. 3, 12; 
HBMP 2007). When the individual P. hispida was discovered in 1996 next 
to the boardwalk at Pepeopae, TNCH noted signs of feral pig presence 
(e.g., droppings, evidence of rooting, wallows) in the vicinity (HPMP 
2007) and immediately erected a fenced exclosure around the plant to 
protect it (TNCH 1997a, pp. 2-3). Similarly, a fenced exclosure was 
erected around the individual that was discovered within the Puu Alii 
NAR in 1997 to protect it from feral pigs (Nohara 2006). The juvenile 
plant discovered within the Puu Alii NAR in 2005 was immediately fenced 
to protect it from feral pigs (Stevens 2006), as were four of the most 
recently discovered plants along the fenceline within Kamakou Preserve 
(Oppenheimer 2007). Most of the wild individuals, however, are not 
currently protected within exclosures, and despite ongoing control 
efforts, feral pigs persist in the range of P. hispida.
    Feral pigs have been described as the most pervasive and disruptive 
nonnative influence on the unique native forests of the Hawaiian 
Islands, and are widely recognized as one of the greatest current 
threats to forest ecosystems in Hawaii (Aplet et al. 1991, p. 56; 
Anderson and Stone 1993, p. 195; Loope 1998, pp. 752, 769-770). Feral 
pigs continue to persist despite control efforts, and fencing protects 
individual plants only temporarily. Furthermore, the remote and rugged 
terrain of the islands makes the long-term maintenance of fencing 
difficult. Because of their high rate of reproduction, more than 40 
percent of the feral pig population must be removed annually before any 
decline in numbers is observed (Hess et al. 2006, p. 39). The most 
intensive feral pig eradication programs in the Hawaiian Islands have 
taken years of continuous effort to achieve effective control, even 
within fenced areas (Hess et al. 2006). Even though two peer reviewers 
have suggested that the habitat currently occupied by Phyllostegia 
hispida on TNCH land has not yet been highly modified by feral pigs, 
due to the well-documented negative impacts of feral pigs on native 
Hawaiian plant communities, the known habitat degradation caused by 
feral pigs in the habitat occupied by P. hispida, and the continuing 
presence of feral pigs in the limited area where P. hispida is found, 
we consider habitat modification and degradation by feral pigs to be an 
immediate and ongoing threat to this species throughout its range, and 
we have no indication that this threat is likely to be significantly 
ameliorated in the near future.
Nonnative Plants
    Introduced, nonnative plant species are a pervasive threat to the 
native flora throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Of the current total of 
nearly 2,000 native and naturalized plant taxa, approximately half are 
introduced, nonnative species from other parts of the world, and nearly 
100 of these are considered invasive pest species (Smith 1985, p. 180). 
On the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical islands, studies have shown 
that many of these introduced plant taxa outcompete and displace native 
plants, and often alter the habitat to the point that it is no longer 
suitable for the native plant species; these studies include nonnative 
pest plants found in habitat similar to that of Phyllostegia hispida 
