[Federal Register: June 13, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 114)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 40633-40657]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH94

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of 
Critical Habitat for Blackburn's Sphinx Moth

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose 
designation of critical habitat for the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
(Manduca blackburni), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). A total of approximately 40,240 hectares (99,433 
acres) on the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, and Kahoolawe 
are proposed for designation as critical habitat for Blackburn's sphinx 
    Critical habitat receives protection from destruction or adverse 
modification through required consultation under section 7 of the Act 
with regard to actions carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal 
agency. Section 4 of the Act requires us to consider economic and other 
relevant impacts when specifying any particular area as critical 
    We solicit data and comments from the public on all aspects of this 
proposal, including data on economic and other impacts of the 
designation. We may revise or further refine critical habitat 
boundaries described in this proposal after taking into consideration 
the comments or any new information received during the comment period, 
and such information may lead to a final regulation that differs from 
this proposal.

DATES: We will accept comments until the close of business on August 
12, 2002. Requests for a public hearing must be received by July 29, 

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, send your comments and other 
materials on this proposed rule to Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, 
Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 
96850. You may also hand-deliver written comments to our Pacific 
Islands Fish and Wildlife Office at the address given above. You may 
view the comments and materials that we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation used in the preparation of this proposed rule, by 

[[Page 40634]]

during normal business hours at our Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Henson, Field Supervisor, Pacific 
Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address (telephone 808/
541-3441; facsimile 808/541-3470).


Species Description

    Blackburn's sphinx moth (moth) (Manduca blackburni) is one of 
Hawaii's largest native insects, with a wingspan of up to 12 
centimeters (cm) (5 inches (in)). Like other sphinx moths in the 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 spine-like process on the dorsal 
(upper) surface of the eighth abdominal segment. Caterpillars occur in 
two color forms, a bright green or a grayish form. This variation in 
color does not appear until the fifth instar (the fifth stage between 
molts) (Van Gelder and Conant 1998). 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 (Betsy 
Gagne, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, pers. comm. 
1998; Zimmerman 1958).
    The moth is closely related to the tomato hornworm (Manduca 
quinquemaculata) and has been confused with this species. The 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 later believed to be the same species 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 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.

Bio-Geographical Overview

    The Hawaiian archipelago includes large volcanic islands as well as 
the numerous shoals and atolls of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. 
The islands were formed sequentially by basaltic lava that emerged from 
a hot spot in the earth's crust located near the current southeastern 
coast of the island of Hawaii (Stearns 1985). It is widely accepted 
that the native flora and fauna of the Hawaiian Islands arrived by wind 
and ocean currents, as passengers on or inside other organisms, or as 
in the case of some fauna, on their own power, to evolve over the 
course of millions of years into one of most highly speciated and 
diverse natural environments found anywhere in the world (Wagner and 
Funk 1995). Below, we provide brief geographical descriptions of the 
Hawaiian Islands discussed in this proposed rule.


    The island of Hawaii is the largest, highest, and youngest of the 
eight major islands, and it has an area of 10,458 square kilometers (km 
2) (4,038 square miles (mi 2)). It was formed by 
five, interconnected shield volcanoes (Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, 
Kilauea, and Kohala Mountains). The Kohala Mountains, at the 
northeastern portion of the island, are the oldest and reach an 
elevation of about 1,344 m (4,408 ft) above sea level. Mauna Kea 
volcano rises to 4,204 m (13,792 ft) (Department of Geography 1998) and 
is inter-connected with Mauna Loa by an extensive saddle. Hualalai 
volcano, located on the western side of the island, rises to an 
elevation of 2,520 m (8,269 ft). The two active volcanoes on the 
island, Mauna Loa and Kilauea, have elevations of 4,168 m (13,674 ft) 
and 1,247 m (4,093 ft), respectively.
    Hawaii lies within the trade wind belt (Mueller-Dombois et al. 
1985), and moisture derived from the Pacific Ocean is carried to the 
island by north-easterly trade winds. Heavy rains fall when moist air 
is driven upward by windward mountain slopes (Wagner et al. 1999). 
Considerable moisture reaches the lower leeward slopes of the saddle, 
but these slopes dry out rapidly as elevation increases. Thus, the 
leeward and saddle areas of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa tend to be dry.


    Maui, the second largest island in Hawaii at 1,888 km2 
(729 mi2) area, was formed by the eruptions of two large 
shield volcanoes, the older West Maui volcano on the west side, and the 
larger, but much younger, Haleakala volcano to the east. Stream erosion 
has cut deep valleys and ridges into the originally shield-shaped West 
Maui volcano. The highest point on West Maui is Puu Kukui at 1,764 m 
(5,788 ft) elevation, which has an average rainfall of 1,020 cm (400 
in) per year, making it the second wettest spot in Hawaii (Department 
of Geography 1998). East Maui's Haleakala Mountain, reaching 3,055 m 
(10,023 ft) in elevation, has retained its classic shield shape with 
the most recent eruptions occurring in the last 220 years on the 
southeastern slopes. Rainfall on the slopes of Haleakala is extremely 
variable, with its windward (northeastern) slope receiving the most 
    Geologically, Maui is part of the four-island complex comprising 
Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, known collectively as Maui Nui. 
During the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago when sea levels were 
about 160 m (525 ft) below their present level, it is possible the four 
islands were connected by a broad lowland plain (Department of 
Geography 1998). This land bridge may have allowed the movement and 
interaction of the islands' flora and fauna and contributed to the 
close relationships of their biota of present (Hobdy 1993).


    The island of Kahoolawe comprises some 117 km2 (45 
mi2). Located in the lee of Haleakala, the island lies 
approximately 11 kilometers (km) (6.7 miles (mi)) from East Maui. The 
highest point is the rim of an extinct volcano at 450 m (1,477 ft) 
above sea level (Department of Geography 1998). The estimated annual 
precipitation is approximately 50 cm (20 in), with most of it falling 
from November through March. In addition to the low precipitation, 
Kahoolawe has the highest mean wind velocity of the Hawaiian Islands 
(Department of Geography 1998).
    Cattle from an early cattle industry and feral goats (Capra hircus) 
largely denuded the island beginning in the 1800s. Kahoolawe was later 
utilized as a military bombing target from 1941 through the 1980s. 
Current restoration work and erosion control have been hampered by an 
ongoing program to safely locate and dispose of unexploded ordnance on 
the island.


