[Federal Register: June 1, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 106)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 35025-35033]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 35025]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG09

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Endangered Status for Three Plants From the Mariana Islands and Guam

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose 
endangered status pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act), for three plants (no common names): Nesogenes rotensis, 
Osmoxylon mariannense, and Tabernaemontana rotensis. Nesogenes rotensis 
and O. mariannense are found only on the island of Rota in the U.S. 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Tabernaemontana 
rotensis occurs on both Rota and the United States Territory of Guam. 
The three plant species and their habitats have been affected or are 
now threatened by one or more of the following: habitat degradation or 
destruction by feral deer and pigs; competition for space, light, 
water, and nutrients with introduced vegetation; road construction and 
maintenance activities; recreational activities; natural disasters or 
random environmental events; fire; vandalism; development of 
agricultural homesteads; resorts and golf courses; limited reproductive 
vigor; and potential insect, mouse, or rat predation. This proposal, if 
made final, would implement the Federal protection and recovery 
provisions of the Act.

DATES: Comments from all interested parties must be received by July 
31, 2000. Public hearing requests must be received by July 17, 2000.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials concerning this proposal by any one of several methods.
    (1) You may submit written comments to the Field Supervisor, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office, 300 Ala Moana 
Boulevard, Room 3-122, P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850;
    (2) You may send comments by e-mail to 3mplants__pr@fws.gov (see 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for file formats and other information about 
electronic filing); or
    (3) You may hand-deliver comments to our Pacific Islands Office, 
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, at the 
above address (telephone 808-541-3441; facsimile 808-541-3470).



    Nesogenes rotensis, Osmoxylon mariannense, and Tabernaemontana 
rotensis occur on the island of Rota in the United States Commonwealth 
of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Tabernaemontana rotensis also 
occurs in the United States Territory of Guam.
    The island of Rota (lat. 14 degrees 01 minutes, long. 145 degrees) 
is located approximately 134 kilometers (km) (80 miles (mi)) northwest 
of the Territory of Guam. In general, the islands are raised limestone 
terraces on extinct volcanic peaks and slopes, with limited areas of 
volcanic soils protruding through limestone. Rota, 86 square kilometers 
(sq km) (33 square miles (sq mi)), is significantly smaller in area 
than Guam, which is approximately 500 sq km (200 sq mi), although both 
islands have similar maximum elevation of 490 meters (m) (1,612 feet 
(ft)) and 406 m (1,167 ft) above sea level, respectively.
    The climate on Rota and Guam is tropical marine with high humidity 
and uniform temperatures throughout the year. Average daytime 
temperatures are approximately 26.4 deg. Celsius (80 deg. Fahrenheit) 
with approximately 200 centimeters (cm) (80 inches (in)) of rainfall 
and about 80 percent humidity. Rainfall averages 26.8 cm (10.7 in) per 
month during the wet season and 9.5 cm (3.8 in) per month during the 
dry season (Resources Northwest 1997). The dry season generally occurs 
from January to June, and trade winds of 24 to 40 km (15 to 25 mi) per 
hour from the east and northeast are common. The trade winds degenerate 
during the rainy season, which generally occurs from July to December. 
During this period, westward moving storms develop along and above the 
equator in an area known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone. These 
storms occasionally reach typhoon strength and can cause extensive 
damage to crops, homes, community infrastructure, and island forests 
(Resources Northwest 1997).
    The vegetation of Rota and Guam falls into four general classes: 
forest, secondary vegetation, agroforest, and nonforest areas (Falanruw 
et al. 1989). The forest class includes five primary types: native 
limestone forest, introduced trees, mangrove (Rhizophora spp.) forest, 
ironwood (Casuarina sp.) forest, and atoll forest (Falanruw et al. 
1989). Historically, native limestone forest varied from semidry forest 
to more or less dry-season deciduous forests on the lower terraces to 
wet cloud forest on the highest terraces. Osmoxylon mariannense occurs 
in the cloud forest on the highest terrace, or sabana, of Rota. 
Tabernaemontana rotensis occurs in or on the edges of the drier 
semideciduous limestone forests. Nesogenes rotensis occurs along the 
lowest terrace or coastal plain in strand vegetation on open limestone 
sea cliffs. Much of the original native forests on Rota and Guam was 
cleared for agriculture and timber harvest or by military activities, 
including bombing during World War II (Fosberg 1960). However, both 
Rota and Guam have extensive secondary native forests of medium stature 
that have regrown since the peak disturbance period associated with 
Japanese and American occupation of the islands during World War II. 
These forests, however, have subsequently been degraded by agricultural 
practices, logging, and development (Fosberg 1960).
    These three plant species occur on private land, land owned by the 
CNMI (public park area), and Federal land (Andersen Air Force Base).

Discussion of the Three Plant Species

Nesogenes Rotensis

    The type collection of Nesogenes rotensis, collected on April 23, 
1982, by Derral Herbst and Marjorie Falanruw, was from Haaniya Point 
(Pona Point Fishing Cliff), Palie area, on the island of Rota, growing 
on exposed, dry raised limestone, at 100 m (328 ft) elevation (Fosberg 
and Herbst 1983). It was growing in association with Scaevola sericea 
(nanaso), Terminalia samoensis (talisai ganu), Hedyotis strigulosa 
(paodedo), Pogonatherum paniceum, and Bikkia tetrandra (gausali). 
Fosberg and Herbst (1983) formally described and published the name 
Nesogenes rotensis and placed it in the family Chloanthaceae, a largely 
Australian family. This placement was a change from the historic 
placement of the genus in the family Verbenaceae and its subsequent 
placement in its own family, Nesogenaceae. Presently, Mabberly (1990) 
recognizes Nesogenes as a genus of Verbenaceae, but states that it may 
simply be a matter of preference as to how to treat the genus 

[[Page 35026]]