(Smathers and Gardner 1978, pp. 274-275; Smith 1985, pp. 196, 206, 230; 
Loope and Medeiros 1992, pp. 7-8; Medeiros et al. 1992, pp. 30-32; 
Ellshoff et al. 1995, pp. 1-5; Meyer and Florence 1996, pp. 777-780; 
Medeiros et al. 1997, pp. 30-32; Loope et al. 2004, pp. 1472-1473). In 
particular, nonnative pest plants may make habitat less suitable for 
native plants by modifying availability of light, altering soil-water 
regimes, modifying nutrient cycling, or altering fire characteristics 
of native plant communities (Smith 1985, pp. 206, 217, 225, 227-233; 
Cuddihy and Stone 1990, p. 74).
    Although there is no empirical evidence specific to Phyllostegia 
hispida due to the lack of research on the species, scientists familiar 
with P. hispida believe it does not handle either shade or competition 
well (Oppenheimer 2007), and nonnative plants are likely to contribute 
to both of these conditions. Examples of some of the nonnative plants 
documented in the areas formerly occupied by P. hispida include 
Axonopus fissifolius (narrow-leaved carpetgrass), Clidemia hirta 
(Koster's curse), Erechtites valerianifolia (fireweed), Juncus effuses 
(Japanese mat rush), Rubus rosifolius (thimbleberry), and Sacciolepis 
indica (Glenwood grass). Rubus rosifolius and R. argutus are scattered 
throughout the area in which P. hispida currently exists, and are 
targets of control by TNCH staff in the area (Oppenheimer 2008a). 
Because of demonstrated habitat modification and resource competition 
by nonnative plant species in habitat similar to the wet forest habitat 
of P. hispida, and the ongoing need for control of invasive nonnative 
plant species in the area currently occupied by P. hispida, we consider 
habitat modification and degradation by nonnative plants to be an 
immediate and ongoing threat to this species throughout its range.
    To date, successful eradication or control of invasive alien plants 
has only been achieved on a very small scale, and then usually when 
control efforts have been initiated in the early stages of 
establishment (Mack and Lonsdale 2002, p. 166). Many of the invasive, 
nonnative plants in Hawaii are so widespread and easily dispersed that 
some researchers question whether eradication is a realistic goal 
(e.g., Mack and Lonsdale 2002, p. 165). On average, 40 new plant 
species have been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands every year over 
the past two centuries (Loope 1998, p. 752). Although managers are 
attempting to control nonnative plants, resources to support such 
efforts are often limited (e.g., Holt 1992, p. 527), and invasive 
nonnative plants persist in most areas in spite of such efforts. In 
addition, the control of introduced ungulates such as feral pigs, which 
contribute to the spread of alien plant species, is viewed as a 
prerequisite to the effective control of nonnative plants (e.g., Holt 
1992, p. 527). Therefore, due to the ubiquitous nature of the invasive 
plant problem in the Hawaiian Islands, the extreme difficulty of 
eradicating invasive, nonnative plant species that have become 
widespread and well-established, and the continuing presence of 
introduced ungulates that contribute to the spread and establishment of 
nonnative plants, we have no indication that this threat to 
Phyllostegia hispida is likely to be significantly reduced any time in 
the near future.