    The island of Molokai, the fifth largest in the Hawaiian Islands 
chain, encompasses an area of about 689 km 2 (266 mi 
2) (Department of Geography 1998). Three shield volcanoes 
make up most of the land mass of Molokai: West Molokai Mountain, East 
Molokai Mountain, and a volcano which formed Kalaupapa Peninsula 
(Department of Geography 1998).

[[Page 40635]]

    The East Molokai Mountains rise 1,515 m (4,970 ft) above sea level 
and comprises roughly 50 percent of the island's area (Department of 
Geography 1998). Topographically, the windward side of East Molokai 
differs from the leeward side. Precipitous cliffs line the northern 
windward coast and deep inaccessible valleys dissect the coastal area. 
The annual rainfall on the windward side ranges from 190 to 380 cm (75 
to 150 in) or more, distributed throughout the year. The soils are 
poorly drained and high in organic matter. Much of the native 
vegetation on the northern part of East Molokai is intact because of 
its relative inaccessibility to humans and nonnative animals, although 
feral ungulates have begun to access some of these areas in recent 
years (Department of Geography 1998).

Blackburn's Sphinx Moth Biology and Status

    Very few specimens of the moth have been seen since 1940, and after 
a concerted effort by staff at the Bishop Museum to relocate this 
species in the late 1970s, it was considered to be extinct (Gagne and 
Howarth 1985). In 1984, a single population was rediscovered on Maui 
(Riotte 1986), and subsequently, populations on two other islands were 
rediscovered. Currently it is known only from populations on Maui, 
Kahoolawe, and Hawaii. Moth population numbers are known to be small 
based upon past sampling results, however, no reasonably accurate 
estimate of population sizes have been determinable at this point due 
to the adult moths' wide-ranging behavior and its overall rarity (A. 
Medeiros, U.S. Geological Survey-Biological Resource Division, pers. 
comm. 1998; Van Gelder and Conant 1998). Before humans arrived, dry and 
mesic shrubland and forest covered about 823,283 hectares (2,034,369 
acres) on all the main islands (Hawaii Natural Heritage Program (HHP) 
2000), and it is likely the moth inhabited much of that area (Riotte 
1986). Reports by early naturalists indicate the species was once 
widespread and abundant, at least during European settlement on nearly 
all the main Hawaiian islands (Riotte 1986).
    The moth has been recorded from the islands of Kauai, Kahoolawe, 
Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, and has been observed from sea level 
to 1,525 m (5,000 ft) elevation. Most historical records were from 
coastal or lowland dry forest habitats in areas receiving less than 127 
cm (50 in) annual rainfall. On the island of Kauai, the moth was 
recorded only from the coastal area of Nawiliwili. Populations were 
known from Honolulu, Honouliuli, and Makua on leeward Oahu, and Kamalo, 
Mapulehu, and Keopu on Molokai. On Hawaii, it was known from Hilo, 
Pahala, Kalaoa, Kona, and Hamakua. It appears this moth was 
historically most common on Maui, where it was recorded from Kahului, 
Spreckelsville, Makena, Wailuku, Kula, Lahaina, and West Maui.
    Larvae of the moth feed on plants in the nightshade family 
(Solanaceae). The natural host plants are native trees within the genus 
Nothocestrum (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). Sphingid moths are known to exploit 
nutritious but low-density, low-apparency host plants such as vines and 
sapling trees (Kitching and Cadiou 2000). Development from egg to adult 
can take as little as 56 days (Williams 1947), but pupae may remain in 
a state of torpor (inactivity) in the soil for up to a year (B. Gagne, 
pers. comm., 1994; Williams 1931). Adult moths have been found 
throughout the year (Riotte 1986). Adult moths feed on nectar, 
including that from Ipomoea indica (D. Hopper, in litt., 2000, 2002). 
During Van Gelder and Conant's captive-rearing study (1998), adult moth 
feeding was not observed and captive-reared adult moths lived no longer 
than 12 days. In general, sphingids are known to live longer than most 
moths because of their ability to feed and take in water from a variety 
of sources, rather than relying only upon stored fat reserves. Because 
they live longer than most moths, female sphingid moths have less time 
pressure to mate and lay eggs, and often will take more time in 
locating the best host plants for egg laying (Kitching and Cadiou 

Blackburn's Sphinx Moth Habitat and Range

    Plant species composition in the moth's habitat varies considerably 
depending on location and elevation, but some of the most common native 
plants in areas where the moth occur are Diospyros sandwicensis trees, 
Rauvolfia sandwicensis trees, Reynoldsia sandwicensis trees, Pouteria 
sandwicensis trees, Dodonaea viscosa shrubs, Erythrina sandwicensis, 
and Myoporum sandwicense shrubs (Cabin et al. 2000; Roderick and 
Gillespie 1997; Van Gelder and Conant 1998; Wagner et al. 1999; Wood 
2001a, b).
    The largest populations of Blackburn's sphinx moths, on Maui and 
Hawaii, are associated with trees in the genus Nothocestrum (Van Gelder 
and Conant 1998). For example, the large stand of Nothocestrum trees 
within the Kanaio Natural Area Reserve (NAR), Maui, is likely the 
largest in the State (Medeiros et al. 1993), and may explain why the 
moth occurs with such regularity in the Kanaio area (A. Medeiros, pers. 
comm., 1994). Nothocestrum is a genus of four species endemic to the 
Hawaiian Islands (Symon 1999). Nothocestrum species currently occur on 
Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Hawaii, and Maui. One species, N. 
longifolium primarily occurs in wet forests, but can occur in mesic 
forests as well. Three species, N. latifolium, N. breviflorum, and N. 
peltatum, occur in dry to mesic forests, the habitat in which the moth 
has been most frequently recorded. Moth larvae have been documented 
feeding on two Nothocestrum species, N. latifolium and N. breviflorum; 
it is likely that N. peltatum and N. longifolium are suitable host 
plants for larval moths as well. This is supported not only by the fact 
that they are closely related to known larval hosts, but also because 
there are past historical records of the moth occurring on the islands 
of Kauai and Oahu, where N. latifolium is not abundant and N. 
breviflorum does not occur. Furthermore, the species is known to feed 
on a variety of native and non-native Solanaceae.
    On Molokai, moth habitat includes vegetation consisting primarily 
of mixed-species, mesic and dry forest communities composed of native 
and introduced plants (HHP 2000). Although Molokai is not known to 
currently contain a moth population, past moth sightings on Molokai 
have been reported and the island does contain native Nothocestrum 
larval host plants, including N. longifolium and N. latifolium, as well 
as adult host plants and restorable, manageable areas associated with 
these existing host plants (Wood 2001a). Because of its proximity to 
Maui (historically, home to the most persistent and largest population) 
and the fact that Molokai has in the past and presently supports large 
stands of N. latifolium, many researchers believe the moth could re-
establish itself on the island and become a viable population(s) in the 
future (F. Howarth, Bishop Museum, pers. comm. 2001).