    Nesogenes rotensis is an herbaceous plant with small, opposite, 
broadly lanceolate, coarsely toothed leaves. Flowers are axillary and 
tubular, with five white petals; often a flowering branch grows 
upright, which might aid in pollination or seed dispersal (Raulerson 
and Rinehart 1997). Each plant typically branches near the base at 
about five to seven nodes, and is subprostrate to ascending, scrambling 
over appressed shrubs, with whole plants up to almost 1 m (3 ft) in 
diameter (Fosberg and Herbst 1983).
    One population of fewer than 100 plants was reported in 1982 by 
Derral Herbst at the Pona Point Fishing Cliff, public park land owned 
by the CNMI (under jurisdiction of the CNMI Department of Land and 
Natural Resources (DLNR)) and the site of the only known population 
(Loyal Mehrhoff, Service, pers. comm. 1993). In 1994, Raulerson and 
Rinehart (1997) reported a population of about 20 plants, occupying 200 
sq m (240 sq yards (yd)) of habitat, at the Pona Point Fishing Cliff. 
Apparently, this was the same population as was reported by Herbst in 
1983; Herbst was uncertain of the original location when he made the 
herbarium sheet (D. Herbst, Bishop Museum, pers. comm. 1997).
    Based on information from collections, Nesogenes rotensis flowered 
April 23, 1982 (Herbst and Falanruw 6739), and was fruiting and 
flowering in November 1994 (Raulerson 26222). In January (Dan Grout, 
Service, pers. comm. 1997) and February 1997 (Christa Russell, Service, 
in litt. 1997), no plants were found at this site. In January 1998, 
approximately 30 plants were observed in seed, but not in flower (Guy 
Hughes, Service, pers. comm. 1998). There were several volunteer 
seedlings near the larger plants, and the entire population was 
scattered over an area of approximately 200 sq m (240 sq yd). Many of 
the larger individuals were senescent, with many dried branches and 
only a few green leaves on one or a few of the branches. The dried 
branches were lined with cuplike structures that contained seeds. All 
the available information and recent observations suggest that these 
plants are perennials, but their above-ground parts die back annually.
    The only known population of this species occurs in an area that 
has increasingly been overutilized by people. Because of activities, 
such as collecting, trampling by fishermen and tourists, or expansion 
of the park's facilities, human activities has become the primary 
threat to the species. The nonnative Casuarina equisetifolia (ironwood) 
is presently colonizing the Pona Point Fishing Cliff area and also 
represents a major threat to N. rotensis. Casuarina equisetifolia is a 
large, fast-growing tree that reaches up to 20 m (65 ft) in height 
(Wagner et al. 1990). It forms monotypic stands, shades out other 
plants, takes up much of the available nutrients, and possibly releases 
a chemical agent that prevents other plants from growing beneath it 
(Neal 1965, Smith 1985). In addition, given the limited distribution of 
N. rotensis, random environmental events, such as typhoons, storm 
surges, and high surf, also threaten the one remaining population.

Osmoxylon Mariannense

    Osmoxylon mariannense was first collected on Rota by French 
naturalist Alfred Marche, an active botanical explorer in the Mariana 
Islands from 1887-1889 (Stone 1970). It was not until 1933, when a 
study of Marche's collection was made, that Kanehira first described 
the species as Boerlagiodendron mariannense (Kanehira 1933). In 1980, 
Fosberg and Sachet (1980) published the currently accepted 
recombination, Osmoxylon mariannense, which has been upheld by 
Raulerson and Rinehart (1991). Osmoxylon mariannense, endemic to Rota, 
is a spindly, soft-wooded tree in the Ginseng family (Araliaceae), 
which can reach 10 m (33 ft) in height. It has several ascending, gray-
barked branches that bear conspicuous leaf scars. Leaves vary in size; 
mature leaves are palmately lobed and about 30 cm (1 ft) long and 50 cm 
(1.7 ft) wide. The seven to nine lobes are coarsely toothed, and each 
lobe has a conspicuous, depressed mid-vein. The leaves are alternate, 
or whorled, at branch tips; the petioles are 35-40 cm (1-1.5 ft) long 
and based in distinctive, conspicuous green multiple ``sockets'' 
(Raulerson and Rinehart 1991).
    Historically, Osmoxylon mariannense occurred in dense primary 
forest at about 400 m (1,320 ft) elevation (Kanehira 1933). Reports 
from 1980 to 1995 indicate that approximately 20 individuals from one 
scattered population were in the same vicinity as reported by Kanehira 
(Lynn Raulerson, University of Guam, pers. comm. 1998; D. Grout and L. 
Mehrhoff, pers. comms. 1997). Currently, all known individuals of this 
species occur in small subpopulations along a simple system of 
unimproved roads crossing the top of the sabana (highest elevation 
terraces) of Rota. One of the larger subpopulations had approximately 
nine individuals in 1994, but typhoons appeared to have damaged many of 
the trees, and only two were visible in 1997 (Raulerson and Rinehart 
    Osmoxylon mariannense can be found on both private (approximately 2 
individuals) and publicly owned (CNMI) (approximately 18 individuals) 
land in limestone forests. It occurs as an understory species in 
Pisonia umbellifera and Hernandia labyrinthica forests, and is often 
hard to see until some trunks are tall enough to mingle with the trunks 
of the other two species (Raulerson and Rinehart 1997). In January 
1998, shortly after typhoon Paka, five of the subpopulations, 
containing a total of eight trees, were located along the sabana road 
(Estanislau Taisacan, CNMI, Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and G. 
Hughes, pers. comms. 1998). The plants in each subpopulation were 
completely defoliated and damaged by the high typhoon winds. E. 
Taisacan [supported by Raulerson and Rinehart (1997)] indicated that 
the total population of Osmoxylon mariannense had significantly 
declined in the past 10 years (G. Hughes, pers. comm. 1998). Ten years 
before, many of the subpopulations visited in 1998 had several trees 
each (E. Taisacan, pers. comm. 1998). Almost all of these 
subpopulations have now been reduced to a single tree, and none of 
these trees are reproducing naturally (G. Hughes, pers. comm. 1998).
    Due to several exacerbating factors, the primary threat to 
Osmoxylon mariannense is the lack of regeneration in disturbed forests. 
Although Rota has historically experienced typhoon disturbances, 
intense typhoons and super typhoons have occurred with high frequency 
in the past 10 years. These repeated storms have considerably opened 
the canopy of the sabana forest, creating conditions favored by 
invasive alien plants and vines and perhaps prohibiting the 
regeneration of O. mariannense (L. Mehrhoff, in. litt. 1995). For 
example, during the 1998 site visit, Taisacan indicated the once many-
branched, 10 m (33 ft) high tree appearing in the photograph in 
Raulerson and Rinehart's (1991) Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of the 
Mariana Islands, had been reduced to a small stump 2 m (6.5 ft) high 
with scandent leaves after a decade of exposure to frequent typhoons 
(G. Hughes, pers. comm. 1998). Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and deer (Cervus 
mariannus) occur on Rota, and their browsing and trampling are a 
potential threat to unfenced individuals (G. Hughes, pers. comm. 1998). 
Insect, mouse (Mus musculus), or rat (Rattus spp.) predation of seeds 
on the ground is a suspected cause of the lack of reproductive vigor 
exhibited by this