[[Page 11323]]

    In summary, feral pigs contribute to the modification and 
degradation of Phyllostegia hispida's habitat by disturbing and 
destroying vegetative cover, trampling plants and seedlings, reducing 
or eliminating plant regeneration by damaging or eating seeds and 
seedlings, and increasing erosion by creating large areas of bare soil. 
Feral pigs are also a major vector for the dispersal of invasive, 
nonnative plant species that pose a threat to P.hispida. The presence 
of nonnative plant species contributes to the modification and 
degradation of P. hispida's habitat by modifying availability of light, 
altering soil-water regimes, modifying nutrient cycling, and changing 
the fire characteristics of the native plant community. Evidence 
suggests that P. hispida is negatively affected by shade and 
competition, both conditions exacerbated by invasive nonnative plants. 
We therefore find that habitat modification and degradation by feral 
pigs and nonnative plants poses an immediate and ongoing threat to 
Phyllostegia hispida, despite the occurrence of the species on 
protected lands, and we have no indication that this threat is likely 
to be significantly ameliorated in the near future.

B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes is not known to be a threat to Phyllostegia 
hispida in any portion of its range, and as such is not addressed in 
this rule.

C. Disease or Predation

    Because the native vegetation of Hawaii evolved without any 
browsing or grazing mammals present, many plant species do not have 
natural defenses against such impacts (Carlquist 1980, pp. 173-175; 
Lamoureux 1994, pp. 54-55). Native plants such as Phyllostegia hispida 
do not have physical or chemical adaptations, such as thorns or noxious 
compounds, to protect them, thereby rendering them particularly 
vulnerable to predation by feral pigs or other ungulates (Department of 
Geography 1998, pp. 137-138; Carlquist 1980, p. 175). Browsing by 
ungulates has been observed on many other native plants, including 
common and rare or endangered species (Cuddihy and Stone 1990, pp. 64-
65). In a study of feral pig populations in the Kipahulu Valley on the 
island of Maui, feral pigs were observed feeding on at least 40 plant 
species in the rainforest ecosystem, 75 percent of which were native 
plants occurring in the herbaceous understory and subcanopy layer 
(Diong 1982, p. 160). Therefore, even though we have no evidence of 
direct browsing for P. hispida, given the presence of feral pigs in the 
area where P. hispida occurs, we consider it likely that feral pigs may 
affect the species directly through predation. As described above under 
Factor A, due to the persistence of feral pigs in the limited range of 
P. hispida in spite of control efforts, and the likelihood that their 
presence will continue, we believe feral pigs pose an immediate and 
ongoing threat to the species throughout its range, and that this 
threat is unlikely to be significantly reduced in the near future.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Of the 238 known individuals of Phyllostegia hispida, 24 wild and 
214 recently outplanted, 237 occur on TNCH's Kamakou Preserve. TNCH 
manages this private land for the benefit of threatened and endangered 
species and ecosystems. The management efforts at TNCH's Kamakou 
Preserve include control of nonnative plants and feral pigs, as well as 
fencing, all of which benefit P. hispida. However, as noted in the 
discussion of Factor A above, the eradication of nonnative plants and 
feral pigs, even within fenced areas under active management, is a 
difficult and extremely lengthy task. The continuing presence of 
nonnative plants and feral pigs within the fenced area of the preserve, 
in concert with the threat of very small population size and limited 
number of reproductive individuals, which will be discussed in Factor 
E, renders P. hispida vulnerable to extinction due to these threats 
despite beneficial management on the Kamakou Preserve. The threat of 
extinction is not posed, however, by an inadequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms on TNCH lands.
    Only one known individual of Phyllostegia hispida is found on State 
lands, in the Puu Alii NAR. Hawaii Administrative Rules 13-209 provide 
protections for this single individual, including a prohibition against 
removal, injury, or killing, and a prohibition against the introduction 
of plants or animals. The State has been working to fence greater areas 
of the NAR and to eradicate feral pigs and nonnative plants within the 
fenced areas, but this work is not yet complete. As noted in the 
discussion of Factor A above, the eradication of nonnative plants and 
feral pigs, even within fenced areas under active management, is a 
difficult and extremely lengthy task. Although some regulatory 
protections are in place on the NAR that benefit P. hispida, only one 
single plant occurs under these protections. This fact, in conjunction 
with the persistence of nonnative plants and feral pigs, small 
population size, and limited number of reproductive individuals of the 
species remaining, renders P. hispida vulnerable to extinction due to 
these threats despite the protections on the Puu Alii NAR. The threat 
of extinction is not posed, however, by an inadequacy of regulatory 
mechanisms on the NAR. The regulatory mechanisms that provide for the 
control of threats to P. hispida on the Puu Alii NAR appear to be 
adequate, but as the success of these control efforts has yet to be 
realized, the threats continue at present.
    We find that where individuals of Phyllostegia hispida are 
currently found, the inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms does not pose 
a threat to the species. However, should the recovery of the species 
eventually require reintroductions in other areas, this factor may pose 
a potential impediment to recovery.

