[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 48 (Friday, March 12, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11808-11829]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4956]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 16

RIN 1018-AV68
[FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015]
[94140-1342-0000-N3]


Injurious Wildlife Species; Listing the Boa Constrictor, Four 
Python Species, and Four Anaconda Species as Injurious Reptiles

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; availability of draft environmental assessment 
and draft economic analysis.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to amend 
its regulations to add Indian python (Python molurus, including Burmese 
python Python molurus bivittatus), reticulated python (Broghammerus 
reticulatus or Python reticulatus), Northern African python (Python 
sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), boa constrictor 
(Boa constrictor), yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), DeSchauensee's 
anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), 
and Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis) to the list of injurious 
reptiles. This listing would prohibit the importation of any live 
animal, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of these nine constrictor snakes 
into the United States, except as specifically authorized. The best 
available information indicates that this action is necessary to 
protect the interests of humans, wildlife, and wildlife resources from 
the purposeful or accidental introduction and subsequent establishment 
of these large constrictor snake populations into ecosystems of the 
United States. If the proposed rule is made final, live snakes, 
gametes, or hybrids of the nine species or their viable eggs could be 
imported only by permit for scientific, medical, educational, or 
zoological purposes, or without a permit by Federal agencies solely for 
their own use. The proposed rule, if made final, would also prohibit 
any interstate transportation of live snakes, gametes, viable eggs, or 
hybrids of the nine species currently held in the United States. If the 
proposed rule is made final, interstate transportation could be 
authorized for scientific, medical, educational, or zoological 
purposes.

DATES: We will consider comments we receive on or before May 11, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-R9-
FHC-2008-0015.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015; Division of Policy and 
Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax 
Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section 
below for more information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Supervisor, South Florida Ecological 
Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1339 20\th\ Street, 
Vero Beach, FL 32960-3559; telephone 772-562-3909 ext. 256. If you use 
a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Previous Federal Action

    On June 23, 2006, the Service received a petition from the South 
Florida Water Management District (District) requesting that Burmese 
pythons be considered for inclusion in the injurious wildlife 
regulations under the Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42). The District is 
concerned about the number of Burmese pythons found in Florida, 
particularly in Everglades National Park and on the District's 
widespread property in South Florida.
    The Service published a notice of inquiry in the Federal Register 
(73 FR 5784; January 31, 2008) soliciting available biological, 
economic, and other information and data on the Python, Boa, and 
Eunectes genera for possible addition to the list of injurious wildlife 
under the Lacey Act and provided a 90-day public comment period. The 
Service received 1,528 comments during the public comment period that 
closed April 30, 2008. We reviewed all comments received for 
substantive issues and information regarding the injurious nature of 
species in the Python, Boa, and Eunectes genera. Of the 1,528 comments, 
115

[[Page 11809]]

provided economic, ecological, and other data responsive to 10 specific 
questions in the notice of inquiry. Most individuals submitting 
comments responded to the notice of inquiry as though it was a proposed 
rule to list constrictor snakes in the Python, Boa, and Eunectes genera 
as injurious under the Lacey Act. As a result, most comments expressed 
either opposition or support for listing the large constrictor snakes 
species and did not provide substantive information. We considered the 
information provided in the 115 applicable comments in the preparation 
of the draft environmental assessment, draft economic analysis, and 
this proposed rule.
    For the injurious wildlife evaluation in this proposed rule, we 
considered: (1) The substantive information that we received during the 
notice of inquiry, (2) information from the United States Geological 
Survey's (USGS) ``Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management 
Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of 
Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor'' (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
and (3) the latest findings regarding the nine large constrictor snakes 
in Florida and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The USGS's risk 
assessment (Reed and Rodda 2009) can be viewed at the following web 
sites: http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015 
and http://www.fort.usgs.gov/Products/Publications/pub_abstract.asp?PubID=22691. Reed and Rodda (2009) provided the primary 
biological, management, and risk information for this proposed rule. 
The risk assessment was prepared at the request of the Service and the 
National Park Service.

Background

Purpose of Listing as Injurious
    The purpose of listing the Indian python (Python molurus, including 
Burmese python P. molurus bivittatus), reticulated python (Broghammerus 
reticulatus or Python reticulatus), Northern African python (Python 
sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), boa constrictor 
(Boa constrictor), yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), DeSchauensee's 
anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), 
and Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis) (hereafter, collectively the 
nine constrictor snakes) as injurious wildlife would be to prevent the 
accidental or intentional introduction of and the possible subsequent 
establishment of populations of these snakes in the wild in the United 
States.
Why the Nine Species Were Selected for Consideration as Injurious 
Species
    The four true giants (with maximum lengths well exceeding 6 m [20 
ft]) are the Indian python, Northern African python, reticulated 
python, and green anaconda; they are prevalent in international trade. 
The boa constrictor is large, prevalent in international trade, and 
already established in South Florida. The Southern African python, 
yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee's anaconda, and Beni anaconda exhibit 
many of the same biological characteristics as the previous five 
species that pose a risk of establishment and negative effects in the 
United States. The Service is striving to prevent the introduction and 
establishment of all nine species into new areas of the United States 
due to concerns about the injurious effects of all nine species 
consistent with 18 U.S.C. 42.
Need for the Proposed Rule
    The threat posed by the Indian python (including Burmese python) 
and other large constrictor snakes is evident. Thousands of Indian 
pythons (including Burmese pythons) are now breeding in the Everglades 
and threaten many imperiled species and other wildlife. In addition, 
other species of large constrictors are or may be breeding in South 
Florida, including boa constrictors and Northern African pythons. 
Reticulated pythons, yellow anacondas, and green anacondas have also 
been reported in the wild in Florida. Indian pythons (including Burmese 
pythons), reticulated pythons, African pythons, boa constrictors, and 
yellow anacondas have been reported in the wild in Puerto Rico. The 
Southern African python, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee's anaconda, and 
Beni anaconda exhibit many of the same biological characteristics as 
the previous five species that pose a risk of establishment and 
negative effects in the United States.
    The USGS risk assessment used a method called ``climate matching'' 
to estimate those areas of the United States exhibiting climates 
similar to those experienced by the species in their respective native 
ranges (Reed and Rodda 2009). Considerable uncertainties exist about 
the native range limits of many of the giant constrictors, and a myriad 
of factors other than climate can influence whether a species could 
establish a population in a particular location. While we acknowledge 
this uncertainty, these tools also serve as a useful predictor to 
identify vulnerable ecosystems at risk from injurious wildlife prior to 
the species actually becoming established (Lodge et al. 2006). Based on 
climate alone, many species of large constrictors are likely to be 
limited to the warmest areas of the United States, including parts of 
Florida, extreme south Texas, Hawaii, and insular territories. For a 
few species, large areas of the continental United States appear to 
have suitable climatic conditions. There is a high probability that 
large constrictors would establish populations in the wild within their 
respective thermal and precipitation limits due to common life-history 
traits that make them successful invaders, such as being habitat 
generalists that are tolerant of urbanization and capable of feeding on 
a wide range of size-appropriate vertebrates (reptiles, mammals, birds, 
amphibians, and fish; Reed and Rodda 2009). While a few of the largest 
species have been known to attack humans in their native ranges, such 
attacks appear to be rare.
    Of the nine large constrictor snakes assessed by Reed and Rodda 
(2009), five were shown to pose a high risk to the health of the 
ecosystem, including the Indian python or Burmese python, Northern 
African python, Southern African python, yellow anaconda, and boa 
constrictor. The remaining four large constrictors--the reticulated 
python, green anaconda, Beni anaconda, and DeSchauensee's anaconda--
were shown to pose a medium risk. None of the large constrictors that 
were assessed was classified as low risk. As compared to many other 
vertebrates, large constrictors pose a relatively high risk for being 
injurious. They are highly adaptable to new environments and 
opportunistic in expanding their geographic range. Furthermore, since 
they are a novel, top predator, they can threaten the stability of 
native ecosystems by altering the ecosystem's form, function, and 
structure.
    Most of these nine species are cryptically marked, which makes them 
difficult to detect in the field, complicating efforts to identify the 
range of populations or deplete populations through visual searching 
and removal of individuals. There are currently no tools available that 
would appear adequate for eradication of an established population of 
giant snakes once they have spread over a large area.
Listing Process
    The regulations contained in 50 CFR part 16 implement the Lacey Act 
(Act; 18 U.S.C. 42) as amended. Under the terms of the Act, the 
Secretary of the Interior is authorized to prescribe by

[[Page 11810]]

regulation those wild mammals, wild birds, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, 
amphibians, reptiles, and the offspring or eggs of any of the foregoing 
that are injurious to humans, to the interests of agriculture, 
horticulture, or forestry, or to the wildlife or wildlife resources of 
the United States. The lists of injurious wildlife species are found at 
50 CFR 16.11-16.15.
    We are evaluating each of the nine species of constrictor snakes 
individually and will list only those species that we determine to be 
injurious. If we determine that any or all of the nine constrictor 
snakes in this proposed rule are injurious, then, as with all listed 
injurious animals, their importation into, or transportation between, 
the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 
or any territory or possession of the United States by any means 
whatsoever is prohibited, except by permit for zoological, educational, 
medical, or scientific purposes (in accordance with permit regulations 
at 50 CFR 16.22), or by Federal agencies without a permit solely for 
their own use, upon filing a written declaration with the District 
Director of Customs and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspector at 
the port of entry. The rule would not prohibit intrastate transport of 
the listed constrictor snake species within States. Any regulations 
pertaining to the transport or use of these species within a particular 
State would continue to be the responsibility of that State.
    The Lacey Act Evaluation Criteria are used as a guide to evaluate 
whether a species does or does not qualify as injurious under the Act. 
The analysis developed using the criteria serves as a basis for the 
Service's regulatory decision regarding injurious wildlife species 
listings. A species does not have to be established, currently 
imported, or present in the wild in the United States for the Service 
to list it as injurious. The objective of such a listing would be to 
prevent that species' importation and likely establishment in the wild, 
thereby preventing injurious effects consistent with 18 U.S.C. 42.
    If the data indicate that a species is injurious, a proposed rule 
will be developed. The proposed rule provides the public with a period 
to comment on the proposed listing and associated documents.
    If a determination is made to not finalize the listing, the Service 
will publish a notice in the Federal Register explaining why the 
species is not added to the list of injurious wildlife. If a 
determination is made to list a species as injurious after evaluating 
the comments received during the proposed rule's comment period, a 
final rule would be published. The final rule contains responses to 
comments received on the proposed rule, states the final decision, and 
provides the justification for that decision. If listed, species 
determined to be injurious will be codified in the Code of Federal 
Regulations.
Introduction Pathways for Large Constrictor Snakes
    The primary pathway for the entry of the nine constrictor snakes 
into the United States is the commercial trade in pets. The main ports 
of entry for imports are Miami, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Dallas-Ft. 
Worth, Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco. From there, many of the 
live snakes are transported to animal dealers, who then transport the 
snakes to pet retailers. Large constrictor snakes are also bred in the 
United States and sold within the country.
    A typical pathway of a large constrictor snake includes a pet 
store. Often, a person will purchase a hatchling snake (0.5 meters (m) 
[(22 inches (in)]) at a pet store or reptile show for as little as $35. 
The hatchling grows rapidly, even when fed conservatively, so a strong 
snake-proof enclosure is necessary. All snakes are adept at escaping, 
and pythons are especially powerful when it comes to breaking out of 
cages. In captivity, they are fed pre-killed mice, rats, rabbits, and 
chickens. A tub of fresh water is needed for the snake to drink and 
soak in. As the snake grows too big for a tub in its enclosure, the 
snake will have to be bathed in a bathtub. Under captive conditions, 
pythons will grow very fast. An Indian python, for example, will grow 
to more than 20 feet long, weigh 200 pounds, live more than 25 years, 
and must be fed rabbits and the like.
    Owning a giant snake is a difficult, long-term, somewhat expensive 
responsibility. For this reason, many snakes are released by their 
owners into the wild when they can no longer care for them, and other 
snakes escape from inadequate enclosures. This is a common pathway to 
invading the ecosystem by large constrictor snakes (Fujisaki et al. 
2009).
    In aggregate, the trade in giant constrictors is significant. From 
1999 to 2008, more than 1.8 million live constrictor snakes of 12 
species were imported into the United States (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service 2010). Of all the constrictor snake species imported into the 
United States, the selection of nine constrictor snakes for evaluation 
as injurious wildlife was based on concern over the giant size of these 
particular snakes combined with their quantity in international trade. 
The four largest species of snakes--Indian python, Northern African 
python, reticulated python, and green anaconda--were selected, as well 
as similar and closely related species, and the boa constrictor. These 
giant constrictor snakes constitute a high risk of injuriousness in 
relation to those taxa with lower trade volumes, are large in size with 
maximum lengths exceeding 6 m (20 ft), and have a high likelihood of 
establishment in various habitats of the United States. The Southern 
African python, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee's anaconda, and Beni 
anaconda exhibit many of the same biological characteristics as the 
previous five species that pose a risk of establishment and negative 
effects in the United States.
    By far the strongest factor influencing the chances of these large 
constrictors establishing in the wild is the number of release events 
and the numbers of individuals released. With a sufficient number of 
either unintentional or intentional release events, these species will 
establish in ecosystems with suitable conditions for survival and 
reproduction. This is likely the case at Everglades National Park, 
where the core nonnative Burmese python population in Florida is now 
located. Therefore, allowing unregulated importation and interstate 
transport of these exotic species will increase the risk of these new 
species becoming established through increased opportunities for 
release. A second factor that is strongly and consistently associated 
with the success of an invasive species' establishment is a history of 
it successfully establishing elsewhere outside its native range. For 
example, in addition to the established Indian (including Burmese) 
python population in Florida, we now know that boa constrictors are 
established at the Deering Estate at Cutler preserve in South Florida, 
and the Northern African python is established west of Miami, Florida, 
in the vicinity known as the Bird Drive Basin Recharge Area. A third 
factor strongly associated with establishment success is having a good 
climate or habitat match between where the species naturally occurs and 
where it is introduced. These three factors have all been consistently 
demonstrated to increase the chances of establishment by all invasive 
vertebrate taxa, including the nine large constrictor snakes in this 
proposed rule (Bomford 2008).
    However, as stated above, a species does not have to be 
established, currently imported, or present in the wild in the United 
States for the Service to list it as injurious. The objective of

[[Page 11811]]

such a listing would be to prevent that species' importation and likely 
establishment in the wild, thereby preventing injurious effects 
consistent with 18 U.S.C. 42.