[[Page 40636]]

    The endangered larval host plant, Nothocestrum breviflorum, as well 
as adult host plants occur in the areas on Hawaii Island supporting 
populations of the moth (M. Bruegmann, Service, pers. comm., 1998) and 
there are many recorded associations of eggs, larvae, and adult moths 
with this plant species. This tree species is primarily threatened by 
habitat conversion associated with development; competition from 
nonnative species such as Schinus terebinthifolius (Christmas berry), 
Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass), Lantana camara (lantana), and 
Leucaena leucocephala (koa haole); browsing by cattle; fire; random 
environmental events such as prolonged drought; and reduced 
reproductive potential due to the small number of existing individuals 
(59 FR 10325).
    Although Nothocestrum species are not currently reported from 
Kahoolawe, there were very few surveys of this island prior to the 
intense ranching activities, which began in the middle of the last 
century, and the subsequent use of the island as a weapons range for 50 
years. Prior to their removal, goats also played a major role in the 
destruction of vegetation on Kahoolawe (Cuddihy and Stone 1990). It is 
likely the reappearance of some vegetation as a result of the removal 
of the goats and the cessation of military bombing activities has 
allowed the moth to inhabit the island. On Kahoolawe, moth larvae feed 
on the nonnative Nicotiana glauca, which appears to adequately support 
production and growth of the larval stage during non-drought years. 
However, the native Nothocestrum are more stable and drought-resistant 
than the Nicotiana glauca, which dies back significantly during 
especially dry years (A. Medeiros, pers. comm., 2001). Therefore, it 
appears likely that long-term survival of the moth on Kahoolawe will 
require the planting of Nothocestrum latifolium (A. Medeiros, pers. 
comm., 1998).

Threats to the Conservation of Blackburn's Sphinx Moth

Habitat Loss and Degradation

    Dry to mesic forest habitats in Hawaii have been severely degraded 
due to past and present land management practices including ranching, 
the impacts of introduced plants and animals, wildfire, and 
agricultural development (Cuddihy and Stone 1990). Due to these 
factors, Nothocestrum peltatum on Kauai and N. breviflorum on Hawaii 
are now federally listed as endangered species (59 FR 9327; 59 FR 
10325). Although all Nothocestrum species are not presently listed as 
endangered or threatened, the entire genus is declining and considered 
uncommon (HHP 2000; Medeiros et al. 1993). For example, while N. 
latifolium presently occurs at moderate densities at Kanaio NAR (HHP 
1993), there has been a complete lack of seedling survival (Medeiros et 
al. 1993) and the stand is being degraded by goats (Medeiros et al. 
1993; F.G. Howarth, Bishop Museum, pers. comm., 1994; S. Montgomery, 
Bishop Museum, pers. comm., 1994). Goats have played a major role in 
the destruction of dryland and mesic forests throughout the Hawaiian 
Islands (Stone 1985; van Riper and van Riper 1982).
    Before humans arrived, dry to mesic shrub land and forest covered 
about 823,283 ha (2,034,369 ac) on all the main islands (HHP 2000), and 
it is likely Blackburn's sphinx moth inhabited much of that area 
(Riotte 1986). Reports by early naturalists indicate the species was 
once widespread and abundant on nearly all the main Hawaiian Islands 
during European settlement (Riotte 1986). Because the moth was once so 
widespread and sphinx moths are known to be strong fliers, we believe 
it is likely inter-island dispersal of the species occurred to some 
degree prior to the loss of much of its historical habitat. Currently, 
the areas of dry to mesic shrub and forest habitats below 1,525 m 
(5,000 ft) that are or could potentially be suitable for the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth are approximately 148,588 ha (367,161 ac). Thus 
it appears the moth's range has declined on the order of 82 percent 
since humans arrived in Hawaii 1,600 years ago (HHP 2000; Kirch 1982).

Localized Extirpation

    In addition to, or perhaps because of, habitat loss and 
fragmentation, Blackburn's sphinx moths are also susceptible to 
seasonal variations and weather fluctuations affecting their quality 
and quantity of available habitat and food. For example, during times 
of drought, it is expected nectar availability for adult moths will 
decrease. During times of decreased nectar availability, life spans of 
individuals may not be affected, but studies with butterflies have 
shown marked decreases in reproductive capacity for many species 
(Center for Conservation Biology Update 1994). In another study, Janzen 
(1984) reported that host plant availability directly affected sphingid 
reproductive activity. In fact, for some lepidopteran (butterflies and 
moths) species, if nectar intake is cut in half, reproduction is also 
cut approximately in half. Such resource stress may occur on any time 
scale, ranging from a few days to an entire season, and a pattern of 
continuous long-term adult feeding stress could affect the future 
viability of a population (Center for Conservation Biology Update 
    Often, habitat suitability for herbivorous insects is determined by 
factors other than host plant occurrence or density. Microclimatic 
conditions (Thomas 1991; Solbreck 1995) and predator pressure (Roland 
1993; Roland and Taylor 1995; Walde 1995) are two such widely reported 
factors. In a study of moth population structure, habitat patch size 
and the level of sun exposure were shown to affect species occupancy, 
while patch size and the distance from the ocean coast were reported to 
affect moth density (Forare and Solbreck 1997). Moth populations in 
small habitat patches were more likely to become extinct (Forare and 
Solbreck 1997).