[[Page 35027]]

species. Since several individuals occur close to roadways, bulldozers 
could destroy plants during routine maintenance or road improvement. 
Finally, the identification of rare species through management 
activities such as fencing and signage may result in vandalism from 
individuals who perceive rare species as threats to development 
(Raulerson and Rinehart 1997).

Tabernaemontana Rotensis

    Kanehira (1936) first described the species as Ervatamia rotensis 
from his type collection from Rota (Kanehira 3666). Stone (1965, 1970) 
recognized the species from the Rota and Guam collections (Stone 5256, 
Kanehira 3666, Hosokawa 9832) as Tabernaemontana rotensis. Leeuwenburg 
(1991) examined 1,400 specimens and adopted a very broad species 
concept when he lumped 52 species (including T. rotensis), ranging from 
China, Taiwan, Thailand, Java, Sabah, Australia, and Micronesia, into a 
single species, T. pandacaqui. However, Forster (1992) challenged 
Leeuwenberg's broad species concept for Tabernaemontana species in 
Australia. Forster's research led to the conclusion that there are two 
species in Australia, T. orientalis and T. pandacaqui. Based on 
Forster's analysis, Derral Herbst, Bishop Museum, speculated that 
Leeuwenberg's broad concept of lumping all Tabernaemontana species into 
one species is not valid (D. Herbst, pers. comm. 2000). This concept of 
combining species, which occur both on the Asian mainland and 
scattered, isolated islands covering a very wide geographic range, was 
also rejected by Dr. Fosberg of the Smithsonian Institution (L. 
Raulerson, pers. comm. 1997). In addition, no genetic investigations 
have been published that would support Leeuwenberg's conclusion. 
Therefore, although the taxonomy of this species is still in dispute, 
we have determined that we have sufficient information to consider T. 
rotensis as a species in its own right.
    Tabernaemontana rotensis is a small tree in the Dogbane family 
(Apocynaceae). It grows to heights of perhaps 6 m (20 ft) and is rather 
weak and spindly in appearance, with large, yellow-green to dark-green 
leaves and thin, milky sap. The inflorescence consists of a few to over 
30 flowers with 5 spirally arranged, united white petals that appear 
slightly folded until they flare at the tips. The fruits occur singly 
or twinned and have one to three ridges. Each fruit is relatively 
small, 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long, dehiscent (they open at 
maturity), and contains 4 to 10 seeds in a red pulp. Herbarium 
specimens show flowering in Guam plants has occurred in January, May, 
and July; specimens collected on Rota were in flower in October and 
    Historically, Tabernaemontana rotensis was known from lowland dry 
forest on Rota, where Kanehira (1936) described it as ``very abundant 
in the northern side of the island, but not found elsewhere.'' On Guam, 
T. rotensis was known from individual specimens in the limestone 
forests along clifflines at Asanite, on the University of Guam campus, 
and at the ``Japanese Overlook'' of the Naval Magazine (Raulerson and 
Rinehart 1997). While the tree at the University of Guam may possibly 
still exist, it has not recently been surveyed. However, the tree at 
the Naval Magazine was destroyed in a typhoon when other trees fell on 
it, and the tree at the Asanite cliffs was not found during a recent 
survey (Raulerson and Rinehart 1997).
    Currently, there is one scattered population of Tabernaemontana 
rotensis on Rota, consisting of two individuals. One of the trees 
occurs in the Mochong area on CNMI land, and the other individual 
occurs in the Chenchon area on private land. Both individuals are 
located close to roads. In January 1998, both individuals were observed 
to be healthy and in flower, but it is not known if these plants have 
ever produced fruit (G. Hughes, pers. comm. 1998).
    Regarding the population on Guam, Gary Wiles, Guam Division of 
Aquatic and Wildlife Resources (DAWR), recently reported a scattered 
population of about 28 mature trees from Pati Point westward to 
Ritidian Point within the overlay refuge on Andersen Air Force Base (G. 
Wiles, DAWR, pers. comm. 2000). The overlay refuge is part of the Guam 
National Wildlife Refuge (GNWR) that is on land owned and administered 
by Andersen Air Force Base, but managed for wildlife purposes through a 
Memorandum of Agreement with us. This population also includes 4 trees 
and approximately 30 saplings and seedlings within Area 50, a 24-
hectare (ha) (60-acre (ac)) section of forest being intensively managed 
to determine the effects of removal of feral ungulates and brown tree 
snakes on native limestone forest habitat. In addition, 2 mature trees, 
approximately 30 saplings, and 70 seedlings have been located along the 
road to Ritidian Point within GNWR. Finally, a single tree exists under 
the powerline near the main road connecting the main airfield and the 
Munitions Storage Area on Andersen Air Force Base. Two trees are also 
known from the Ano Conservation Reserve, on Government of Guam land (G. 
Wiles, in litt. 1998).
    The primary threat to Tabernaemontana rotensis is the lack of 
reproductive vigor and seed distribution due to reduced numbers of 
individuals. This situation includes a lack of observed seed production 
on Rota, which may be due to either the lack of a pollinator or 
predation by insects, mice, or rats (G. Hughes, pers. comm. 1998). On 
Guam, seeds have been observed to mold in the seed case without 
separating from the fruit, indicating that birds may be useful in 
distributing the seeds (G. Wiles, in litt. 1998). Competition with the 
nonnative vines Momordica charantia (balsam pear), Mikania scandens 
(mile-a-minute vine), and Passiflora suberosa (wild passionfruit) may 
threaten seedlings and saplings (G. Wiles, in litt. 1998). Since T. 
rotensis appears to be an edge species and now grows along roadsides, 
it is threatened by road widening or maintenance activities. One of the 
two remaining individuals on Rota was nearly destroyed by a bulldozer 
in the Chenchon area. Also, wildfires on Guam and fires apparently set 
by deer poachers on Rota have increased in frequency during the past 
decade and are a significant threat to this species. In 1996, an 
intentionally set fire burned nearby sections of the Chenchon area, one 
of the two known locations of this species on Rota (E. Taisacan, pers. 
comm. 1998). Signs of feral pig are abundant in the Northwest Field of 
Andersen Air Force Base, and browsing and trampling are a potential 
threat to unfenced individuals on Guam (G. Hughes, per. comm. 1998). 
Finally, this species is threatened by vandalism from local residents 
who perceive rare species as a threat to development, as a T. rotensis 
tree on Rota was cut down and set on fire after its location was given 
to people planning a golf course in the area (Raulerson and Rhinehart 