E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    One of the most significant threats to Phyllostegia hispida is its 
extremely low numbers and highly restricted distribution. A total of 
238 plants are currently known to exist, 24 naturally occurring and 214 
outplanted. Only two wild individuals are mature and have fruited and 
produced seeds. All of the remaining individuals are young or only 
recently established. Survivorship of known wild individuals has been 
poor, and although outplantings have been attempted, none of these 
outplantings has yet proven successful for more than the short term. 
Although propagules of P. hispida have been collected on an 
opportunistic basis and some controlled propagation of the species has 
taken place, there is no dedicated funding for propagation of the 
species and no formal plan exists for outplanting and reintroduction.
    Deterministic factors, such as habitat alteration or loss of a key 
pollinator, may have reduced this population to such a small size that 
it is now susceptible to a stochastic extinction event (Gilpin and 
Soul[eacute] 1986, pp. 24-25). Species that are known from few wild 
individuals and are endemic to a single, small island are inherently 
more vulnerable to extinction than widespread species because of the 
higher risks posed to a few populations and individuals by genetic 
bottlenecks, random demographic fluctuations, and localized 
catastrophes, such as hurricanes and disease outbreaks (Mangel and Tier 
1994, pp. 607-614;

[[Page 11324]]

Pimm et al. 1988, pp. 757-785). In the case of Phyllostegia hispida, 
the entire population of the species is small and restricted to a 
highly localized geographic area, rendering it highly vulnerable to the 
risk of extinction in the wild due to the lack of redundancy in 
populations. In addition, the lack of reproductive individuals and 
skewing of the population toward young plants poses a significant 
threat to the species, as recruitment may not be sufficient to offset 
mortality in the population. These consequences of small population 
size (e.g., insufficient natural reproduction, loss of genetic 
diversity), in conjunction with the risk of losing the entire 
population in the wild due to factors such as localized events (e.g., 
hurricanes) and threats posed by ungulates, render the species highly 
vulnerable to extinction at any time. Although some species are 
naturally rare, the poor survivorship of P. hispida suggests that the 
requisite biological or ecological needs of the species are not being 
met under current conditions. The reasons for the poor survivorship and 
lack of reproduction observed in this species are not known.
    All of these negative demographic factors, as well as the 
vulnerability of extinction of the population from a catastrophic 
natural event, pose immediate and significant threats to the species 
despite the fact that it currently occurs on protected lands, including 
State and TNCH reserves. Small population size has therefore become a 
primary and immediate threat to this species, and given the current 
size and composition of the population, we do not foresee the 
likelihood of this threat lessening to any significant degree any time 
in the near future.

Conclusion and Determination

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the past, present, and future threats 
to Phyllostegia hispida. The species' extremely low numbers and highly 
restricted geographic range make it particularly susceptible to 
extinction at any time from random events such as hurricanes (Factor 
E). In addition, the lack of mature reproductive individuals poses an 
immediate threat to the species (Factor E). Although the species is 
found on protected lands with ongoing management efforts, as described 
above, we find that it nonetheless faces continuing threats from 
habitat destruction and degradation due to feral pig activity and 
invasive nonnative plants (Factor A), competition with nonnative plant 
species (Factor A), and predation by nonnative mammals (Factor C). The 
pervasive nature of feral pigs and invasive plants on the island of 
Molokai makes it unlikely that control efforts will significantly 
reduce the degree of threat to the species anytime in the near future; 
therefore we find that these factors, in combination with the extremely 
low number of reproductive individuals and limited distribution of the 
population, pose a significant and immediate threat to P. hispida and 
place the species at current risk of extinction throughout its range.
    The Act defines an endangered species as ``any species which is in 
danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range.'' Phyllostegia hispida is highly restricted in its range, 
currently occurring only within Puu Alii NAR and the immediately 
adjacent Kamakou Preserve on the island of Molokai. Based on the 
immediate and ongoing significant threats to P. hispida throughout its 
entire limited range, as described above, we consider the species P. 
hispida to be in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. 
Therefore, we are listing P. hispida as an endangered species under the 
Act. Because we determine that P. hispida is endangered throughout all 
of its range, there is no reason to consider its status in any 
significant portion of its range.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened 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, and local agencies, private 
organizations, and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the 
States and requires that recovery actions be carried out for all listed 
species. The protection measures required of Federal agencies and the 
prohibitions against certain activities involving listed plants are 
discussed, in part, below.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, requires Federal agencies to 
evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or 
listed as endangered or threatened 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 adversely affect a listed species or its critical 
habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into formal 
consultation with the Service.
    For Phyllostegia hispida, Federal agency actions that may require 
consultation as described in the preceding paragraph include feral 
ungulate removal or other management actions undertaken by the National 
Park Service within Puu Alii NAR; the provision of Federal funds to 
State and private entities through Federal programs, such as the 
Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, State Wildlife Grant 
Program, and Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program; and the 
various grants administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service. Other types of actions that may 
require consultation include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers activities, 
such as the construction or maintenance of boardwalks and bridges 
subject to section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344 et seq.).
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to endangered plants. 
All prohibitions of section 9(a)(2) of the Act, implemented by 50 CFR 
17.61, apply. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for any 
person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or 
export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a 
commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign 
commerce, or remove and reduce to possession the species from areas 
under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for plants listed as 
endangered, the Act prohibits the malicious damage or destruction on 
areas under Federal jurisdiction and the removal, cutting, digging up, 
or damaging or destroying of such plants in knowing violation of any 
State law or regulation, including State criminal trespass law. Certain 
exceptions to the prohibitions apply to agents of the Service and State 
conservation agencies. Although Hawaii has a strong Endangered Species 
law (HRS, Sect. 195-D), Phyllostegia hispida is not currently protected 
under that law. Federal listing of P. hispida will automatically invoke 
State listing under Hawaii's Endangered Species law and

