[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34746-34749]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-14605]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R9-IA-2011-N068; 96300-1671-0000 FY11-R4]


Species Proposals for Consideration at the Sixteenth Regular 
Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: We invite you to provide us with information and 
recommendations on animal and plant species that should be considered 
as candidates for U.S. proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna 
and Flora (CITES or the Convention) at the upcoming sixteenth meeting 
of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16). Such amendments may concern 
the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of species 
from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from Appendix 
II. Finally, with this notice, we also describe the U.S. approach to 
preparations for CoP16. We will publish a second Federal Register 
notice to solicit information and recommendations on possible 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP16 and to 
provide information on how to request approved observer status.

DATES: We will consider all information and comments we receive on or 
before August 15, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Send correspondence pertaining to species proposals to the 
Division of Scientific Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 
North Fairfax Drive; Room 110; Arlington, VA 22203; or via e-mail to: 
CoP16species@fws.gov. Comments and materials we receive pertaining to 
species proposals will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the 
Division of Scientific Authority.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosemarie Gnam, Chief, Division of 
Scientific Authority; phone 703-358-1708; fax 703-358-2276; e-mail: 
scientificauthority@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild

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Fauna and Flora, hereinafter referred to as CITES or the Convention, is 
an international treaty designed to regulate international trade in 
certain animal and plant species that are now, or potentially may 
become, threatened with extinction. These species are listed in the 
Appendices to CITES, which are available on the CITES Secretariat's Web 
site at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/index.shtml.
    Currently, 175 countries, including the United States, are Parties 
to CITES. The Convention calls for regular biennial meetings of the 
Conference of the Parties, unless the Conference decides otherwise. At 
these meetings, the Parties review the implementation of CITES, make 
provisions enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out 
its functions, consider amendments to the list of species in Appendices 
I and II, consider reports presented by the Secretariat, and make 
recommendations for the improved effectiveness of CITES. Any country 
that is a Party to CITES may propose amendments to Appendices I and II, 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for consideration by all the 
Parties at the meeting.
    This is our first in a series of Federal Register notices that, 
together with an announced public meeting, provide you with an 
opportunity to participate in the development of the U.S. submissions 
to and negotiating positions for the sixteenth regular meeting of the 
Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16). Our regulations governing 
this public process are found in Title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR) at Sec.  23.87.

Announcement of the Sixteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    We hereby notify you of the convening of CoP16, which is 
tentatively scheduled to be held in Pattaya, Thailand, in March 2013.

U.S. Approach for CoP16

What are the priorities for U.S. submissions to CoP16?

    Priorities for U.S. submissions to CoP16 continue to be consistent 
with the overall objective of U.S. participation in the Convention: to 
maximize the effectiveness of the Convention in the conservation and 
sustainable use of species subject to international trade. With this in 
mind, we plan to consider the following factors in determining what 
issues to submit for inclusion in the agenda at CoP16:
    (1) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife or plant 
trade issue that the United States is experiencing as a range country 
for species in trade? Since our primary responsibility is the 
conservation of our domestic wildlife resources, we will give native 
species the highest priority. We will place particular emphasis on 
terrestrial and freshwater species with the majority of their range in 
the United States and its territories that are or may be traded in 
significant numbers; marine species that occur in U.S. waters or for 
which the United States is a major trader; and threatened and 
endangered species for which we and other Federal and State agencies 
already have statutory responsibility for protection and recovery. We 
also consider CITES listings as a proactive measure to monitor and 
manage trade in native species to preclude the need for the application 
of stricter measures, such as listing under the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), or inclusion in CITES 
Appendix I.
    (2) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife or plant 
trade issue for species not native to the United States? As a major 
importer of wildlife, plants, and their products, the United States has 
taken responsibility, by working in close consultation with range 
countries, for addressing cases of potential over-exploitation of 
foreign species in the wild. In some cases, the United States may not 
be a range country or a significant trading country for a species, but 
we will work closely with other countries to conserve species being 
threatened by unsustainable exploitation for international trade. We 
will consider CITES listings for species not native to the United 
States if those listings will assist in addressing cases of known or 
potential over-exploitation of foreign species in the wild, and in 
preventing illegal, unregulated trade, especially if the United States 
is a major importer. These species will be prioritized based on the 
extent of trade and status of the species, and also the role the 
species play in the ecosystem, with emphasis on those species for which 
a CITES listing would offer the greatest conservation benefits to the 
species, associated species, and their habitats.
    (3) Does the proposed action provide additional conservation 
benefit for a species already covered by another international 
agreement? The United States will consider the listing of such a 
species under CITES when it would enhance the conservation of the 
species by ensuring that international trade is effectively regulated 
and not detrimental to the survival of the species.

