[Federal Register: February 1, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 21)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 4770-4779]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AE20

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of 
Endangered Status for Blackburn's Sphinx Moth from the Hawaiian Islands

AGENCY:  Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:  Final rule.


SUMMARY:  We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine 
Manduca blackburni, the Blackburn's sphinx moth, to be an endangered 
species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). 
Historically, this species occurred on the Hawaiian islands of Kauai, 
Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, but until

[[Page 4771]]

recently, was known only from one population on Maui. Researchers 
observed a second population on Maui in 1992, and populations are now 
known to also occur on the islands of Kahoolawe and Hawaii. This moth 
is currently threatened by one or more of the following: habitat 
fragmentation and destruction due to development and agricultural 
practices resulting in the loss of its host plants, habitat degradation 
due to the effects of introduced animals and plants, predation, 
parasitism, competition for food or space by alien insects, and 
overcollection by private and commercial collectors. Due to its 
restricted distribution, this species is also vulnerable to extinction 
from random, catastrophic events, such as drought or fire. This final 
rule implements the Federal protections provided by the Act for this 

EFFECTIVE DATE:  March 2, 2000.

ADDRESSES:  You may inspect the complete file for this rule, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the Pacific Islands 
Ecoregion, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, 
Room 3-122, P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Robert Smith, Pacific Islands 
Manager, Ecological Services, Pacific Islands Ecoregion (see ADDRESSES 
section) (telephone: 808/541-2749; facsimile: 808/541-2756).



    The Hawaiian archipelago includes eight large volcanic islands 
(Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and Hawaii), as 
well as offshore islets, shoals, and atolls set on submerged volcanic 
remnants at the northwest end of the chain (the Northwestern Hawaiian 
Islands). Each island was formed sequentially from frequent, voluminous 
basaltic lava flows (Stearns 1985). The youngest island, Hawaii, is 
still volcanically active, and retains its form of coalesced, gently 
sloping, unweathered shield volcanoes (broadly rounded dome-shaped 
volcanoes formed by fluid and far-spreading lava flows). Vulcanism on 
the older islands has long since ceased, with subsequent erosion 
forming heavily weathered valleys with steep walls and well-developed 
streams and soils (Department of Geography 1983).
    This range of topography creates a great diversity of climates. 
Windward (northeastern) slopes can receive up to 1,000 centimeters (cm) 
(400 inches (in)) of rain per year, while some leeward coasts that lie 
in the rain shadow of the high volcanoes are classified as deserts, 
receiving as little as 25 cm (10 in) of rain annually. This climate has 
given rise to a rich diversity of plant communities, including coastal, 
dryland, montane, subalpine, and alpine; dry, moderately moist, and 
wet; and herblands, grasslands, shrublands, forests, and mixed 
communities (Gagne and Cuddihy 1990). These habitats support one of the 
most unusual arthropod faunas in the world, with an estimated 10,000 
native species (Howarth 1990). Unusual characters of Hawaii's native 
arthropod fauna include the absence of social insects, such as ants and 
termites, extremely small geographic ranges, novel ecological shifts 
(unusual behavior and/or habitat), flightlessness, and loss of certain 
antipredator behaviors (Howarth 1990; Simon et al. 1984; Zimmerman 
1948, 1970).
    Blackburn's sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni) is Hawaii's largest 
native insect, with a wingspan of up to 12 cm (5 in). Like other sphinx 
moths (family Sphingidae), it has long, narrow forewings and a thick, 
spindle-shaped body tapered at both ends. It is grayish brown in color, 
with black bands across the apical (top) margins of the hind wings and 
five orange spots along each side of the abdomen. The larva is a 
typical, large ``hornworm'' caterpillar, with a spinelike process on 
the dorsal (upper) surface of the eighth abdominal segment. 
Caterpillars occur in two color forms, a bright green or a grayish 
phase. Both color forms have scattered white speckles throughout the 
dorsum (back), with the lateral (side) margin of each segment bearing a 
horizontal white stripe, and segments four to seven bearing diagonal 
stripes on the lateral margins (Zimmerman 1958; Betsy Gagne, Hawaii 
Department of Land and Natural Resources, pers. comm. 1998).
    Blackburn's sphinx moth is closely related to the tomato hornworm 
(Manduca quinquemaculata) and has been confused with this species. 
Blackburn's sphinx moth was described by Butler (1880) as Protoparce 
blackburni, and named in honor of the Reverend Thomas Blackburn, who 
collected the first specimens. It was believed to be the same as the 
tomato hornworm (Sphinx celeus Hubner=Sphinx quinquemaculatus Hawthorn) 
by Meyrick (1899), and then treated as a subspecies (Rothschild and 
Jordan 1903, as cited by Riotte 1986) and placed in the genus 
Phlegethontius (Zimmerman 1958). Riotte (1986) demonstrated that 
Blackburn's sphinx moth is a distinct taxon in the genus Manduca, 
native to the Hawaiian Islands, and reinstated it as a full species, 
Manduca blackburni. D'Abrera (1986) tentatively considered Manduca 
blackburni to be a synonym of Manduca quinquemaculata, but subsequent 
authors (Howarth and Mull 1992; Nishida 1992) have disagreed with this 
view, and the findings of Riotte (1986) are accepted here. Several 
different common names have also been used for this species, including 
the tomato hawk-moth (Swezey 1924b), the tobacco hornworm (Browne 1941; 
van Dine 1905), the Hawaiian tobacco worm (Swezey 1931; Timberlake et 
al. 1921), the Hawaiian tomato hornworm (Fullaway and Krauss 1945; 
Zimmerman 1958), the Blackburn hawk moth (Hawaiian Entomological 
Society (HES) 1990; Howarth and Mull 1992), and Blackburn's sphinx moth 
(Service 1984). The name Blackburn's sphinx moth is used here.
    In Hawaii, Blackburn's sphinx moth can be confused with the related 
sweetpotato hornworm (Herse cingulata). In contrast to the sweetpotato 
hornworm, adult Blackburn's sphinx moths can be distinguished by orange 
rather than white dorsal abdominal spots, with black borders on both 
the front and back margins of each segment, and a broader, marginal 
black band on the hind wing. The larvae of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
differ from those of the tomato hornworm and tobacco hornworm by having 
two dark longitudinal stripes on the head capsule, although this is not 
always the case. While these stripes are usually apparent in the dark 
phase, they are not always apparent in the green phase (Ellen 
VanGelder, University of Hawaii, pers. comm. 1997). Adult Blackburn's 
sphinx moth can be distinguished from the North American tomato 
hornworm and tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexnotata) by the presence of 
crescent-shaped white markings along the inner border of the black 
bands on the forewing (B. Gagne, pers. comm. 1998).
    Larvae of Blackburn's sphinx moth feed on plants in the nightshade 
family (Solanaceae). The natural host plants are native shrubs in the 
genus Solanum (popolo), and the native tree, Nothocestrum latifolium 
(`aiea) (Riotte 1986), on which the larvae consume leaves, stems, 
flowers, and buds (B. Gagne, pers. comm. 1994). However, many of the 
host plants recorded for this species are not native to the Hawaiian 
Islands, and include Nicotiana tabacum (commercial tobacco), Nicotiana 
glauca (tree tobacco), Solanum melongena (eggplant), Lycopersicon 
esculentum (tomato), and possibly Datura stramonium (Jimson weed) 
(Riotte 1986). Development from egg to adult

