[Federal Register: August 16, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 159)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 49958-49959]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Notice of Finding 
on a Petition to Include Over 2,500 Foreign Species in the List of 
Threatened and Endangered Species

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of 90-day petition finding.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce a 90-day 
finding for a petition to list over 2,500 foreign species as threatened 
and endangered. Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). The petitioner did not present substantial scientific or 
commercial information indicating that the listing of over 2,500 
foreign species may be warranted.

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on August 9, 

ADDRESSES: Data, information, comments or questions concerning this 
petition should be sent to the Office of Scientific Authority, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Mail Stop ARLSQ-750, Washington, D.C. 20240. 
The petition finding, and comments and materials received will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Lieberman, at the above address 
(phone: 703-358-1708; fax: 703-358-2276; e-mail: r9osa@fws.gov.)



    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, requires that we make a finding on 
whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species presents 
substantial scientific or commercial information to demonstrate that 
the petitioned action may be warranted. This finding is based upon all 
information submitted with and referenced in the petition and all other 
information available to us at the time the finding is made. To the 
maximum extent practicable, this finding is to be made within 90 days 
following receipt of the petition, and promptly published in the 
Federal Register. If the finding is positive, section 4(b)(3)(B) of the 
Act requires us to promptly commence a review of the status of the 
species and to disclose our findings within 12 months.
    We have made a 90-day finding on a petition to list over 2,500 
foreign species as endangered or threatened under the Act. We received 
the petition from PEER, Public Employees for Environmental 
Responsibility, on May 21, 1997. PEER included a copy of the 1996 IUCN 
Red List of Threatened Animals with the petition as the only supporting 
documentation to substantiate the petition.
    PEER requested that we list all foreign species, subspecies, and 
distinct vertebrate populations that are classified as Critically 
Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Conservation Dependent, or Near 
Threatened in the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals as 
endangered or threatened under ESA. This petition covers approximately 
1,000 mammals, 1,000 birds, 200 reptiles, 100 amphibians, and over 500 
other fish species currently not listed under the Act.
    The 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals consists of lists of 
the species that are considered Threatened; of Lower Risk: Conservation 
Dependent; of Lower Risk: Near Threatened; and Extinct/Extinct in the 
Wild. The list includes, for each species its scientific name, common 
name (if known), the range countries, and an IUCN criteria code. The 
IUCN criteria code value is based on an evaluation of five criteria 
established by the IUCN. The code provides a general idea of the status 
of a species, but does not provide specific information. The IUCN 
criteria do not provide sufficient information to address the five 
factors that we must consider under the Act. Especially omitted from 
the IUCN information is an assessment of the threats to the species' 
survival, such as the likelihood of various factors (such as habitat 
changes or disease) to effect the survival of the species.
    In addition, the list does not provide the references or data on 
which IUCN bases the code for each species. As stated on page Intro15, 
individuals, groups of individuals, active Specialist Groups, or other 
non-government organizations that are knowledgeable about the species 
assessed the code values. In many cases, one individual may have made 
the assessment based on limited data or information without peer 
review. Given the sheer volume of species and subspecies listed, it was 
not feasible to include how the assessment was made or how much data is 
available to make the assessment. This book does not provide 
substantial information to determine if further investigation is 
    We agree that there may be species listed in the book that meet the 
criteria established for listing under the Act, but the information is 
not available to assess which species would warrant further analysis. 
That information is also not readily available in our files for the 
more than 2,500 species involved. In order for us to make a positive 
90-day finding, the petitioner must provide enough information to 
warrant further investigation on each species covered by the petition 
(50 CFR 424.14(b)) . We are currently evaluating our process for 
determining which foreign species would most critically warrant listing 
under the Act.
    When evaluating petitions for listing of species under the Act, a 
``not-substantial information'' finding is made when a petitioner does 

[[Page 49959]]

provide sufficient information on the status and distribution of a 
petitioned species. We have reviewed the petition and other readily 
available information and literature in our files.
    We find the petition does not present substantial information to 
indicate that the listed actions may be warranted.

References Cites

1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals
    Author: The primary author of this finding is Dr. Susan Lieberman, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Scientific Authority, (see 
ADDRESSES section).

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

    Dated: August 9, 2000.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 00-20746 Filed 8-15-00; 8:45 am]