[Federal Register: October 3, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 192)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 50340-50350]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF89

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status 
for the Ohlone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela ohlone)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine 
endangered status pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, 
as amended, for the Ohlone tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone). This 
species is endemic to Santa Cruz County, California, and is threatened 
by habitat fragmentation and destruction due to urban development, 
habitat degradation from invasion of nonnative vegetation, and 
vulnerability to local extirpations from random natural events. This 
final rule extends the Federal protection and recovery provisions of 
the Act to this species.

DATES: This final rule is effective October 3, 2001.

ADDRESSES: The complete file for this rule is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Ventura 
Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola 
Road, Suite B, Ventura, California 93003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Sculley, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address 
(telephone 805/644-1766; facsimile 805/644-3958).



    The Ohlone tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone) is a member of the 
Coleopteran family Cicindelidae (tiger beetles), which includes over 
2,000 species worldwide and over 100 species in the United States 
(Pearson and Cassola 1992). Tiger beetles are day-active, predatory 
insects that prey on small arthropods. Because many tiger beetles often 
feed on insect species that are injurious to man and crops, they are 
regarded as beneficial (Pearson and Cassola 1992; Nagano 1982). Adult 
tiger beetles are medium-sized, elongate beetles that can have a 
brilliant metallic green, blue, red, and yellow coloration highlighted 
by stripes and spots. Alternatively, they can be brown, black or dull 
colored (Knisley and Shultz 1997). Adults are ferocious, swift, and 
agile predators that seize small prey with powerful sickle-shaped jaws.
    Tiger beetle larvae are also predatory. They live in small vertical 
or slanting burrows from which they lunge at and seize passing 
invertebrate prey (Essig 1926; Essig 1942; Pearson 1988). The larva 
grasps the prey with its strong mandibles (mouthparts) and pulls it 
into the burrow; once inside the burrow, the larva will feed on the 
captured prey (Essig 1942; Pearson 1988). Tiger beetles share similar 
larval body forms throughout the world (Pearson and Cassola 1992). The 
larvae, either white, yellowish, or dusky in coloration, are grub-like 
and fossorial (subterranean), with a hook-like appendage on the fifth 
abdominal segment that anchors the larvae inside their burrows.
    Tiger beetle larvae undergo three instars (larval development 
stages). This period can take 1 to 4 years, but a 2-year period is the 
most common (Pearson 1988). After mating, the tiger beetle female 
excavates a hole in the soil and oviposits (lays) a single egg (Pearson 
1988; Kaulbars and Freitag 1993; Grey Hayes, pers. comm. 1998). Females 
of many species of Cicindela are extremely specific in choice of soil 
type for oviposition (egg laying) (Pearson 1988). It is not known at 
this time how many eggs the Ohlone tiger beetle female lays, but other 
species of Cicindela are known to lay between 1 and 126 eggs per female 
(C. Barry Knisley, Randolph-Macon College, in litt. 2000). After the 
larva emerges from the egg and becomes hardened, it enlarges the 
chamber that contained the egg into a tunnel (Pearson 1988). Before 
pupation (transformation process from larva to adult), the third instar 
larva will plug the burrow entrance and dig a chamber. After pupation 
in this chamber, the adult tiger beetle will dig out of the soil and 
emerge. Reproduction may either begin soon after emergence or be 
delayed (Pearson 1988).
    Tiger beetles are a well-studied taxonomic group with a large body 
of scientific literature; the journal Cicindela is devoted exclusively 
to tiger beetles. Scientists have studied the diversity and ecological 
specialization of tiger beetles, and amateur collectors have long been 
attracted by their bright coloration and swift movements. Tiger beetle 
species occur in many different habitats, including riparian habitats, 
beaches, dunes, woodlands, grasslands, and other open areas (Pearson 
1988; Knisley and Hill 1992). A common habitat component appears to be 
open sunny areas for hunting and thermoregulation (an adaptive behavior 
to use sunlight or shade to regulate body temperature) (Knisley et al. 
1990; Knisley and Hill 1992). Individual species of tiger beetle are 
generally highly habitat-specific because of oviposition and larval 
sensitivity to soil moisture, composition, and temperature (Pearson 
1988; Pearson and Cassola 1992; Kaulbars and Freitag 1993).
    The Ohlone tiger beetle is endemic to Santa Cruz County, 
California, where it is known only from coastal terraces supporting 
remnant patches of native grassland habitat. Specimens of this species 
were first collected northwest of the City of Santa Cruz, California, 
in 1987, and were first described in 1993 (Freitag et al. 1993). Both 
male and female specimens have been collected.
    The adult Ohlone tiger beetle is a relatively small beetle 
measuring 9.5 to 12.5 millimeters (mm) (0.37 to 0.49 inches (in)) long. 
The adults have large, prominent eyes and metallic green elytra 
(leathery forewings) with small light spots (Freitag et al. 1993). 
Their legs are long, slender, and coppery-green. Freitag et al. (1993) 
describe features that distinguish this species from closely related 
species of Cicindela purpurea and other purpurea group taxa.
    Two principal distinguishing features of the Ohlone tiger beetle 
are its early seasonal adult activity period and its disjunct 
distribution. While other tiger beetle species, such as Cicindela 
purpurea, are active during spring, summer, or early fall (Nagano 1982; 
Freitag et al. 1993), the Ohlone tiger beetle is active from late 
January to early April (Freitag et al. 1993). The Ohlone tiger beetle 
is the southernmost of purpurea group species in the Pacific Coast 
region; its distribution is allopatric (geographically separated) to 
those of similar species (Freitag et al. 1993).
    Ohlone tiger beetle larvae are currently undescribed. However, 
tiger beetle burrows, measuring 4 to 6 mm in diameter (0.16 to 0.23 
in), were found in the same habitat areas where adult Ohlone tiger 
beetles were collected (David Kavanaugh, California Academy of 
Sciences, pers. comm. 1997; Vince Cheap, in litt. 1997). The surface 
openings of these burrows are circular and flat with no dirt piles or 
mounds surrounding the circumference (Kim

[[Page 50341]]