[[Page 4772]]

can take as little as 56 days (Williams 1947), but pupae may remain in 
a state of torpor (inactivity) in the soil up to a year (Williams 1931; 
B. Gagne, pers. comm. 1994). Adult moths can be found throughout the 
year (Riotte 1986).
    Historically, Blackburn's sphinx moth has been recorded from the 
islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, and collected from 
sea level to 760 meters (m) (2,500 feet (ft)) (Riotte 1986). Most 
historical records were from coastal, lowland, and dryland forest 
habitats in areas receiving less than 120 cm (50 in) annual rainfall. 
It appears that this moth was historically most common on Maui (Riotte 
    Very few specimens of this species have been seen since 1940, and 
after a concerted effort by staff at the B.P. Bishop Museum to relocate 
this species in the late 1970's, it was considered to be extinct (Gagne 
and Howarth 1985). In 1984, a single population was discovered on Maui 
(first Maui site or population) (Riotte 1986). The population is 
located on private and State lands, of which parts lie within a natural 
area reserve, part is used by the Hawaii National Guard for military 
training, and part is administered by the Department of Hawaiian 
Homelands. Between 1986 and 1991, a total of 6 specimens were taken in 
light traps 16 kilometers (km) (10 miles (mi)) from where the original 
population was discovered in 1984. These findings may indicate the 
presence of an additional population (Patrick Conant, Hawaii Department 
of Agriculture, pers. comm. 1994), although adult moths are strong 
fliers and these specimens could have originated at the known 
population. Identification of two larvae and signs of two additional 
larvae occurred in January 1997, although subsequent searches in 
September 1996 (Conant and VanGelder 1997) did not reveal any signs of 
eggs or larvae. Larvae are known to feed on `aiea and tree tobacco 
(Frank Howarth, B.P. Bishop Museum, in litt. 1994), but the number of 
larvae and adults produced each year is unknown.
    A second Maui site or population is known from one adult and one 
larvae observed in 1992 feeding on commercial tobacco in another 
location on private land near sea level (Fern Duvall, Division of 
Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), pers. comm. 1998), and from three larvae 
observed on tree tobacco on State land on Maui in January 1997, and 
again from the same number of larvae observed in February 1998 (F. 
Duvall, pers. comm. 1998). While researchers observed five to six eggs 
on tree tobacco in 1997, they found no eggs and no adults at the same 
site in 1998. There are no native host plants in this area (F. Duvall, 
pers. comm. 1998).
    In December 1997, researchers discovered a population of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth on the State-owned island of Kahoolawe (Arthur 
Medeiros, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)--Biological Resources Division 
(BRD), in litt. 1998). This finding is the first record of the species 
on this island, and thus represents an extension of the species known 
range. Subsequent surveys (February and March 1998) indicate a 
population exists on Kahoolawe, with egg and larval densities (114 eggs 
and 93 larvae on 57 percent of tree tobacco plants searched) comparable 
to those at the Maui site (A. Medeiros, in litt. 1998). In addition, a 
fourth population of an unknown number of individuals was recently 
discovered (April 1998) on State land on the island of Hawaii (A. 
Medeiros, in litt. 1998), and a single, adult individual was observed 
in April 1998 in a different location on the island of Hawaii (Steve L. 
Montgomery, Hawaii Conservation Council, pers. comm. 1998). There are 
no native Nothocestrum plants at this site, but both Nicotiana and 
Solanum are present in the area (S.L. Montgomery, pers. comm. 1998). On 
Kahoolawe, where the native host plant, `aiea, is not found, eggs and 
larvae are known to occur on the non-native tree tobacco (A. Medeiros, 
in litt. 1998). Eggs and larvae of the Hawaii population of Blackburn's 
sphinx moth were found only on tree tobacco, although Nothocestrum 
breviflorum (`aiea) is also present in the area (A. Medeiros, in litt. 