Public Comments

    We are soliciting substantive public comments and supporting data 
on the draft environmental assessment, the draft economic analysis, and 
this proposed rule to add the Indian (including Burmese) python, 
reticulated python (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus), 
Northern African python, Southern African python, boa constrictor, 
yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda, and Beni 
anaconda to the list of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. The 
draft environmental assessment, the draft economic analysis, the 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis, and this proposed rule will be 
available on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-
2008-0015.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not 
accept comments sent by e-mail or fax or to an address not listed in 
the ADDRESSES section.
    We will post your entire comment--including your personal 
identifying information--on http://www.regulations.gov. If your written 
comments provide 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.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov under 
Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015, or by appointment, during normal 
business hours at the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section).
    We are soliciting public comments and supporting data to gain 
additional information, and we specifically seek comment regarding the 
Indian python (Python molurus, including Burmese python P. m. 
bivittatus), reticulated python (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python 
reticulatus), Northern African python (Python sebae), Southern African 
python (Python natalensis), boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), yellow 
anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), DeSchauensee's anaconda (Eunectes 
deschauenseei), green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), and Beni anaconda 
(Eunectes beniensis) on the following questions:
    (1) What regulations does your State have pertaining to the use, 
transport, or production of any of the nine constrictor snakes? What 
are relevant Federal, State, or local rules that may duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule?
    (2) How many of the nine constrictor snakes species are currently 
in production for wholesale or retail sale, and in how many and which 
States?
    (3) How many businesses sell one or more of the nine constrictor 
snake species?
    (4) How many businesses breed one or more of the nine constrictor 
snake species?
    (5) What are the annual sales for each of the nine constrictor 
snake species?
    (6) How many, if any, of the nine constrictor snake species are 
permitted within each State?
    (7) What would it cost to eradicate individuals or populations of 
the nine constrictor snakes, or similar species, if found? What methods 
are effective?
    (8) What are the costs of implementing propagation, recovery, and 
restoration programs for native species that are affected by the nine 
constrictor snake species, or similar species?
    (9) What State threatened or endangered species would be impacted 
by the introduction of any of the nine constrictor snake species?
    (10) What species have been impacted, and how, by any of the nine 
constrictor snake species?
    (11) What provisions in the proposed rule should the Service 
consider with regard to: (a) The impact of the provision(s) (including 
any benefits and costs), if any, and (b) what alternatives, if any, the 
Service should consider, as well as the costs and benefits of those 
alternatives, paying specific attention to the effect of the rule on 
small entities?
    (12) How could the proposed rule be modified to reduce any costs or 
burdens for small entities consistent with the Service's requirements?
     (13) Why we should or should not include hybrids of the nine 
constrictor species analyzed in this rule, and if the hybrids possess 
the same biological characteristics as the parent species.

Species Information

Indian python (Python molurus, including Burmese python P. molurus 
bivittatus)

Native Range

    The species Python molurus ranges widely over southern and 
southeast Asia (Reed and Rodda 2009). Reed and Rodda (2009) state that, 
at times, the species has been divided into subspecies recognizable 
primarily by color. The most widely used common name for the entire 
species is Indian python, with P. molurus bivittatus routinely 
distinguished as the Burmese python. Because the pet trade is composed 
almost entirely of P. m. bivittatus, most popular references simply use 
Burmese python. However, hereafter, we refer to the species as Indian 
python (for the entire species), unless specifically noted as Burmese 
(to refer to the subspecies, or where information sources used that 
name).
    The subspecies, Python molurus molurus is listed as endangered in 
its native lands under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 1531, et seq.) under the common name of Indian python. P. 
molurus molurus is also listed by the Convention on International Trade 
in Threatened and Endangered Species (CITES) under Appendix I but uses 
no common name. All other subspecies in the genus Python are listed in 
CITES Appendix II. This rule as proposed would list all members of 
Python molurus as injurious.
    In its native range, the Indian python occurs in virtually every 
habitat from lowland tropical rainforest (Indonesia and Southeast Asia) 
to thorn-scrub desert (Pakistan) and grasslands (Sumbawa, India) to 
montane warm temperate forests (Nepal and China) (Reed and Rodda 2009). 
This species inhabits an extraordinary range of climates, including 
both temperate and tropical, as well as both very wet and very dry 
environments (Reed and Rodda 2009).

Biology

    The Indian python's life history is fairly representative of large 
constrictors because juveniles are relatively small when they hatch, 
but nevertheless are independent from birth, grow rapidly, and mature 
in a few years. Mature males search for mates, and the females wait for 
males to find them during the mating season, then lay eggs to repeat 
the cycle. Male Indian pythons do not need to copulate with females for 
fertilization of viable eggs. Instead, the female apparently can 
fertilize her eggs with her own genetic material, though it is not 
known how often this occurs in the wild. Several studies of captives 
reported viable eggs from females kept for many years in isolation 
(Reed and Rodda).
    In a sample of eight clutches discovered in southern Florida (one 
nest and seven gravid females), the average clutch size was 36 eggs, 
but pythons

[[Page 11812]]

have been known to lay as many as 107 eggs in one clutch. Adult females 
from recent captures in Everglades National Park have been found to be 
carrying more than 85 eggs (Harvey et al. 2008).
    The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) is one of the 
largest snakes in the world; it reaches lengths of up to 7 m (23 ft) 
and weights of over 90 kilograms (kg)(almost 200 pounds (lbs)). 
Hatchlings range in length from 50 to 80 centimeters (cm)(19 to 31 
inches (in)) and can more than double in size within the first year 
(Harvey et al. 2008). As is true with all snakes, pythons grow 
throughout their lives. Reed and Rodda (2009) cite Bowler (1977) for 
two records of Burmese pythons living more than 28 years (up to 34 
years, 2 months for one snake that was already an adult when acquired).
    Like all of the giant constrictors, Indian pythons are extremely 
cryptic in coloration. They are silent hunters that lie in wait along 
pathways used by their prey and then ambush them. They blend so well 
into their surroundings that observers have released marked snakes for 
research purposes and lost sight of them 5 feet away (Roybal, pers. 
comm. 2010).
    With only a few reported exceptions, Indian pythons eat terrestrial 
vertebrates, although they eat a wide variety of terrestrial 
vertebrates (lizards, frogs, crocodilians, snakes, birds, and mammals). 
Special attention has been paid to the large maximum size of prey taken 
from python stomachs, both in their native range and nonnative 
occurrences in the United States. The most well-known large prey items 
include alligators, antelopes, dogs, deer, jackals, goats, porcupines, 
wild boars, pangolins, bobcats, pea fowl, frigate birds, great blue 
herons, langurs, and flying foxes; a leopard has even been reported as 
prey (Reed and Rodda 2009). To accommodate the large size of prey, 
Indian pythons have the ability to grow stomach tissue quickly to 
digest a large meal (Reed and Rodda 2009).
Reticulated Python (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus)

Native Range

    Although native range boundaries are disputed, reticulated pythons 
conservatively range across much of mainland Southeast Asia (Reed and 
Rodda 2009). They are found from sea level up to more than 1,300 m 
(4,265 ft) and inhabit lowland primary and secondary tropical wet 
forests, tropical open dry forests, tropical wet montane forests, rocky 
scrublands, swamps, marshes, plantations and cultivated areas, and 
suburban and urban areas. Reticulated pythons occur primarily in areas 
with a wet tropical climate. Although they also occur in areas that are 
seasonally dry, reticulated pythons do not occur in areas that are 
continuously dry or very cold at any time (Reed and Rodda 2009).

Biology

    The reticulated python is most likely the world's longest snake 
(Reed and Rodda 2009). Adults can grow to a length of more than 8.7 m 
(28.5 ft). Like all pythons, the reticulated python is oviparous (lays 
eggs). The clutch sizes range from 8 to 124, with typical clutches of 
20 to 40 eggs. Hatchlings are at least 61 cm (2 ft) in total length 
(Reed and Rodda 2009). We have no data on life expectancy in the wild, 
but several captive specimens have lived for nearly 30 years (Reed and 
Rodda 2009).
    The size range of the prey of reticulated pythons is essentially 
the same as that of the Indian python, as far as is known (Reed and 
Rodda 2009), and has included chickens, rats, monitor lizards, civet 
cats, bats, an immature cow, various primates, deer, goats, cats, dogs, 
ducks, rabbits, tree shrews, porcupines, and many species of birds.
    A host of internal and external parasites plague wild reticulated 
pythons (Auliya 2006). The pythons in general are hosts to various 
protozoans, nematodes, ticks, and lung arthropods (Reed and Rodda 
2009). Captive reticulated pythons can carry ticks of agricultural 
significance (potential threat to domestic livestock) in Florida 
(Burridge et al. 2000, 2006; Clark and Doten 1995).
    The reticulated python can be an aggressive and dangerous species 
of giant constrictor to humans. Reed and Rodda (2009) cite numerous 
sources of people being bitten, attacked, and even killed by 
reticulated pythons in their native range.
Northern African Python (Python sebae)

Native Range

    Python sebae and Python natalensis are closely related, large-
bodied pythons of similar appearance found in sub-Saharan Africa (Reed 
and Rodda 2009). The most common English name for this species complex 
has been African rock python. After P. sebae was split from P. 
natalensis, some authors added ``Northern'' or ``Southern'' as a prefix 
to this common name. Reed and Rodda 2009 adopted Broadley's (1999) 
recommendations and refer to these snakes as the Northern and Southern 
African pythons; hereafter, we refer to them as Northern and Southern 
African pythons, or occasionally as African pythons.
    Northern African pythons range from the coasts of Kenya and 
Tanzania across much of central Africa to Mali and Mauritania, as well 
as north to Ethiopia and perhaps Eritrea; in arid zones, their range is 
apparently limited to the vicinity of permanent water (Reed and Rodda 
2009). In Nigeria, Northern African pythons are reported from suburban, 
forest, pond and stream, and swamp habitats, including extensive use of 
Nigerian mangrove habitats. In the arid northern parts of its range, 
Northern African pythons appear to be limited to wetlands, including 
the headwaters of the Nile, isolated wetlands in the Sahel of 
Mauritania and Senegal, and the Shabelle and Jubba Rivers of Somalia 
(Reed and Rodda 2009). The Northern African python inhabits regions 
with some of the highest mean monthly temperatures identified for any 
of the giant constrictors, with means of greater than 35 [deg]C (95 
[deg]F) in arid northern localities (Reed and Rodda 2009).

Biology

    Northern African pythons are primarily ambush foragers, lying in 
wait for prey in burrows, along animal trails, and in water. Northern 
African pythons are oviparous. Branch (1988) reports that an 
``average'' female of 3 to 4 m (10 to 13 ft) total length would be 
expected to lay 30 to 40 eggs, while others report an average clutch of 
46 eggs, individual clutches from 20 to ``about 100,'' and clutch size 
increasing correspondingly in relation to the body length of the female 
(Pope 1961). In captivity, Northern African pythons have lived for 27 
years (Snider and Bowler 1992). As with most of the giant constrictors, 
adult African pythons primarily eat endothermic (warm-blooded) prey 
from a wide variety of taxa. Domestic animals consumed by African 
pythons include goats, dogs, and a domestic turkey consumed by an 
individual in suburban South Florida.
Southern African Python (Python natalensis)

Native Range

    The Southern African python is found from Kenya southwest to Angola 
and south through parts of Namibia and much of eastern South Africa. 
Distributions of the species overlap somewhat, although the southern 
species tends to inhabit higher areas in regions where both species 
occur (Reed and Rodda 2009).