Request for Information and Recommendations for Amending Appendices I 
or II

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit information and 
recommendations that will help us identify species that the United 
States should propose for addition to, removal from, or 
reclassification in the CITES Appendices, or to identify issues 
warranting attention by the CITES specialists on zoological and 
botanical nomenclature. This request is not limited to species 
occurring in the United States. Any Party may submit proposals 
concerning animal or plant species occurring in the wild anywhere in 
the world. We encourage the submission of information on any species 
for possible inclusion in the Appendices if these species are subject 
to international trade that is, or may become, detrimental to the 
survival of the species. We also encourage you to keep in mind the U.S. 
approach to CoP16, described above in this notice, when considering 
what species the United States should propose for inclusion in the 
Appendices.
    We are not necessarily requesting complete proposals, but they are 
always welcome. However, we are asking you to submit convincing 
information describing: (1) The status of the species, especially trend 
information; (2) conservation and management programs for the species, 
including the effectiveness of enforcement efforts; and (3) the level 
of international as well as domestic trade in the species, especially 
trend information. You may also provide any other relevant information, 
and we appreciate receiving a list of references.
    The term ``species'' is defined in CITES as ``any species, 
subspecies, or geographically separate population thereof.'' Each 
species for which trade is controlled under CITES is included in one of 
three Appendices, either as a separate listing or incorporated within 
the listing of a higher taxon. The basic standards for inclusion of 
species in the Appendices are contained in Article II of CITES (text of 
the Convention is on the CITES Secretariat's Web site at http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/text.shtml). Appendix I includes species 
threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by trade. 
Appendix II includes species that, although not necessarily now 
threatened with extinction, may become so unless trade in them is 
strictly controlled. Appendix II also lists species that must be 
subject to regulation in order that trade in other CITES-listed species 
may be brought under effective control. Such listings

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usually are necessary because of difficulty inspectors have at ports of 
entry or exit in distinguishing one species from other species. Because 
Appendix III only includes species that any Party may list 
unilaterally, we are not seeking input on possible U.S. Appendix-III 
listings with this notice, and we will not consider or respond to 
comments received concerning Appendix-III listings.
    CITES specifies that international trade in any readily 
recognizable parts or derivatives of animals listed in Appendices I or 
II, or plants listed in Appendix I, is subject to the same conditions 
that apply to trade in the whole organisms. With certain standard 
exclusions formally approved by the Parties, the same applies to the 
readily recognizable parts and derivatives of most plant species listed 
in Appendix II. Parts and derivatives often not included (i.e., not 
regulated) for Appendix-II plants are: Seeds, spores, pollen (including 
pollinia), and seedlings or tissue cultures obtained in vitro and 
transported in sterile containers. You may refer to the CITES 
Appendices on the Secretariat's Web site at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/index.shtml for further exceptions and limitations. In 1994, the 
CITES Parties adopted criteria for inclusion of species in Appendices I 
and II (in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP15)). These criteria apply to 
all listing proposals and are available from the CITES Secretariat's 
Web site at http://www.cites.org/eng/res/index.shtml or upon request 
from the Division of Scientific Authority at the address listed under 
ADDRESSES. Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP15) also provides a format 
for proposals to amend the Appendices.

What Information Should be Submitted?

