[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 70 (Wednesday, April 11, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21798-21802]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-8665]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R9-IA-2011-0087; 96300-1671-0000 FY12-R4]


Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International 
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Sixteenth 
Regular Meeting: Taxa Being Considered for Amendments to the CITES 
Appendices

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The United States, as a Party to the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES), may propose amendments to the CITES Appendices for 
consideration at meetings of the Conference of the Parties. The 
sixteenth regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES 
(CoP16) is tentatively scheduled to be held in Thailand, March 3-15, 
2013. With this notice, we describe proposed amendments to the CITES 
Appendices (species proposals) that the United States might submit for 
consideration at CoP16 and invite your comments and information on 
these proposals.

DATES: We will consider written information and comments we receive by 
June 11, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments pertaining to species proposals for

[[Page 21799]]

consideration at CoP16 by one of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R9-IA-2011-0087.
    U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-
R9-IA-2011-0087; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; 
Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not consider comments sent by email or fax or to an address 
not listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will post all comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us. If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment--including any personal 
identifying information--will be posted on the Web site. If you submit 
a hardcopy comment that includes personal identifying information, you 
may request at the top of your document that we withhold this 
information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comments and materials we receive in response to this notice will 
be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of 
Scientific Authority, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 110, Arlington, VA 
22203, phone 703-358-1708.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosemarie Gnam Ph.D., Chief, Division 
of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North 
Fairfax Drive, Room 110, Arlington, VA 22203; phone 703-358-1708, fax 
703-358-2276, email: scientificauthority@fws.gov. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild 
Fauna and Flora (CITES or the Convention) is an international treaty 
designed to control and regulate international trade in certain animal 
and plant species that are now or potentially may be threatened with 
extinction, and are affected by trade. These species are included in 
Appendices to CITES, which are available on the CITES Secretariat's Web 
site at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/2011/E-Dec22.pdf. Currently, 175 
countries, including the United States, are Parties to CITES. The 
Convention calls for meetings of the Conference of the Parties, held 
every 2 to 3 years, at which the Parties review its implementation, 
make provisions enabling the CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry 
out its functions, consider amendments to the lists 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, as well as resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for 
consideration by all the Parties.
    This is our third 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. negotiating 
positions for the sixteenth regular meeting of the Conference of the 
Parties to CITES (CoP16), tentatively scheduled to be held in Thailand, 
March 3-15, 2013. We published our first CoP16-related Federal Register 
notice on June 14, 2011 (76 FR 34746), in which we requested 
information and recommendations on animal and plant species proposals 
for the United States to consider submitting for consideration at 
CoP16. You may obtain information on that Federal Register notice from 
the Division of Scientific Authority at the address provided in FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above. We published our second 
CoP16-related Federal Register notice on November 7, 2011 (76 FR 
68778), in which we requested information and recommendations on 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items that the United States might 
consider submitting for discussion at CoP16, and provided preliminary 
information on how to request approved observer status for 
nongovernmental organizations that wish to attend the meeting. Comments 
received on that notice may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov at 
Docket No. FWS-R9-IA-2011-0087. You may obtain information on that 
Federal Register notice by contacting Robert R. Gabel, Chief, Division 
of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. 
Fairfax Drive, Room 212, Arlington, VA 22203; phone 703-358-2095; fax 
703-358-2298. Our regulations governing this public process are found 
in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Sec.  23.87.

Recommendations for Species Proposals for the United States To Consider 
Submitting for CoP16