[[Page 11813]]

Biology

    Little is known about Southern African pythons. They are oviparous. 
As with most of the giant constrictors, adult African pythons primarily 
eat endothermic (warm-blooded) prey from a wide variety of taxa. The 
Southern African pythons consume a variety of prey types that includes 
those listed for Northern African pythons.
Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)

Native Range

    Boa constrictors range widely over North America (Mexico), Central 
America, and South America, including dozens of marine and lacustrine 
islands, and have one of the widest latitudinal distributions of any 
snake in the world. In their native range, boa constrictors inhabit 
environments from sea level to 1,000 m (3,280 ft), including wet and 
dry tropical forest, savanna, very dry thorn scrub, and cultivated 
fields. They are commonly found in or along rivers and streams because 
they are capable swimmers (Reed and Rodda 2009; Snow et al. 2007).

Biology

    The maximum length of this species is roughly 4 m (13 ft). Boa 
constrictors are ovoviviparous (bear live young after eggs hatch inside 
mother). The average clutch size is 35 eggs. Snake longevity records 
from captive-bred populations can be 38 to 40 years (Reed and Rodda 
2009).
    The boa constrictor has a broad diet, consuming prey from a wide 
variety of vertebrate taxa. Young boa constrictors will eat mice, small 
birds, lizards, and amphibians. The size of the prey item will increase 
as the snake gets older and larger. The boa constrictor is an ambush 
predator and will lie in wait for an appropriate prey to come along, at 
which point it will attack (Reed and Rodda 2009; Snow et al. 2007).
    The subspecies Boa constrictor occidentalis is listed by CITES 
under Appendix I but uses no common name. This rule as proposed would 
list all subspecies of Boa constrictor as injurious.
Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)

Native Range

    The yellow anaconda (E. notaeus) has a larger distribution in 
subtropical and temperate areas of South America than the 
DeSchauensee's anaconda and has received more scientific attention. The 
yellow anaconda appears to be restricted to swampy, seasonally flooded, 
or riverine habitats throughout its range. The yellow anaconda exhibits 
a fairly temperate climate range, including localities with cold-season 
monthly mean temperatures around 10 [deg]C (50 [deg]F) and no 
localities with monthly means exceeding 30 [deg]C (86 [deg]F) in the 
warm season (Reed and Rodda 2009).

Biology

    The yellow anaconda bears live young (ovoviviparous). The recorded 
number of yellow anaconda offspring range from 10 to 37, with a maximum 
of 56. In captivity, yellow anacondas have lived for over 20 years. 
Yellow anacondas appear to be generalist predators on a range of 
vertebrates. The anacondas in general exhibit among the broadest diet 
range of any snake, including ectotherms (lizards, crocodilians, 
turtles, snakes, fish) and endotherms (birds, mammals), and yellow 
anacondas have typical diets.
DeSchauensee's Anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei)

Native Range

    This species has a much smaller range than does the yellow anaconda 
and is largely confined to the Brazilian island of Marajo, nearby areas 
around the mouth of the Amazon River, and several drainages in French 
Guiana. DeSchauensee's anaconda is known from a small number of 
specimens and has a limited range in northeast South America. Although 
not well studied, DeSchauensee's anaconda apparently prefers swampy 
habitats that may be seasonally flooded. DeSchauensee's anaconda is 
known from only a few localities in northeast South America, and its 
known climate range is accordingly very small. While the occupied range 
exhibits moderate variation in precipitation across the year, annual 
temperatures tend to range between 25 \o\C (77 \o\F) and 30 \o\C (86 
\o\F). Whether the species could tolerate greater climatic variation is 
unknown.

Biology

    DeSchauensee's anaconda appears to be the smallest of the 
anacondas, although the extremely limited number of available specimens 
does not allow unequivocal determination of maximal body sizes. Dirksen 
and Henderson (2002) record a maximum total length of available 
specimens as 1.92 m (6.3 (ft)) in males and 3.0 m (9.8 (ft)) in 
females. The DeSchauensee's anaconda is live-bearing. In captivity, 
DeSchauensee's anacondas have been reported to live for 17 years, 11 
months (Snider and Bowler 1992). Clutch sizes of DeSchauensee's 
anacondas ranged from 3 to 27 (mean 10.6  9.6) in a sample 
of five museum specimens (Pizzatto and Marques 2007), a range far 
greater than reported in some general works (for example, 3-7 
offspring; Walls, 1998).
    DeSchauensee's anaconda is reported to consume mammals, fish, and 
birds, and its overall diet is assumed to be similar to that of the 
yellow anaconda (Reed and Rodda 2009).
Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

Native Range

    The native range of green anaconda includes aquatic habitats in 
much of South America below 850 m (2,789 ft) elevation plus the insular 
population on Trinidad, encompassing the Amazon and Orinoco Basins; 
major Guianan rivers; the San Francisco, Parana, and Paraguay Rivers in 
Brazil; and extending south as far as the Tropic of Capricorn in 
northeast Paraguay. The range of green anaconda is largely defined by 
availability of aquatic habitats. Depending on location within the wide 
distribution of the species, these appear to include deep, shallow, 
turbid, and clear waters, and both lacustrine and riverine habitats 
(Reed and Rodda 2009).

Biology

    Reed and Rodda (2009) describe the green anaconda as truly a giant 
snake, with fairly reliable records of lengths over 7 m (23 ft) and 
having a very stout body. Very large anacondas are almost certainly the 
heaviest snakes in the world, ranging up to 200 kg (441 lbs) 
(Bisplinghof and Bellosa 2007), even though reticulated pythons, for 
example, may attain greater lengths.
    The green anaconda bears live young. The maximum recorded litter 
size is 82, removed from a Brazilian specimen, but the typical range is 
28 to 42 young. Neonates (newly born young) are around 70 to 80 cm 
(27.5 to 31.5 in) long and receive no parental care. Because of their 
small size, they often fall prey to other animals. If they survive, 
they grow rapidly until they reach sexual maturity in their first few 
years (Reed and Rodda 2009). While reproduction is typically sexual, 
Reed and Rodda (2009) report that a captive, female green anaconda that 
was 5 years old in 1976 and that had no access to males gave birth in 
2002 to 23 females. This raises the possibility that green anacondas 
are facultatively parthenogenic, and that, theoretically, a single 
female green anaconda could establish a population.
    The green anaconda is considered a top predator in South American 
ecosystems. Small anacondas appear to primarily consume birds, and as 
they mature, they undergo an ontogenetic prey shift to large mammals 
and

[[Page 11814]]

reptiles. The regular inclusion of fish in the diet of the anacondas 
(including other members of the genus Eunectes) increases their dietary 
niche breadth in relation to the other giant constrictors, which rarely 
consume fish. Green anacondas consume a wide variety of endotherms and 
ectotherms from higher taxa, including such large prey as deer and 
crocodilians (alligators are a type of crocodilian). The regular 
inclusion of fish, turtles, and other aquatic organisms in their diet 
increases their range of prey even beyond that of reticulated or Indian 
pythons. Organisms that regularly come in contact with aquatic habitats 
are likely to be most commonly consumed by green anacondas (Reed and 
Rodda 2009). Green anacondas would have a ready food supply anywhere 
that the climate and habitat matched their native range. Since green 
anacondas are known to prey upon crocodilians, they could potentially 
thrive on alligators, which are common in the southeastern United 
States.
Beni Anaconda (Eunectes beniensis)

Native Range

    The Beni anaconda is a recently described and poorly known anaconda 
closely related to the green anaconda (Reed and Rodda 2009). The native 
range of the Beni anaconda is the Itenez/Guapore River in Bolivia along 
the border with Brazil, as well as the Baures River drainage in 
Bolivia. The green and Beni anacondas are similar in size and the range 
of the Beni anaconda is within the range of the green anaconda 
(Bolivia).

Biology

    Eunectes beniensis is a recently described species from northern 
Bolivia, previously considered to be contained within E. murinus. 
Eunectes beniensis was discovered in the Beni Province, Bolivia--thus 
the labeled name of Beni anaconda and another alias of Bolivian 
anaconda. Based on morphological and molecular genetic evidence, E. 
beniensis is more closely related to E. notaeus and E. deschauenseei 
than to E. murinus. The phylogenetic relationships within Eunectes are 
currently best described as: E. murinus [E. beniensis (E. 
deschauenseei, E. notaeus)]. To an experienced herpetologist, E. 
beniensis is easily recognizable by its brown to olive-brownish ground 
color in combination with five head stripes and less than 100 large, 
dark, solid dorsal blotches that always lack lighter centers. To a 
novice, E. beniensis and E. murinus are similar in appearance. The 
primarily nocturnal anaconda species tends to spend most of its life in 
or around water.

Summary of the Presence of the Nine Constrictor Snakes in the United 
States

    Of the nine constrictor snake species that are proposed for listing 
as injurious, six have been reported in the wild in the United States 
and two have been confirmed as reproducing in the wild in the United 
States; six have been imported commercially into the United States 
during the period 1999 to 2008 (Table 1).

   Table 1. The species of nine snakes proposed for listing as injurious that have been reported in the United
            States, are known to be breeding in the United States, and have been imported for trade.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Reported in the wild in  Reproducing in the wild   Imported into U.S. for
               Species                          U.S.?                   in U.S.?                 trade?*
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Indian (or Burmese) python             Yes                      Yes                      Yes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reticulated python                     Yes                      No                       Yes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northern African python                Yes                      Possible                 Yes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Southern African python                No                       No                       Unknown**
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boa constrictor                        Yes                      Yes                      Yes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellow anaconda                        Yes                      No                       Yes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DeSchauensee's anaconda                No                       No                       Unknown**
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Green anaconda                         Yes                      No                       Yes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Beni anaconda                          No                       No                       Unknown**
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Data from Draft Economic Analysis (USFWS 2010)
** It is possible that this species has been imported into the U.S. incorrectly identified as one of the other
  species under consideration in this rule.

Lacey Act Evaluation Criteria

    We use the criteria below to evaluate whether a species does or 
does not qualify as injurious under the Lacey Act, 18 U.S.C. 42. The 
analysis that is developed using these criteria serves as a general 
basis for the Service's regulatory decision regarding injurious 
wildlife species listings (not just for the nine proposed snake 
species). Biologists within the Service who are knowledgeable about a 
species being evaluated will assess both the factors that contribute to 
and the factors that reduce the likelihood of injuriousness.
    (1) Factors that contribute to being considered injurious:
     The likelihood of release or escape;
     Potential to survive, become established, and spread;
     Impacts on wildlife resources or ecosystems through 
hybridization and competition for food and habitats, habitat 
degradation and destruction, predation, and pathogen transfer;
     Impact to threatened and endangered species and their 
habitats;
     Impacts to human beings, forestry, horticulture, and 
agriculture; and
     Wildlife or habitat damages that may occur from control 
measures.
    (2) Factors that reduce the likelihood of the species being 
considered as injurious:
     Ability to prevent escape and establishment;
     Potential to eradicate or manage established populations 
(for example, making organisms sterile);
     Ability to rehabilitate disturbed ecosystems;
     Ability to prevent or control the spread of pathogens or 
parasites; and
     Any potential ecological benefits to

[[Page 11815]]

introduction.
    To obtain some of the information for the above criteria, we used 
Reed and Rodda (2009). Reed and Rodda (2009) developed the Organism 
Risk Potential scores for each species using a widely utilized risk 
assessment procedure that was published by the Aquatic Nuisance Species 
Task Force (ANSTF 1996). This procedure incorporates four factors 
associated with probability of establishment and three factors 
associated with consequences of establishment, with the combination of 
these factors resulting in an overall Organism Risk Potential (ORP) for 
each species. For the nine constrictor snakes under consideration, the 
risk of establishment ranged from medium (reticulated python, 
DeSchauensee's anaconda, green anaconda, and Beni anaconda) to high 
(Indian python, Northern African python, Southern African python, boa 
constrictor, and yellow anaconda).
    For the nine constrictor snakes under consideration, the 
consequences of establishment range from low (DeSchauensee's anaconda 
and Beni anaconda) to medium (reticulated python, yellow anaconda, and 
green anaconda) to high (Indian python, Northern African python, 
Southern African python, and boa constrictor). The overall ORP, which 
is derived from an algorithm of both probability of establishment and 
consequences of establishment, was found to range from medium 
(reticulated python, green anaconda, DeSchauensee's anaconda, and Beni 
anaconda) to high (Indian python, Northern African python, Southern 
African python, boa constrictor, yellow anaconda).
    Certainties were highly variable within each of the seven elements 
of the risk assessment, varying from very uncertain to very certain. In 
general, the highest certainties were associated with those species 
unequivocally established in Florida (Indian python and boa 
constrictor) because of enhanced ecological information on these 
species from studies in both their native range and in Florida. The way 
in which these sub-scores are obtained and combined is set forth in an 
algorithm created by the ANSTF (Table 2).