Nonnative Arthropods

    The geographic isolation of the Hawaiian Islands restricted the 
number of original successful colonizing arthropods and resulted in the 
development of an unusual fauna. Only 15 percent of the known insect 
families are represented by the native insects of Hawaii (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 Hawaiian fauna. Accidental 
introductions from commercial shipping and air cargo to Hawaii has 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 to 20 new species per year (Nishida 1997). In addition to 
the accidental establishment of nonnative species, private individuals 
and government agencies began importing and releasing nonnative 
predators and parasites for biological control of pests as early as 
1865. This resulted in the introduction of 243 nonnative 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 introduced or 
accidental, pose a serious threat to Hawaii's native insects, through 
direct predation, 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

[[Page 40637]]

be particularly destructive predators because of their high densities, 
recruitment behavior, aggressiveness, and broad range of diet (Reimer 
1993). Because they are often generalist feeders, ants may affect prey 
populations independent of prey density, and may locate and destroy 
isolated individuals and populations (Nafus 1993a). At least 36 species 
of ants have become established in the Hawaiian Islands, and three 
particularly aggressive species have severely affected the native 
insect fauna (Zimmerman 1948).
    For example, in areas where the big-headed ant (Pheidole 
megacephala) is present, native insects, including most moths, have 
been 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 to 50 cm (15 to 20 in) 
annually) or wet (more than 250 cm (100 in) annually) areas (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 (Zimmerman 1958). This ant occurs on all the major Hawaiian 
Islands, including those currently inhabited by Blackburn's sphinx moth 
and is a direct threat to these populations (Medeiros et al. 1993; 
Nishida 1997; N. Reimer, pers. comm., 2001).
    Several additional ant species threaten the conservation of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth. The Argentine ant (Linepithema humilis) has 
been reported from several islands including Maui, Kahoolawe, and 
Hawaii (A. Asquith, Service, pers. comm., 1998; A. Medeiros, pers. 
comm. 1998; Nishida 1997). The long-legged ant (Anoplolepis longipes) 
is reported from several islands including Hawaii and Maui (Hardy 
1979). At least two species of fire ants, Solenopsis geminata and 
Solenopsis papuana, are also important threats (Gillespie and Reimer 
1993; Reagan 1986) and occur on many of the major islands (Nishida 
1997; Reimer et al. 1990). Ochetellus glaber, a recently reported ant 
introduction, occurs on Maui, Hawaii, and Kahoolawe (A. Medeiros, pers. 
comm., 1998; Nishida 1997; N. Reimer, pers. comm., 2001).

Parasitic Wasps

    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 are known to parasitize Blackburn's sphinx moth. In 
contrast, other species of Braconidae are common predators 
(parasitoids) on the larvae of the tobacco hornworm and the tomato 
hornworm in North America (Gilmore 1938). There are now at least 74 
nonnative species, in 41 genera, of braconid wasps established in 
Hawaii, of which at least 35 species were purposefully introduced as 
biological control agents (Nishida 1997). Most species of alien 
braconid and ichneumonid wasps that parasitize moths 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 the Hawaiian Islands (Howarth et al. 1994; Zimmerman 
1948). These wasps lay their eggs within the eggs or caterpillars of 
Lepidoptera. Upon hatching, the wasp larvae consume internal tissues, 
eventually killing the host. At least one species established in 
Hawaii, Hyposeter exiguae, 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 Kahoolawe and Lanai 
(Nishida 1997) and is a recorded parasitoid of the lawn armyworm 
(Spodoptera maurita) on tree tobacco on Maui (Swezey 1927). Because of 
the rarity of Blackburn's sphinx moths, no documentation exists of 
alien braconid and ichneumonid wasps parasitizing the species. However, 
given the abundance and the breadth of available hosts of these wasps, 
they are considered significant threats to the moth (Gagne and Howarth 
1985; Howarth 1983; Howarth et al. 1994; F. Howarth, pers. comm., 
    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 1997, J. Beardsley, University of Hawaii, 
pers. comm., 1994). Several alien species are established in Hawaii 
(Nishida 1997), including Trichogramma minutum, which is known to 
attack the sweet potato hornworm in Hawaii (Fullaway and Krauss 1945). 
In 1929, the wasp Trichogramma chilonis 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 T. chilonis. 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 sweet potato 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).

Parasitic Flies

    Hawaii has no native parasitic flies in the family Tachinidae 
(Nishida 1997). Two species of tachinid flies, Lespesia archippivora 
and Chaetogaedia monticola, were purposefully introduced to Hawaii for 
control of army worms (Funasaki et al. 1988; Nishida 1997). 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, C. monticola is known to attack at least 36 species 
of Lepidoptera in eight families, including sphinx moths; L. 
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 Hawaii (Nishida 1997) and are direct threats to the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth.
    Based on the findings discussed above, nonnative predatory and 
parasitic insects are considered important factors contributing to the 
reduction in range and abundance of the Blackburn's sphinx moth, and in 
combination with habitat loss and

[[Page 40638]]

fragmentation, are a serious threat to its continued existence. Some of 
these nonnative 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 continues. Although the State of Hawaii 
requires new introductions be reviewed before release (Hawaii State 
Department of Agriculture (HDOA) 1994), post-release 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 the conservation of the Blackburn's sphinx moth (Gagne and 
Howarth 1985; Simberloff 1992).