Previous Federal Action

    An initial comprehensive Notice of Review for Invertebrate Animals 
was published in the Federal Register on May 22, 1984 (49 FR 21664). In 
this notice we identified Blackburn's sphinx moth as a category 3A 
taxon under the Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1533 et seq.). 
Category 3A taxa were those for which we had persuasive evidence of 
extinction. We published an updated Notice of Review for animals on 
January 6, 1989 (54 FR 554). Although Blackburn's sphinx moth had been 
rediscovered by 1985, in the 1989 Notice of Review, this taxon was 
again identified as category 3A. In the next Notice of Review on 
November 15, 1994 (59 FR 58982), this species was reclassified as a 
category 1 candidate for listing. Category 1 candidates were those taxa 
for which we had on file sufficient information on biological 
vulnerability and threats to support preparation of listing proposals. 
Beginning with our February 28, 1996, Notice of Review (61 FR 7596), we 
discontinued the designation of multiple categories of candidates, and 
only those taxa meeting the definition of former category 1 candidates 
are now considered candidates for listing purposes. In the February 28, 
1996, Notice of Review, we identified Blackburn's sphinx moth as a 
candidate species (61 FR 7596). A proposed rule to list Blackburn's 
sphinx moth as endangered was published on April 2, 1997 (62 FR 15640). 
In the September 19, 1997, Notice of Review (62 FR 49398), this species 
was included as proposed for endangered status.
    The processing of this final rule conforms with our 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 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. The processing of critical habitat 
determinations (prudency and determinability decisions) and proposed or 
final designations of critical habitat will no longer be subject to 
prioritization under Listing Priority Guidance. Processing of this 
final rule is a Priority 2 action. We have updated this rule to reflect 
any changes in information concerning distribution, status, and threats 
since the publication of the proposed rule.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the April 2, 1997, proposed rule and associated notifications, 
we invited all interested parties to submit factual reports or 
information that might contribute to the development of the final rule. 
The public comment period ended June 2, 1997. Appropriate Federal and 
State agencies, county governments, scientific organizations, and other 
interested parties were contacted and requested to comment. We 
published newspaper notices inviting public comment in the Maui News on 
April 18, 1997, and in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu 
Advertiser on April 21, 1997.
    During the public comment period, we received comments from five 
parties. All parties supported the listing of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
as endangered.

[[Page 4773]]

None of the comments included additional information on the numbers of 
individuals and populations of the moth species. One of the comments 
suggested that listing will assist in the recovery of this species; one 
comment indicated that listing may aid in promoting conservation 
measures (e.g., fencing and weed control) that will assist the species; 
and one comment indicated that cooperative efforts between a variety of 
interested groups would be beneficial to the species. One commentor 
noted that he has been working closely with several groups, including 
us, to preserve the unique native habitat of dryland forest of Auwahi 
and Kanaio. The Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife supported the 
listing of Blackburn's sphinx moth and at the same time expressed 
``reservations'' about future listings of Hawaiian insects and the 
limited resources available for attainable recovery goals. One 
commentor noted that the listing would have little or no impact on the 
Hawaii Army National Guard's mission at Kanaio.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published in the Federal Register on 
July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we also solicited the expert opinions of 
three appropriate and independent specialists regarding pertinent 
scientific or commercial data and assumptions relating to the taxonomy, 
population models, and supportive biological and ecological information 
for this species. We received no responses.
    During the public comment period we received two letters from 
Arthur C. Medeiros, USGS-BRD, that included information on the newly 
discovered populations of Blackburn's sphinx moth. Steve L. Montgomery, 
Hawaii Conservation Council, provided us information on a recent moth 
sighting on the island of Hawaii, and Dr. Fern Duvall, DOFAW, provided 
information on moth larvae and eggs observed in two additional areas of 
Maui. We have included this information in this final rule.

Summary of Factors Affecting This Species

    Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act and the regulations (50 CFR 
part 424) promulgated to implement the listing provisions of the Act 
set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal lists. A 
species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened species due 
to one or more of the five factors described in section 4(a)(1). These 
factors and their application to Blackburn's sphinx moth (Manduca 
blackburni) are as follows:

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

    Native vegetation on all of the main Hawaiian Islands has undergone 
extreme alteration because of past and present land management 
practices including ranching, agricultural development, and deliberate 
introductions of alien animals and plants (Cuddihy and Stone 1990; 
Wagner et al. 1985). One of the primary threats facing Blackburn's 
sphinx moth is destruction of its habitat by feral (returned to an 
untamed state) animals. It is believed that the endemic plant, 
Nothocestrum latifolium (`aiea), which is important for the survival of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth, is directly or indirectly affected by feral 
animals. All four species of Nothocestrum, N. latifolium, N. 
breviflorum, N. longifolium, and N. peltatum, occur in dry to mesic 
(moderate moisture) forests, the habitat in which Blackburn's sphinx 
moth was most frequently recorded. Two species, N. peltatum on Kauai 
and N. breviflorum on Hawaii, are now federally endangered species (59 
FR 3904, 59 FR 55770) due to severe degradation of dry forest habitats. 
N. latifolium occurs on Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, and Maui. It is 
not presently a protected species, but it is declining and uncommon on 
all these islands (Hawaiian Heritage Program (HHP) 1993; Medeiros et 
al. 1993). The stand of trees at the first Maui site of Blackburn's 
sphinx moth may be the largest in the State (Medeiros et al. 1993) and 
plays an important role in supporting a population of this moth species 
(A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1994).
    Although Nothocestrum latifolium presently occurs at moderate 
densities at the first Maui site location of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
(HHP 1993), there is no seedling survival (Medeiros et al. 1993) and 
the stand is in a degraded condition as a result of the presence of 
feral goats (Capra hircus) (Medeiros et al. 1993; F. G. Howarth, pers. 
comm. 1994; S.L. Montgomery, pers. comm. 1994). Goats were introduced 
to the Hawaiian Islands in 1792 and are now abundant in dry forests on 
Kauai, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, where they consume native vegetation, 
trample roots and seedlings, accelerate erosion, and promote the 
invasion of alien plants (Stone 1985; van Riper and van Riper 1982). 
Bocconia frutescens (tree poppy) is one alien plant that is spreading 
due to the activity of goats at the Maui Blackburn's sphinx moth site. 
Tree poppy was first discovered in the Hawaiian Islands in 1920 and is 
now naturalized in dry forests on Maui and mesic forests on Hawaii 
(Medeiros et al. 1993; Symon 1990). On Maui, this fast-growing shrub is 
a serious threat to the native host plant of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
primarily through displacement and shading of immature plants (Medeiros 
et al. 1993; B. Gagne, pers. comm. 1994).
    While the endangered Nothocestrum breviflorum is reported in the 
area of the Hawaii population of Blackburn's sphinx moth (Marie 
Bruegmann, Service, pers. comm. 1998), there are no recorded 
associations of either eggs, larvae, or adults with this species. These 
trees are primarily threatened by habitat conversion associated with 
development; competition from alien species such as Schinus 
terebinthifolius (Christmas berry), Pennisetum setaceum (fountain 
grass), Lantana camara (lantana), and Leucaena leucocephala (koa 
haole); browsing by cattle; fire; and random environmental events; and 
reduced reproductive vigor due to the small number of existing 
individuals (59 FR 10312).
    Although Nothocestrum is not reported from Kahoolawe, there were 
very few surveys of this island prior to the intense ranching 
activities, that began in the middle of the last century, and the 
subsequent use of the island as a weapons range for the past 50 years. 
Prior to their removal, goats played a major role in the destruction of 
vegetation on Kahoolawe (Cuddihy and Stone 1990). It is likely that the 
reappearance of some vegetation as a result of the removal of the goats 
and the cessation of military bombing activities, has allowed 
Blackburn's sphinx moth to gain a foothold on the island. Although on 
the island of Kahoolawe the vegetation on which Blackburn's sphinx moth 
is currently dependent is alien and appears to adequately support 
production and growth of the sphinx moth, it is believed that the 
native host plant, `aiea, is important to the survival of this species 
(A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998). Restoration of the native forests on 
Kahoolawe would benefit Blackburn's sphinx moth as well as other native 
plants and invertebrates on the island.