Touneh, Service, pers. obs. 1997). These burrows are similar to larval 
burrows belonging to other tiger beetle species. Larvae and inactive 
adults have been excavated from these burrows, and the inactive adults 
collected from these burrows were fully mature and easily identified as 
Ohlone tiger beetles (D. Kavanaugh, pers. comm. 1997; V. Cheap, in 
litt. 1997). Based on these collections, Kavanaugh (pers. comm. 1997) 
concluded that the larvae found in these burrows were Ohlone tiger 
beetle larvae. Further investigations of these recently collected 
larvae are being conducted to scientifically characterize and document 
the morphology of the Ohlone tiger beetle larvae (D. Kavanaugh, pers. 
comm. 1997).
    Ohlone tiger beetles are found in association with coastal terrace 
prairies, which are often characterized by the presence of California 
oatgrass (Danthonia californica) and purple needlegrass (Stipa 
pulchra). The substrate is shallow, pale, poorly drained clay or sandy 
clay soil that bakes to a hard crust by summer, after winter and spring 
rains cease (Freitag et al. 1993). Ohlone tiger beetle habitat is 
associated with either Watsonville loam or Bonnydoon soil types in 
Santa Cruz County. Soil core analyses were conducted for three of the 
sites known to be occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle; the soil types 
for these three sites were determined to be either Watsonville loam or 
Bonnydoon (Richard Casale and Ken Oster, Natural Resources Conservation 
Service, pers. comm. 1997).
    Adult Ohlone tiger beetles are found more often on level or nearly 
level slopes along trails (e.g., foot paths, dirt roads, and bicycle 
paths) that are adjacent to or near remnant patches of native grassland 
on coastal terraces. Adults will also utilize barren areas among low or 
sparse vegetation within the grassland. Ohlone tiger beetles require 
these open areas for construction of larval burrows, thermoregulation, 
and foraging (C.B. Knisley, in litt. 2000; Colleen Sculley, Service, 
pers. obs. 2000). The density of larval burrows decreases with 
increasing vegetation cover (G. Hayes, in litt. 1997). When disturbed, 
adults will fly to more densely vegetated areas (Freitag et al. 1993; 
Richard Arnold, consultant, pers. comm. 1995). Oviposition by females 
and subsequent larval development also occur in this coastal prairie 
habitat (i.e., open areas among native vegetation) (D. Kavanaugh, pers. 
comm. 1997; V. Cheap, in litt. 1997).
    The historic range of the Ohlone tiger beetle cannot be precisely 
assessed because the species was only recently discovered, and no 
historic specimens or records are available. The earliest specimen 
recorded was collected from a site northwest of the City of Santa Cruz 
in 1987 (Freitag et al. 1993). Based on available information on 
topography, substrates, soils, and vegetation, it is likely that 
suitable habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle was more extensive and 
continuous prior to the increase in urban development and agriculture. 
Historically, potentially suitable habitat may have extended from 
southwestern San Mateo County to northwestern Monterey County, 
California (Freitag et al. 1993). However, we have no evidence or data 
indicating that this species occurred beyond the present known occupied 
areas of Santa Cruz County. Currently, the extent of potentially 
suitable habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle is estimated at 81 to 121 
hectares (ha) (200 to 300 acres (ac)) in Santa Cruz County, California 
(Freitag et al. 1993).
    The available data indicate a restricted range and limited 
distribution of the Ohlone tiger beetle. This finding is supported by 
the following considerations. First, many tiger beetle species are 
known to be restricted to specific habitats (Pearson 1988; Knisley and 
Hill 1992; Pearson and Cassola 1992), such as the open native grassland 
occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle. Second, tiger beetles are widely 
collected and well-studied, yet no historic specimens were found in the 
extensive collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the 
University of California, Berkeley or the University of California, 
Davis (Freitag et al. 1993; D. Kavanaugh, pers. comm. 2000). The Ohlone 
tiger beetle's specialized habitat and restricted range may account for 
the absence of collection records prior to 1987. Because Cicindela is a 
very popular insect genus to collect (Chris Nagano, Service, pers. 
comm. 1993), and because entomologists commonly collect out of season 
and out of known ranges in order to find temporally and spatially 
outlying specimens, we expect more specimens would have been collected 
if the Ohlone tiger beetle were more widespread and common.
    Three researchers conducted surveys that assess the current 
distribution and status of the Ohlone tiger beetle. Between 1990 and 
1994, a researcher surveyed 14 sites with native grassland habitat from 
southwestern San Mateo County to southern Santa Cruz County for Ohlone 
tiger beetles. Six additional locations supporting nonnative 
grasslands, but which appeared otherwise suitable, were also surveyed. 
Surveys were conducted from February to April, when Ohlone tiger 
beetles are active. This work documented the presence of the Ohlone 
tiger beetle from sites located northwest of the City of Soquel, within 
the City of Scotts Valley, west of the City of Santa Cruz, and 
northwest of the City of Santa Cruz (Randall Morgan, in litt. 1994).
    A second researcher surveyed for populations of Ohlone tiger 
beetles in coastal grasslands from southern San Mateo County to 
northern Monterey County during the adult activity period in 1995. 
Researchers visited sites repeatedly through the Ohlone tiger beetle's 
season of activity. Results of these surveys confirmed the presence of 
Ohlone tiger beetles in the 4 geographic areas identified previously 
and identified a new site northwest of the City of Santa Cruz that was 
occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle (G. Hayes, in litt. 1997).
    A local consultant conducted additional surveys for the Ohlone 
tiger beetle between 1994 and 2000 in approximately 22 locations on 
private lands that were not surveyed during 1990 to 1995. These surveys 
all occurred within the County of Santa Cruz in the vicinity of the 
communities of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Davenport, Soquel, Capitola, 
and Aptos (R. Arnold, pers. comm. 2000). In 2000, the surveyor found 
one new site occupied by adults of the Ohlone tiger beetle and a second 
site with potential larval burrows. Both sites are located west of the 
City of Santa Cruz in close proximity to other sites known to be 
occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle.
    In total, we are aware of 60 sites that have been surveyed for the 
Ohlone tiger beetle in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Monterey counties. 
Based on the results of these survey efforts and the above 
considerations, we conclude that the Ohlone tiger beetle is restricted 
to remnant patches of native grassland on coastal terraces in the mid-
county portion of coastal Santa Cruz County, California.
    The proposed rule described five locations inhabited by the Ohlone 
tiger beetle. At the time of the proposed rule, the available data 
indicated that Ohlone tiger beetles were isolated geographically in 
each of these locations, and thus they were considered distinct 
populations. Since the publication of the proposed rule, we have 
received new information about additional areas occupied by the Ohlone 
tiger beetle. Furthermore, we have conducted a more extensive review of 
potential habitat linking these populations. Based on this new 
information, we believe there is evidence indicating that genetic

[[Page 50342]]

exchange may occur between several known locations of Ohlone tiger 
beetles defined in the proposed rule as distinct populations. Until 
data on the dispersal capability and genetic relatedness among Ohlone 
tiger beetles from varying locations are available, we cannot 
conclusively delineate populations of the Ohlone tiger beetle. 
Therefore, we will refer to Ohlone tiger beetles from the geographic 
areas where they occur and not as distinct populations.
    The Ohlone tiger beetle is known from 4 narrow geographic areas 
within the County of Santa Cruz: northwest of the City of Soquel, 
within the City of Scotts Valley, west of the City of Santa Cruz, and 
northwest of the City of Santa Cruz. The Ohlone tiger beetle is known 
from 11 properties within these 4 areas. The abundance of individuals 
in each of these areas is unknown. However, the Ohlone tiger beetle is 
known to occur on less than 2 ha (5 ac) of land in each of these 4 
areas (G. Hayes, pers. comm. 1995; C. Sculley pers. obs. 1999, 2000). 
All of these known locations of the Ohlone tiger are on coastal 
terraces that support remnant stands of native grassland. These 4 areas 
are described below:
    The Ohlone tiger beetle occupies one parcel of private property 
northwest of the City of Soquel at 60 to 90 meters (m) (200 to 295 feet 
(ft)) elevation.
    The beetle is known from one parcel of private property within the 
City of Scotts Valley at 210 m (690 ft) elevation. Potential burrows of 
the Ohlone tiger beetle were detected on a second parcel in the City of 
Scotts Valley in 1997 (Biotic Resources Group 1999), but adults were 
not detected at this site during surveys in 2000 (Dana Bland, pers. 
comm. 2000). The presence of the species at this second site is 
    The Ohlone tiger beetle is known from five parcels located west of 
the City of Santa Cruz at 110 m (360 ft) elevation. One parcel is owned 
by the City of Santa Cruz, and the University of California, Santa Cruz 
(University) owns a second parcel. The third and fourth parcels are 
under private ownership. Potential burrows of the Ohlone tiger beetle 
have been found on a fifth property that is under private ownership; 
surveys for adults necessary to confirm the presence of the Ohlone 
tiger beetle have not been conducted at this site. All five of these 
properties are contiguous. Potential habitat for the Ohlone tiger 
beetle may link some of these areas occupied currently by the Ohlone 
tiger beetle (C. Sculley, pers. obs. 2000). We are uncertain if there 
is gene flow between these different parcels.
    Ohlone tiger beetles are located northwest of the City of Santa 
Cruz between 110 m (360 ft) and 340 m (1,115 ft) elevation on 
properties owned by the University, the California Department of Parks 
and Recreation (CDPR), and the City of Santa Cruz (Freitag et al. 1993; 
R. Morgan, in litt. 1994; G. Hayes, in litt. 1997). These properties 
are contiguous as well, although Ohlone tiger beetles may be isolated 
on each property because habitat for the beetle is not continuous 
between parcels. Adult Ohlone tiger beetles were detected on the parcel 
owned by CDPR in 1997 (G. Hayes, in litt. 1999); however, no adults 
were detected in surveys conducted in 2000 (George Gray, CDPR, pers. 
comm. 2000). The status of the species on this parcel is uncertain.