       Table 1.--Some of the Potential Nonnative Insect Predators and Parasites of Blackburn's Sphinx Moth
                                                     Major island(s)
                                                       on which the     Major island(s) on which the species has
          Order/family             Genus/species     species has been              not been reported
Diptera Tachinidae.............  Chaetogaedia       Hawaii, Kauai,     Kahoolawe.
                                  monticola.         Lanai, Maui,
                                                     Molokai, Oahu.
Diptera Tachinidae.............  Lespesia           Hawaii, Kauai,     Kahoolawe, Lanai.
                                  archippivora.      Maui, Molokai,
Hymenoptera Formicidae.........  Anoplolepis        Hawaii, Kauai,     Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai.
                                  longipes (long-    Maui, Oahu.
                                  legged ant).
Hymenoptera Formicidae.........  Linepithema        Hawaii,            Molokai, Oahu.
                                  humilis            Kahoolawe,
                                  (Argentine ant).   Kauai, Lanai,
Hymenoptera Formicidae.........  Ochetellus glaber  Hawaii,            Lanai, Molokai.
                                                     Kauai, Maui,
Hymenoptera Formicidae.........  Pheidole           Hawaii,
                                  megacephala (big-  Kahoolawe,
                                  headed ant).       Kauai, Lanai,
                                                     Maui, Molokai,
Hymenoptera Formicidae.........  Solenopsis         Hawaii, Kauai,     Kahoolawe.
                                  geminita (fire     Lanai, Maui,
                                  ant species).      Molokai, Oahu.
Hymenoptera Formicidae.........  Solenopsis         Hawaii, Kauai,     Kahoolawe.
                                  papuana (fire      Lanai, Maui,
                                  ant species).      Molokai, Oahu.
Hymenoptera Ichneumonidae......  Hyposeter exiguae  Hawaii, Kauai,     Kahoolawe, Lanai.
                                                     Maui, Molokai,
Hymenoptera Trichogrammatidae..  Trichogramma       Kauai, Oahu......  Hawaii, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai.
Hymenoptera Trichogrammatidae..  Trichogramma       Hawaii, Lanai,     Kauai, Kahoolawe, Maui.
                                  minutum.           Molokai, Oahu.

    As Table 1 above indicates, the assemblage of potential alien 
predators and parasites on each island may differ. Furthermore, the 
arthropod community may differ from area to area even on the same 
island based upon elevation, temperature, prevailing wind pattern, 
precipitation, or other factors (Nishida 1997). Conserving and or 
restoring moth populations in multiple locations should decrease the 
likelihood that the effect of any single alien parasite or predator or 
combined pressure of such species could result in the diminished vigor 
or extinction of the moth.
    Due to the threats discussed above, we do not believe the existing 
habitats containing Blackburn's sphinx moth populations are sufficient 
to ensure the long-term survival of the species. A diverse set of 
habitats and climates within its former range is necessary to remove 
the long-term risk of range-wide extinction of the species. Threats to 
the moth identified in the final listing rule (65 FR 4770) include: 
vandalism and collection, predation/parasitism by alien arthropods, and 
habitat alteration and loss from nonnative plant and ungulate invasion. 
Considering the rarity of the moth, small population size is also 
believed to be a factor that threatens the long-term survival of the 
species since random population fluctuations and catastrophic events 
are more likely to result in the extirpation of local populations. 
Wildfire and feral ungulate pressure on the moth's habitat and the 
direct pressure of alien predators and parasites are important factors 
currently reducing the moth's range and abundance and threatening the 
species' continued existence (Funasaki et al. 1988).

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. 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.
    In the proposed listing rule, we indicated designation of critical 
habitat for the moth was not prudent because we believed a critical 
habitat designation would not provide any additional benefit beyond 
that provided through listing as endangered.
    A final listing rule, listing the Blackburn's sphinx moth as 
endangered, was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2000 
(65 FR 4770). In that final rule, we determined that critical habitat 
designation for the moth would be prudent, and we also indicated that 
we were not able to develop a proposed critical habitat designation for 
the species at that time due to budgetary and workload constraints.

[[Page 40639]]

    On June 2, 2000, we were ordered by the U.S. District Court for the 
District of Hawaii (in Conservation Council for Hawaii v. Babbitt, 
Civil No. 99-00603 SOM/BMK) to publish the final critical habitat 
designation for Blackburn's sphinx moth by February 1, 2002. The 
plaintiffs and the Service have entered into a consent decree stating 
that we will jointly seek an extension of this deadline (Center for 
Biological Diversity, et al. v. Norton, Civ. No. 01-2063 (JR) (D.D.C.); 
October 2, 2001). This proposed rule is in response to these 
    On January 5, 2001, we mailed pre-proposal notification letters to 
45 interested parties informing them that the Service was in the 
process of designating critical habitat for the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
and requesting from them information on management of lands that 
currently or recently (within the past 25 years) supported the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth. The letters contained a fact sheet describing 
the Blackburn's sphinx moth and critical habitat and a questionnaire 
designed to gather information about land management practices, which 
we requested be returned to us by February 1, 2001. We received 18 
responses to our interested parties mailing. Additionally, we met with 
several researchers and land managers to obtain more specific 
information on management activities and suitability of certain habitat 
areas for the Blackburn's sphinx moth. The responses to our 
notification letters and meetings included information on current land 
management activities, detailed management plans, new locality 
information for adult and larval moths, and new locality information 
for the Blackburn's sphinx moth's host plants.