    In our Federal Register notice of June 14, 2011 (76 FR 34746), we 
requested information and recommendations on potential species 
proposals for the United States to consider submitting for 
consideration at CoP16. We received recommendations from the following 
organizations for possible proposals involving 92 taxa (3 families, 13 
genera, and 76 individual species) and 2 general groups (Asian 
freshwater turtles and tortoises and native Hawaiian sandalwood 
species): the American Herbal Products Association; Animal Welfare 
Institute; Bush Warriors; Center for Biological Diversity; 
International Fund for Animal Welfare; International Union for 
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist 
Group; Oceana; Pew Environment Group; Shark Advocates International; 
Species Survival Network; United Plant Savers; Wild Equity Institute; 
Wildlife Conservation Society; and World Wildlife Fund. In addition, we 
received comments from individuals as follows: 49 on the white 
rhinoceros; 25,742 on North American turtles; and 2,879 on bluefin 
tuna.
    We have undertaken initial assessments of the available trade and 
biological information on all of these taxa. Based on these 
assessments, we made provisional evaluations of whether to proceed with 
the development of proposals for species to be included in, removed 
from, or transferred between the CITES Appendices. We made these 
evaluations by considering the biological and trade information 
available on the species; the presence, absence, and effectiveness of 
other mechanisms that may preclude the need for species' inclusion in 
the CITES Appendices (e.g., range country actions or other 
international agreements); and availability of resources. Furthermore, 
our assignment of a taxon to one of these categories, which reflects 
the likelihood of our submitting a proposal, included consideration of 
the following factors, which reflect the U.S. approach for CoP16 
discussed in our June 14, 2011, Federal Register notice:
    (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?
    (2) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife or plant 
trade issue for species not native to the United States?
    (3) Does the proposed action provide additional conservation 
benefit for a

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species already covered by another international agreement?
    In sections A, B, and C below, we have listed the current status of 
each species proposal recommended by the public, as well as species 
proposals we have been developing on our own. Please note that we have 
only provided here a list of taxa and the proposed action. We have 
posted an extended version of this notice on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/international/newspubs/fedregnot.html, with text describing 
in more detail each proposed action and explaining the rationale for 
the tentative U.S. position on each possible proposal. Copies of the 
extended version of the notice are also available from the Division of 
Scientific Authority at the above address.
    We welcome your comments, especially if you are able to provide any 
additional biological or trade information on these species. For each 
species, more detailed information is on file in the Division of 
Scientific Authority.

A. What species proposals is the United States likely to submit for 
consideration at CoP16?

    The United States is likely to develop and submit proposal(s) for 
the following taxa.
Plants
    1. Laguna Beach dudleya (Dudleya stolonifera) and Santa Barbara 
dudleya (D. traskiae)--Removal from Appendix II.
    2. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)--Amendment of the 
Appendix II annotation.

B. On what species proposals is the United States still undecided, 
pending additional information and consultations?

    The United States is still undecided on whether to submit proposals 
for CoP16 for the following taxa. In some cases, we have not completed 
our consultations with relevant range countries. In other cases, we 
expect meetings to occur in the immediate future, at which participants 
will generate important recommendations, trade analyses, or biological 
information on the taxon in question.
Plants
    1. Hawaiian sandalwoods (Santalum spp.)--Inclusion in Appendix II.
Corals
    2. Red and pink corals (Corallium spp. and Paracorallium spp.)--
Inclusion in Appendix II.
Fishes
    3. Longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus)--Inclusion in Appendix II.
    4. Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)--Inclusion in Appendix 
II.
    5. Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus)--Inclusion in Appendix II or 
Appendix I.
    6. Scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), great hammerhead 
shark (S. mokarran), and smooth hammerhead shark (S. zygaena)--
Inclusion in Appendix II.
    7. Oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus)--Inclusion in 
Appendix II or Appendix I.
    8. Bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus), common thresher 
shark (A. vulpinus), and pelagic thresher shark (A. pelagicus)--
Inclusion in Appendix II.
    9. Orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus)--Inclusion in Appendix 
II.
    10. American eel (Anguilla rostrata) and all other Anguilla species 
not previously included in the CITES Appendices--Inclusion in Appendix 
II.
Reptiles
    11. Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko)--Inclusion in Appendix II.
    12. Burmese starred tortoise (Geochelone platynota)--Transfer from 
Appendix II to Appendix I.
    13. Crowned river turtle (Hardella thurjii)--Inclusion in Appendix 
II.
    14. Burmese peacock softshell turtle (Nilssonia formosa)--Inclusion 
in Appendix II.
    15. Roti Island snake-necked turtle (Chelodina mccordi)--Transfer 
from Appendix II to Appendix I.
    16. Yellow-margined box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata)--Transfer 
from Appendix II to Appendix I.
    17. McCord's box turtle (Cuora mccordi)--Transfer from Appendix II 
to Appendix I.
    18. Chinese three-striped box turtle (Cuora trifasciata)--Transfer 
from Appendix II to Appendix I.
    19. Big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum)--Transfer from 
Appendix II to Appendix I.
    20. Painted terrapin (Batagur borneoensis)--Transfer from Appendix 
II to Appendix I.
    21. Burmese roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata)--Transfer from 
Appendix II to Appendix I.
    22. Map turtles (Graptemys spp.)--Inclusion in Appendix II and 
three species in Appendix I.
    23. Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)--Inclusion in Appendix 
I or Appendix II.
    24. Spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata)--Inclusion in Appendix I or 
Appendix II.
    25. Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)--Inclusion 
in Appendix II.
    26. Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)--Inclusion in 
Appendix II.
Birds
    27. Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)--Transfer from Appendix I to 
Appendix II.
Mammals
    28. Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)--Inclusion in Appendix II or 
Appendix I.
    29. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)--Transfer from Appendix II to 
Appendix I.