[[Page 11325]]

supplement the protection available under other State laws. The Federal 
Endangered Species Act will, therefore, offer additional protection to 
this species.
    The Act and 50 CFR 17.62 also provide for the issuance of permits 
to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered 
plants under certain circumstances. Such permits are available for 
scientific purposes and to enhance the propagation or survival of the 
species. We anticipate that the only permits that would be sought or 
issued for Phyllostegia hispida would be in association with recovery 
efforts, as this species is not common in cultivation or the wild. 
Requests for copies of the regulations regarding listed species and 
inquiries about prohibitions and permits may be addressed to U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, Eastside Federal Complex, 
911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232-4181 (telephone 503-231-6158; 
facsimile 503-231-6243).

Critical Habitat

    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 provisions of 
section 4 of 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 
protections; and
    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a 
species at the time it is listed in accordance with the provisions of 
section 4 of the Act, upon a determination by the Secretary of the 
Interior that such areas are essential for the conservation of the 
species.
    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use 
and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring 
any endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures 
provided under 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, 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 prohibition against Federal agencies carrying out, funding, 
or authorizing the destruction or adverse modification of critical 
habitat. Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires consultation on Federal 
actions that may affect critical habitat. The designation of critical 
habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, 
wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such 
designation does not allow the government or public to access private 
lands. Such designation does not require implementation of restoration, 
recovery, or enhancement measures by private landowners. Where a 
landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an 
action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the 
consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Act would apply, 
but even in the event of a destruction or adverse modification finding, 
the landowner's obligation is not to restore or recover the species, 
but to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
    For inclusion in a critical habitat designation, the habitat within 
the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing 
must contain the physical and biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species, and be included only if those features may 
require special management considerations or protection. Critical 
habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best 
scientific data available, habitat areas that provide essential life 
cycle needs of the species (i.e., areas on which are found the primary 
constituent elements (PCEs) laid out in the appropriate quantity and 
spatial arrangement for the conservation of the species). Under the 
Act, we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed only 
when we determine that those areas are essential for the conservation 
of the species.
    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial 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 
issued by the Service, 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.
    When we are determining which areas should be designated as 
critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the 
information developed during the listing process for the species. 
Additional information sources may include the recovery plan for the 
species, articles in peer-reviewed journals, conservation plans 
developed by States and counties, scientific status surveys and 
studies, biological assessments, or other unpublished materials and 
expert opinion or personal knowledge.