Critical Habitat

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as--(i) the 
specific areas within the geographic 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 a species at the time it is listed, upon determination that 
such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. 
``Conservation'' means the use of all methods and procedures that are 
necessary to bring an endangered species or a threatened species to the 
point at which listing under the Act is no longer necessary.
    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act 
through the prohibition against destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat with regard to actions carried out, funded, or 
authorized by a Federal agency. Section 7 also requires consultation on 
Federal actions likely to affect critical habitat. Aside from the added 
protection that may be provided under section 7, the Act does not 
provide other forms of protection to lands designated as critical 
habitat. Because consultation under section 7 of the Act does not apply 
to activities on private or other non-Federal lands which do not 
involve a Federal nexus, critical habitat designation would not afford 
any additional regulatory protections under the Act against such 
    Critical habitat also provides non-regulatory benefits to the 
species by informing the public and private sectors of areas important 
for species recovery and where conservation actions would be most 
effective. Designation of critical habitat can help focus conservation 
activities for a listed species by identifying areas containing the 
physical and biological features essential for conservation of that 
species, and can alert the public as well as land-managing agencies to 
the importance of those areas. Critical habitat also identifies areas 
that may require special management considerations or protection, and 
may help provide protection to areas where significant threats to the 
species have been identified or help to avoid accidental damage to such 
    To be included in a critical habitat designation, the habitat must 
first be ``essential to the conservation of the species.'' Critical 
habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best 
scientific and commercial data available, habitat areas that provide 
essential life cycle needs of the species (i.e., areas on which are 
found the primary constituent elements, as defined at 50 CFR 
    Section 4 requires that we designate critical habitat based on what 
we know at the time of the designation. When we designate critical 
habitat at the time of listing or under court-ordered deadlines, we 
will often not have sufficient information to identify all areas of 
critical habitat. We are required, nevertheless, to make a decision 
and, thus, must base our designations on the best information available 
we have at that time.
    Within the geographic area occupied by the species, we will 
designate only areas currently known to be essential. We will not 
speculate about what areas might be found to be essential if better 
information became available, or what areas may become essential over 
time. If the information available at the time of designation does not 
show that an area provides essential life cycle needs of the species, 
then the area should not be included in the critical habitat 
    Our regulations state that, ``The Secretary shall designate as 
critical habitat areas outside the geographic area presently occupied 
by the species only when a designation limited to its present range 
would be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species'' (50 CFR 
424.12(e)). Accordingly, when the best available scientific and 
commercial data do not demonstrate that the conservation needs of the 
species require designation of critical habitat outside of occupied 
areas, we will not designate critical habitat in areas outside the 
geographic area occupied by the species.
    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that we take into consideration 
the economic impact, and any other relevant impact, of specifying any 
particular area as critical habitat. We may exclude areas from critical 
habitat designation when the benefits of exclusion outweigh the 
benefits of including the areas within critical habitat, provided the 
exclusion will not result in extinction of the species.
    Our Policy on Information Standards Under the Act, published in the 
Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271), identifies criteria, 
establishes procedures, and provides guidance to ensure that decisions 
made by the Service represent the best scientific and commercial data 
available. It requires Service biologists, to the extent consistent 
with the Act and with the use of the best scientific and commercial 
data available, to use primary and original sources of information as 
the basis for recommendations to designate critical habitat. When 
determining which areas are critical habitat, a primary source of 
information is the listing package for the species. Additional 
information may be obtained from a recovery plan, articles in peer-
reviewed journals, conservation plans developed by States and counties, 
scientific status surveys and studies, biological assessments, 
unpublished materials, and expert opinion or personal knowledge.
    Habitat is often dynamic, and species may move from one area to 
another over time. Furthermore, because of the information available to 
us at the time of designation, we recognize that designation of 
critical habitat may not include all of the habitat areas that may

[[Page 40640]]

eventually be determined to be necessary for the conservation of the 
species. For these reasons, critical habitat designations do not signal 
that habitat outside the designation is unimportant or may not be 
required for recovery. Areas outside the critical habitat designation 
will continue to be subject to conservation actions that may be 
implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act, and to the regulatory 
protections afforded by the section 7(a)(2) jeopardy standard and the 
take prohibitions of section 9 of the Act, as determined on the basis 
of the best available information at the time of the action. Federally 
funded or assisted projects affecting listed species outside their 
designated critical habitat areas could still result in jeopardy 
findings in some cases. Similarly, critical habitat designations made 
on the basis of the best available information at the time of 
designation will not control the direction and substance of future 
recovery plans, habitat conservation plans, or other species 
conservation planning efforts if new information available to these 
planning efforts calls for a different outcome.


    To identify and map areas essential to the conservation of the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth, we evaluated areas that contain dry and mesic 
habitats as well as data on known moth occurrence. The best scientific 
information available was analyzed, including peer-reviewed scientific 
publications; unpublished reports by researchers; the rule listing the 
species (65 FR 4770); the Blackburn's sphinx moth Recovery Outline 
(Service 2000a); the Hawaii Natural Heritage Program (HHP) database; 
field trip reports in our Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office 
files; and responses to our moth critical habitat outreach package 
mailed to Federal, State, private land managers, and other interested 
    Information that we received in response to our pre-proposal 
outreach efforts was very helpful in developing this proposed critical 
habitat designation. Researchers at the Bishop Museum provided new 
information about the moth's range and the potential effects of 
nonnative predators and parasites. The Hawaii Division of Forestry of 
Wildlife provided new information about the biology and distribution of 
the host plants, new moth observation records, and information on the 
management activities for State lands. The State Natural Area Reserve 
Commission provided new information about the moth's biology and 
information on management activities. The Kahoolawe Island Reserve 
Commission provided new information on the moth's range, as well as 
management activities for the management and restoration of Kahoolawe. 
Researchers with the Biological Resource Division of the U.S. 
Geological Survey, the National Tropical Botanical garden, and the 
Hawaii Natural Heritage Program provided information concerning the 
distribution of the moth and its host plants. Additional information 
was received from the Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) and the 
Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA).
    The Blackburn's sphinx moth is short-lived, extremely mobile, and 
rare; hence population densities are not easily determined (Janzen 
1984; A. Medeiros, pers comm., 1998; Roderick and Gillespie 1997; Van 
Gelder and Conant 1998). Even if the threats responsible for the 
decline of the moth were controlled, the persistence of existing 
populations is hampered by the small number of extant populations and 
the small number of individuals in known populations. This circumstance 
makes the moth more vulnerable to extinction due to a variety of 
natural processes. Small populations are particularly vulnerable to 
reduced reproductive vigor caused by inbreeding depression, and they 
may suffer a loss of genetic variability over time due to random 
genetic drift, resulting in decreased evolutionary potential and 
ability to cope with environmental change ( IUCN 1994; Lande 1988). 
Small populations are also demographically vulnerable to extinction 
caused by random fluctuations in population size and sex ratio and to 
catastrophes such as hurricanes (Lande 1988). We believe the existing 
Blackburn's sphinx moth populations on Kahoolawe, Hawaii, and Maui are 
insufficient to ensure the long-term survival of the species. Re-
establishing the species to a diverse set of habitats and climates 
within its former range is necessary to remove the long-term risk of 
range-wide extinction of the species due to catastrophic events and the 
numerous direct threats to the species and its habitat (Service 1997).
    Janzen (1984) described the characteristics of tropical sphingid 
moths found in a Costa Rican National Park. In general, adult sphingids 
are nocturnal or crepuscular (dusk-flying) and regularly drink with a 
long proboscis from many kinds of sphingophilous flowers while hovering 
in front of them. Sphingophilus flowers are characterized by lightly-
colored, tubular corollas, evening athesis (opening), and nocturnal 
nectar and scent production (Haber and Frankie 1989). Fecundity was 
unknown, but estimated in the hundreds if the female can feed freely.
    Particularly helpful in understanding the conservation needs of 
sphingids is Janzen's description of the adult moth biological 
characteristics, including that they have large latitudinal ranges, 
feed heavily over a long period of time and extensively at spatially 
particulate resources relatively fixed in location (i.e., they feed on 
specific resources spread throughout the landscape), live for weeks to 
months, lay few eggs per night, probably oviposit (deposit eggs) on 
many host plant individuals and repeatedly visit many of them, have 
less synchronous eclosion (emergence from the pupa) during the rainy 
season than other moths, migrate, and are highly mobile, repeatedly 
returning to the same food plants. In another study of sphingids, 
adults were reported to travel greater distances to pollinate and visit 
flowers than those distances traveled by other insect pollinators or 
even hummingbirds (Linhart and Mendenhall 1977).
    Sphingid caterpillars are known to feed heavily over a long time 
period and eat limited types of foliage, typically plants rich in toxic 
small molecules (e.g., in the family Solanaceae). They also have less 
synchronous eclosion (emergence from the pupa) than other moths. Since 
sphingids search widely for local good conditions, Janzen concluded 
that isolated habitats may have difficulty supporting sphingid 
populations (i.e., connectivity between habitat areas is necessary to 
support wide-ranging sphingid species).
    Ehrlich and Murphy (1987) noted populations of herbivorous insects 
such as lepidopterans are often regulated by environmental factors, 
such as weather conditions, and thus small populations can be 
particularly at risk of extinction. Ehrlich and Murphy identified a 
number of principles important for the conservation of herbivorous 
insects. First, in most cases, a series of diverse demographic units 
will typically be needed to conserve a species. Second, where possible, 
corridors among the sites should be established to promote re-
colonizations in areas where the species once occurred. Lastly, they 
noted that when populations are very sensitive to environmental changes 
and limited information is available on the species population biology, 
it is easy to underestimate the conservation needs of such insects.
    Murphy et al. (1990) also noted that reviews of butterfly 
population ecology demonstrate that environmental factors play 
important roles in determining