C. What species proposals is the United States not likely to submit for 
consideration at CoP16, unless we receive significant additional 
information?

    The United States does not intend to submit proposals for the 
following taxa unless we receive significant additional information 
indicating that a proposal is warranted. Information currently 
available for each of the taxa listed below does not support a 
defensible proposal.
Plants
    1. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)--Removal from Appendix II.
Mollusks
    2. Nautilids (Allonautilus spp. and Nautilus spp.)--Inclusion in 
Appendix II.
Spiders
    3. Burrowing (Chilobrachys fimbriatus and C. hardwicki), large 
burrowing (Haploclastus kayi, Thrigmopoeus insignis, and T. 
truculentus), and parachute (Poecilotheria formosa, P. 
hanumavilasumica, P. metallica, P. miranda, P. nallamalaiensis, P. 
regalis, P. rufilata, P. striata, and P. tigrinawesseli) spiders--
Inclusion in Appendix II.
Fishes
    4. Gulper sharks (Centrophoridae)--Inclusion in Appendix II.
    5. Devil and manta rays (Mobulidae)--Inclusion in Appendix II or in 
Appendix I.
    6. Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae) (see section B.6. above for 
consideration of scalloped, great, and smooth hammerhead sharks)--
Inclusion in Appendix I or, if not warranted, in Appendix II.
    7. Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)--Inclusion in Appendix II or 
Appendix I.
    8. Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus)--Appendix II or Appendix 
I.