Previous Federal Action

    On February 18, 1993, we received a petition from Randall Morgan of 
Soquel, California, requesting that we add the Ohlone tiger beetle to 
the list of threatened and endangered species pursuant to the Act. The 
petition contained information indicating that the Ohlone tiger beetle 
has a limited distribution and specialized habitat requirements and was 
threatened by proposed development projects and recreational 
activities. Our 90-day petition finding, published in the Federal 
Register on January 27, 1994 (59 FR 3330), determined that substantial 
information was presented in the petition indicating that listing may 
be warranted. Our 12-month petition finding, published on March 1, 
1996, in the Federal Register (61 FR 8014), concluded that listing was 
not warranted due to the lack of life history information and survey 
data to conclusively determine that the beetle is restricted to the 
described habitat.
    On April 30, 1997, we received a second petition from Grey Hayes of 
Santa Cruz, California, to emergency-list the Ohlone tiger beetle as an 
endangered species under the Act. The petition specified endangered 
status because of the beetle's limited distribution and threats from 
proposed development projects, invasion of nonnative plants, and 
recreational activities. Based on the information provided by the 
petitioner, and additional information gathered since the first 
petition in 1993, we determined that emergency-listing the Ohlone tiger 
beetle was not required but that listing of this species as endangered 
is warranted. Therefore, in our most recent Notice of Review, published 
on October 25, 1999 (64 FR 57534), we included the Ohlone tiger beetle 
as a candidate species. Candidate species are those species for which 
listing is warranted but precluded by other pending listing actions, in 
accordance with section 4(b)(3)(B)(iii) of the Act. On February 11, 
2000, we published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (65 FR 6952) 
to list the Ohlone tiger beetle as endangered. We have updated this 
final rule to reflect new information concerning changes in 
distribution, status, and threats since publication of the proposed 

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the February 11, 2000, proposed rule, we requested interested 
parties to submit factual reports or information that might contribute 
to the development of a final listing decision. We contacted 
appropriate Federal agencies, State agencies, county and city 
governments, scientists, and other interested parties to request 
information and comments. We solicited independent review of the 
proposed rule by three peer reviewers. We published newspaper notices 
in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and San Jose Mercury News on February 17, 
2000, and March 4, 2000, respectively. The comment period closed on 
April 11, 2000. We did not receive any requests for a public hearing 
during the comment period.
    During the comment period, we received 19 comment letters, 
including 3 letters from peer reviewers. Fifteen commenters supported 
the proposal, one provided neutral comments, and three were opposed to 
the proposal. Several commenters provided additional information that, 
with other clarifications, has been incorporated into the sections 
titled ``Background'' and ``Summary of Factors'' of this final rule.
    Comments of a similar nature or point regarding the proposed rule 
have been grouped into issues and are discussed below.
    Issue 1: One commenter questioned whether the Ohlone tiger beetle 
is actually a distinct species of tiger beetle rather than an already-
identified subspecies of tiger beetle. The commenter further suggested 
that the authors of the scientific paper that described this species 
(Freitag et al. 1993) raised this possibility as well. Finally, the 
commenter expressed concern that a ``taxonomic differentiation'' of the 
Ohlone tiger beetle has not been conducted using ``currently available 
testing methods.''
    Our Response: In general, we recognize taxonomic determinations 
that are published in peer-reviewed journals and are accepted by the

[[Page 50343]]