[[Page 40641]]

butterfly population dynamics. They stated that most documented 
population extinctions have resulted from habitat deterioration 
combined with extreme weather events. Decreases in the quality or 
abundance of larval host plants and adult nectar sources are caused by 
changes in plant community composition, particularly changes associated 
with succession, disturbance, and grazing regimes. But, because many 
butterfly species are especially sensitive to thermal conditions, 
habitat changes which disrupt microclimatic regimes can cause habitat 
deterioration without elimination of plant resources. Ehrlich and 
Murphy (1987) noted several patterns within typical butterfly 
populations: a number of subpopulations within a given species 
metapopulation are often extirpated and later re-colonized; and a given 
species may not be present in many of its habitat remnants, including 
within those containing the highest host plant diversity.
    Section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act provides that areas outside the 
geographical area currently occupied by the species may meet the 
definition of critical habitat upon determination that they are 
essential for the conservation of the species. Although our knowledge 
of the moth's historical range is incomplete, we believe the existing 
natural habitats needed to support viable populations of the moth are 
too small, isolated, and seriously threatened to ensure its long-term 
protection or conservation, particularly in light of the foraging needs 
of adult sphingid moths (Janzen 1984) and the apparent wide-ranging 
Blackburn's sphinx moth foraging habits (HHP 2000; F. Duvall, pers. 
comm., 2001; B. Gagne, pers. comm., 2001; D. Hopper, in litt., 2000, 
2002). Long-term conservation of the species will require the 
protection and subsequent restoration of additional and larger areas of 
dry and mesic habitat that includes the larval and adult primary 
constituent elements at different elevational and rainfall gradients to 
improve the likelihood of successful larval development and adult moth 
foraging (A. Medeiros, pers. comm., 1998; Roderick and Gillespie 1997; 
Van Gelder and Conant 1998). The long-term persistence of the existing 
populations would improve if they could be increased in size and if the 
connectivity among the populations was enhanced, thus promoting 
dispersal of individuals across intervening lands, and conserving and 
restoring moth populations in multiple locations would decrease the 
likelihood that the effect of any single alien parasite or predator or 
combined pressure of such species could result in the diminished vigor 
or extinction of the moth.
    Molokai is an example of essential habitat because it provides for 
the expansion of the species' range and for improved connectivity of 
the different populations. While the proposed unit on this island is 
not known to currently harbor a moth population, preserving this 
habitat is important because some threats to the species are absent 
there (Table 1 shows several of the potential moth predators and 
parasites are not reported on this island). Likewise, because of 
Molokai's distance from islands currently inhabited by the moth, we 
believe proposed critical habitat on this island will be extremely 
important for the species' conservation as it would help to protect the 
species from extinction by catastrophic events, which could impact 
other more closely grouped populations (e.g., those on the Maui or on 
the island of Hawaii). For these reasons, we find that inclusion of an 
area such as on Molokai, identified as containing the primary 
constituent elements is essential to the conservation of the species 
even if it does not currently contain known moth populations.
    The critical habitat unit approach in this proposed rule addresses 
the numerous risks to the long-term survival and conservation of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth by employing two widely recognized and 
scientifically accepted methods for promoting viable populations of 
imperiled species--(1) Creation or maintenance of multiple populations 
to reduce the threat of a single or series of catastrophic events 
extirpating the species; and (2) increasing the size of each population 
in the respective critical habitat units to a level where the threats 
of genetic, demographic, and normal environmental uncertainties are 
diminished (Meffe and Carroll 1996; Service 1997; Tear et al. 1995).
    In general, the larger the number of populations and the larger the 
size of each population, the lower the probability of extinction (Meffe 
and Carroll 1996; Raup 1991). This basic conservation principle of 
redundancy applies to Blackburn's sphinx moth. By maintaining viable 
populations in the proposed critical habitat units, the threats 
represented by a fluctuating environment are reduced and the species 
has a greater likelihood of achieving long-term survival and 
conservation. Conversely, loss of a Blackburn's sphinx moth critical 
habitat unit will result in an appreciable increase in the risk that 
the species may not recover and survive.
    Due to the species' presently reduced range, the Blackburn's sphinx 
moth is now more susceptible to the variations and weather fluctuations 
affecting quality and quantity of available habitat and food. 
Furthermore, the moth is now more susceptible to direct pressure from 
numerous nonnative insect predators and parasites. For these reasons 
and the reasons discussed above, those areas currently occupied would 
be inadequate to ensure the conservation of the species, and we have 
proposed to designate eight units on four islands.
    We are developing a draft recovery plan for this species. The 
overall objective of this recovery plan will be to ensure the species' 
long-term conservation and identify research necessary so the moth can 
be reclassified to threatened and ultimately removed from the lists of 
endangered and threatened species. Because a recovery plan for the moth 
has not yet been completed, in making this determination we evaluated 
the remaining potential habitat, the biological and life history 
characteristics of the moth, and the best available scientific 
information on conservation planning to obtain what we currently 
believe will be required to ensure viable populations of this species. 
However, if after completing the recovery planning process, should our 
understanding of what areas support essential features for the 
conservation of the moth change, to the extent our resources and other 
duties will allow, we would revise any existing critical habitat 
designation accordingly.