   Table 2. The algorithm that the ANSTF defined for combining the two
                primary sub-scores (Reed and Rodda 2009)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Consequences of      Organism Risk
  Probability of  Establishment      Establishment      Potential (ORP)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High                              High                High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium                            High                High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Low                               High                Medium
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High                              Medium              High
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium                            Medium              Medium
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Low                               Medium              Medium
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High                              Low                 Medium
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medium                            Low                 Medium
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Low                               Low                 Low
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similar algorithms are used for deriving the primary sub-scores 
from the secondary sub-scores. However, the scores are fundamentally 
qualitative, in the sense that there is no unequivocal threshold that 
is given in advance to determine when a given risk passes from being 
low to medium, and so forth. Therefore, we viewed the process as one of 
providing relative ranks for each species. Thus a high ORP score 
indicates that such a species would likely entail greater consequences 
or greater probability of establishment than would a species whose ORP 
was medium or low (that is, high > medium > low). High-risk species are 
Indian pythons, Northern and Southern African pythons, boa 
constrictors, and yellow anacondas. High-risk species, if established 
in this country, put larger portions of the U.S. mainland at risk, 
constitute a greater ecological threat, or are more common in trade and 
commerce. Medium-risk species were reticulated python, DeSchauensee's 
anaconda, green anaconda, and Beni anaconda. These species constitute 
lesser threats in these areas, but still are potentially serious 
threats. Because all nine species share characteristics associated with 
greater risks, none was found to be a low risk.
    For the purposes of this proposed rule, a hybrid is any progeny 
from any cross involving parents of these nine constrictor snake 
species. Such progeny are likely to possess the same biological 
characteristics of the parent species that, through our analysis, leads 
us to find that they are injurious to humans and to wildlife and 
wildlife resources of the United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Indian Python

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    The Indian python has been reported as captured in many areas in 
Florida (see Figure 4 in the draft environmental assessment). In South 
Florida, more than 1,300 live and dead Burmese pythons, including 
gravid females, have been removed from in and around Everglades 
National Park in the last 10 years by authorized agents, park staff, 
and park partners, indicating that they are already established 
(National Park Service 2010). In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
Indian python has been collected or reported (eight individuals 
collected, including a 3-m (10-ft) albino) from the municipality of 
Adjuntas, the northern region of the island (Arecibo), and the eastern 
region of the island (Humacao) (Saliva, pers. comm. 2009).

Potential Introduction and Spread

    The likelihood of release or escape from captivity of Indian python 
is high as evidenced by the releases and effects of those releases in 
Florida and Puerto Rico. When Indian pythons escape captivity or are 
released into the wild,

[[Page 11816]]

they have survived and are likely to continue to survive and become 
established with or without reproduction. For example, in the past 10 
years, more than 1,300 Burmese pythons have been removed from 
Everglades National Park and vicinity (National Park Service 2010) 
alone and others have been captured from other natural areas on the 
west side of South Florida, the Florida Keys (Higgins, pers. comm. 
2009), and farther up the peninsula, including Sarasota and Indian 
River County (Lowman, pers. comm. 2009; Dangerfield, pers. comm. 2010). 
Moreover, released Indian pythons would likely spread to areas of the 
United States with a suitable climate. These areas were determined in 
the risk assessment (Reed and Rodda 2009) for all nine constrictor 
snakes by comparing the type of climate the species inhabited in their 
native ranges to areas of similar climate in the United States (climate 
matching). Due to the wide rainfall tolerance and extensive semi-
temperate range of Indian python, large areas of the southern United 
States mainland appear to have a climate suitable for survival of this 
species. Areas of the United States that are climatically matched at 
present include along the coasts and across the south from Delaware to 
Oregon, as well as most of California, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South and North 
Carolina. In addition to these areas of the U.S. mainland, the 
territories of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Virgin 
Islands, and Puerto Rico appear to have suitable climate. Areas of the 
State of Hawaii with elevations under about 2,500 m (8,202 ft) would 
also appear to be climatically suitable. Indian pythons are highly 
likely to spread and become established in the wild due to common 
traits shared by the giant constrictors, including large size, habitat 
generalist, tolerance of urbanization, high reproductive potential, 
long distance disperser, early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and 
``sit and wait'' style of predation.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    As discussed above under Biology, the Indian python grows to 
lengths greater than 7 m (23 ft) and can weigh up to 90 kg (200 lbs). 
This is longer than any native terrestrial predator (including bears) 
in the United States and its territories and heavier than most native 
predators (including many bears). American black bears (Ursus 
americanus) vary in size depending on sex, food availability and 
quality, and other factors. Male black bears can grow to more than six 
feet long and weigh up to 295 kg (650 lbs); females rarely reach that 
length and do not weigh more than 79 kg (175 lbs) (Smithsonian 
Institution 2010). Among the largest of the native predators of the 
Southeast is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). The 
average length for an adult female American alligator is 2.6 m (8.2 
ft), and the average length for a male is 3.4 m (11.2 ft) (Smithsonian 
Institution 2010).
    In comparison with the Indian python, the largest snake native to 
North America is the indigo snake (Drymarchon corais), attaining a size 
of about 2.5 m (8 ft) (Monroe and Monroe 1968). A subspecies of the 
indigo snake is the eastern indigo snake (D. corais couperi), which 
grows to a similar maximum length. The eastern indigo snake inhabits 
Georgia and Florida and is listed as federally threatened by the 
Service.
    Unlike prey species in the Indian python's native range, none of 
our native species has evolved defenses to avoid predation by such a 
large snake. Thus, naive native wildlife anywhere in the United States 
would be very likely to fall prey to Indian pythons (or any of the 
other eight constrictor snakes). At all life stages, Indian pythons can 
and will compete for food with native species; in other words, baby 
pythons will eat small prey, and the size of their prey will increase 
as they grow. Based on an analysis of their diets in Florida, Indian 
pythons, once introduced and established, are likely to outcompete 
native predators (such as the federally listed Florida panther, eastern 
indigo snake, native boas, hawks), feeding on the same prey and thereby 
reducing the supply of prey for the native predators. Indian pythons 
are generalist predators that consume a wide variety of mammal and bird 
species, as well as reptiles, amphibians, and occasionally fish. This 
constrictor can easily adapt to prey on novel wildlife (species that 
they are not familiar with), and they need no special adaptations to 
capture and consume them. Pythons in Florida have consumed prey as 
large as white-tailed deer and adult American alligators. Three 
federally endangered Key Largo woodrats (Neotoma floridana smalli) were 
consumed by a Burmese python in the Florida Keys in 2007. The extremely 
small number of remaining Key Largo woodrats suggests that the current 
status of the species is precarious (USFWS 2008); this means that a new 
predator that has been confirmed to prey on the endangered woodrats is 
a serious threat to the continued existence of the species.
    The United States, particularly the Southeast, has one of the most 
diverse faunal communities that are potentially vulnerable to predation 
by the Indian python. Juveniles of these giant constrictors will climb 
to remove prey from bird nests and capture perching or sleeping birds. 
Most of the South has suitable climate and habitat for Indian pythons. 
The greatest biological impact of an introduced predator, such as the 
Indian python, is the likely loss of imperiled native species. Based on 
the food habits and habitat preferences of the Indian python in its 
native range, the species is likely to invade the habitat, prey on, and 
further threaten most of the federally threatened or endangered fauna 
in climate-suitable areas of the United States. Indian pythons are also 
likely to threaten numerous other potential candidates for Federal 
protection. Candidate species are plants and animals for which the 
Service has sufficient information on their biological status and 
threats to propose them as endangered or threatened under the 
Endangered Species Act, but for which development of a proposed listing 
regulation is precluded by other higher priority listing activities. 
For example, the current candidate list includes several bat species 
that inhabit the Indian python's climate-matched regions.
    The draft environmental assessment includes lists of species that 
are federally threatened or endangered in climate-suitable States and 
territories, such as Florida, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin 
Islands. These lists include only the species of the sizes and types 
that would be expected to be directly affected by predation by Indian 
pythons and the other eight large constrictors. For example, plants and 
marine species are excluded. In Florida, 14 bird species, 15 mammals, 
and 2 reptiles that are threatened or endangered could be preyed upon 
by Indian pythons or be outcompeted by them for prey. Hawaii has 32 
bird species and one mammal that are threatened or endangered that 
would be at risk of predation. Puerto Rico has eight bird species and 
eight reptile species that are threatened or endangered that would be 
at risk of predation. The Virgin Islands have one bird species and 
three reptiles that are threatened or endangered that would be at risk 
of predation. Guam has six bird species and two mammals that are 
threatened or endangered that would be at risk of predation.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009),

[[Page 11817]]

threatened and endangered species from all of Florida, most of Hawaii, 
and all of Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment of 
Indian pythons. While we did not itemize the federally threatened and 
endangered species from California, Texas, and other States, there are 
likely several hundred species in those and other States that would be 
at risk from Indian pythons. In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, and other territories would have suitable habitat and 
climate to support Indian pythons, and these also have federally 
threatened and endangered species that would be at risk if Indian 
pythons became established.
    The likelihood and magnitude of the effect on threatened and 
endangered species is high. Indian pythons are thus highly likely to 
negatively affect threatened and endangered birds and mammals, as well 
as unlisted native species.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of Indian pythons may have 
negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native wildlife 
biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect the 
aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.
    Human fatalities from nonvenomous snakes in the wild are rare, 
probably only a few per year worldwide (Reed and Rodda 2009). However, 
although attacks on people by Indian pythons are improbable, they are 
possible given the large size that some individual snakes can reach.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Indian Python

Control

    No effective tools are currently available to detect and remove 
established large constrictor populations. Traps with drift fences or 
barriers are the best option, but their use on a large scale is 
prohibitively expensive, largely because of the labor cost of baiting, 
checking, and maintaining the traps daily. Additionally, some areas 
cannot be effectively trapped due to the expanse of the area and type 
of terrain, the distribution of the target species, and the effects on 
any nontarget species. While the Department of the Interior, the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service (APHIS), and State of Florida entities have conducted limited 
research on control tools, there are currently no such tools available 
that would appear adequate for eradication of an established population 
of large constrictor snakes, such as the Indian python, once they have 
spread over a large area.
    Efforts to eradicate the Indian python in Florida have become 
increasingly intense as the species is reported in new locations across 
the State. Natural resource management agencies are expending already-
scarce resources to devise methods to capture or otherwise control any 
large constrictor snake species. These agencies recognize that control 
of large constrictor snakes (as major predators) on lands that they 
manage is necessary to prevent the likely adverse impacts to the 
ecosystems occupied by the invasive snakes.
    The draft economic analysis for the nine constrictor snakes (USFWS 
January 2010), provides the following information about the 
expenditures for research and eradication in Florida, primarily for 
Indian pythons, which provides some indication of the efforts to date. 
The Service spent about $600,000 over a 3-year period (2007 to 2009) on 
python trap design, deployment, and education in the Florida Keys to 
prevent the potential extinction of the endangered Key Largo woodrat at 
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The South Florida Water 
Management District spent $334,000 between 2005 and 2009 and 
anticipates spending an additional $156,600 on research, salaries, and 
vehicles in the next several years. An additional $300,000 will go for 
the assistance of USDA, Wildlife Services (part of USDA Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service). The USDA Wildlife Research Center 
(Gainesville FL Field Station) has spent $15,800 from 2008 to 2009 on 
salaries, travel, and supplies. The USGS, in conjunction with the 
University of Florida, has spent over $1.5 million on research, radio 
telemetry, and the development, testing, and implementation of 
constrictor snake traps. All these expenditures total $2.9 million from 
2005 to approximately 2012, or roughly an average of $363,000 per year. 
However, all of these efforts have failed to provide a method for 
eradicating large constrictor snakes in Florida.
    Kraus (2009) exhaustively reviewed the literature on invasive 
herpetofauna. While he found a few examples of local populations of 
amphibians that had been successfully eradicated, he found no such 
examples for reptiles. He also states that, ``Should an invasive 
[nonnative] species be allowed to spread widely, it is usually 
impossible--or at best very expensive - to eradicate it.'' The Indian 
python is unlikely to be one of those species that could be eradicated.
    Eradication will almost certainly be unachievable for a species 
that is hard to detect and remove at low densities, which is the case 
with all of the nine large constrictor snakes. They are well-
camouflaged and stealthy, and, therefore, nearly impossible to see in 
the wild. Most of the protective measures available to prevent the 
escape of Indian pythons are currently (and expected to remain) cost-
prohibitive and labor-intensive. Even with protective measures in 
place, the risks of accidental escape are not likely to be eliminated. 
Since effective measures to prevent the establishment in new locations 
or eradicate, manage, or control the spread of established populations 
of the Indian python are not currently available, the ability to 
rehabilitate or recover ecosystems disturbed by the species is low.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits for the introduction of Indian pythons into the 
United States.