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

    Rare butterflies and moths are highly prized by collectors, and an 
international trade exists for insect specimens for both live and 
decorative markets, as well as the specialist trade that supplies 
hobbyists, collectors, and

[[Page 4774]]

researchers (Morris et al. 1991; Williams 1996). The specialist trade 
differs from both the live and decorative market in that it 
concentrates on rare and threatened species (US Department of Justice 
(USDJ) 1993). In general, the rarer the species, the more valuable it 
is, and prices may exceed US $2,000 for rare specimens (Morris et al. 
1991). For example, during a 4-year investigation, special agents of 
the Service's Division of Law Enforcement executed warrants and seized 
over 30,000 endangered and/or protected butterflies and beetles with a 
wholesale commercial market value of about $90,000 in the United 
States. The defendant, who was convicted, sold these rare butterflies 
and beetles in malls and State fairs (USDJ 1995). In another case, 
special agents found at least 13 species protected under the Act, and 
another 130 species illegally taken from lands administered by the 
Department of the Interior (USDJ 1995). The three men involved were 
convicted of poaching and commercial trade of butterflies protected 
under the Act (US Fish and Wildlife Service 1995; Williams 1996).
    Sphinx moths, in general, are sought by collectors, and, as early 
as the 1950's, there was a standing reward for specimens of another 
rare Hawaiian sphinx moth (Tinostoma smargditis) (Zimmerman 1958). 
Specimens of Blackburn's sphinx moth have already been secured and 
traded by collectors and institutions (Dave Preston, B.P. Bishop 
Museum, pers. comm. 1994). According to unconfirmed reports specimens 
of Blackburn's sphinx moth from the Maui site are appearing in the 
specialist trade (A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998). Listing the species 
as federally endangered will increase its attractiveness to collectors 
(USDJ 1993). Unrestricted collecting and handling for scientific 
purposes are known to impact populations of other species of rare 
Lepidoptera (Murphy 1988), and are considered significant threats to 
Blackburn's sphinx moth. Because of the high value accorded such 
rarities, field collectors often take all individuals available (Morris 
et al. 1991). Even limited collection from the small populations of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth can have deleterious effects on its 
reproductive or genetic viability and lead to the eventual extinction 
of this species.