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 designate critical habitat at 
the time a species is determined to be endangered or threatened. Our 
regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of 
critical habitat is not prudent when one or both of the following 
situations exist: (1) The species is threatened by taking or other 
human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected 
to increase the degree of threat to the species, or (2) such 
designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species.
    There is no documentation that Phyllostegia hispida is threatened 
by taking or other human activity. In the absence of finding that the 
designation of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, if 
there are any benefits to a critical habitat designation, then a 
prudent finding is warranted. The potential benefits include: (1) 
Triggering consultation under section 7 of the Act, for actions in 
which there may be a Federal nexus where it would not otherwise occur 
because, for example, the area is or has become unoccupied or the 
occupancy is in question; (2) focusing conservation activities on the 
most essential features and areas; (3) providing educational benefits 
to State or county governments or private entities; and (4) preventing 
people from causing inadvertent harm to the species.
    The primary regulatory effect of a critical habitat designation is 
the section 7(a)(2) requirement that Federal agencies refrain from 
taking any action that destroys or adversely affects critical habitat. 
At present, the only known

[[Page 11326]]

extant individuals of Phyllostegia hispida occur on State and private 
land, and all previously known occurrences have been on State and 
private lands. However, the State-owned Puu Alii NAR falls within the 
boundaries of the Kalaupapa National Historic Park, and the National 
Park Service may need to consult with the Service in the future should 
they determine that actions they intend to fund, carry out, or 
authorize within the NAR may affect P. hispida or destroy or adversely 
affect critical habitat. In addition, lands that may be designated as 
critical habitat in the future for this species may be subject to 
Federal actions that trigger the section 7 consultation requirement, 
such as the granting of Federal monies for conservation projects or the 
need for Federal permits for projects, such as the construction and 
maintenance of boardwalks and bridges subject to section 404 of the 
Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344 et seq.). There may also be some 
educational or informational benefits to the designation of critical 
habitat. Educational benefits include the notification of land owners, 
land managers, and the general public of the importance of protecting 
the habitat of this species. In the case of P. hispida, these aspects 
of critical habitat designation would potentially benefit the 
conservation of the species. Therefore, since we have determined that 
the designation of critical habitat will not likely increase the degree 
of threat to the species and may provide some measure of benefit, we 
find that designation of critical habitat is prudent for P. hispida.