Conclusion

    The Indian python is one of the largest snakes in the world, 
reaching lengths of up to 7 m (23 ft) and weights of over 90 kilograms 
(kg)(almost 200 pounds (lbs)). This is longer than any native, 
terrestrial animal in the United States, including alligators, and 
three times longer than the longest native snake species. Native fauna 
have no experience defending against this type of novel, giant 
predator. Hatchlings are about the size of average adult native snakes 
and can more than double in size within the first year. In addition, 
Indian pythons reportedly can fertilize their own eggs and have viable 
eggs after several years in isolation. Even one female Indian python 
that escapes captivity could produce dozens of large young at one time 
(average clutch size is 36, with a known clutch of 107). Furthermore, 
an individual is likely to live for 20 to 30 years. Even a single 
python in a small area, such as one of the Florida Keys or insular 
islands, can

[[Page 11818]]

devastate the population of a federally threatened or endangered 
species. There are currently no effective control methods for Indian 
pythons, nor are any anticipated in the near future.
    Therefore, because Indian pythons have already established 
populations in some areas of the United States; are likely to spread 
from their current established range to new natural areas in the United 
States; are likely to become established in disjunct areas of the 
United States with suitable climate and habitat if released there; are 
likely to prey on and compete with native species (including threatened 
and endangered species); and it would be difficult to eradicate or 
reduce large populations or to recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the Indian python to be injurious to humans 
and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Reticulated Python

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    In Florida, two known instances of reticulated python removals have 
been documented in Vero Beach and Sebastian, Florida. A 5.5 m (18 ft) 
reticulated python was struck by a person mowing along a canal on 
58\th\ Avenue in Vero Beach in 2007, and a reticulated python was 
removed along Roseland Road in Sebastian, Florida (Dangerfield, pers. 
comm. 2010). In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, reticulated pythons 
have been collected in the western region of the island (Aguadilla and 
Mayaguez), and the southern region of the island (Guayama), including a 
5.5-m (18-ft) long specimen.

Potential Introduction and Spread

    The likelihood of release or escape from captivity of reticulated 
python is high. Reticulated pythons (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python 
reticulatus) have escaped or been released into the wild in Florida and 
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Reticulated pythons are highly likely 
to survive in natural ecosystems (primarily extreme southern habitats) 
of the United States. Reticulated pythons have a more tropical 
distribution than Indian pythons. Accordingly, the area of the mainland 
United States showing a climate match is smaller, exclusively 
subtropical, and limited to southern Florida and extreme southern 
Texas. Low and mid-elevation sites in the United States' tropical 
territories (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Virgin 
Islands, Puerto Rico) and Hawaii also appear to be climate-matched to 
the requirements of reticulated pythons. If they escape or are 
intentionally released, they are likely to survive and become 
established within their respective thermal and precipitation limits. 
Reticulated pythons are highly likely to spread and become established 
in the wild due to common traits shared by the giant constrictors, 
including large size, habitat generalist, tolerance of urbanization, 
sit-and-wait style of predation, high reproductive potential, long-
distance disperser, rapid growth, longevity, early maturation, and a 
generalist predator.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Reticulated pythons (Broghammerus reticulatus or Python 
reticulatus) are highly likely to prey on native species, including 
threatened and endangered species. Their natural diet includes mammals 
and birds. An adverse effect of reticulated python on select threatened 
and endangered species is likely to be moderate to high.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
reticulated pythons would have on native species. These impacts are 
applicable to reticulated pythons by comparing their prey type with the 
suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those areas; 
suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in the draft 
environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Florida, southern 
Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment 
of reticulated pythons. In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, and other territories would have suitable habitat and 
climate to support reticulated pythons, and these also have federally 
threatened and endangered species that would be at risk if reticulated 
pythons became established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    Like all pythons, reticulated pythons are nonvenomous. Captive 
reticulated pythons can carry ticks of agricultural significance 
(potential threat to domestic livestock) in Florida (Burridge et al. 
2000, 2006; Clark and Doten 1995). The reticulated python can be an 
aggressive and dangerous species of giant constrictor to humans. Reed 
and Rodda (2009) cite numerous sources of people being bitten, 
attacked, and even killed by reticulated pythons in their native range.
    The introduction or establishment of reticulated pythons may have 
negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native wildlife 
biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect the 
aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Reticulated Python

Control

    Eradication, management, or control of the spread of reticulated 
python will be highly unlikely once the species is established. Please 
see the Control section for the Indian python for reasons why the 
reticulated python is difficult to control, all of which apply to this 
species.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of reticulated pythons.

Conclusion

    The reticulated python can grow to a length of more that 8.7 m 
(28.5 ft); this is longer than any native, terrestrial animal in the 
United States. Native fauna have no experience defending against this 
type of novel, giant predator. Several captive reticulated pythons have 
lived for nearly 30 years. The reticulated python can be an aggressive 
and dangerous species to humans. Therefore, even one escaped individual 
can cause injury to wildlife and possibly humans for several decades. 
Captive reticulated pythons can carry ticks of agricultural 
significance (potential threat to domestic livestock) in Florida.
    Because reticulated pythons are likely to escape captivity or be 
released into the wild if imported to areas of the United States that 
have suitable climate and habitat and do not currently contain the 
species; are likely to survive, become established, and spread if

[[Page 11819]]

escaped or released; are likely to prey on and compete with native 
species for food and habitat (including threatened and endangered 
species); are likely to be disease vectors for livestock; and because 
they would be difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large 
populations; control spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds reticulated python to be 
injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Northern African Python

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    Several Northern African pythons have been found in Florida and 
elsewhere in the United States--most of these are assumed to be escaped 
or released pets (Reed and Rodda 2009). From 2005 to 2009, adults and 
hatchlings have been captured, confirming the presence of a population 
of Northern African pythons along the western border of Miami, adjacent 
to the Everglades. From May 2009 to January 2010, four specimens were 
found by herpetologists and the Miami-Dade County Anti-Venom Response 
Unit, including hatchlings and adults collected from an area of about 2 
kilometers (1.6 miles) in diameter known as the Bird Drive Recharge 
Basin (Miami-Dade County). Dr. Kenneth Krysko, Senior Biological 
Scientist, Division of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, 
University of Florida, is preparing a summary of recent collections and 
observations of the Northern African Python from the Bird Drive 
Recharge Basin in Miami-Dade County. One Northern African python has 
also been collected on State Road 72 approximately 6.43 km (4 mi) east 
of Myakka River State Park, Sarasota County, Florida.
    In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, African pythons have been found 
in the western region of the island (Mayaguez), the San Juan metro 
area, and the southern region of the island (Guayama).

Potential Introduction and Spread

    Northern African pythons have escaped captivity or been released 
into the wild in Florida and Puerto Rico and are likely to continue to 
escape and be released into the wild.. Based on Reed and Rodda (2009), 
extrapolation of climate from the native range and mapped to the United 
States for Northern African pythons exhibit a climate match that 
includes a large portion of peninsular Florida, extreme south Texas, 
and parts of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Northern African pythons are 
highly likely to spread and become established in the wild due to 
common traits shared by the giant constrictors, including large size, 
habitat generalist, tolerance of urbanization, high reproductive 
potential, long distance disperser, early maturation, rapid growth, 
longevity, and a generalist sit-and-wait style of predation.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Northern African pythons are highly likely to prey on native 
species, including threatened and endangered species. As with most of 
the giant constrictors, adult African pythons primarily eat endothermic 
prey from a wide variety of taxa. Adverse effects of Northern African 
pythons on selected threatened and endangered species are likely to be 
moderate to high.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
Northern African pythons would have on native species. These impacts 
are applicable to Northern African pythons by comparing their prey type 
with the suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those 
areas; suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in 
the draft environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Florida, most of 
Hawaii, and all of Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment 
of Northern African pythons. In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, and other territories would have suitable habitat and 
climate to support Northern African pythons, and these also have 
federally threatened and endangered species that would be at risk if 
Northern African pythons became established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of Northern African pythons may 
have negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native 
wildlife biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect 
the aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.
    African pythons (both wild and captive-bred) are noted for their 
bad temperament and readiness to bite if harassed by people. Although 
African pythons can easily kill an adult person, attacks on humans are 
uncommon (Reed and Rodda 2009).

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Northern African Python

Control

    As with the other giant constrictors, prevention, eradication, 
management, or control of the spread of Northern African pythons will 
be highly unlikely. Please see the Control section for the Indian 
python for reasons why the Northern African pythons would be difficult 
to control, all of which apply to this large constrictor.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of Northern African pythons.

Conclusion

    Northern African pythons are long-lived (some have lived in 
captivity for 27 years). The species feeds primarily on warm-blooded 
prey (mammals and birds). Northern African pythons have been found to 
be reproducing in Florida. Therefore, they pose a risk to native 
wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. African pythons 
(both wild and captive-bred) are noted for their bad temperament and 
have reportedly also attacked humans.
    Because Northern African pythons are likely to escape or be 
released into the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to 
spread from their current established range to new natural areas in the 
United States; are likely to prey on native species (including 
threatened and endangered species); and because it would be difficult 
to eradicate or reduce large populations, or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds the Northern African python 
to be injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.

[[Page 11820]]

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness of the Southern African Python

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    Occurrences of the Southern African python in the United States are 
unknown.

Potential Introduction and Spread

    Southern African pythons are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported into the United States. The Southern African 
python climate match extends slightly farther to the north in Florida 
than the Northern African python and also includes portions of Texas 
from the Big Bend region to the southeasternmost extent of the State. 
If Southern African pythons escape or are intentionally released, they 
are likely to survive or become established within their respective 
thermal and precipitation limits. Southern African pythons are highly 
likely to spread and become established in the wild due to common 
traits shared by the giant constrictors, including large size, habitat 
generalist, tolerance of urbanization, high reproductive potential, 
long distance disperser, early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and 
a generalist sit-and-wait style of predation.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Southern African pythons are highly likely to prey on native 
species, including threatened and endangered species. As with most of 
the giant constrictors, adult African pythons primarily eat endothermic 
prey from a wide variety of taxa. Adverse effects of Southern African 
pythons on selected threatened and endangered species are likely to be 
moderate to high.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
Southern African pythons would have on native species. These impacts 
are applicable to Southern African pythons by comparing their prey type 
with the suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those 
areas; suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in 
the draft environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Florida, Texas, Hawaii, 
and Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment of Southern 
African pythons. In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, and other territories would have suitable habitat and climate 
to support Southern African pythons, and these also have federally 
threatened and endangered species that would be at risk if Southern 
African pythons became established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of Southern African pythons may 
have negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native 
wildlife biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect 
the aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.
    African pythons (both wild and captive-bred) are noted for their 
bad temperament and readiness to bite if harassed by people. Although 
African pythons can easily kill an adult person, attacks on humans are 
uncommon (Reed and Rodda 2009).

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Southern African Python

Control

    As with the other giant constrictors, prevention, eradication, 
management, or control of the spread of Southern African pythons will 
be highly unlikely. Please see the Control section for the Indian 
python for reasons why the Southern African pythons would be difficult 
to control, all of which apply to these large constrictors.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of Southern African pythons.

Conclusion

    Southern African pythons are long-lived. This species feeds 
primarily on warm-blooded prey (mammals and birds). Therefore, they 
pose a risk to native wildlife, including threatened and endangered 
species. Their climate match extends slightly farther to the north in 
Florida than the Northern African python and also includes portions of 
Texas from the Big Bend region to the southeasternmost extent of the 
State. Because Southern African pythons are likely to escape or be 
released into the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to 
survive, become established, and spread if escaped or released; are 
likely to prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat 
(including threatened and endangered species); and because it would be 
difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; control 
spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the Southern African python to be injurious 
to humans and to the wildlife and wildlife resources of the United 
States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Boa Constrictor

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    At the 180-hectare (444-acre) Deering Estate in Cutler, Florida (a 
preserve at the edge of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County), boa 
constrictors are found in multiple habitats, including tropical 
hardwood hammocks, dirt roads and trails, landscaped areas, and pine 
rocklands. In addition, 15 boa constrictors have been removed in Indian 
River County, Florida, by animal damage control officers (Dangerfield, 
pers. comm. 2010).
    In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, approximately 100 boa 
constrictors have been collected or reported in the wild throughout the 
island, but primarily on the west side of the island (particularly 
Mayaguez). The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental 
Resources believes that this species is frequently breeding on the 
island (Saliva, pers. comm. 2009)

Potential Introduction and Spread

    Boa constrictors (Boa constrictor) have escaped captivity or been 
released into the wild in Florida and Puerto Rico (Snow et al. 2007; 
Reed and Rodda 2009), and, therefore, the likelihood of release or 
escape from captivity is high. Boa constrictors are highly likely to 
survive in natural ecosystems of the United States. The suitable 
climate match area with the boa constrictor's native range (excluding 
the Argentine boa B. c. occidentalis) includes peninsular Florida south 
of approximately Orlando and extreme south Texas, as well as parts of 
Hawaii and Puerto Rico (Reed and Rodda 2009). As discussed above, 
nonnative occurrences in the United States already include South 
Florida and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. If boa constrictors escape 
or are intentionally

[[Page 11821]]

released, they are likely to survive or become established within their 
respective thermal and precipitation limits. Boa constrictors are 
highly likely to spread and become established in the wild due to 
common traits shared by the giant constrictors, including large size, 
habitat generalist, tolerance of urbanization, high reproductive 
potential, long distance disperser, early maturation, rapid growth, 
longevity, and a generalist sit-and-wait style of predation.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Boa constrictors are highly likely to prey on native species, 
including threatened and endangered species. As with most of the giant 
constrictors, adult boa constrictors primarily eat endothermic prey 
from a wide variety of taxa. Boa constrictors are ambush predators, and 
as such will often lie in wait to attack appropriate prey. A sample of 
47 boas from an introduced population on Aruba contained 52 prey items, 
of which 40 percent were birds, 35 percent were lizards, and 25 percent 
were mammals (Quick et al. 2005). Potential prey at the Deering Estate 
at Cutler (Miami-Dade County) includes about 160 species of native 
resident or migratory bird species, a variety of small and medium-sized 
mammalian species, and native and exotic lizard species (Snow et al. 
2007). They have also been known to actively hunt, particularly in 
regions with a low concentration of suitable prey, and this behavior 
generally occurs at night. Adverse effects of boa constrictors on 
threatened and endangered species is likely to be moderate to high.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
boa constrictors would have on native species. These impacts are 
applicable to boa constrictors by comparing their prey type with the 
suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those areas; 
suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in the draft 
environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Florida, Texas, New 
Mexico, Arizona, California, and Hawaii, and all of Puerto Rico would 
be at risk from the establishment of boa constrictors. In addition, we 
assume that Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other territories would 
have suitable habitat and climate to support boa constrictors, and 
these also have federally threatened and endangered species that would 
be at risk if boa constrictors became established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of boa constrictors may have 
negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native wildlife 
biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect the 
aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Boa Constrictor

Control

    Prevention, eradication, management, or control of the spread of 
boa constrictors once established will be highly unlikely. Please see 
the ``Control'' section for the Indian python for reasons why the boa 
constrictor would be difficult to control, all of which apply to this 
large constrictor.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of boa constrictors.