scientific community. The description of the Ohlone tiger beetle was 
published in the Coleopterists' Bulletin, a peer-reviewed scientific 
journal (Freitag et al. 1993). The authors of this publication noted 
that at first they thought the specimens from Santa Cruz County might 
have represented an unusual form of a species of tiger beetle described 
previously. After careful examination, the authors detected differences 
between the external form and structure and the genitalia of males and 
females of adult Ohlone tiger beetles and other closely related species 
of tiger beetles. They determined that these differences ``were at 
least as great'' as typically found between closely related, but 
distinct species. They described the species based on distinguishing 
morphological characteristics, geographical and habitat distribution, 
life history, and phylogenetic relationships. Thus, the authors 
determined that the Ohlone tiger beetle is a new and distinct species 
of tiger beetle.
    None of the peer reviewers, all of whom specialize in the study of 
tiger beetles, questioned the validity of this finding. We received no 
comments from other tiger beetle experts expressing concern or 
uncertainty about the validity of the Ohlone tiger beetle being a 
distinct species.
    We are uncertain what the commenter considers to be ``currently 
available testing methods.'' Therefore, we cannot comment on whether 
these methods have been conducted. However, we have concluded that the 
analyses conducted by Freitag et al. (1993) are adequate to conclude 
that the Ohlone tiger beetle is a distinct species, based on 
comparative morphological evidence, and that this analysis has been 
validly published (published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal), 
and accepted by the scientific community.
    Issue 2: Several commenters questioned the level of survey effort 
that was conducted to determine the range, distribution, and frequency 
of occurrence of the Ohlone tiger beetle. One commenter asked whether 
surveys have been conducted on all sites with suitable habitat and 
whether the surveys were conducted at the appropriate time of year. 
Another commenter requested that independent studies be conducted to 
determine if the habitat is as restricted as proclaimed.
    Our Response: The final rule describes the extent of surveys that 
have been conducted for the Ohlone tiger beetle at the present time. 
All of these surveys, unless otherwise noted, were conducted by 
qualified field biologists during the proper time of year and time of 
day (i.e., on warm, sunny days during the months of February to April) 
when adult Ohlone tiger beetles could reasonably be expected to be 
active, evident, and identifiable. Surveys were conducted using 
systematic field techniques and were well documented.
    Survey locations included grasslands in San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and 
Monterey counties. At least 60 sites have been surveyed, and Ohlone 
tiger beetles have been found on 11 properties in 4 narrow geographic 
areas in Santa Cruz County. Many of the sites surveyed by Randall 
Morgan between 1990 and 1994, and Grey Hayes in 1995, were lands under 
public ownership. Most of the sites surveyed by Dr. Richard Arnold 
between 1994 and 2000 were under private ownership.
    As a result of private landowners restricting access and volunteer 
surveyors having time limitations, not all sites that may provide 
potential habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle have been surveyed. We 
acknowledge that undiscovered sites occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle 
may exist, most likely on private land. We also recognize that there is 
a high potential that these sites are subject to the same threats that 
face other privately owned parcels that support the Ohlone tiger 
beetle. Given the extremely limited distribution of the species at the 
present time, discovery of several additional locations of the Ohlone 
tiger beetle would not likely alter the endangered status of the 
species overall. All of the peer reviewers acknowledged the extreme 
rarity of the Ohlone tiger beetle and supported listing this species as 
    Issue 3: One commenter questioned why the Ohlone tiger beetles 
found in a preserve owned and managed by the City of Santa Cruz were 
not found during surveys conducted between 1990 and 1994, but were 
located during surveys in 1995.
    Our Response: We asked this question of Randall Morgan, who 
conducted the surveys during 1990 to 1994. Mr. Morgan re-examined his 
collections and determined that he did in fact collect a single Ohlone 
tiger beetle from the preserve in 1994. Mr. Morgan collected this 
Ohlone tiger beetle in the same vicinity where Ohlone tiger beetles 
were discovered in 1995 (R. Morgan, pers. comm. 2000).
    Issue 4: One commenter questioned what additional information on 
the Ohlone tiger beetle we received after the publication of the 12-
month finding in 1996 (61 FR 8014), in which we determined that listing 
of the Ohlone tiger beetle was not warranted because data were 
inadequate for us to determine that the Ohlone tiger beetle was 
restricted to the described habitat. Specifically, the commenter noted 
that the proposed rule to list the species (65 FR 6952) cited only the 
survey work that had been conducted between 1990 and 1995, which 
preceded the publication of this 12-month finding.
    Our Response: On January 23, 1997, we received a letter from Grey 
Hayes that described the results of his surveys for Ohlone tiger 
beetles that had been conducted in 1995. We were not aware that these 
surveys had been conducted until we received Mr. Hayes' letter 9 months 
after the publication of the 12-month finding. Mr. Hayes surveyed 21 
sites that represented a variety of grassland and oak woodland habitats 
in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties. The results of these 
surveys indicated that the Ohlone tiger beetle was found only in 
association with soil types specific to the central coast of 
California. Furthermore, the surveys showed that Ohlone tiger beetles 
are found only in or adjacent to coastal terrace prairie, a type of 
grassland that exists on less than 809 ha (2,000 ac).
    Furthermore, we reviewed the scientific literature on tiger beetles 
and determined that tiger beetle species are commonly restricted to 
very specific habitat types (Pearson 1988; Knisley and Hill 1992; 
Pearson and Cassola 1992). Based on this information, we concluded that 
adequate information existed to determine conclusively that the Ohlone 
tiger beetle is restricted to a narrow habitat type within Santa Cruz 
    Issue 5: One commenter questioned whether we can logically infer 
from two relatively limited surveys that the Ohlone tiger beetle is 
``restricted to remnant patches of native grasslands on coastal terrace 
prairie in the mid-county portion of coastal Santa Cruz County.'' The 
commenter further stated that there was insufficient information to 
support the Service's conclusion that the Ohlone tiger beetle is in 
danger of extinction throughout a significant portion of its range.
    Our Response: This final rule is based on the best available 
information and science and clearly describes how we determined the 
current range and habitat requirements of the Ohlone tiger beetle, and 
how we concluded that the species is in danger of extinction throughout 
a significant portion of its range. Please refer to the ``Background'' 
and ``Summary of Factors Affecting the Species'' sections.
    Issue 6: One commenter questioned how many, and which, insect 
collections had been searched for specimens of the Ohlone tiger beetle.

[[Page 50344]]

The commenter noted that he or she had spoken with a tiger beetle 
expert in Texas who had specimens of the Ohlone tiger beetle collected 
from 29 years ago, and that the expert knew of additional specimens of 
the species collected in the early 1930s and 1940s.
    Our Response: While preparing the manuscript to describe the Ohlone 
tiger beetle, Dr. David Kavanaugh of the California Academy of Sciences 
searched the entomological collections of the California Academy of 
Science, the University of California, Davis, and the University of 
California, Berkeley. These three institutions were searched because 
they held the largest collections of tiger beetles within the vicinity 
of Santa Cruz County, and were the most likely depositories of Ohlone 
tiger beetles collected from that area. Furthermore, the California 
Academy of Sciences holds the collection of Norman C. Rumpp, which 
includes one of the largest collections of tiger beetles in the world. 
Ohlone tiger beetles were not found in these collections.
    As an expert on the genus Cicindela, Dr. Kavanaugh has reviewed 
collections of this genus located throughout the United States. He has 
never encountered the Ohlone tiger beetle (D. Kavanaugh, pers. comm. 
2000). Cicindela is a very popular genus of insects to collect. No 
specimens were found in the three largest collections located in the 
closest proximity to Santa Cruz County, and Dr. Kavanaugh has never 
seen or heard of additional specimens of the Ohlone tiger beetle in 
other collections. Therefore, he concluded that it was unlikely that 
specimens would be found in additional private or public collections. 
We concurred with this conclusion.
    We contacted Mr. William D. Sumlin, the tiger beetle specialist 
from Texas referred to by the commenter, and asked him about historic 
collections of the Ohlone tiger beetle. Mr. Sumlin stated that he had 
specimens of a male and female of the Ohlone tiger beetle that were 
collected in March 1994. This specimen was collected from a known 
occurrence of the Ohlone tiger beetle.
    Mr. Sumlin also stated that he was not aware of any Ohlone tiger 
beetles collected during the 1930s and 1940s. Rather, he recalled 
having a conversation with another tiger beetle expert who mentioned 
that specimens of Ohlone tiger beetles may be located in a collection 
in California. The specimens were thought to be misidentified and 
located in a tray of specimens of another species of tiger beetle. 
Unfortunately, Mr. Sumlin did not recall the identity of the person who 
had told him this information, whose collection the specimens were in, 
or where the collection was located (W.D. Sumlin, in litt. 2000).
    With so little information, we cannot verify the existence of the 
specimens in question. We acknowledge that other collectors may have 
specimens of the Ohlone tiger beetle; however, we assume that most of 
these collections were made after the species was described in 1993 and 
are from sites known to be occupied by the beetle.
    Issue 7: One commenter questioned whether the absence of Ohlone 
tiger beetles from collections could be explained by reasons other than 
the species is extremely rare.
    Our Response: We cannot offer any alternative hypotheses as to why 
the species is absent from collections. Because Cicindela is a very 
popular genus of insects to collect, and because entomologists commonly 
collect out of season and out of known ranges in order to find 
temporally and spatially outlying specimens, we would expect more 
specimens to have been collected if the Ohlone tiger beetle were more 
abundant and distributed more widely.
    Issue 8: One commenter states that ``the Service seems to suggest 
that additional field surveys are not warranted because the Ohlone 
tiger beetle has not been found in any of the collections of local 
hobbyists, and that it was only first sited in 1997.'' The commenter 
noted that the Act allows the Service 1 year from the date on which a 
proposed rule is noticed before a decision to list or not list is made, 
with the option to extend this period for up to 6 months for purposes 
of soliciting additional data. The commenter suggested that we should 
use the full 18 months to conduct additional surveys for the Ohlone 
tiger beetle throughout all potential habitat.
    Our Response: Ohlone tiger beetles were first collected in 1987, 
not 1997, as stated by the commenter. The proposed rule did not state 
that additional field surveys for the Ohlone tiger beetle are not 
warranted. We advocate conducting more surveys to expand our knowledge 
of the range, distribution, life history, and habitat requirements of 
the Ohlone tiger beetle. However, we have carefully assessed the best 
scientific and commercial information available regarding such 
knowledge and the past, present, and future threats faced by the Ohlone 
tiger beetle. Based on this information, we conclude that the Ohlone 
tiger beetle is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant 
portion of its range (section 3(6) of the Act) and, therefore, meets 
the Act's definition of endangered.
    Issue 9: One commenter questioned why we have chosen to list the 
Ohlone tiger beetle, when there are 2,000 different subspecies of tiger 
beetles, many with restricted populations, that we have ``rightfully 
shown no inclination to list.''
    Our Response: The determination to list a species as federally 
endangered or threatened is based upon the evaluation of current and 
future threats to the species from the five factors listed in section 
4(a) of the Act. Based on our analyses of threats facing the Ohlone 
tiger beetle, we believe that the Ohlone tiger beetle is in danger of 
extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range 
(section 3(6) of the Act) and, therefore, meets the Act's definition of 
endangered. We have listed other species of tiger beetles in the past, 
and we will continue to list species that meet the criteria for 
threatened or endangered as defined in the Act.
    Issue 10: Several commenters suggested that the listing of the 
Ohlone tiger beetle was occurring in order to restrict the use of 
private property, and questioned why the Ohlone tiger beetle has only 
been located in sites that are ``politically sensitive.''
    Our Response: The Act requires us to base our listing decisions on 
the best scientific and commercial information available, without 
regard to the effects, including political or economic, of listing. 
Surveys for the Ohlone tiger beetle have occurred at sites that were 
nearly equally divided between private and public ownership throughout 
Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. Locations of surveys 
conducted by Morgan and Hayes between 1990 and 1995 were reportedly 
chosen based on the habitat characteristics present at each site; no 
emphasis was known to be given to sites that were considered 
``politically sensitive'' to the community. Arnold's surveys between 
1994 and 2000 were conducted largely on private lands at the request of 
the landowners.
    Issue 11: One commenter expressed concern about the effects of road 
construction on habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle. The commenter 
provided numerous citations for scientific papers that document and 
quantify the effects of roads on environmentally sensitive areas.
    Our Response: We appreciate the information provided by the 
commenter. We consider construction of roads to be an aspect of urban 
development that can fragment and degrade habitat for the Ohlone tiger 
    Issue 12: One commenter questioned why the proposed rule does not 