Previous Federal Action

    Federal action on these plants began with the publication on 
February 28, 1996, of the Notice of Review (NOR) of Plant and Animal 
Taxa (61 FR 7596). In this document, Nesogenes rotensis, Osmoxylon 
mariannense, and Tabernaemontana rotensis were considered candidate 
species. These three species were, again, listed as candidate species 
in the September 19, 1997, NOR (62 FR 49398). Candidate species are 
those for which we have sufficient information on biological 
vulnerability and threats to support proposals to list them as 
endangered or threatened species.

[[Page 35028]]

    The processing of this proposed rule conforms with our Final 
Listing Priority Guidance published in the Federal Register on October 
22, 1999 (64 FR 57114). The guidance clarifies the order in which we 
will process rulemakings. Highest priority is processing emergency 
listing rules for any species determined to face a significant and 
imminent risk to its well-being (Priority 1). Second priority (Priority 
2) is processing final determinations on proposed additions to the 
lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Third priority 
(Priority 3) is processing new proposals to add species to the lists. 
The processing of administrative petition findings (petitions filed 
under section 4 of the Act) is the fourth priority (Priority 4). The 
processing of this proposed rule is a Priority 3 action.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    The procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists are found in 
section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the accompanying 
regulations (50 CFR part 424). A species may be determined to be an 
endangered or a threatened species due to one or more of the five 
factors described in section 4(a)(1). The primary threats facing the 
three species in this proposed rule are summarized in Table 1.

                                                                                                  Table 1.--Summary of Primary Threats
             Species                 Feral animals           Fire              Mice/rats       Nonnative plants      Invertabrates     Development/road     Typhoons/storms      trampling by          Vandalism        Limited numbers
                                                                                                                                             work                                   humans
Nesogenes rotensis..............  ..................  ..................  ..................  ..................  ..................  Significant threat  Significant threat  Significant threat  Potential threat..  Significant
Osmoxylon mariannense...........  Potential threat..  ..................  Potential threat..  Significant threat  Potential threat..  Significant threat  Significant threat  ..................  Potential threat..  Significant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       threat.\1\ *
Tabernaemontana rotensis........  Potential threat..  Significant threat  ..................  Potential threat..  Potential threat..  Significant threat  Significant threat  ..................  Significant threat  Significant
*= No more than 25 individuals; 1 = No more than 1 population.