    In response to this notice, to provide us with information and 
recommendations on species subject to international trade for possible 
proposals to amend the Appendices, please include as much of the 
following information as possible in your submission:
    (1) Scientific name and common name;
    (2) Population size estimates (including references if available);
    (3) Population trend information;
    (4) Threats to the species (other than trade);
    (5) The level or trend of international trade (as specific as 
possible but without a request for new searches of our records);
    (6) The level or trend in total take from the wild (as specific as 
reasonable); and
    (7) A short summary statement clearly presenting the rationale for 
inclusion in or removal or transfer from one of the Appendices, 
including which of the criteria in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP15) 
are met.
    If you wish to submit more complete proposals for us to consider, 
please consult Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP15) for the format for 
proposals and a detailed explanation of each of the categories. 
Proposals to transfer a species from Appendix I to Appendix II or to 
remove a species from Appendix II must also be in accordance with the 
precautionary measures described in Annex 4 of Resolution Conf. 9.24 
(Rev. CoP15).

What Will We Do With the Information We Receive?

    The information that you submit will help us decide if we should 
submit or co-sponsor with other Parties a proposal to amend the CITES 
Appendices. However, there may be species that qualify for CITES 
listing but for which we may decide not to submit a proposal to CoP16. 
Our decision will be based on a number of factors, including available 
scientific and trade information; whether or not the species is native 
to the United States; and for foreign species, whether or not a 
proposal is supported or co-sponsored by at least one range country for 
the species. These factors and others are included in the U.S. approach 
to CoP16, described above in this notice. We will carefully consider 
all factors of the U.S. approach when deciding which species the United 
States should propose for inclusion in the Appendices.
    We will consult range countries for foreign species, and for 
species we share with other countries, after receiving and analyzing 
the information provided by the public in response to this notice as 
well as other information available to us.
    One important function of the CITES Scientific Authority of each 
Party country is monitoring the international trade in plant and animal 
species, and ongoing scientific assessments of the impact of that trade 
on species. For native U.S. species listed in Appendices I and II, we 
monitor trade and export permits authorized so that we can prevent 
over-utilization and restrict exports if necessary. We also work 
closely with the States to ensure that species are correctly listed in 
the CITES Appendices (or not listed, if a listing is not warranted). 
For these reasons, we actively seek information about U.S. and foreign 
species subject to international trade.

Future Actions

    As stated above, the next regular meeting of the Conference of the 
Parties (CoP16) is tentatively scheduled to be held in Pattaya, 
Thailand, in March 2013. The United States must submit any proposals to 
amend Appendix I or II, or any draft resolutions, decisions, or agenda 
items for discussion at CoP16, to the CITES Secretariat 150 days 
(tentatively early October 2012) prior to the start of the meeting. In 
order to meet this deadline and to prepare for CoP16, we have developed 
a tentative U.S. schedule. We plan to publish a Federal Register notice 
approximately 15 months prior to CoP16; in that notice, we intend to 
request potential resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for 
discussion at CoP16, and to announce tentative species proposals the 
United States is considering submitting for CoP16 and solicit further 
information and comments on them.
    Approximately 9 months prior to CoP16, we plan to publish a Federal 
Register notice announcing proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda 
items the United States is considering submitting for CoP16.
    Approximately 4 months prior to CoP16, we will post on our website 
an announcement of the species proposals, draft resolutions, draft 
decisions, and agenda items submitted by the United States to the CITES 
Secretariat for consideration at CoP16.
    Through a series of additional notices and website postings in 
advance of CoP16, we will inform you about preliminary negotiating 
positions on resolutions, decisions, and amendments to the Appendices 
proposed by other Parties for consideration at CoP16, and about how to 
obtain observer status from us. We will also publish an announcement of 
a public meeting tentatively to be held approximately 3 months prior to 
CoP16; that meeting will enable us to receive public input on our 
positions regarding CoP16 issues. The procedures for developing U.S. 
documents and negotiating positions for a meeting of the Conference of 
the Parties to CITES are outlined in 50 CFR 23.87. As noted, we may 
modify or suspend the procedures outlined there if they would interfere 
with the timely or appropriate development of documents for submission 
to the CoP and of U.S. negotiating positions.

Author

    The primary author of this notice is Patricia Ford, Division of 
Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Authority

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

    Dated: May 16, 2011.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-14605 Filed 6-13-11; 8:45 am]
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