Conclusion

    Boa constrictors have one of the widest latitudinal distributions 
of any snake in the world. In their native range, boa constrictors 
inhabit environments from sea level to 1,000 m (3,280 ft), including 
wet and dry tropical forest, savanna, very dry thorn scrub, and 
cultivated fields. Nonnative occurrences in the United States include 
South Florida and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Boa constrictors are 
the most commonly imported of the nine proposed constrictor snakes. If 
boas escape or are intentionally released into new areas, they are 
likely to survive or become established within their respective thermal 
limits. Boa constrictors are highly likely to spread and become 
established in the wild due to common traits shared by the giant 
constrictors, including large size, habitat generalist, tolerance of 
urbanization, high reproductive potential, long distance disperser, 
early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and a generalist sit-and-
wait style of predation.
    Because boa constrictors are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to spread from 
their current established range to new natural areas in the United 
States; are likely to prey on native species (including threatened and 
endangered species); and because it would be difficult to eradicate or 
reduce large populations, or recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the boa constrictor to be injurious to 
humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Yellow Anaconda

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    An adult yellow anaconda was collected from Big Cypress National 
Reserve in southern Florida in January 2007, and another individual was 
photographed basking along a canal about 25 km (15.5 mi) north of that 
location in January 2008. In 2008, an unnamed observer reportedly 
captured two anacondas that most closely fit the description of the 
yellow anaconda farther to the east near the Palm Beach, Florida, 
county line. In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a few individuals of 
the yellow anaconda have been collected in the central region of the 
island (Villalba area).

Potential Introduction and Spread

    Yellow anacondas have escaped or been released into the wild in 
Florida and Puerto Rico and are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild. Yellow anacondas are highly likely to survive in natural 
ecosystems of the United States. The yellow anaconda has a native-range 
distribution that includes highly seasonal and fairly temperate regions 
in South America. When projected to the United States, the climate 
space occupied by yellow anaconda maps to a fairly large area, 
including virtually all of peninsular Florida and a corner of southeast 
Georgia (to about the latitude of Brunswick), as well as large parts of 
southern and eastern Texas and a small portion of southern California. 
Large areas of Hawaii and Puerto Rico appear to exhibit suitable 
climates, and additional insular United States possessions (Guam, 
Northern Marianas, American Samoa, and so on) would probably be 
suitable as well. Within the areas deemed suitable, however, the yellow 
anaconda would be expected to occupy only habitats with permanent

[[Page 11822]]

surface water. Yellow anacondas are highly likely to spread to suitable 
permanent surface water areas because of their large size, high 
reproductive potential, early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and 
generalist-surprise attack predation.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Yellow anacondas are highly likely to prey on native species, 
including select threatened and endangered species. The prey list 
suggests that yellow anacondas employ both ``ambush predation'' and 
``wide-foraging'' strategies (Reed and Rodda 2009). The snakes forage 
predominately in open, flooded habitats, in relatively shallow water; 
wading birds are their most common prey. They have also been known to 
prey on fish, turtles, small caimans, lizards, birds, eggs, small 
mammals, and fish carrion (Reed and Rodda). Threatened and endangered 
species occupying flooded areas, such as the Everglades, would be at 
risk.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
yellow anacondas would have on native species. These impacts are 
applicable to yellow anacondas by comparing their prey type with the 
suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those areas; 
suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in the draft 
environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Florida, Texas, Hawaii, 
and Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment of yellow 
anacondas. In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 
and other territories would have suitable habitat and climate to 
support yellow anacondas, and these also have federally threatened and 
endangered species that would be at risk if yellow anacondas became 
established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of yellow anacondas may have 
negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native wildlife 
biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect the 
aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Yellow Anaconda

Control

    Prevention, eradication, management, or control of the spread of 
yellow anacondas will be highly unlikely. Please see the ``Control'' 
section for the Indian python for reasons why yellow anacondas would be 
difficult to control, all of which apply to this large constrictor.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of yellow anacondas.

Conclusion

    Yellow anacondas are highly likely to survive in natural ecosystems 
of the United States. The species has a native-range distribution that 
includes highly seasonal and fairly temperate regions in South America. 
When projected to the United States, the climate space occupied by 
yellow anaconda maps to a fairly large area, including virtually all of 
peninsular Florida and a corner of southeast Georgia (to about the 
latitude of Brunswick), as well as large parts of southern and eastern 
Texas and a small portion of southern California. Large areas of Hawaii 
and Puerto Rico appear to exhibit suitable climates, and additional 
insular U.S. possessions (such as Guam, Northern Marianas, American 
Samoa) would probably be suitable as well. Yellow anacondas are highly 
likely to spread to suitable permanent surface water areas because of 
their large size, high reproductive potential, early maturation, rapid 
growth, longevity, and generalist-surprise attack predation.
    Because the yellow anacondas are likely to escape captivity or be 
released into the wild if imported to the United States (note that the 
yellow anaconda has already been found in the wild in Florida); are 
likely to survive, become established, and spread if escaped or 
released; are likely to prey on and compete with native species for 
food and habitat (including threatened and endangered species); and 
because it would be difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large 
populations; control spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds the yellow anaconda to be 
injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for DeSchauensee's anaconda

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    Occurrences of the DeSchauensee's anaconda in the United States are 
unknown.

Potential Introduction and Spread

    DeSchauensee's anaconda is likely to escape or be released into the 
wild if imported into the United States. Reed and Rodda's (2009) map 
identified no areas of the continental United States or Hawaii that 
appear to have precipitation and temperature profiles similar to those 
observed in the species' native range, although the southern margin of 
Puerto Rico and its out-islands (for example, Vieques and Culebra) 
appear suitable.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    The DeSchauensee's anaconda would likely have a similar potential 
impact as the yellow anaconda. DeSchauensee's anacondas are highly 
likely to prey on native species, including select threatened and 
endangered species. Anacondas employ both ``ambush predation'' and 
``wide-foraging'' strategies (Reed and Rodda 2009). Threatened and 
endangered wildlife occupying the DeSchauensee's anaconda's preferred 
habitats would be at risk.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
DeSchauensee's anacondas would have on native species. These impacts 
are applicable to DeSchauensee's anacondas by comparing their prey type 
with the suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those 
areas; suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in 
the draft environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from part of Puerto Rico would be at 
risk from the establishment of DeSchauensee's anacondas. In addition, 
we assume that Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other territories 
would have

[[Page 11823]]

suitable habitat and climate to support DeSchauensee's anacondas, and 
these also have federally threatened and endangered species that would 
be at risk if DeSchauensee's anacondas became established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of DeSchauensee's anacondas may 
have negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native 
wildlife biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect 
the aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for DeSchauensee's Anaconda

Control

    Prevention, eradication, management, or control of the spread of 
DeSchauensee's anacondas will be highly unlikely. Please see the 
``Control'' section for the Indian python for reasons why yellow 
anacondas would be difficult to control, all of which apply to this 
large constrictor.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of DeSchauensee's anacondas.

Conclusion

    DeSchauensee's anacondas are highly likely to spread to suitable 
permanent surface water areas because of their large size, high 
reproductive potential, early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and 
generalist-surprise attack predation. DeSchauensee's anacondas are 
highly likely to survive in natural ecosystems of a small but 
vulnerable region of the United States, such the southern margin of 
Puerto Rico and its out-islands.
    Because DeSchauensee's anacondas are likely to escape captivity or 
be released into the wild if imported to the United States; are likely 
to survive, become established, and spread if escaped or released; are 
likely to prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat 
(including threatened and endangered species); and because they would 
be difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; 
control spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the DeSchauensee's anaconda to be injurious 
to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Green Anaconda

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    An individual green anaconda (approximately 2.5 m (8.2 ft) total 
length) was found dead on US 41 in the vicinity of Fakahatchee Strand 
Preserve State Park in Florida in December 2004 (Reed and Rodda 2009). 
There are reports of two medium-sized adults and a juvenile green 
anaconda observed but not collected in this general area. A 3.65 m (12 
ft) green anaconda was removed from East Lake Fish Camp in northern 
Oceola County, Florida, on January 13, 2010. This was the first live 
green anaconda to be caught in the wild in Florida (Florida Fish and 
Wildlife Conservation Commission 2010).

Potential Introduction and Spread

    Green anacondas have escaped captivity or been released into the 
wild in Florida, and the likelihood of escape or release is medium. 
Green anacondas are likely to survive in natural ecosystems of the 
United States. Much of peninsular Florida (roughly south of 
Gainesville) and extreme south Texas exhibit climatic conditions 
similar to those experienced by green anacondas in their large South 
American native range. Lower elevations in Hawaii and all of Puerto 
Rico have apparently suitable climates, but the rest of the country 
appears to be too cool or arid. Within the climate-matched area, 
however, anacondas would not be at risk of establishment in sites 
lacking surface water. The primarily nocturnal anaconda species tends 
to spend most of its life in or around water. Green anacondas are 
highly likely to spread and become established in the wild due to rapid 
growth to a large size (which encourages pet owners to release them), a 
high reproductive potential, early maturation, and a sit-and-wait style 
of predation. There is evidence that green anacondas are facultatively 
(if no other males are available) parthenogenic.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Green anacondas are highly likely to prey on native species, 
including threatened and endangered species. They are primarily aquatic 
and eat a wide variety of prey, including fish, birds, mammals, and 
other reptiles.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
green anacondas would have on native species. These impacts are 
applicable to green anacondas by comparing their prey type with the 
suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those areas; 
suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in the draft 
environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Florida, Hawaii, and 
most of Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment of green 
anacondas. In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 
and other territories would have suitable habitat and climate to 
support green anacondas, and these also have federally threatened and 
endangered species that would be at risk if green anacondas became 
established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of green anacondas may have 
negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native wildlife 
biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect the 
aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Green Anaconda

Control

    Prevention, eradication, management, or control of the spread of 
green anacondas as once established in the United States will be highly 
unlikely. Please see the ``Control'' section for the Indian python for 
reasons why green anacondas would be difficult to control, all of which 
apply to this large constrictor.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores,

[[Page 11824]]

species native to the United States are unlikely to possess the hunting 
ability for such large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to 
large constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of green anacondas.

Conclusion

    The green anaconda is the among the world's heaviest snakes, 
ranging up to 200 kg (441 lbs). Large adults are heavier than almost 
all native, terrestrial predators in the United States, even many 
bears. Native fauna have no experience defending themselves against 
this type of novel, giant predator. The range of the green anaconda is 
largely defined by the availability of aquatic habitats. These include 
deep and shallow, turbid and clear, and lacustrine and riverine 
systems. Most of these habitats are found in Florida, including the 
Everglades, which is suitable climate for the species. Green anacondas 
are top predators in South America, consuming birds, mammals, fish, and 
reptiles; prey size includes deer and crocodilians. This diet is even 
broader than the diet of Indian and reticulated pythons. There is 
evidence that female green anacondas are facultatively parthenogenic 
and could therefore reproduce even if a single female is released or 
escapes into the wild.
    Because green anacondas are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported to the United States (note that the green anaconda 
has already been found in the wild in Florida); are likely to survive, 
become established, and spread if escaped or released; are likely to 
prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat (including 
threatened and endangered species); and because it would be difficult 
to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; control spread to 
new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the species, the 
Service finds the green anaconda to be injurious to humans and to 
wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.