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    9. Portuguese shark (Centroscymnus coelolepis)--Inclusion in 
Appendix II.
    10. Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias)--Inclusion in Appendix II.
    11. Roundnose grenadier (Coryphaenoides rupestris)--Inclusion in 
Appendix II.
    12. Roughhead grenadier (Macrourus berglax)--Inclusion in Appendix 
II.
    13. North Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)--Inclusion in 
Appendix I.
Reptiles
    14. San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia)--
Inclusion in Appendix I.
    15. Bocourt's water snake (Enhydris boucourti) and puff-faced water 
snake (Homalopsis buccata)--Inclusion in Appendix III.
    16. Other turtles not native to the United States (Inclusion in 
Appendix II or Appendix I or Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I):
     Malayan softshell turtle (Dogania subplana),
     Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans),
     Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle (Geoemyda japonica),
     black-breasted hill turtle (Geoemyda spengleri),
     Sulawesi forest turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi),
     Burmese mountain tortoise (Manouria emys),
     impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa),
     Indian black turtle (Melanochelys trijuga),
     Indian eyed turtle (Morenia petersi),
     Leith's softshell turtle (Nilssonia (Aspideretes) 
leithii),
     Malaysian giant turtle (Orlitia borneensis),
     wattle-necked softshell turtle (Palea steindachneri),
     Cochin forest cane turtle (Vijayachelys silvatica),
     Cann's snake-necked turtle (Chelodina canni),
     Gunalen's snake-necked turtle (Chelodina gunaleni),
     eastern or common snake-necked turtle (Chelodinal 
ongicollis),
     New Guinea snake-necked turtle (Chelodina novaeguineae),
     narrow-breasted snake-necked turtle (Chelodina oblonga),
     Pritchard's snake-necked turtle (Chelodina pritchardi),
     Reimann's snake-necked turtle (Chelodina reimanni),
     Steindachner's snake-necked turtle (Chelodina 
steindachneri),
     yellow-headed box turtle (Cuora aurocapitata),
     Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti),
     Ryukyu yellow-margined box turtle (Cuora evelynae),
     McCord's box turtle (Cuora mccordi),
     keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii),
     Pan's box turtle (Cuora pani),
     Southern Vietnamese box turtle (Cuora picturata),
     Yunnan box turtle (Cuora yunnanensis),
     Zhou's box turtle (Cuora zhoui),
     western black-bridged leaf turtle (Cyclemys atripons),
     Asian leaf turtle (Cyclemys dentate),
     enigmatic leaf turtle (Cyclemys enigmatica),
     Myanmar brown leaf turtle (Cyclemys fusca),
     Assam leaf turtle (Cyclemys gemeli),
     Southeast Asian leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhamii),
     eastern black-bridged leaf turtle (Cyclemys 
pulchristriata),
     white-throated or southern snapping turtle (Elseya 
albagula),
     Southern New Guinea snapping turtle (Elseya 
branderhorsti),
     northern snapping turtle (Elseya dentata),
     Irwin's snapping turtle (Elseya irwini),
     Gulf or Riversleigh snapping turtle (Elseya lavarackorum),
     Bell's or western sawshelled turtle (Myuchelys bellii),
     Bellinger River sawshelled turtle (Myuchelys georgesi),
     common sawshelled turtle (Myuchelys latisternum),
     New Guinea snapping turtle (Myuchelys novaeguineae),
     Manning River sawshelled turtle (Myuchelys purvisi),
     Beal's eyed turtle (Sacalia bealei),
     Chinese false eyed turtle (Sacalia psuedocellata),
     four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata),
     striped New Guinea softshell turtle (Pelochelys bibroni),
     Cantor's or Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys 
cantorii),
     Northern New Guinea softshell turtle (Pelochelys 
signifera),
     red-crowned roofed turtle (Batagur kachuga),
     yellow-headed temple turtle (Heosemys annandalii),
     Arakan forest turtle (Heosemys depressa),
     Annam pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis),
     yellow pond turtle (Mauremys mutica),
     red-necked pond turtle (Mauremys nigricans),
     Philippine forest turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis),
     Asian narrow-headed softshell turtle (Chitra chitra),
     Burmese narrow-headed softshell turtle (Chitra vandijki),
     Swinhoe's giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei),
     Central American River turtle (Dermatemys mawii),
     giant musk turtles (Staurotypus spp.),
     Dahl's toad-headed turtle (Mesoclemmys dahli),
     Hoge's side-necked turtle (Mesoclemmys hogei),
     Madagascar big-headed turtle (Erymnochelys 
madagascariensis),
     giant South American river turtle (Podocnemis expansa), 
and
     Magdalena river turtle (Podocnemis lewyana).
    17. Flattened musk turtle (Sternotherus depressus)--Inclusion in 
Appendix I.
    18. Softshell turtles (Apalone spp.)--Inclusion in Appendix II.
    19. Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)--Inclusion in 
Appendix III.
Mammals
    20. White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)--Inclusion of the entire 
species in Appendix I.
    21. Narwhal (Monodon monoceros)--Transfer from Appendix II to 
Appendix I.
    22. Indian or thick-tailed pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), 
Philippine pangolin (M. culionensis), Sunda or Malayan pangolin (M. 
javanica), and Chinese pangolin (M. pentadactyla)--Transfer from 
Appendix II to Appendix I.

Future Actions

    As stated above, the next regular meeting of the Conference of the 
Parties (CoP16) is tentatively scheduled to be held in Thailand, March 
3-15, 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. Approximately 9 months prior to CoP16, we plan to 
publish a Federal Register notice announcing draft resolutions, draft 
decisions, and agenda items to be submitted by the United States at 
CoP16, and to solicit further information and comments on them. We will 
consider all available information and comments, including those 
received in writing during that comment period, as we decide which

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proposed resolutions, decisions, and agenda items warrant submission by 
the United States for consideration by the Parties. Approximately 4 
months prior to CoP16, we will post on our Web site 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 Web site 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. We will also 
publish an announcement of a public meeting 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 in paragraph (c) of that section, 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 Mary Cogliano, Ph.D., Division 
of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Authority

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

    Dated: March 30, 2012.
 Daniel M. Ashe,
Director.
[FR Doc. 2012-8665 Filed 4-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P