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population size based on counts of adults or larval burrows of the 
Ohlone tiger beetle.
    Our Response: At the present time, surveys to estimate sizes of 
populations of the Ohlone tiger beetle have not been conducted. We 
recognize that population estimates may provide insight into the status 
of the species. However, abundance of insect species can fluctuate 
substantially from year to year. Furthermore, some insect species may 
be abundant in localized populations yet susceptible to extirpation by 
a single event. For these reasons, estimates of abundance are not 
adequate in determining whether a species is endangered or threatened. 
Rather, we based our determination to list the Ohlone tiger beetle as 
federally endangered upon the evaluation of the current and future 
threats to the species from the five factors listed in section 4(a) of 
the Act.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we solicited the expert opinions of three independent 
specialists regarding the biological and ecological information about 
the Ohlone tiger beetle contained in the proposed rule. The purpose of 
such review is to ensure that listing decisions are based on 
scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analysis, including input 
from appropriate experts and specialists. Two of the reviewers 
supported the listing of the species, but provided no substantive 
comments that require addressing. The third reviewer both supported the 
listing of the species and provided technical corrections on material 
contained in the sections titled ``Background'' and ``Summary of 
Factors Affecting the Species.''

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    After a thorough review and consideration of all information 
available, we determine that the Ohlone tiger beetle should be 
classified as an endangered species. We followed procedures found at 
section 4(a)(1) of the Act and regulations (50 CFR part 424) 
implementing the listing provisions of the Act. A species may be 
determined to be endangered or threatened due to one or more of the 
five factors described in section 4(a)(1). These factors, and their 
application to the Ohlone tiger beetle, are as follows:
    A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range. Loss of habitat is the principal 
threat to insect species worldwide because of their close associations 
with, and dependence on, specific habitats (Pyle et al. 1981). The 
effects of habitat destruction and modification on tiger beetle species 
have been documented by Knisley and Hill (1992) and Nagano (1982). The 
Ohlone tiger beetle is restricted to remnant patches of native 
grassland on coastal terraces where low and sparse vegetation provide 
space for foraging, reproduction, and thermoregulation, and support a 
prey base of other invertebrate species. The poorly drained clay or 
sandy clay substrate of the coastal terraces provides the soil 
moisture, composition, and temperature conditions necessary for 
oviposition and larval development (Pearson 1988; Kaulbars and Freitag 
    The habitat of the Ohlone tiger beetle is threatened with 
destruction resulting from urban development or with modification by 
invasive nonnative vegetation on all of the sites on which it occurs. 
Disturbance of the substrate, and removal or elimination of vegetation 
by urban development, kills or injures individuals and precludes others 
from feeding, sheltering, or reproducing. Historically, potentially 
suitable habitat is believed to have extended from southwestern San 
Mateo County to northwestern Monterey County, California (Freitag et 
al. 1993). Most of this habitat has been modified or destroyed by human 
actions such as urbanization and agriculture (Freitag et al. 1993).
    About 6,060 to 8,080 ha (15,000 to 20,000 ac) of native grassland 
remain in Santa Cruz County, but not more than 81 to 121 ha (200 to 300 
ac) contain the proper combination of substrate, slope, and exposure 
(bare areas between patches of grasses) to be considered suitable 
habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle (Freitag et al. 1993). Nearly all 
of this suitable habitat is located within or adjacent to urbanized 
areas in the coastal mid-county area of Santa Cruz. Much of the City of 
Santa Cruz and its adjacent towns were built on these marine terrace 
grassland habitats (Freitag et al. 1993). Within suitable habitat, the 
beetle occupies only sparsely vegetated areas and bare areas, which are 
artifacts of trails, grazing, or other disturbance activities.
    The property occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle located northwest 
of the City of Soquel is threatened by a proposed 21-lot residential 
development. The preferred alternative of the proposed project would 
completely extirpate the Ohlone tiger beetle population by eliminating 
all of the known occupied habitat and most of the extant grassland 
habitat found on this site. One alternative in the final environmental 
impact report for the project proposes that the majority of suitable 
habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle be set-aside and managed to reduce 
nonnative vegetation and enhance habitat quality. Since the publication 
of the proposed rule, the owner of this parcel has submitted design 
changes to the County of Santa Cruz. We are not certain how these 
design changes will impact the habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle on 
the site. The County is currently preparing an expanded initial study 
to incorporate these changes. Once completed, the initial study will be 
available to the public for review and comment (Kim Tschantz, County of 
Santa Cruz, pers. comm. 1999, 2000).
    The site occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle located in the City of 
Scotts Valley was proposed for development of 233 residential homes and 
an open park containing two ballfields (Impact Sciences 1998). This 
proposed development was voted down in a public referendum in 1999, 
halting the development of this property for the present time. The 
landowner is now considering alternative development plans. The most 
recent proposal by the developer includes donating the area inhabited 
by the Ohlone tiger beetle to the City of Scotts Valley for use as a 
park. The City has expressed interest in developing this area into 
baseball fields (Laura Kuhn, City of Scotts Valley, pers. comm. 2000). 
The future of this site is undetermined at this time.
    Even if the occupied habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle was 
avoided in the development of houses and ballfields, activities 
occurring on adjacent lands could lead to potential disturbance, such 
as pesticide drift, soil erosion, and vegetation alteration. In 
addition, the increased isolation would make the population more 
vulnerable to random extinction (see Factor E of this section).
    Adult Ohlone tiger beetles have been observed on 4 properties, and 
potential burrows have been observed on a fifth property, west of the 
City of Santa Cruz (C. Sculley, pers. obs. 2000; R. Arnold, pers. comm. 
2000). All of the properties are contiguous. The potential for 
destruction threatens the habitat of the Ohlone tiger beetle on 4 of 
these properties.
    The current landowners of one of these 4 parcels plan to build a 
single-family dwelling on the site. Although building plans are still 
being developed, the driveway will most likely be sited in, or directly 
adjacent to, occupied habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle (C. Sculley, 
pers. obs. 2000).
    In September 1998, property owners of a second parcel west of the 
City of