Factors That Contribute to Injuriousness for Beni Anaconda

Current Nonnative Occurrences

    Occurrences of the Beni anaconda in the United States are unknown.

Potential Introduction and Spread

    Beni anacondas are likely to escape or be released into the wild if 
imported into the United States, in part because of their large size 
(which encourages pet owners to release them). Beni anacondas are 
highly likely to survive in natural ecosystems of the United States. 
The Beni anaconda is known from few specimens in a small part of 
Bolivia, and Reed and Rodda (2009) judged the number of available 
localities to be insufficient for an attempt to delineate its climate 
space or extrapolate this space to the United States. Beni anacondas 
are known from sites with low seasonality (mean monthly temperatures 
approximately 22.5 \o\C (72 \o\F) to 27.5 \o\C (77 \o\F), and mean 
monthly precipitation about 5 to 30 cm (2 to 12 in). It is unknown 
whether the species' native distribution is limited by factors other 
than climate; if the small native range is attributable to ecological 
(for example, competition with green anacondas), or historical (for 
example, climate change) factors. If so, then Reed and Rodda's (2009) 
qualitative estimate of the climatically suitable areas of the United 
States would represent underprediction. As a component of the risk 
assessment, the Beni anaconda's colonization potential is described by 
Reed and Rodda (2009) as capable of survival in small portions of the 
mainland or on America's tropical islands (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, 
American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands).
    Beni anacondas are highly likely to spread and become established 
in the wild due to rapid growth to a large size, a high reproductive 
potential, early maturation, and a sit-and-wait style of predation.

Potential Impacts to Native Species (including Threatened and 
Endangered Species)

    Beni anacondas are highly likely to prey on native species, 
including threatened and endangered species. They are primarily aquatic 
and eat a wide variety of prey, including fish, birds, mammals, and 
other reptiles.
    Please see Potential Impacts to Native Species (including 
Threatened and Endangered Species) under Factors that Contribute to the 
Injuriousness for Indian Python for a description of the impacts that 
Beni anacondas would have on native species. These impacts are 
applicable to Beni anacondas by comparing their prey type with the 
suitable climate areas and the listed species found in those areas; 
suitable climate areas and the listed species can be found in the draft 
environmental assessment.
    According to the climate suitability maps (Reed and Rodda 2009), 
threatened and endangered species from parts of Hawaii, and most of 
Puerto Rico would be at risk from the establishment of Beni anacondas. 
In addition, we assume that Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other 
territories would have suitable habitat and climate to support Beni 
anacondas, and these also have federally threatened and endangered 
species that would be at risk if Beni anacondas became established.

Potential Impacts to Humans

    The introduction or establishment of Beni anacondas may have 
negative impacts on humans primarily from the loss of native wildlife 
biodiversity, as discussed above. These losses would affect the 
aesthetic, recreational, and economic values currently provided by 
native wildlife and healthy ecosystems. Educational values would also 
be diminished through the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Factors That Reduce or Remove Injuriousness for Beni Anaconda

Control

    Prevention, eradication, management, or control of the spread of 
Beni anacondas as once established in the United States will be highly 
unlikely. Please see the ``Control'' section for the Indian python for 
reasons why Beni anacondas would be difficult to control, all of which 
apply to this large constrictor.

Potential Ecological Benefits for Introduction

    While the introduction of a faunal biomass could potentially 
provide a food source for some native carnivores, species native to the 
United States are unlikely to possess the hunting ability for such 
large, camouflaged snakes and would not likely turn to large 
constrictor snakes as a food source. The risks to native wildlife 
greatly outweigh this unlikely benefit. There are no other potential 
ecological benefits from the introduction into the United States or 
establishment in the United States of Beni anacondas.

Conclusion

    Large adults are heavier than almost all native, terrestrial 
predators in the United States, even many bears. Native fauna have no 
experience defending themselves against this type of novel, giant 
predator. The range of the Beni anaconda is largely defined by the 
availability of aquatic habitats. Beni anacondas are top predators in 
South America, consuming birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles; prey size 
includes deer and crocodilians. This diet is even broader than the diet 
of Indian and reticulated pythons.

[[Page 11825]]

    Because the Beni anaconda are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to survive, 
become established, and spread if escaped or released; are likely to 
prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat (including 
threatened and endangered species); and because it would be difficult 
to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; control spread to 
new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the species, the 
Service finds the Beni anaconda to be injurious to humans and to 
wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.

Conclusions for the Nine Constrictor Snakes

Indian python
    The Indian python is one of the largest snakes in the world, 
reaching lengths of up to 7 m (23 ft) and weights of over 90 kilograms 
(kg) (almost 200 pounds (lbs)). This is longer than any native, 
terrestrial animal in the United States, including alligators, and 
three times longer than the longest native snake species. Native fauna 
have no experience defending against this type of novel, giant 
predator. Hatchlings are about the size of average adult native snakes 
and can more than double in size within the first year. In addition, 
Indian pythons reportedly can fertilize their own eggs and have viable 
eggs after several years in isolation. The life expectancy of Indian 
pythons is 20 to 30 years. Even a single python (especially a female) 
in a small area, such as one of the Florida Keys or insular islands, 
can devastate the population of a federally threatened or endangered 
species. There are currently no effective control methods for Indian 
pythons, nor are any anticipated in the near future.
    Therefore, because Indian pythons have already established 
populations in some areas of the United States; are likely to spread 
from their current established range to new natural areas in the United 
States; are likely to become established in disjunct areas of the 
United States with suitable climate and habitat if released there; are 
likely to prey on and compete with native species (including threatened 
and endangered species); and it would be difficult to eradicate or 
reduce large populations or to recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the Indian python to be injurious to humans 
and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.
Reticulated python
    The reticulated python can grow to a length of more that 8.7 m 
(28.5 ft); this is longer than any native, terrestrial animal in the 
United States. Native fauna have no experience defending against this 
type of novel, giant predator. Several captive reticulated pythons have 
lived for nearly 30 years. The reticulated python can be an aggressive 
and dangerous species to humans. Therefore, even one escaped individual 
can cause injury to wildlife and possibly humans for several decades. 
Captive reticulated pythons can carry ticks of agricultural 
significance (potential threat to domestic livestock) in Florida.
    Because reticulated pythons are likely to escape captivity or be 
released into the wild if imported to areas of the United States that 
have suitable climate and habitat and do not currently contain the 
species; are likely to survive, become established, and spread if 
escaped or released; are likely to prey on and compete with native 
species for food and habitat (including threatened and endangered 
species); are likely to be disease vectors for livestock; and because 
they would be difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large 
populations; control spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds reticulated python to be 
injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.
Northern African Pythons
    Northern African pythons are long-lived (some have lived in 
captivity for 27 years). The species feeds primarily on warm-blooded 
prey (mammals and birds). Northern African pythons have been found to 
be reproducing in Florida. Therefore, they pose a risk to native 
wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. African pythons 
(both wild and captive-bred) are noted for their bad temperament and 
have reportedly also attacked humans.
    Because Northern African pythons are likely to escape or be 
released into the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to 
spread from their current established range to new natural areas in the 
United States; are likely to prey on native species (including 
threatened and endangered species); and because it would be difficult 
to eradicate or reduce large populations, or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds the Northern African python 
to be injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.
Southern African pythons
    Southern African pythons are long-lived. This species feeds 
primarily on warm-blooded prey (mammals and birds). Therefore, they 
pose a risk to native wildlife, including threatened and endangered 
species. Their climate match extends slightly farther to the north in 
Florida than the Northern African python and also includes portions of 
Texas from the Big Bend region to the southeasternmost extent of the 
State. Because Southern African pythons are likely to escape or be 
released into the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to 
survive, become established, and spread if escaped or released; are 
likely to prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat 
(including threatened and endangered species); and because it would be 
difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; control 
spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the Southern African python to be injurious 
to humans and to the wildlife and wildlife resources of the United 
States.
Boa constrictor
    Boa constrictors have one of the widest latitudinal distributions 
of any snake in the world. In their native range, boa constrictors 
inhabit environments from sea level to 1,000 m (3,280 ft), including 
wet and dry tropical forest, savanna, very dry thorn scrub, and 
cultivated fields. Nonnative occurrences in the United States include 
South Florida and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Boa constrictors are 
the most commonly imported of the nine proposed constrictor snakes. If 
boas escape or are intentionally released into new areas, they are 
likely to survive or become established within their respective thermal 
and precipitation limits. Boa constrictors are highly likely to spread 
and become established in the wild due to common traits shared by the 
giant constrictors, including large size, habitat generalist, tolerance 
of urbanization, high reproductive potential, long distance disperser, 
early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and a generalist sit-and-
wait style of predation.
    Because boa constrictors are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to spread from 
their current established range to new natural areas in the United 
States; are likely to prey on native species (including threatened and 
endangered species); and because it would be difficult to eradicate or 
reduce large populations, or recover ecosystems disturbed by the 
species, the Service finds the boa constrictor to be injurious to 
humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.

[[Page 11826]]

Yellow anaconda
    Yellow anacondas are highly likely to survive in natural ecosystems 
of the United States. The species has a native-range distribution that 
includes highly seasonal and fairly temperate regions in South America. 
When projected to the United States, the climate space occupied by 
yellow anaconda maps to a fairly large area, including virtually all of 
peninsular Florida and a corner of southeast Georgia (to about the 
latitude of Brunswick), as well as large parts of southern and eastern 
Texas and a small portion of southern California. Large areas of Hawaii 
and Puerto Rico appear to exhibit suitable climates, and additional 
insular U.S. possessions (such as Guam, Northern Marianas, American 
Samoa) would probably be suitable as well. Yellow anacondas are highly 
likely to spread to suitable permanent surface water areas because of 
their large size, high reproductive potential, early maturation, rapid 
growth, longevity, and generalist-surprise attack predation.
    Because the yellow anacondas are likely to escape captivity or be 
released into the wild if imported to the United States (note that the 
yellow anaconda has already been found in the wild in Florida); are 
likely to survive, become established, and spread if escaped or 
released; are likely to prey on and compete with native species for 
food and habitat (including threatened and endangered species); and 
because it would be difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large 
populations; control spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds the yellow anaconda to be 
injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.
DeSchauensee's anaconda
    DeSchauensee's anacondas are highly likely to spread to suitable 
permanent surface water areas because of their large size, high 
reproductive potential, early maturation, rapid growth, longevity, and 
generalist-surprise attack predation. DeSchauensee's anacondas are 
highly likely to survive in natural ecosystems of a small but 
vulnerable region of the United States, such the southern margin of 
Puerto Rico and its out-islands.
    Because the DeSchauensee's anaconda is likely to escape captivity 
or be released into the wild if imported to the United States; are 
likely to survive, become established, and spread if escaped or 
released; are likely to prey on and compete with native species for 
food and habitat (including threatened and endangered species); and 
because it would be difficult to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large 
populations; control spread to new locations; or recover ecosystems 
disturbed by the species, the Service finds the DeSchauensee's anaconda 
to be injurious to humans and to wildlife and wildlife resources of the 
United States.
Green anaconda
    The green anaconda is the among the world's heaviest snakes, 
ranging up to 200 kg (441 lbs). Large adults are heavier than almost 
all native, terrestrial predators in the United States, even many 
bears. Native fauna have no experience defending themselves against 
this type of novel, giant predator. The range of the green anaconda is 
largely defined by the availability of aquatic habitats. These include 
deep and shallow, turbid and clear, and lacustrine and riverine 
systems. Most of these habitats are found in Florida, including the 
Everglades, which is suitable climate for the species. Green anacondas 
are top predators in South America, consuming birds, mammals, fish, and 
reptiles; prey size includes deer and crocodilians. This diet is even 
broader than the diet of Indian and reticulated pythons. There is 
evidence that female green anacondas are facultatively parthenogenic 
and could therefore reproduce even if a single female is released or 
escapes into the wild.
    Because green anacondas are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported to the United States (note that the green anaconda 
has already been found in the wild in Florida); are likely to survive, 
become established, and spread if escaped or released; are likely to 
prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat (including 
threatened and endangered species); and because it would be difficult 
to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; control spread to 
new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the species, the 
Service finds the green anaconda to be injurious to humans and to 
wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.
Beni anaconda
    Large adults are heavier than any almost all native, terrestrial 
predators in the United States, even many bears. Native fauna have no 
experience defending themselves against this type of novel, giant 
predator. The range of the Beni anaconda is largely defined by the 
availability of aquatic habitats. Beni anacondas are top predators in 
South America, consuming birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles; prey size 
includes deer and crocodilians. This diet is even broader than the diet 
of Indian and reticulated pythons.
    Because the Beni anaconda are likely to escape or be released into 
the wild if imported to the United States; are likely to survive, 
become established, and spread if escaped or released; are likely to 
prey on and compete with native species for food and habitat (including 
threatened and endangered species); and because it would be difficult 
to prevent, eradicate, or reduce large populations; control spread to 
new locations; or recover ecosystems disturbed by the species, the 
Service finds the Beni anaconda to be injurious to humans and to 
wildlife and wildlife resources of the United States.
Summary of Risk Potentials
    Reed and Rodda (2009) found that all of the nine constrictor snakes 
pose high or medium risks to the interests of humans, wildlife, and 
wildlife resources of the United States. These risk potentials utilize 
the criteria for evaluating species as described by ANSTF (1996) (see 
Lacey Act Evaluation Criteria above). That all nine species are high or 
medium risks supports our finding that all nine constrictor species 
should be added to the list of injurious reptiles under the Lacey Act.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this 
rule is significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866. OMB bases its 
determination upon the following four criteria:
    (1) Whether the rule will have an annual effect of $100 million or 
more on the economy or adversely affect an economic sector, 
productivity, jobs, the environment, or other units of the government.
    (2) Whether the rule will create inconsistencies with other Federal 
agencies' actions.
    (3) Whether the rule will materially affect entitlements, grants, 
user fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their 
recipients.
    (4) Whether the rule raises novel legal or policy issues.
    Executive Order 12866 Regulatory Planning and Review (U.S. Office 
of Management and Budget 1993) and a subsequent document, Economic 
Analysis of Federal Regulations under Executive Order 12866 (U.S. 
Office of Management and Budget 1996), identify guidelines or ``best 
practices'' for the economic analysis of Federal regulations. With 
respect to the regulation under consideration, an