    These factors and their application to Nesogenes rotensis Fosberg 
and Herbst, Osmoxylon mariannense (Kanehira) Fosberg & Sachet, and 
Tabernaemontana rotensis (Kanehira) Fosberg ex Stone are as follows:
    A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range. Native vegetation on Guam and Rota 
has undergone extreme alteration because of past and present land use 
practices, including ranching, deliberate and unintentional alien 
animal and plant introductions, agricultural development, and military 
activities, including bombing, during World War II (Falanruw et al. 
1989, Fosberg 1960). On Guam, land development and feral animals 
altered most of the island's native vegetation. Probably no more than 
30 percent of Guam's land area is covered by native limestone and 
ravine forest; federally owned lands in northern Guam represent the 
largest contiguous forest areas.
    Rota experienced extensive agricultural development by the Japanese 
prior to World War II, but was not invaded by allied forces during 
World War II. The absence of an invasion, combined with rugged 
topography, resulted in the persistence of stands of native forest. 
However, today, Rota retains less than 60 percent of its native forest 
(Falanruw et al. 1989). The continued loss of native forest is being 
exacerbated by the Agricultural Homestead Act of 1990, which allows for 
the distribution of 1-ha (2.5-ac) parcels of public land to eligible 
participants. Past land use plans have proposed approximately 45 
percent of Rota should be designated private agricultural homestead 
land or as land likely to be converted to agricultural homesteads. 
Currently, about 324 ha (809 ac), or 4 percent of Rota, in the Chenchon 
area, where one of the two individuals of Tabernaemontana rotensis 
occurs, is being considered for future agricultural homesteads. This 
agricultural development, along with the completion of an 18-hole golf 
resort and plans for additional, large-scale development, continue to 
threaten the remaining limestone forest with fragmentation and 
    Throughout the Mariana Islands, goats, pigs, cattle, and deer have 
caused severe damage to forest vegetation by browsing on plants, 
causing erosion (Kessler 1997, Marshall et al. 1995), and retarding 
forest growth and regeneration (Lemke 1992). Thus, all of these islands 
retain only a fraction of their historical forested habitat, and this 
remaining habitat is threatened by the fragmentation and degradation 
associated with development of resorts, agricultural fields, and 
bulldozing for road maintenance and widening (D. Grout and L. Mehrhoff, 
pers. comms. 1997). For example, individuals of Osmoxylon mariannense 
and Tabernaemontana rotensis on Rota were almost destroyed during 
recent road-widening activities (D. Grout and L. Mehrhoff, pers. comms. 
    B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes. At this time, overutilization is not known to be 
an important factor, but unrestricted scientific or horticultural 
collecting or excessive visits by individuals interested in seeing rare 
plants could seriously impact all three species, whose low numbers make 
them especially vulnerable to disturbances. In addition, the only known 
population of Nesogenes rotensis, located in a public park, is 
threatened with trampling by tourists and fishermen. Vandalism is also 
a threat to all three species, as evidenced by the destruction of a 
Tabernaemontana rotensis tree on Rota, which was hacked to the ground 
and set on fire after its location was given to people planning a golf 
course in the area (Raulerson and Rinehart 1997).
    C. Disease and predation. No diseases or predators of these three 
species have been documented. However, an unidentified caterpillar was 

[[Page 35029]]

causing defoliation damage to one Tabernaemontana rotensis tree (L. 
Mehrhoff and C. Russell, Service, pers. comms. 1997), and individuals 
of Osmoxylon mariannense have reportedly suffered defoliation by an 
unknown agent (E. Taisacan, pers. comm. 1997). Although why O. 
mariannense is declining is unclear, invertebrate pests, rats, or 
disease are suspected, judging by the poor health of the leaves, the 
lack of seedlings or juveniles, and the fact that several of the 
previously mapped older individuals have died in recent years (D. 
Grout, pers. comm. 1997).
    In the Hawaiian Islands, two rat species, the black rat (Rattus 
rattus) and the Polynesian rat (R. exulans), and to a lesser extent 
other introduced rodents such as the European house mouse (Mus 
domesticus), eat large, fleshy fruits and strip the bark of some native 
plants (Cuddihy and Stone 1990, Tomich 1986, Wagner et al. 1985). 
Introduced rats (R. tanezumi and R. exulans) or house mice (M. 
musculus) on Rota also may be a threat to Osmoxylon mariannense and 
Tabernaemontana rotensis, since no regeneration of these species has 
been observed (Earl Campbell, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological 
Resources Division, pers. comm. 1998).
    Although no predation or trampling by ungulates has been 
documented, Osmoxylon mariannense and Tabernaemontana rotensis on both 
islands are potentially threatened by adverse effects from feral pigs 
and deer. Four of the T. rotensis trees on Guam are protected from 
ungulates inside Area 50, which is fenced, though whether the trees' 
occurrence in this location resulted from the exclusion of ungulates is 
not clear. However, three individuals of T. rotensis on Guam are not 
currently fenced and could be browsed or trampled by feral animals. On 
Rota, cooperative efforts between the Service and the Rota Division of 
Fish and Wildlife resulted in the construction of fenced exclosures 
around the two known T. rotensis trees and several individuals of O. 
    D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. Currently, 
these species receive no formal protection from Federal, Government of 
Guam, or CNMI laws. While Government of Guam laws would prohibit the 
take of endangered species, the CNMI has no similar regulations to 
protect listed species, although they sometimes provide limited species 
protection to specific islands regardless of overall species 
distributions (e.g., Mariana fruit bat). A Habitat Conservation Plan 
(HCP) for the island of Rota is now under development (Resources 
Northwest 1997) by the CNMI Government and local Rota residents with 
technical assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific 
Islands Office. Initiated largely for the conservation of the Mariana 
crow (Corvus kubaryi), most of the land that is under discussion for 
possible inclusion in conservation areas under the HCP is limestone 
forest, which may provide potential habitat for these three plant 
species. However, the HCP has not yet been submitted as part of an 
application for an Endangered Species Act section 10 permit, and we 
have not made any decision regarding whether it would meet statutory 
issuance criteria.
    The Guam National Wildlife refuge overlay was established to 
develop and implement a long-term comprehensive program to conserve and 
restore endangered and threatened species and other native flora and 
fauna, consistent with the national defense mission of the Air Force. 
For example, some of the Tabernaemontana rotensis individuals occurring 
in the overlay refuge are within Area 50, a protected section of 
forest. However, as discussed in Factor C, other individuals of this 
species are not currently fenced and could be browsed or trampled by 
feral animals. In addition, while the Air Force consults with us on 
actions that may affect listed, proposed, and candidate species and 
their habitats, nothing in the cooperative agreements establishing the 
overlay refuge would prohibit the Air Force from carrying out its 
mission on such lands, consistent with applicable law. Therefore, 
military missions such as troop training actions that occur within 
habitat supporting candidate species (e.g., T. rotensis) could take 
precedence over conservation of candidate species.
    E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence. The combination of increased storm disturbance frequency and 
competition from alien species may be significantly altering the 
condition of habitat occupied by Tabernaemontana rotensis and Osmoxylon 
mariannense. Guam and Rota have a long history of disturbances by 
tropical typhoons (Weir 1991), and the native biota may be adapted to 
these events; however, in the past decade, frequent typhoons have 
severely impacted both islands. In addition, all three species are 
threatened by competition from one or more nonnative plant species. 
Tabernaemontana rotensis may be threatened by Momordica charantia, 
Mikania scandens, and Passiflora suberosa. Nesogenes rotensis is 
threatened by Casuarina equisetifolia, which is becoming established in 
the coastal strand habitat at Pona Point Fishing Cliff. C. 
equisetifolia will likely spread and may significantly change the 
coastal scrubland into a forest habitat with no understory plants or 
available sunlight. Destruction of the sabana forest canopy by typhoons 
in recent years has not only destroyed individual O. mariannense trees 
(Raulerson and Rinehart 1997), but has also altered subcanopy habitat 
conditions over the long term by opening up and drying out older, 
closed forest habitat (E. Taisacan, pers. comm. 1998). In opened forest 
areas, various opportunistic, weedy vines such as M. charantia, M. 
scandens, and P. suberosa cover the ground (Fosberg 1960; Guy Hughes, 
pers. comm. 1998) and may not provide the conditions for seed 
germination and seedling growth as is provided in closed-canopy, high-
stature forests covered with mosses and various epiphytic species like 
    The small number of individuals of the three species covered by 
this proposed rule increases the potential for extinction from natural 
or human-caused random events. The limited gene pool may depress 
reproductive vigor, or a single human-caused or natural environmental 
disturbance could destroy a significant percentage of the individuals 
or whole populations. For example, a typhoon could cause the 
destruction of the remaining individuals of Tabernaemontana rotensis on 
the Guam Naval Magazine, or a storm surge could destroy the only 
remaining population of Nesogenes rotensis.
    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial 
information available on the past, present, and future threats facing 
these species in determining to propose this rule. Based on this 
evaluation, we propose to list Nesogenes rotensis, Osmoxylon 
mariannense, and Tabernaemontana rotensis as endangered. These three 
species are threatened by one or more of the following: habitat 
degradation or destruction by feral deer and pigs; competition for 
space, light, water, and nutrients with naturalized, introduced plant 
species; road construction and maintenance activities; recreational 
activities; natural disasters or random environmental events; fire; 
vandalism; development of agricultural homesteads, resorts, and golf 
courses; limited reproductive vigor; and potentially insect, mouse, or 
rat predation. Osmoxylon mariannense is known from 1 scattered 
population of approximately 20 individuals, while Nesogenes rotensis is 
known from 1 population of approximately 30 plants. Only around 30 
adult Tabernaemontana rotensis trees are known from two