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Santa Cruz tilled up a large percentage of an area occupied by the 
Ohlone tiger beetle in preparation for converting use of the land from 
livestock grazing to a vineyard (G. Hayes, pers. comm. 1998). The 
effects of this action on the Ohlone tiger beetle are not known, 
although potential burrows of the Ohlone tiger beetle were detected on 
the property in July 2000 (C. Sculley, pers. obs. 2000).
    Potential burrows of the Ohlone tiger beetle were found in the 
spring of 2000 on a third parcel west of the City of Santa Cruz (R. 
Arnold, pers. comm. 2000). The owner of this parcel plans to build a 
single-family home on the site. The County of Santa Cruz has not yet 
reviewed the potential effects of the project on the Ohlone tiger 
beetle (Paia Levine, County of Santa Cruz, pers. comm. 2000).
    The fourth parcel is owned by the University and is presently 
undeveloped, and no development is currently planned for the parcel. 
However, portions of the parcel, including areas occupied by the Ohlone 
tiger beetle, could be developed in the future as the University 
expands its existing campus (University of California 1992).
    The fifth parcel is protected from urban development. In the spring 
of 1999, the City of Santa Cruz purchased this property, and it will be 
managed as open space by the City. The State of California will hold a 
conservation easement on the land. A management plan will be developed 
by the City of Santa Cruz, and the Ohlone tiger beetle will be 
considered in the plan. At the present time, the site is closed to 
public use except for officially escorted hikes (Susan Harris, City of 
Santa Cruz, pers. comm. 1999).
    The habitat occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle northwest of the 
City of Santa Cruz occurs on three parcels under ownership of CDPR, the 
University, and the City of Santa Cruz. The CDPR wants to construct an 
entrance road and parking area for vehicles and open existing trails to 
recreationists. The entrance road would be developed over a portion of 
habitat that was occupied by Ohlone tiger beetles in 1995 (G. Hayes, in 
litt. 1999). The vehicle parking area would be constructed adjacent to 
this habitat. In the public works plan for this site, CDPR established 
a policy that road maintenance or other activities will be scheduled to 
minimize impacts on burrows, larval habitat, foraging activities, or 
other aspects of the population (CDPR 1997). CDPR conducted additional 
surveys in 2000 to determine the current distribution of the Ohlone 
tiger beetle on the parcel that it owns. No adult Ohlone tiger beetles 
or larval burrows were detected during these surveys (G. Gray, CDPR 
pers. comm. 2000). Additional surveys need to be conducted to determine 
if Ohlone tiger beetles have been extirpated from this site.
    Property adjacent to the CDPR land is managed by the University. A 
two-lane road bisects the lands that are owned by CDPR and the 
University that are occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle. Although some 
development is possible within the University lands, no development 
projects are anticipated at this time (Graham Bice, University of 
California, pers. comm. 1995; G. Hayes, pers. comm. 1997). The Ohlone 
tiger beetle also is found in a preserve owned and managed by the City 
of Santa Cruz. At this time, no plans are in place that would destroy 
or alter the Ohlone tiger beetle habitat within this preserve (S. 
Harris, pers. comm. 1999).
    Areas that may once have been suitable for Ohlone tiger beetles 
have been converted to nonnative grasslands, or have been developed 
because the firm, level substrate of the coastal terraces afforded good 
building sites with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean. For the same 
reasons that other terraces have already been developed, remaining 
areas of suitable habitat are under high development pressure.
    In addition to the development threats to the Ohlone tiger beetle, 
the invasion of nonnative vegetation threatens the already reduced 
extent of suitable habitat for this species. The Ohlone tiger beetle is 
threatened by habitat degradation due to the invasion of nonnative 
plant species into the coastal prairie in every location where it 
occurs, including areas that are protected from development. Nonnative 
vegetation (e.g., French broom (Cytisus monspessulanus), velvet grass 
(Holcus spp.), filaree (Erodium spp.), and Eucalyptus spp.) and forest 
vegetation are encroaching into grassland habitats and out-competing 
native grassland vegetation (R. Morgan, in litt. 1992; G. Hayes, in 
litt. 1997; C. Sculley, pers. obs. 1999, 2000). These nonnative plants 
are aggressive invaders that convert sunny grasslands required by 
Ohlone tiger beetles to habitat dominated by a shady overstory. Without 
these sunny areas, the Ohlone tiger beetle cannot forage, and oviposit. 
In addition to shading these areas used by the beetle, the nonnative 
vegetation fills in the open spaces among the low or sparse vegetation 
creating an unsuitable densely vegetated habitat.
    Nonnative vegetation may also affect the numbers and diversity of 
the beetle's prey, predators, and parasites (see Factor C of this 
section). Increased vegetation encroachment is the primary factor 
attributed to the extirpation of several populations of other Cicindela 
species (e.g., C. abdominalis and C. debilis) (Knisley and Hill 1992). 
Without management efforts to reduce and control vegetation 
encroachment by nonnative species, the Ohlone tiger beetle will likely 
decline and may become extirpated in all of the locations where the 
species is known presently.
    Several agencies are attempting to slow the rate of vegetation 
encroachment into habitat for the Ohlone tiger beetle. At one location 
northwest of the City of Santa Cruz, the City is attempting to maintain 
the species' habitat by mowing parts of it to provide bare ground, and 
closing trails occupied by the Ohlone tiger beetle to bicycles (S. 
Harris, pers. comm. 1999).
    The University conducts controlled burns in habitat for the Ohlone 
tiger beetle on its property northwest of the City of Santa Cruz. These 
burns are conducted for fire-training exercises and to restore native 
vegetation to this grassland (California Department of Forestry and 
Fire Protection, in litt. 2000). Grazing occurs on several parcels of 
land located west of the City of Santa Cruz which are occupied by the 
Ohlone tiger beetle. Grazing regimes, when conducted with the 
appropriate timing, frequency, and intensity, can effectively maintain 
native species of grasses and herbs in grasslands (G. Hayes, pers. 
comm. 2000). Monitoring to determine the effects of these actions on 
the Ohlone tiger beetle has not occurred. Therefore, we are unable to 
determine if the Ohlone tiger beetle has benefited from these actions.
    B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes. Unrestricted collecting is considered a threat to 
the species. Tiger beetle specimens are highly sought by amateur 
collectors (C. Nagano, pers. comm. 1993), and members of the genus 
Cicindela may be the subject of more intense collecting and study than 
any other single insect genus. In light of the recent discovery of the 
Ohlone tiger beetle, and concerns regarding its continued existence, 
the desirability of this species to private collectors may increase, 
leading to increased collection of specimens. The original petitioner 
for the Ohlone tiger beetle has been contacted by several people from 
such places as France, Wisconsin, and California, looking for Ohlone 
tiger beetle specimens they can add to their private collections, as 
well as those asking where the colonies are located and indicating they 
want to collect the species at those locations (R. Morgan,