C. Disease or Predation

    The geographic isolation of the Hawaiian Islands restricted the 
number of original successful colonizing arthropods and resulted in the 
development of an unusual fauna. An unusually small number (15 percent) 
of the known families of insects are represented by native Hawaiian 
species (Howarth 1990). Some groups that often dominate continental 
arthropod faunas, such as social Hymenoptera (group nesting ants, bees, 
and wasps), are entirely absent from the native fauna. Commercial 
shipping and air cargo to Hawaii have now resulted in the establishment 
of over 2,500 species of alien arthropods (Howarth 1990; Howarth et al. 
1994), with a continuing establishment rate of 10-20 new species per 
year (Beardsley 1962, 1979). In addition to the accidental 
establishment of alien species, private individuals and government 
agencies began importing and releasing alien predators and parasites 
for biological control of pests as early as 1865. These efforts 
resulted in the introduction of 243 alien species between 1890 and 
1985, in some cases with the specific intent of reducing populations of 
native Hawaiian insects (Funasaki et al. 1988; Lai 1988). Alien 
arthropods, whether purposefully or accidentally introduced, pose the 
most serious threat to Hawaii's native insects, through direct 
predation and parasitism, and competition for food or space (Howarth 
and Medeiros 1989; Howarth and Ramsay 1991).
    Ants are not a natural component of Hawaii's arthropod fauna, and 
native species evolved in the absence of predation pressure from ants. 
Ants can be particularly destructive predators because of their high 
densities, recruitment behavior, aggressiveness, and broad range of 
diet (Reimer 1993). Because they are generalist feeders, ants may 
affect prey populations independently of prey density, and may locate 
and destroy isolated individuals and populations (Nafus 1993a). At 
least 36 species of ants are known to be established in the Hawaiian 
Islands, and 3 particularly aggressive species have severely affected 
the native insect fauna (Zimmerman 1948). The island of Kahoolawe has 
not been extensively surveyed at this time, but since ants have adult 
winged reproductives, once established in Hawaii in general, they are 
likely to colonize suitable habitats on all islands in time, and 
several species are already known to occur on Kahoolawe. By the late 
1870's, the big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala) was present in 
Hawaii, and its predation on native insects was noted by Perkins (1913) 
who stated, ``It may be said that no native Hawaiian Coleoptera insect 
can resist this predator, and it is practically useless to attempt to 
collect where it is well established. Just on the limits of its range 
one may occasionally meet with a few native beetles, e.g., species of 
Plagithmysus, often with these ants attached to their legs and bodies, 
but sooner or later they are quite exterminated from these 
    With few exceptions, in areas where the big-headed ant is present, 
native insects, including most moths, are eliminated (Gagne; 1979; 
Gillespie and Reimer 1993; Perkins 1913). The big-headed ant generally 
does not occur at elevations higher than 600 m (2,000 ft), and is also 
restricted by rainfall, rarely being found in particularly dry (less 
than 35-50 cm (15-20 in) annually) or wet areas (more than 250 cm (100 
in) annually) (Reimer et al. 1990). The big-headed ant is also known to 
be a predator of eggs and caterpillars of native Lepidoptera, and can 
completely exterminate populations (Illingworth 1915; Zimmerman 1958). 
This ant occurs at the first Blackburn's sphinx moth Maui site and is a 
direct threat to this population (Medeiros et al. 1993). Big-headed 
ants also occur on Kahoolawe and Hawaii (A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 
    The Argentine ant (Iridomyrmex humilis) was discovered on the 
island of Oahu in 1940 (Zimmerman 1941) and is now established on all 
the main islands. Unlike the big-headed ant, the Argentine ant is 
primarily confined to elevations higher than 500 m (1,600 ft) in areas 
of moderate rainfall (Reimer et al. 1990). This species can reduce 
populations or even eliminate native arthropods at high elevations in 
Haleakala National Park on Maui (Cole et al. 1992). On Maui, within 16 
km (10 mi) of the Blackburn's sphinx moth population, Argentine ants 
are significant predators on pest fruit flies (Wong et al. 1984). 
Argentine ants have also been reported on the islands of Kahoolawe and 
Hawaii (Adam Asquith, Service, and A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998).
    The long-legged ant (Anoplolepis longipes) appeared in Hawaii in 
1952 and now occurs on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii (Reimer et al. 1990). It 
inhabits elevations under 600 m (2,000 ft), in rocky areas with 
moderate annual rainfall of less than 250 cm (100 in) (Reimer et al. 
1990). Direct observations indicate that Hawaiian arthropods are 
susceptible to predation by this species (Gillespie and Reimer 1993), 
and Hardy (1979) documented the disappearance of most native insects 
from Pua'alu'u in the Kipahulu District on Maui after the area was 
invaded by the long-legged ant.
    At least two species of fire ants, Solenopsis geminita and 
Solenopsis papuana, are also important threats (Gillespie and Reimer 
1993; Reagan 1986) and occur on all of the major islands (Reimer et al. 
1990). Ants,

[[Page 4775]]