Critical Habitat Determinability

    As stated above, section 4(a)(3) of the Act requires the 
designation of critical habitat concurrently with the species' listing 
``to the maximum extent prudent and determinable.'' Our regulations at 
50 CFR 424.12(a)(2) state that critical habitat is not determinable 
when one or both of the following situations exist:
    (i) Information sufficient to perform required analyses of the 
impacts of the designation is lacking, or
    (ii) The biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well 
known to permit identification of an area as critical habitat.
    When critical habitat is not determinable, the Act provides for an 
additional year to publish a critical habitat designation (16 U.S.C. 
1533(b)(6)(C)(ii)).
    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 
50 CFR 424.12, in determining which areas occupied by the species at 
the time of listing to designate as critical habitat, we consider those 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the 
species that may require special management considerations or 
protection. We consider the physical or biological features to be the 
PCEs laid out in the appropriate quantity and spatial arrangement for 
the conservation of the species. The PCEs include, but are not limited 
to:
    (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal 
behavior;
    (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or 
physiological requirements;
    (3) Cover or shelter;
    (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, and rearing (or development) 
of offspring; and
    (5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are 
representative of the historical geographical and ecological 
distributions of a species.
    We are currently unable to identify the primary constituent 
elements for Phyllostegia hispida, because those physical and 
biological features that are essential to the conservation of this 
species are not known at this time. As discussed in the ``Species 
Information'' section of this rule, between the years 1910 and 1996 
only 10 occurrences of P. hispida were documented, and the location 
information for these occurrences was recorded at a relatively coarse 
scale. Elevations are known only for the few individuals discovered 
within the last 10 years. From 1996 through 2005, a total of only 6 
plants (3 adults, 2 seedlings, and 1 juvenile) were located, all 
existing only as single individuals in disparate locations. All of the 
previously known adults died without reproducing naturally in the wild. 
Currently, there are 24 individuals known to naturally exist in the 
wild, only 2 of which are mature. Seeds and cuttings have been removed 
from these two individuals for attempted cultivation (Oppenheimer 
2008b). As of April 2008, an additional 214 individuals produced from 
cuttings and outplanted into exclosures in Kamakou Preserve are also 
extant.
    The reasons for the deaths of the Phyllostegia hispida individuals 
summarized in the ``Species Information'' section of this rule are 
unknown, as are the reasons for poor natural reproduction in the wild. 
Key features of the plant's life history, such as longevity, dispersal 
mechanisms, or vectors for pollination, are unknown.
    With so few recorded occurrences of the species, little is known of 
Phyllostegia hispida in terms of what this plant needs to survive and 
reproduce successfully in the wild. The poor viability of the P. 
hispida occurrences observed in recent years indicates that current 
conditions are not sufficient to meet the basic biological requirements 
of this species. Although two mature plants that are producing fruits 
were recently discovered, there has yet to be an observation of an 
individual or population of P. hispida that has successfully produced 
surviving young in the wild. As the successful survival and 
reproduction of the species in the wild has not yet been documented, 
the optimal conditions that would provide the biological or ecological 
requisites of the species are not known. Although, as described above, 
we can surmise that habitat degradation from a variety of factors has 
contributed to the decline of the species, we do not know specifically 
what essential physical or biological features of that habitat are 
currently lacking for P. hispida. As we are unable to identify the 
physical and biological features essential to the conservation of P. 
hispida, we are unable to identify areas that contain these features 
and that might qualify for designation as critical habitat.
    Although we have determined that the designation of critical 
habitat is prudent for Phyllostegia hispida, the biological needs of 
the species are not sufficiently well known to permit identification of 
the physical and biological features that may be essential for the 
conservation of the species, or those areas essential to the 
conservation of the species. Therefore, we find that critical habitat 
for P. hispida is not determinable at this time. The recent outplanting 
of more than 200 new seedlings into the Kamakou Preserve presents us 
with an opportunity to study the growth of these plants and better 
determine the physical and biological features that may be essential 
for the conservation of the species. We intend to use the iterative 
information gained from this continuing research into the essential 
life history requirements of P. hispida to facilitate identification of 
essential features and areas. In addition, we will evaluate the needs 
of P. hispida within the ecological context of the broader ecosystem in 
which it occurs, similar to the approach that was recently proposed for 
47 species endemic to the island of Kauai (October 21, 2008; 73 FR 
62592), and will consider the utility of using this approach for this 
species as well.

[[Page 11327]]

Required Determinations

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule will not impose recordkeeping or 
reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, 
businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and 
a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be 
prepared in connection with regulations adopted under section 4(a) of 
the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this 
determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 
49244).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rule is available 
on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request from the 
Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Author(s)

    The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the 
Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (see ADDRESSES).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Regulation Promulgation

0
Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 17--[AMENDED]

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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

0
2. Amend Sec. 17.12(h) by adding the following entry to the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Plants in alphabetical order under 
``Flowering Plants'':


Sec.  17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Species
------------------------------------------------  Historic range        Family            Status         When listed        Critical      Special rules
       Scientific name            Common name                                                                               habitat
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    FLOWERING PLANTS
* * * * * * *...........................................................................................................................................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phyllostegia hispida           None              U.S.A. (HI)       Lamiaceae         E                  762             NA               NA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    * * * * * * *

    Dated: March 4, 2009.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E9-5348 Filed 3-16-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-S