[[Page 50347]]

pers. comm. 1998). We are aware of at least one individual who 
collected specimens of the Ohlone tiger beetle from the type locality 
after the species was described in a scientific journal (W.D. Sumlin, 
in litt. 2000). Listing this species as endangered will likely increase 
its attractiveness to private collectors. Removal of even a few females 
from a small population could reduce the persistence of the population 
over time (C. Knisley, in litt. 2000).
    The Ohlone tiger beetle is not likely to be used as a model 
organism for general research projects because it is a rare and limited 
species. It may be the subject of studies intended to improve 
understanding of the species' ecology and to improve management 
strategies for its conservation. Although such studies would directly 
benefit the recovery of the Ohlone tiger beetle, they may contribute 
cumulatively to other threats to the species.
    C. Disease or Predation. No diseases are known to threaten the 
Ohlone tiger beetle. However, the Ohlone tiger beetle may be affected 
by any of several predators and parasites known to prey upon, and 
afflict, other tiger beetle species. In general, parasites are 
considered to be more detrimental than predators to populations of 
tiger beetles (Nagano 1982; Pearson 1988). Known tiger beetle parasites 
include ant-like wasps of the family Typhiidae, especially the genera 
Mathoca, Karlissa, and Pterombrus, and the Bombyliid flies of the genus 
Anthrax (Nagano 1982; Pearson 1988). These insect parasites are 
distributed worldwide and specialize on tiger beetle larvae. Some 
species of tiger beetles from Arizona sustain larval parasitism rates 
of 20 to 60 percent (C. Knisley in litt. 2000).
    Known tiger beetle predators include birds, shrews (Soricidae), 
raccoons (Procyon lotor), lizards (Lacertilia), toads (Bufonidae), ants 
(Formicidae), robber flies (Asilidae), and dragonflies (Anisoptera) 
(Lavigne 1972; Nagano 1982; Pearson 1988).
    Predators and parasites play important roles in the natural 
dynamics of populations and ecosystems. The effects of predation and 
parasitism may pose substantial threats to Ohlone tiger beetle 
populations already affected by other factors, especially limited 
distribution and small, isolated populations. At this time, the 
magnitude of predation and parasitism on the Ohlone tiger beetle is not 
    D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms. Regulatory 
mechanisms currently in effect do not provide adequate protection for 
the Ohlone tiger beetle and its habitat. Federal agencies are not 
legally required to consider and manage for species of concern.
    At the State and local levels, regulatory mechanisms are also 
inadequate. The California Endangered Species Act does not allow for 
the listing of invertebrate species. State and local agencies may 
consider the Ohlone tiger beetle when evaluating certain activities for 
compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and 
local zoning regulations. If an activity is identified as having a 
significant impact on this species, mitigation measures may be required 
by State and local regulatory agencies to offset these impacts. 
However, CEQA and local regulations do not provide specific protection 
measures to ensure the continued existence of the Ohlone tiger beetle. 
In addition, CEQA provisions for ``Statements of Overriding 
Considerations'' can allow projects to proceed despite unmitigated 
adverse impacts.
    Ohlone tiger beetle habitat occurs on properties owned by the 
University, the CDPR, and the City of Santa Cruz. The University does 
not have a management plan that specifically protects the Ohlone tiger 
beetle or its habitat (G. Hayes, pers. comm. 1997). The CDPR has an 
existing Public Works Plan that calls for surveys to verify the 
occupied habitat boundary of the Ohlone tiger beetle and proposes to 
minimize the impacts of disturbance to the Ohlone tiger beetle during 
road maintenance and other scheduled activities in the plan (G. Gray, 
CDPR, pers. comm. 1997). However, a local citizen has expressed concern 
that surveys and minimization measures are not being adequately carried 
out (G. Hayes, in litt. 1999). For the site northwest of Santa Cruz, 
the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department's Proposed 
Master Plan for the preserve proposes increased usage of existing 
trails, but identifies the Ohlone tiger beetle and its habitat as 
sensitive resources. The proposed master plan includes a management 
program for Ohlone tiger beetle habitat; however, implementation of any 
management actions will depend on future funding (S. Harris, pers. 
comm. 1999). For the site west of the City of Santa Cruz and owned by 
the City, a management plan will be developed since this property has 
been purchased as open space. The property is officially closed to 
public use except for officially escorted hikes. However, this area is 
not regularly patrolled, and enforcement may not be adequate to protect 
the species.
    Because the Ohlone tiger beetle is not listed at the State or 
Federal levels, no regulations or regulatory mechanisms exist that 
prohibit importing, exporting, sale, or trade of the species.
    E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence. The populations of the Ohlone tiger beetle are isolated and 
restricted to relatively small patches of habitat. A direct correlation 
exists between increased extinction rates with the reduction of 
available habitat area and increased distances between small 
populations (Gilpin 1987). This conservation biology model suggests 
that the isolated populations of the Ohlone tiger beetle may be more 
vulnerable to local extinction from random genetic and demographic 
events or environmental catastrophes. Effects of small habitat patches 
and isolated populations on other species of tiger beetles have been 
documented. In the eastern United States, several populations of 
Cicindela dorsalis that numbered less than 200 individuals became 
extinct at sites where no obvious change in habitat occurred. These 
extinctions were presumably due to factors related to small population 
sizes (C. Knisely, in litt. 2000).
    Although some species of tiger beetles are known to disperse over 
sizable distances (Pearson 1988), species from the purpurea group of 
the genus Cicindela typically do not disperse widely, usually 12 to 18 
m (40 to 60 ft) (David Pearson, Arizona State University, pers. comm. 
1997). The dispersal capabilities of Ohlone tiger beetles are unknown; 
however, because the Ohlone tiger beetle belongs to the purpurea group, 
its dispersal distance is most likely short. Assuming individuals to be 
capable of dispersing distances comparable to those between 
populations, the likelihood of successful emigration or colonization is 
greatly reduced by the small size of suitable habitat patches and the 
unavailability of even marginal habitat among the extensive urban 
development in the region.
    Some recreational uses of Ohlone tiger beetle habitat (i.e., off-
highway vehicular use or mountain biking) may pose a threat to the 
Ohlone tiger beetles. The beetles require open ground to maneuver, take 
prey, and lay eggs. They use the hard-packed bicycle trails for 
foraging, thermoregulation, and laying their eggs (R. Morgan, pers. 
comm. 1998). Bicycle traffic on a trail through the University site has 
been observed to result in the crushing of several individual beetles 
(R. Morgan, in litt. 1993). Similar mortality has been observed in the 
species' habitat west of the City of Santa Cruz (R. Morgan, in litt. 
1993) and may occur in other Ohlone tiger beetle populations. Also,