including the fire ant, S. geminita, are known to be the most important 
and consistent mortality factor on eggs, and probably larvae, of the 
butterfly Hypolimnas bolina in Guam, even where both predator and prey 
are native (Nafus 1993a, 1993c). Solenopsis geminita occurs at the Maui 
moth location (A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998). Solenopsis geminita is 
also known to be a significant predator on pest fruit flies in Hawaii 
(Wong and Wong 1988). Solenopsis papuana is the only abundant, 
aggressive ant that has invaded intact mesic forest above 600 m (2,000 
ft) and is still expanding its range in Hawaii (Reimer 1993).
    Ochetellus glaber (No Common Name (NCN)), a recently reported ant 
introduction, occurs in the same habitat utilized on Kahoolawe by 
Blackburn's sphinx moth (A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998). Ochetellus 
glaber was found in relatively high numbers foraging on shrubs of 
Nicotiana where eggs and larvae of the sphinx moth occur. In one 
instance, large numbers of Ochetellus glaber were observed emerging 
from a dead moth larvae they had either predated or scavenged (A. 
Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998).
    On Kahoolawe, a large proportion of tagged Blackburn's sphinx moth 
eggs disappeared without hatching, potentially indicating high egg 
predation, likely by ants, but perhaps by birds, or dislodging by high 
winds (A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998).
    Hawaii also has a limited fauna of native Hymenoptera wasp species, 
with only two native species in the family Braconidae (Beardsley 1961), 
neither of which attack Blackburn's sphinx moth. In contrast, species 
of Braconidae are common predators (parasitoids) on the larvae of the 
tobacco hornworm and the tomato hornworm in North America (Gilmore 
1938). At least 74 alien species, in 41 genera, of braconid wasps are 
now established in Hawaii, of which at least 35 species were 
purposefully introduced as biological control agents (Nishida 1992). 
Most species of alien Braconidae and Ichneumonidae wasps parasitic on 
Lepidoptera are not host specific, but attack the caterpillars or pupae 
of a variety of moths (Funasaki et al. 1988; Zimmerman 1948, 1978) and 
have become the dominant larval parasitoids even in intact, high-
elevation, native forest areas of Hawaii (Howarth et al. 1994; 
Zimmerman 1948). These wasps lay their eggs in the eggs or caterpillars 
of Lepidoptera. Upon hatching, the wasp larvae consume internal 
tissues, eventually destroying the host. At least one species 
established in Hawaii, Hyposeter exiguae (NCN), is known to attack the 
tobacco hornworm and the related tomato hornworm in North America 
(Carlson 1979). This wasp is recorded from all of the main islands 
except Lanai (Nishida 1992) and is a recorded parasitoid of the lawn 
armyworm (Spodoptera maurita) on tree tobacco on Maui, an alternate 
host of Blackburn's sphinx moth (Swezey 1927). No direct documentation 
exists of alien braconid and ichneumonid wasps parasitizing Blackburn's 
sphinx moth because of its rarity, but given the abundance and the 
breadth of available hosts of these wasps, they are considered 
significant threats to this species (Gagne and Howarth 1985; Howarth 
1983; Howarth et al. 1994; F. G. Howarth, pers. comm. 1994).
    Small wasps in the family Trichogrammatidae parasitize insect eggs, 
with numerous adults sometimes developing within a single host egg. The 
taxonomy of this group is confusing, and it is unclear if Hawaii has 
any native species (Nishida 1992, John Beardsley, University of Hawaii, 
pers. comm. 1994). Several alien species are established in Hawaii 
(Nishida 1992), including Trichogramma minutum (NCN), which is known to 
attack the sweet potato hornworm in Hawaii (Fullaway and Krauss 1945). 
In 1929, the wasp Trichogramma chilonis (NCN) was purposefully 
introduced into Hawaii as a biological control agent for the Asiatic 
rice borer (Chilo suppressalis) (Funasaki et al. 1988). This wasp 
parasitizes the eggs of a variety of Lepidoptera in Hawaii, including 
sphinx moths (Funasaki et al. 1988). Williams (1947) found 70 percent 
of the eggs of Blackburn's sphinx moth to be parasitized by a 
Trichogramma wasp that was probably this species. Over 80 percent of 
the eggs of the alien grasswebworm (Herpetogramma licarsisalis) in 
Hawaii are parasitized by these wasps (Davis 1969). In Guam, 
Trichogramma chilonis effectively limits populations of the sweetpotato 
hornworm (Nafus and Schreiner 1986), and the sweet potato hornworm is 
considered under complete biological control by this wasp in Hawaii 
(Lai 1988). While this wasp probably affects Blackburn's sphinx moth in 
a density-dependent manner (Nafus 1993a), and theoretically is unlikely 
to directly cause extinction of a population or the species, the 
availability of more abundant, alternate hosts (any other lepidopteran 
eggs) may allow for the extirpation of Blackburn's sphinx moth by this 
or other egg parasites as part of a broader host base (Howarth 1991; 
Nafus 1993b; Tothill et al. 1930).
    Hawaii has no native parasitic flies in the family Tachinidae 
(Nishida 1992). Two species of tachinid flies, Lespesia archippivora 
(NCN) and Chaetogaedia monticola (NCN), were purposefully introduced to 
Hawaii for control of army worms (Funasaki et al. 1988; Nishida 1992). 
These flies lay their eggs externally on caterpillars, and upon 
hatching, the larvae burrow into the host, attach to the inside surface 
of the cuticle, and consume the soft tissues (Etchegaray and Nishida 
1975b). In North America, Chaetogaedia monticola is known to attack at 
least 36 species of Lepidoptera in 8 families, including sphinx moths; 
Lespesia archippivora is known to attack over 60 species of Lepidoptera 
in 13 families, including sphinx moths (Arnaud 1978). These species are 
on record as parasites of a variety of Lepidoptera in Hawaii and are 
believed to depress populations of at least two native species of moths 
(Lai 1988). Over 40 percent of the caterpillars of the monarch 
butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on Oahu are parasitized by Lespesia 
archippivora (Etchegaray and Nishida 1975a), and the introduction of a 
related species to Fiji resulted in the extinction of a native moth 
there (Howarth 1991; Tothill et al. 1930). Both of these species occur 
on Maui and are direct threats to Blackburn's sphinx moth.

D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    Blackburn's sphinx moth occurs on State-owned and private lands. 
This species currently receives no formal protection on any of these 
    Federal listing would automatically invoke listing under Hawaii 
State law, which prohibits taking and encourages conservation by State 
government agencies. Hawaii's Endangered Species Act (HRS, Sect. 195D-
4(a)) states, ``Any species of aquatic life, wildlife, or land plant 
that has been determined to be an endangered species pursuant to the 
(Federal) Endangered Species Act shall be deemed to be an endangered 
species under the provisions of this chapter and any indigenous species 
of aquatic life, wildlife, or land plant that has been determined to be 
a threatened species pursuant to the (Federal) Endangered Species Act 
shall be deemed to be a threatened species under the provisions of this 
chapter.'' Further, the State may enter into agreements with Federal 
agencies to administer and manage any area required for the 
conservation, management, enhancement, or protection of endangered 
species (HRS, Sect. 195D-5(c)). Funds for these activities could be 
made available under section 6 of the Federal Act (State Cooperative 

[[Page 4776]]

    Alien predatory and parasitic insects are an important reason for 
the reduction in range and abundance of Blackburn's sphinx moth, and 
may be the most serious present threat to its continued existence. Some 
of these alien species were intentionally introduced by the State of 
Hawaii's Department of Agriculture or other agricultural agencies 
(Funasaki et al. 1988), and importations and augmentations of 
lepidopteran parasitoids continue. Federal regulations for the 
introductions of biocontrol agents have not adequately protected this 
species (Lockwood 1993). Presently, there are no Federal statutes that 
require biocontrol agents to be reviewed before they are introduced, 
and the limited Federal review process requires consideration of 
potential harm only to economically important species (Miller and Aplet 
1993). Although the State of Hawaii requires that new introductions be 
reviewed before release (HRS Chapt. 150A), postrelease biology and host 
range cannot be predicted from laboratory studies (Gonzalez and 
Gilstrap 1992; Roderick 1992), and the purposeful release or 
augmentation of any lepidopteran predator or parasitoid is a potential 
threat to Blackburn's sphinx moth (Gagne; and Howarth 1985; Simberloff 