[[Page 35030]]

scattered populations on Guam and Rota. Small population size and 
limited distribution make these species particularly vulnerable to 
extinction from reduced reproductive vigor or random environmental 

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3, paragraph (5)(A) of the 
Act as the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a 
species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which 
are found those physical or biological features essential to the 
conservation of the species and that may require special management 
considerations or protection; and specific areas outside the 
geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed in 
accordance with the provisions of section 4 of the Act, upon a 
determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the 
conservation of the species. ``Conservation'' means the use of all 
methods and procedures needed to bring the species to the point at 
which listing under the Act is no longer necessary.
    Critical habitat designation, by definition, directly affects only 
Federal agency actions through consultation under section 7(a)(2) of 
the Act. Section 7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or destroy or 
adversely modify its critical habitat.
    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing 
regulations (50 CFR 424.12) require that, to the maximum extent prudent 
and determinable, we designate critical habitat at the time the species 
is determined to be endangered or threatened. Our regulations (50 CFR 
424.12(a)(1)) state that designation of critical habitat is not prudent 
when one or both of the following situations exist--(1) the species is 
threatened by taking or other activity and the identification of 
critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to 
the species or (2) such designation of critical habitat would not be 
beneficial to the species.
    We propose that critical habitat is prudent for Nesogenes rotensis, 
Osmoxylon mariannense, and Tabernaemontana rotensis. In the last few 
years, a series of court decisions have overturned Service 
determinations regarding a variety of species that designation of 
critical habitat would not be prudent (e.g., Natural Resources Defense 
Council v. U.S. Department of the Interior 113 F. 3d 1121 (9th Cir. 
1997); Conservation Council for Hawaii v. Babbitt, 2 F. Supp. 2d 1280 
(D. Hawaii 1998)). Based on the standards applied in those judicial 
opinions, we believe that the designation of critical habitat for these 
species would be prudent.
    Due to the small population sizes, the three species are vulnerable 
to unrestricted collection, vandalism, or other disturbance. We remain 
concerned that these threats might be exacerbated by the publication of 
critical habitat maps and further dissemination of locational 
information. However, although we are aware of specific evidence of 
vandalism, we do not believe that the designation of critical habitat 
will increase the degree of threat. In addition, we have not found 
specific evidence of collection or trade of these species or any 
similarly situated species. Consequently, consistent with applicable 
regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)(i)) and recent case law, we do not 
expect that the identification of critical habitat will increase the 
degree of threat to these species of taking or other human activity.
    In the absence of a finding that critical habitat would increase 
threats to a species, if any benefits would result from critical 
habitat designation, then a prudent finding is warranted. In the case 
of these species, some benefits may result from designation of critical 
habitat. The primary regulatory effect of critical habitat is the 
section 7 requirement that Federal agencies refrain from taking any 
action that destroys or adversely modifies critical habitat. While a 
critical habitat designation for habitat currently occupied by this 
species would not be likely to change the section 7 consultation 
outcome because an action that destroys or adversely modifies such 
critical habitat would also be likely to result in jeopardy to the 
species, in some instances section 7 consultation might be triggered 
only if critical habitat is designated. Examples could include 
unoccupied habitat or occupied habitat that may become unoccupied in 
the future. Designating critical habitat may also provide some 
educational or informational benefits. Therefore, we find that critical 
habitat is prudent for these three species.
    However, we cannot propose critical habitat designations for these 
species at this time. Our Hawaiian field office, which would have the 
lead for such proposals, is in the process of complying with the court 
order in Conservation Council for Hawaii v. Babbitt, CIV NO. 97-00098 
ACK (D. Haw. Mar. 9 and Aug. 10, 1998). In that case, the United States 
District Court for the District of Hawaii remanded to the Service its 
``not prudent'' findings on critical habitat designation for 245 
species of Hawaiian plants. The court ordered us not only to reconsider 
these findings, but also to designate critical habitat for any species 
for which we determine on remand that critical habitat designation is 
prudent. Proposed designations or nondesignations for 100 species are 
to be published by November 30, 2000. Proposed designations or 
nondesignations for the remaining 145 species are to be published by 
April 30, 2002. Final designations or nondesignations are to be 
published within 1 year of each proposal. Compliance with this court 
order is a huge undertaking involving critical habitat determinations 
for over one-fifth of all species that have ever been listed under the 
Endangered Species Act, and over one-third of all listed plant species. 
In addition, we have been ordered to include in this effort critical 
habitat designations for an additional 10 plants that are the subject 
of another lawsuit. See Conservation Council for Hawaii v. Babbitt, 
CIV. NO. 99-00283 HG. We cannot develop proposed critical habitat 
designations for these three plant species without significant 
disruption of the field office's intensive efforts to comply with these 
court orders.
    To attempt to do so could also affect the listing program Region-
wide. Administratively, the Service is divided into seven geographic 
regions. These three species are under the jurisdiction of Region 1, 
which includes California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii, 
and other Pacific Islands. About one-half of all listed species occur 
in Region 1. Region 1 receives by far the largest share of listing 
funds of any Service region because it has the heaviest listing 
workload. Region 1 must also expend its listing resources to comply 
with existing court orders or settlement agreements. In fact, in the 
last fiscal year, all of the Region's funding allocation for critical 
habitat actions were expended to comply with court orders. If we were 
to immediately prepare proposed critical habitat designations for these 
3 species notwithstanding the court order pertaining to 245 Hawaiian 
plant species, efforts to provide protection to many other species that 
are not yet listed would be delayed. While we believe there may be some 
benefits to designating critical habitat for these species, these 
benefits are significantly fewer in comparison to the benefits of 
listing a species under the Endangered Species Act because, as 