[[Page 50348]]

bicycle and foot traffic could potentially collapse larval tunnels and 
crush the larvae. The significance of such mortality for population 
viability is not known at this time, but is considered a potential 
threat to the Ohlone tiger beetle, particularly if bicycle traffic 
through the habitat increases. Heavy vehicular traffic in areas with 
extensive use of public trails, such as on lands owned by the 
University, the City of Santa Cruz, and CDPR, may also create soil 
compaction and rutting, damaging potential oviposition sites. 
Populations of another tiger beetle species found in the northeastern 
United States, Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis, were extirpated in several 
localities that were subjected to heavy recreational use (i.e., heavy 
pedestrian foot traffic and vehicular use) but survived at other sites 
that had received little or no recreational disturbance (Knisley and 
Hill 1992).
    Pesticides could pose a threat to the Ohlone tiger beetle. The 
effects of insecticides on other tiger beetle species are referenced by 
Nagano (1982). Local land owners may use pesticides to control targeted 
invertebrate species around their homes and gardens. These pesticides 
may drift aerially or be transported by water runoff into Ohlone tiger 
beetle habitat where they may kill nontargeted organisms including the 
Ohlone tiger beetle or its prey species. As urban development increases 
near or in Ohlone tiger beetle habitat, negative impacts from 
pesticides may become more frequent. The significance of pesticide 
effects is not known at this time, but they are recognized as a 
substantial potential threat to the species.
    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial 
information available regarding the past, present, and future threats 
faced by the Ohlone tiger beetle in developing this final rule. Threats 
to the Ohlone tiger beetle, including habitat fragmentation and 
destruction due to urban development, habitat degradation due to 
invasion of nonnative vegetation, vulnerability to random local 
extirpations, and potential threats due to collection, pesticides, and 
recreational use of habitat, imperil the continued existence of this 
species. Much of the habitat of this species is suitable for 
development and is unprotected from these threats. The Ohlone tiger 
beetle is known from only 11 properties in 4 narrow geographic areas of 
Santa Cruz County. This species is in danger of extinction ``throughout 
all or a significant portion of its range'' (section 3(6) of the Act) 
and, therefore, meets the Act's definition of endangered. Because of 
the high potential for these threats, if realized, to result in the 
extinction of the Ohlone tiger beetle, the preferred action is to list 
this species as endangered.

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as-(i) 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 (I) essential to the conservation 
of the species, and (II) that may require special management 
considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the 
geographic area occupied by the species at the time it is listed in 
accordance with the provisions of section 4 of the Act, upon a 
determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the 
species. ``Conservation'' means the use of all methods and procedures 
necessary to bring an endangered or threatened species to the point at 
which listing under the Act is no longer necessary.
    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. We find that 
designation of critical habitat is prudent for the Ohlone tiger beetle.
    Due to the small number of populations of the Ohlone tiger beetle, 
and the popularity of tiger beetle collecting, this species is 
vulnerable to unrestricted collection, vandalism, or other disturbance. 
However, there is no evidence that designation of critical habitat is 
likely to increase this threat. In the case of this species, 
designation of critical habitat may provide some benefits. The record 
shows that certain physical and biological features where the Ohlone 
tiger beetle is located are essential to the conservation of the 
species. 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 certain 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 
designation of critical habitat is prudent for the Ohlone tiger beetle.
    However, our budget for listing activities is currently 
insufficient to allow us to immediately complete all of the listing 
actions required by the Act. Listing the Ohlone tiger beetle without 
designation of critical habitat will allow us to concentrate our 
limited resources on other listing actions that must be addressed, 
while allowing us to invoke protections needed for the conservation of 
this species without further delay. This is consistent with section 
4(b)(6)(C)(i) of the Act, which states that final listing decisions may 
be issued without critical habitat designations when it is essential 
that such determinations be promptly published. We will prepare a 
critical habitat designation in the future at such time when our 
available resources and priorities allow.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, 
requirements for protection, and prohibitions against certain 
activities. Recognition through listing results in public awareness and 
conservation actions by Federal, State, and local agencies, private 
organizations, 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 with us on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of a species

[[Page 50349]]

proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification 
of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, 
section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of the species or 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.
    We are not aware of any specific federal actions within the habitat 
of the Ohlone tiger beetle. If any Federal agency were to fund or issue 
permits for a project that may affect the Ohlone tiger beetle, that 
agency would be required to consult with us. Possible nexuses include 
the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of 
Commerce's Small Business Administration for funding, and the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers for permits authorized under section 404 of the 
Clean Water Act.
    Listing the Ohlone tiger beetle as endangered will provide for the 
development of a recovery plan. Such a plan will bring together 
Federal, State, and local efforts for the beetle's conservation. The 
plan will establish a framework for agencies to coordinate activities 
and cooperate with each other in conservation efforts. The plan will 
set recovery priorities, assign responsibilities, and estimate costs of 
various tasks necessary to achieve conservation and survival of this 
species. Additionally, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, we will be 
able to grant funds to affected States for management actions promoting 
the protection and recovery of this species.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered 
wildlife. These prohibitions, in part, make it illegal for any person 
subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (includes 
harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or 
collect; or to attempt any of these), import or export, ship in 
interstate commerce in the course of commercial activity, or sell or 
offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any endangered 
wildlife species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, 
transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. 
Certain exceptions apply to our agents and State conservation agencies.
    Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations 
governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.23. For 
endangered species, 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 activities.
    Our policy, 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 at the time of listing. 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 are not likely to result in a violation of section 9, 
provided these activities are carried out in accordance with existing 
regulations and permit requirements:
    (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 a 
final regulation adding this taxon to the list of endangered species; 
    (2) Activities conducted in accordance with reasonable and prudent 
measures identified by us in a biological opinion issued pursuant to 
section 7 of the Act, and activities authorized under section 10 of the 
    We believe that the following actions could result in a violation 
of section 9; however, possible violations are not limited to these 
actions alone:
    (1) Collection of specimens of this taxon for private possession or 
deposition in an institutional collection;
    (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) Release of biological control agents that attack any life stage 
of this taxon;
    (4) Destruction or alteration of occupied habitat of the Ohlone 
tiger beetle (e.g., excavating, compacting, grading, discing, or 
removing soil);
    (5) Recreational use of occupied habitat of the Ohlone tiger beetle 
(e.g., off-highway vehicular use, horse riding, mountain biking, or 
hiking); and
    (6) Management of vegetation (e.g., burning, grazing, or mowing).
    Questions regarding whether specific activities risk violating 
section 9 should be directed to our Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office 
(see ADDRESSES section). Requests for copies of the regulations on 
listed plants and animals, and general 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 503/231-2063; facsimile 503/

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 Act. 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 new collections of information other 
than those already approved under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq., and assigned Office of Management and Budget 
clearance number 1018-0094. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a 
person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, 
unless it displays a currently valid control number. For additional 
information concerning permits and associated requirements for 
endangered wildlife species, see 50 CFR 17.22.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rulemaking is 
available upon request from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this final rule is Colleen Sculley, Ventura 
Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section) (telephone 805/644-

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 
of the Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:


    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.

[[Page 50350]]

    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) * * *

                                Species                                                      Vertebrate
------------------------------------------------------------------------                     population
                                                                                                where                    When      Critical     Special
                                                                           Historic range    endangered     Status      listed      habitat      rules
               Common name                        Scientific name                                or
                                    *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *

                                    *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *
Beetle, Ohlone tiger.....................  Cicindela ohlone (CA).......          U.S.A. (CA)         NA           E         713          NA          NA

                                    *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    Dated: September 21, 2001.
Marshall P. Jones Jr.,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-24647 Filed 10-2-01; 8:45 am]