E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence

    The small, restricted populations of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
increase the potential for extinction from random events. Sphinx moths 
are typically strong fliers and likely existed as a series of 
metapopulations on the various islands (Harrison et al. 1988). 
Considerable intra-island movement between populations and continued 
colonizations and extinctions in new localities probably occurred, 
accounting for the historical records in tobacco crops and gardens 
(Swezey 1924a, 1924b; Zimmerman 1958). The apparent extirpation of this 
moth at most lower elevations and in more mesic areas is thought to 
correlate with the presence of alien predators and parasitoids and the 
loss of its preferred host plants. Thus, if any of the known 
populations of the Blackburn's sphinx moth is severely reduced in size, 
little potential exists for recolonization or ``rescue'' (Brown and 
Kodric-Brown 1977) of the remaining population by immigrants (Arnold 
1983). Research studies at the first Maui site suggest that during the 
recent drought period, proportionally more eggs and larvae occurred on 
`aiea than on tree tobacco, in a general reversal of the trend during 
normal rainfall conditions (A. Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998). Tree 
tobacco is a quick-growing, pioneer shrub, while `aiea is a slow-
growing, drought-adapted, long-lived native tree that does well in 
drought periods when tree tobacco is dying or losing its foliage (A. 
Medeiros, pers. comm. 1998). This adaptation emphasizes the importance 
of the native host plant to the survival of Blackburn's sphinx moth.
    We carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the past, present, and future threats 
faced by this species in determining to make this rule final. This 
species is threatened by habitat degradation by introduced animals and 
loss of its native host plant, overcollection, and predation by ants 
and alien parasitoid wasps. The small number of populations of this 
species also makes it susceptible to extinction from random events. 
Because this species is in danger of extinction throughout all of its 
range, it fits the definition of endangered as defined in the Act. 
Based on this evaluation, we find that the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
should be listed as endangered. Although we have considered all 
available alternatives to this action, such alternatives would not be 
in accordance with the Act. Listing the species as a threatened species 
would not accurately reflect the status of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
based on the information available.

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 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, upon a determination 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 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 the designation of critical habitat is not 
prudent when one or both of the following situations exist--(1) the 
species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and 
identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the 
degree of threat to the species, or (2) such designation of critical 
habitat would not be beneficial to the species.
    The Final Listing Priority Guidance for FY 1999/2000 (64 FR 57114) 
states that the processing of critical habitat determinations (prudency 
and determinability decisions) and proposed or final designations will 
no longer be subject to prioritization under the Listing Priority 
Guidance. Critical habitat determinations, which were previously 
included in final listing rules published in the Federal Register, may 
now be processed separately, in which case stand-alone critical habitat 
determinations will be published as notices in the Federal Register. We 
will undertake critical habitat determinations and designations during 
FY 2000 as allowed by our funding allocation for that year. As 
explained in detail in the Listing Priority Guidance, our listing 
budget is currently insufficient to allow us to immediately complete 
all of the listing actions required by the Act.
    In the proposed rule, we indicated that designation of critical 
habitat was not prudent for Blackburn's sphinx moth because of a 
concern that publication of precise maps and descriptions of critical 
habitat in the Federal Register could lead to incidents of vandalism 
and destruction of habitat, as well as take by insect collectors. We 
also indicated that designation of critical habitat was not prudent 
because we believed it would not provide any additional benefit beyond 
that provided through listing as endangered. 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 have re-
examined the question of

[[Page 4777]]

whether critical habitat for Blackburn's sphinx moth would be prudent.
    Due to the small number of populations, Blackburn's sphinx moth is 
vulnerable to unrestricted collection, vandalism, or other disturbance. 
Rare butterflies and moths are highly prized by collectors and an 
international, commercial trade exists for insect specimens which are 
sought for both live and decorative markets, as well as the specialist 
trade that supplies hobbyists, collectors, and researchers (Morris et 
al. 1991) (see Factor B). We are concerned that these threats might be 
exacerbated by the publication of critical habitat maps and further 
dissemination of locational information. However, consistent with 
recent case law, at this time, we believe there may be benefits of 
critical habitat designation in some areas that may outweigh the risks.
    In the case of this species, there may be some benefits to 
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, there may be a few instances where section 
7 consultation would be triggered only if critical habitat is 
designated, such as occupied habitat that may become unoccupied in the 
future. There may also be some educational or informational benefits to 
designating critical habitat. Therefore, at least in areas where 
opportunity for public access is limited, we find that critical habitat 
is prudent for Blackburn's sphinx moth.
    However, we cannot propose critical habitat designation for this 
species at this time. The Service's Hawaiian field office, which would 
have the lead for such a proposal, 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 the Service 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 non-
designations for 100 species are to be published by November 30, 2000. 
Proposed designation or non-designations for the remaining 145 species 
are to be published by April 30, 2002. Final designations or non-
designations are to be published within one 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 ESA, and over one-third of all listed 
plant species. In addition, the Service has agreed to include in this 
effort critical habitat designations for an additional 10 plants that 
are subject of another lawsuit. See Conservation Council for Hawaii v. 
Babbitt, Civ. No. 99-00283 HG. The Service cannot develop proposed 
critical habitat designation for this species without significant 
disruption of intensive efforts to comply with the Conservation Council 
for Hawaii v. Babbitt remand.
    To attempt to do so could also affect the listing program Region-
wide. Administratively, the Service is divided into seven geographic 
regions. This species is 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 extended to comply with court orders. If the Service were 
to immediately prepare a proposed critical habitat designation for this 
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 this species, these 
benefits are significantly fewer in comparison to the benefits of 
listing a species under the ESA because, as discussed 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.
    For these reasons, deferral of a proposal to designate critical 
habitat will allow us to concentrate our limited resources on higher 
priority critical habitat and other listing actions, while allowing us 
to provide the basic protections under the ESA for this species. We 
will develop a proposal to designate critical habitat for this species 
as soon as feasible.