[[Page 35031]]

above, the primary regulatory effect of critical habitat is limited to 
the section 7 requirement that Federal agencies refrain from taking any 
action that destroys or adversely modifies critical habitat.
    As explained in detail in the Final Listing Priority Guidance for 
FY2000 (64 FR 57114), our listing budget is currently insufficient to 
allow us to immediately complete all of the listing actions required by 
the Act. We plan to employ a priority system for deciding which 
outstanding critical habitat designations should be addressed first. We 
will focus our efforts on those designations that will provide the most 
conservation benefit, taking into consideration the efficacy of 
critical habitat designation in addressing the threats to the species, 
and the magnitude and immediacy of those threats. Deferral of a 
proposal to designate critical habitat for these three species will 
allow us to concentrate our limited resources on higher priority 
critical habitat and other listing actions, while allowing us to put in 
place protections needed for the conservation of these three Mariana 
Islands plants without further delay. Therefore, given the current 
workload in Region 1 and, particularly, the Hawaiian field office, we 
expect that we will be unable to develop a proposal to designate 
critical habitat for these three plants until FY2004.
    We will make the final critical habitat determination with the 
final listing determination for these three species. If this final 
critical habitat determination is that critical habitat is prudent, we 
will develop a proposal to designate critical habitat for these species 
as soon as feasible, considering our workload priorities.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, 
requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain 
practices. Recognition through listing encourages and results in 
conservation actions by Federal, State, and private agencies, groups, 
and individuals. The Act provides for possible land acquisition and 
cooperation with the States and requires that recovery actions be 
carried out for all listed species. The protection required of Federal 
agencies and the prohibitions against taking and harm are discussed, in 
part, below.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, requires Federal agencies to 
evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or 
listed as endangered or threatened and with respect to its critical 
habitat, if any is being designated. Regulations implementing this 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
confer informally with us on any action that is likely to jeopardize 
the continued existence of a proposed species or result in destruction 
or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is 
subsequently listed, section 7(a)(2) requires Federal agencies to 
ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of such a species or to 
destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action 
may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible 
Federal agency must enter into formal consultation with us.
    Federal agency actions that require conference and/or consultation 
as described in the preceding paragraph may include, but not be limited 
to: Army Corps of Engineers projects, such as the construction of 
roads, firebreaks and bridges; various U.S. armed forces activities on 
Guam, and possibly the northern Mariana Islands, such as combat and 
mobility training, and construction; Natural Resource Conservation 
Service projects; Federal Emergency Management Agency activities; and 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development projects. Conservation 
of these plant species may be consistent with some ongoing operations 
at these sites; however, the proposed listing of these species in Guam 
and the CNMI could result in some restrictions on certain activities 
and the use of certain lands.
    Listing Nesogenes rotensis, Osmoxylon mariannense, and 
Tabernaemontana rotensis provides for the development and 
implementation of a recovery plan for these species. These plans will 
bring together Federal, State, and regional agency efforts for 
conservation of the species. Recovery plans will establish a framework 
for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts. The plans will set 
recovery priorities and estimate the costs of the tasks necessary to 
accomplish the priorities. They will also describe the site-specific 
management actions necessary to achieve conservation and survival of 
these species.
    The Act and its implementing regulations, found at 50 CFR 17.61, 
17.62, and 17.63, set forth a series of general prohibitions and 
exceptions that apply to all endangered plant species. Under these 
prohibitions, it is illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction 
of the United States to import or export, transport in interstate or 
foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity, sell or offer 
for sale in interstate or foreign commerce, or remove any such species 
from areas under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, the Act prohibits 
the malicious damage or destruction of areas under Federal jurisdiction 
and the removal, cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying of such 
plants in knowing violation of any State/Commonwealth/Territory law or 
regulation, or in the course of a violation of State/Commonwealth/
Territory criminal trespass law. Certain exceptions to the prohibitions 
apply to our agents and State conservation agencies.
    The Act and 50 CFR 17.62 and 17.63 also provide for the issuance of 
permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving 
endangered plant species under certain circumstances. Such permits are 
available for scientific purposes and to enhance the propagation or 
survival of the species. We anticipate that few permits would ever be 
sought or issued because these three species are not common in 
cultivation or in the wild.
    Our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34272), is to identify, to the maximum extent practicable, those 
activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 
of the Act if a species is listed. The intent of this policy is to 
increase public awareness as to the effects of the listing on future 
and ongoing activities within a species' range. Only one of these 
species, Tabernaemontana rotensis, has a population on Federal land 
under U.S. Air Force jurisdiction within the Guam National Wildlife 
Refuge. Collection, damage, or destruction of this species on Federal 
land is prohibited without a Federal permit. Such activities involving 
any of the three species on non-Federal lands would constitute a 
violation of section 9 if conducted in knowing violation of Government 
of Guam or CNMI laws or regulations. The Service is not aware of any 
trade in these species.
    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a 
violation of section 9 should be directed to the Field Supervisor of 
the Pacific Islands Office (see ADDRESSES section). Requests for copies 
of the regulations for listed plants and inquiries about prohibitions 
and permits may be addressed to the Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Ecological Services, Permits Branch, 911 N.E. 11th Avenue, Portland, 
Oregon 97232-4181 (telephone 503-231-2063; FAX 503-231-6243).