[[Page 11827]]

analysis that comports with the Circular A-4 would include a full 
description and estimation of the economic benefits and costs 
associated with implementation of the regulation. These benefits and 
costs would be measured by the net change in consumer and producer 
surplus due to the regulation. Both producer and consumer surplus 
reflect opportunity cost as they measure what people would be willing 
to forego (pay) in order to obtain a particular good or service. 
``Producers' surplus is the difference between the amount a producer is 
paid for a unit of good and the minimum amount the producer would 
accept to supply that unit. Consumers' surplus is the difference 
between what a consumer pays for a unit of a good and the maximum 
amount the consumer would be willing to pay for that unit (U.S. Office 
of Management and Budget 1996, section C-1).''
    In the context of the regulation under consideration, the economic 
effects to three groups would be addressed: (1) producers; (2) 
consumers; and (3) society. With the prohibition of imports and 
interstate shipping, producers, breeders, and suppliers would be 
affected in several ways. Depending on the characteristics of a given 
business (such as what portion of their sales depends on out-of-state 
sales or imports), sales revenue would be reduced or eliminated, thus 
decreasing total producer surplus compared to the situation without the 
regulation. Consumers (pet owners or potential pet owners) would be 
affected by having a more limited choice of constrictor snakes or, in 
some cases, no choice at all if out-of-state sales are prohibited. 
Consequently, total consumer surplus would decrease compared to the 
situation without the regulation. Certain segments of society may value 
knowing that the risk to natural areas and other potential impacts from 
constrictor snake populations is reduced by implementing one of the 
proposed alternatives. In this case, consumer surplus would increase 
compared to the situation without the regulation. If comprehensive 
information were available on these different types of producer and 
consumer surplus, a comparison of benefits and costs would be 
relatively straightforward. However, information is not currently 
available on these values so a quantitative comparison of benefits and 
costs is not possible.
    The limited data currently available are estimates of the number of 
constrictor snake imports each year, the number of constrictor snakes 
bred in the United States, and a range of retail prices for each 
constrictor snake species. We provide the value of the foregone snakes 
sold as a rough approximation for the social cost of this proposed 
rulemaking. We provide qualitative discussion on the potential benefits 
of this rulemaking. In addition, we used an input-output model in an 
attempt to estimate the secondary or multiplier effects of this 
rulemaking-job impacts, job income impacts, and tax revenue impacts 
(discussed below). Given the paucity of the data to estimate the social 
cost and given the uncertainty associated with the appropriateness of 
using an input-output model due to the scale effect, we present 
preliminary results in this regulatory impact analysis. We ask for data 
that might shed light on estimating the social benefit and cost of this 
rulemaking. We also ask for information regarding the appropriateness 
of using IMPLAN model to gauge the secondary effects and if 
appropriate, the associated uncertainties with the estimates. For the 
final rulemaking, we plan to investigate the appropriateness of using 
IMPLAN model, and adjust the presentation of results accordingly.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act [SBREFA] of 1996) (5 
U.S.C. 601, et seq.), whenever a Federal agency is required to publish 
a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare 
and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis 
that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (that is, small 
businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). 
However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of 
an agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Thus, for a 
regulatory flexibility analysis to be required, impacts must exceed a 
threshold for ``significant impact'' and a threshold for a 
``substantial number of small entities.'' See 5 U.S.C. 605(b). SBREFA 
amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to 
provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, which we 
briefly summarize below, was prepared to accompany this rule. See the 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section or http://www.regulations.gov 
under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015 for the complete document.
    This proposed rule, if made final, would list nine constrictor 
snake species [Indian python (Python molurus), reticulated python 
(Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus), Northern African 
python (Python sebae), Southern African python (Python natalensis), boa 
constrictor (Boa constrictor), yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus), 
DeSchauensee's anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei), green anaconda 
(Eunectes murinus), and Beni anaconda (Eunectes beniensis)] as 
injurious species under the Lacey Act. Entities impacted by the listing 
would include: (1) Companies importing live snakes, gametes, viable 
eggs, hybrids; and (2) companies (breeders and wholesalers) with 
interstate sales of live snakes, gametes, viable eggs, hybrids. 
Importation of the nine constrictor snakes would be eliminated, except 
as specifically authorized. Impacts to entities breeding or selling 
these snakes domestically would depend on the amount of interstate 
sales within the constrictor snake market. Impacts also are dependent 
upon whether or not consumers would substitute the purchase of an 
animal that is not listed, which would thereby reduce economic impacts.
    For businesses importing large constrictor snakes, the maximum 
impact of this rulemaking would result in 197 to 270 small businesses 
(66 percent) having a reduction in their retail sales of between 24 
percent and 49 percent. However, this rulemaking would have an unknown 
impact on these small businesses because we do not know: (1) Whether 
these businesses sell other snakes and reptiles as well, (2) if the 
listed snakes are more profitable than nonlisted snakes or other 
aspects of the business, or (3) if consumers would substitute the 
purchase of other snakes that are not listed.
    For businesses breeding or selling large constrictor snakes 
domestically, approximately 62 to 85 percent of these entities would 
qualify as small businesses. Under the proposed rule, the interstate 
transport of the nine constrictor snakes would be discontinued, except 
as specifically permitted. Thus, any revenue that would be potentially 
earned from this portion of business would be eliminated. The amount of 
sales impacted is completely dependent on the percentage of interstate 
transport. That is, the impact depends on where businesses are located 
and where their customers are located. Since information is not 
currently available on interstate sales of large constrictor snakes, we 
assume that a sales reduction

[[Page 11828]]

of between 20 and 80 percent would most likely include the actual 
impact on out-of-state sales.
    Therefore, this proposed rule may have a significant economic 
effect on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    a. Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more. According to the draft economic analysis (USFWS, 2010), the 
annual retail value losses for the nine constrictor snake species are 
estimated to range from $3.6 million to $10.7 million. The 10-year 
retail value losses to the large constrictor snake market are estimated 
to range from $37.5 million to $93.6 million discounted at 3 percent or 
range from $32.1 million to $80.1 million discounted at 7 percent. In 
addition, businesses would also face the risk of fines if caught 
transporting these constrictor snakes, gametes, viable eggs, or hybrids 
across State lines. The penalty for a Lacey Act violation is not more 
than 6 months in prison and not more than a $5,000 fine for an 
individual and not more than a $10,000 fine for an organization.
    b. Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions. Businesses breeding or selling the 
listed snakes would be able to substitute other species and maintain 
business by seeking unusual morphologic forms in other snakes. Some 
businesses, however, may close. We do not have data for the potential 
substitutions and therefore, we do not know the number of businesses 
that may close.
    c. Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 
enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 
1501), the Service makes the following findings:
    (a) This rule would not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a 
Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or regulation 
that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, tribal 
governments, or the private sector and includes both ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandates'' and ``Federal private sector mandates.'' 
These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). ``Federal 
intergovernmental mandate'' includes a regulation that ``would impose 
an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments'' with two 
exceptions. It excludes ``a condition of Federal assistance.'' It also 
excludes ``a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal 
program,'' unless the regulation ``relates to a then-existing Federal 
program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, 
local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,'' if the 
provision would ``increase the stringency of conditions of assistance'' 
or ``place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's 
responsibility to provide funding,'' and the State, local, or tribal 
governments ``lack authority'' to adjust accordingly. At the time of 
enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; AFDC work 
programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; Social Services Block Grants; 
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; Foster Care, Adoption 
Assistance, and Independent Living; Family Support Welfare Services; 
and Child Support Enforcement. ``Federal private sector mandate'' 
includes a regulation that ``would impose an enforceable duty upon the 
private sector, except (i) a condition of Federal assistance or (ii) a 
duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program.''
    (b) The rule would not have a significant or unique effect on 
State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement 
containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

Takings

    In accordance with E.O. 12630 (Government Actions and Interference 
with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights), the rule does 
not have significant takings implications. A takings implication 
assessment is not required. This rule would not impose significant 
requirements or limitations on private property use.

Federalism

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this proposed rule does 
not have significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. This rule would not have substantial direct effects on 
States, in the relationship between the Federal Government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive 
Order 13132, we determine that this rule does not have sufficient 
Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism 
Assessment.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the 
Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the 
judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Executive Order. The rule has been reviewed to eliminate 
drafting errors and ambiguity, was written to minimize litigation, 
provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a 
general standard, and promotes simplification and burden reduction.

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 OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose new recordkeeping or 
reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, 
businesses, or organizations. OMB has approved the information 
collection requirements associated with the required permits and 
assigned OMB Control No. 1018-0093. 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 reviewed this rule in accordance with the criteria of the 
National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the 
Departmental Manual in 516 DM. This action is being taken to protect 
the natural resources of the United States. A draft environmental 
assessment has been prepared and is available for review by written 
request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section) or at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R9-FHC-2008-0015. By adding 
Indian python, reticulated python, Northern African python, Southern 
African python, boa constrictor, yellow anaconda, DeSchauensee's 
anaconda, green anaconda, and Beni anaconda to the list of injurious 
wildlife, we intend to prevent their new introduction, further 
introduction, and establishment into natural areas of the United States 
to protect native wildlife species, the

[[Page 11829]]

survival and welfare of wildlife and wildlife resources, and the health 
and welfare of humans. If we do not list the nine constrictor snakes as 
injurious, the species may expand in captivity to States where they are 
not already found; this would increase the risk of their escape or 
intentional release and establishment in new areas, which would likely 
threaten native fish and wildlife, and humans. Indian pythons, boa 
constrictors, and Northern African pythons are established in southern 
Florida and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Releases of the nine 
constrictor snakes into natural areas of the United States are likely 
to occur again, and the species are likely to become established in 
additional U.S. natural areas such as national wildlife refuges and 
parks, threatening native fish and wildlife populations and ecosystem 
form, function, and structure.
Clarity of 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:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) 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 the ADDRESSES section. 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, and the sections where you feel lists or tables would be 
useful.

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 of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily 
acknowledge our responsibility 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. We have evaluated 
potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and have 
determined that there are no potential effects. This rule involves the 
importation and interstate movement of live boa constrictors, four 
python species, and four anaconda species, gametes, viable eggs, or 
hybrids. We are unaware of trade in these species by tribes.

Effects on Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and 
use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This rule is not 
expected to affect energy supplies, distribution, and use. Therefore, 
this action is a not a significant energy action and no Statement of 
Energy Effects is required.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references used in this rulemaking is 
available upon request from the South Florida Ecological Services 
Office, Vero Beach, FL (see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section).

Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of 
the South Florida Ecological Services Office (see FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 16

    Fish, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Transportation, Wildlife.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service proposes to amend part 16, subchapter B of chapter I, 
title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 16--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 16 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 18 U.S.C. 42.

    2. Amend Sec.  16.15 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  16.15  Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition of any live 
specimen, gamete, viable egg, or hybrid of the species listed in this 
paragraph is prohibited except as provided under the terms and 
conditions set forth in Sec.  16.22:
    (1) Boiga irregularis (brown tree snake).
    (2) Python molurus (Indian [including Burmese] python).
    (3) Broghammerus reticulatus or Python reticulatus (reticulated 
python).
    (4) Python sebae (Northern African python).
    (5) Python natalensis (Southern African python).
    (6) Boa constrictor (boa constrictor).
    (7) Eunectes notaeus (yellow anaconda).
    (8) Eunectes deschauenseei (DeSchauensee's anaconda).
    (9) Eunectes murinus (green anaconda).
    (10) Eunectes beniensis (Beni anaconda).
* * * * *

    Dated: February 5, 2010.
Thomas L. Strickland,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2010-4956 Filed 3-11-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-S