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 
activities. Recognition through listing encourages and results in 
conservation actions by Federal, State, and private agencies, groups, 
and individuals. Hawaii's Endangered Species Act states that, ``Any 
species of aquatic life, wildlife, or land plant that has been 
determined to be an endangered species pursuant to the (Federal) 
Endangered Species Act shall be deemed to be an endangered species 
under the provisions of this chapter.'' (Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), 
sect. 195D-4(a)). Therefore, Federal listing automatically invokes 
listing under Hawaii State Law, which prohibits taking of listed 
wildlife in the State and encourages conservation by State agencies 
(HRS, sect. 195D-4 and 5). The Endangered Species Act provides for 
possible land acquisition and cooperation with the State and requires 
that recovery plans be developed for all listed species. The protection 
required of Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain 
activities involving listed animals 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. Regulations implementing this 
interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR 
Part 402. Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to 
insure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not 
likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed 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 may require conference and/or consultation include 
military training of the Hawaii National Guard on State land near the 
first Maui site, and unexploded ordnance cleanup that is funded by the 
U.S. Navy near the Kahoolawe population on State land.
    Federally supported activities that could affect Blackburn's sphinx 
moth and its habitat in the future include, but are not limited to, the 
following: release

[[Page 4778]]

or augmentation of biological control agents; road and firebreak 
construction; troop movements; removal of unexploded ordnance; and fire 
resulting from the use of live ammunition. Conservation of this moth is 
consistent with most ongoing operations at the occupied sites; however, 
listing of the species may entail consultation in regard to activities 
taking place on military lands, or insect pest control operations in 
Hawaii supported by Federal agencies.
    The Act and its implementing regulations found at 50 CFR 17.21, 
17.22, and 17.23 set forth a series of general trade prohibitions and 
exceptions that apply to all endangered wildlife. With respect to 
animal species listed as endangered, all trade prohibitions of section 
9(a)(1) of the Act, implemented by 50 CFR 17.21, apply. These 
prohibitions, in part, make it illegal with respect to any endangered 
animal 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 take (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, 
shoot, wound, kill, trap, or collect--or attempt any of these). Certain 
exceptions apply to our agents and State conservation agencies. The Act 
and 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.23 also provide for the issuance of permits to 
carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered animal 
species under certain circumstances. Such permits are available for 
scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the 
species, and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful 
    It is our policy, published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 
(59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the 
time a species is listed those activities that would or would not 
constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this 
policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of this listing on 
proposed and ongoing activities within the species' range. We believe 
that, based on the best available information, the following actions 
will not result in a violation of section 9:
    (1) Possession, delivery, or movement, including interstate 
transport and import into or export from the United States, involving 
no commercial activity of dead specimens of this taxon that were 
collected prior to the date of publication in the Federal Register of 
this final rule;
    (2) Activities authorized, funded, or carried out by Federal 
agencies when such activity is conducted in accordance with any 
reasonable and prudent measures given by the Service in a consultation 
conducted under section 7 of the Act, and;
    (3) Activities on private lands that do not result in the take of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth, and do not require Federal authorization and/
or involve Federal funding.
    Potential activities involving Blackburn's sphinx moth that we 
believe will likely be considered a violation of section 9 include, but 
are not limited to, the following:
    (1) Collection of specimens of this taxon for private possession, 
or deposition in an institutional collection without a proper permit;
    (2) Sale or purchase of specimens of this taxon, except for 
properly documented antique specimens of this taxon at least 100 years 
old, as defined by section 10(h)(1) of the Act;
    (3) Use of pesticides/herbicides in violation of label restrictions 
resulting in take of Blackburn's sphinx moth;
    (4) Unauthorized release of biological control agents that attack 
any life stage of this taxon, and;
    (5) Removal or destruction of the native host plant, defined as any 
species in the genus Nothocestrum, within areas occupied by this taxon 
that results in harm to the Blackburn's sphinx moth. Regulations at 50 
CFR 17.3 defines ``harm'' in the definition of take as an act that 
actually kills or injures wildlife. Such act may include significant 
habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures 
wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, 
including breeding, feeding, or sheltering.
    Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered wildlife species under certain circumstances. 
Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.23. 
Such permits are available for scientific purposes, to enhance the 
propagation or survival of the species, and/or for incidental take in 
connection with otherwise lawful activities.
    Questions regarding whether specific activities will constitute a 
violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Pacific 
Islands Manager (see ADDRESSES section). Requests for copies of the 
regulations concerning listed animals and inquiries regarding 
prohibitions and permits may be addressed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Ecological Services, Endangered Species Permits, 911 N.E. 11th 
Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97232-4181 (telephone: 503/231-6241; 
facsimile 503/231-6243).

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that Environmental Assessments and Environmental 
Impact Statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection 
with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. We published a notice outlining our 
reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 
1983 (48 FR 49244).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any collection of information for which 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. is required. An information 
collection related to the rule pertaining to permits for endangered and 
threatened species has OMB approval and is assigned clearance number 
1018-0094. For additional information concerning permits and associated 
requirements for endangered and threatened wildlife, see 50 CFR 17.22 
and 17.23.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this document, as well 
as others, is available upon request from the Pacific Islands Ecoregion 
Office (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary authors of this final rule are Dr. Adam Asquith, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex, P.O. 
Box 1128, Kilauea, Hawaii 96754, (808/828-1413), and Dr. Annie 
Marshall, Ecological Services, Pacific Islands Ecoregion Office (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.

    Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, 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-

[[Page 4779]]

625, 100 Stat. 3500, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend section 17.11(h) by adding the following, in alphabetical 
order under INSECTS, to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife:

Sec. 17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

                                                                                population where                                  Critical     Special
           Common name                Scientific name       Historic range       endangered or         Status      When listed    habitat        rule

                *                   *                   *                   *                   *                   *                   *
Blackburn's sphinx moth..........  Manduca blackburni..  U.S.A. (HI)........  NA.................  E                       682           NA           NA

                *                   *                   *                   *                   *                   *                   *

    Dated: January 20, 2000.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-2135 Filed 1-31-00; 8:45 am]