[[Page 35032]]

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will 
be as accurate and effective as possible. Comments or suggestions from 
the public, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific 
community, industry, or any other interested party concerning this 
proposed rule are requested. Comments are particularly sought 
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threat (or lack thereof) to these species;
    (2) The location of any additional populations of these species and 
reasons why any habitat should or should not be designated as critical 
    (3) Additional information on the range, distribution, and 
population size of these species; and
    (4) Current or planned activities in the subject area and their 
possible impacts on these species.
    Final issuance of regulations for these three species will take 
into consideration the comments and any additional information received 
by the Service, and such communications may lead to a final regulation 
that differs from this proposal. In accordance with interagency policy 
published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), upon publication of this 
proposed rule in the Federal Register, we will solicit expert reviews 
by at least three specialists regarding pertinent scientific or 
commercial data and assumptions relating to the taxonomic, biological, 
and ecological information for the three species. The purpose of such a 
review is to ensure that listing decisions are based on scientifically 
sound data, assumptions, and analyses, including the input of 
appropriate experts. We will summarize the opinions of these reviewers 
in the final decision document. The final determination may differ from 
this proposal based upon the information we receive.
    You may request a public hearing on this proposal. Your request for 
a hearing must be made in writing and filed within 45 days of the date 
of publication of this proposal in the Federal Register. Address your 
requests to the Field Supervisor (see ADDRESSES section).
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law. In some circumstances, we would withhold 
from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, as allowable by 
law. If you wish for us to withhold your name and/or address, you must 
state this request prominently at the beginning of your comment. 
However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all 
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

Electronic Access and Filing

    You may send comments by e-mail to 3mplants_pr@fws.gov. Please 
submit these comments as an ASCII file and avoid the use of special 
characters and any form of encryption. Please also include ``Attn: RIN 
1018-AG09'' and your name and return address in your e-mail message. If 
you do not receive a confirmation from the system that we have received 
your e-mail message, contact us directly by calling our Pacific Islands 
Office at phone number 808-541-3441.

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations 
that are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to make 
this rule easier to understand including answers to the following: (1) 
Are the requirements of the rule clear? (2) Is the discussion of the 
rule in the Supplementary Information section of the preamble helpful 
to understanding the rule? (3) What else could we do to make the rule 
easier to understand?

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that preparation of an environmental assessment 
or environmental impact statement, as defined under the authority of 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, is not necessary when 
issuing regulations adopted under section 4(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. We published a notice outlining our 
reasons for this decision in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 
(48 FR 49244).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the Pacific Islands Ecoregion Office. (See ADDRESSES 
    Author: The author of this proposed rule is Guy D. Hughes (see 
ADDRESSES section) (808/541-3441).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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


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

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

    2. Section 17.12(h) is amended by adding the following, in 
alphabetical order under FLOWERING PLANTS, to the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Plants:

Sec. 17.12  Endangered and threatened plants.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------    Historic range           Family            Status      When listed    Critical     Special
         Scientific name                Common name                                                                               habitat       rules
         Flowering Plants

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *
Nesoqenes rotensis...............  None................  Western Pacific      Verbenaceae........  E               ...........           NA           NA
                                                          (Commonwealth of
                                                          the Northern
                                                          Mariana Islands).

[[Page 35033]]

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *
Osmoxylon mariannense............  None................  Western Pacific      Araliaceae.........  E               ...........           NA           NA
                                                          (Commonwealth of
                                                          the Northern
                                                          Mariana Islands).

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *
Tabernaemontana rotensis.........  None................  Western Pacific      Apocynaceae........  E               ...........           NA           NA
                                                          (Commonwealth of
                                                          the Northern
                                                          Mariana Islands
                                                          and Guam).

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *

    Dated: May 2, 2000.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-13707 Filed 5-31-00; 8:45 am]