Primary Constituent Elements

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 
50 CFR 424.12(b), in determining which areas to designate as critical 
habitat, we must consider those physical and biological features 
essential to the conservation of the species, and which may require 
special management considerations and protection. These include, but 
are not limited to, space for individual and population growth and for 
normal behavior; food, water, or other nutritional or physiological 
requirements; cover or shelter; and sites for breeding, reproduction, 
or egg laying. To the extent possible, these biological and physical 
elements, also known as primary constituent elements are, to be 
described with the critical habitat designation.
    The primary constituent elements for the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
include specific habitat components identified as essential for the 
primary biological needs of foraging, sheltering, maturation, 
dispersal, breeding, and egg

[[Page 40642]]

laying, and are organized by life cycle stage. The primary constituent 
elements required by the Blackburn's sphinx moth larvae for foraging, 
sheltering, maturation, and dispersal are the two documented host plant 
species within the endemic Nothocestrum genus (N. latifolium and N. 
breviflorum) and the dry and mesic habitats between the elevations of 
sea level and 1,525 m (5,000 ft) and receiving between 25 and 250 cm 
(10 and 100 in) of annual precipitation which currently support or 
historically have supported these plants. The primary constituent 
elements required by Blackburn's sphinx moth adults for foraging, 
sheltering, dispersal, breeding, and egg production are native, nectar-
supplying plants, including but not limited to Ipomoea indica (and 
other species within the genus Ipomoea), Capparis sandwichiana, and 
Plumbago zeylanica and the dry to mesic habitats between the elevations 
of sea level and 1,525 m (5,000 ft) and receiving between 25 and 250 cm 
(10 and 100 in) of annual precipitation which currently support or 
historically have supported these plants.
    Both the larval and adult food plants are found in undeveloped 
areas supporting mesic and dry habitats, typically receiving less than 
250 cm (100 in) of rain per year and are located between the elevations 
of sea level and 1,525 m (5,000 ft). Vegetative communities in these 
areas include native plants, and in some instances, introduced plant 
species (A. Medeiros, pers. comm., 1998; Roderick and Gillespie 1997; 
Van Gelder and Conant 1998).
    Although Blackburn's sphinx moth larvae feed on the nonnative 
Nicotiana glauca, we do not consider this plant to be a primary 
constituent element for the designation of critical habitat. As 
previously discussed, the native Nothocestrum species are more stable 
and persistent components of dry to mesic forest habitats than the 
Nicotiana glauca. Nicotiana glauca is a short-lived species that may 
disappear from areas during prolonged drought (A. Medeiros, pers. 
comm., 1998) or during successional changes in the plant community (F. 
Howarth, pers. comm., 2001; Symon 1999). Many studies have shown that 
insects, and particularly lepidopteran larvae, consume more food when 
the food has a relatively high water content (Murugan and George 1992). 
Relative consumption rate and growth have been reported to decrease for 
many sphingids (closely related to the Blackburn's sphinx moth) when 
raised on host plants or diets with a relatively low water content 
(Murugan and George 1992). Nicotiana glauca's vulnerability to drought 
conditions suggests that its water content frequently may not be 
suitable for optimal growth of Blackburn's sphinx moth larvae.
    The restoration of native host species for the moth and other 
endangered species may also require the control or elimination of 
nonnative vegetation. Additionally, unlike the Nothocestrum species, 
Nicotiana glauca is more likely to occur in habitats less suitable due 
to their occupation by alien insect predators (D. Hopper, Service, in 
litt., 2000, 2002; Symon 1999). Therefore, in comparison with Nicotiana 
glauca, the native Nothocestrum species better fulfill the primary 
biological needs of the moth larvae. For all of these reasons, we are 
not considering Nicotiana glauca as a primary constituent element for 
the designation of critical habitat at this time.

Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    We used several criteria to identify and select lands proposed for 
designation as critical habitat. We began with all areas that we 
believe are currently occupied by the moth. We then added other 
unoccupied lands containing the primary constituent elements that are 
needed for conservation of the species. As discussed in the Methods 
section, in deciding which unoccupied areas were needed for 
conservation we based our decision on the amount of available habitat 
remaining that could potentially support the moth, the biology of the 
moth, and information gained from the conservation of other herbivorous 
insects. We gave preference to lands that--(a) are known to contain 
largely intact assemblages of the host plant communities, and (b) form 
contiguous, relatively large areas of suitable habitat.
    Regular flight distances of sphingids in Central America may be 
greater than 10 km (6.2 mi) (Janzen 1984), and given the large size and 
strong flight capabilities of the Blackburn's sphinx moth, the species 
is believed to use large areas of habitat. Therefore, moth population 
linkages will likely be enhanced if designated habitat occurs in large 
contiguous blocks or within a matrix of undeveloped habitat (McIntyre 
and Barrett 1992; A. Medeiros, pers. comm., 1998; S. Montgomery, pers. 
comm., 2001; Roderick and Gillespie 1997; Van Gelder and Conant 1998). 
To the extent possible with the limited potential habitat remaining, we 
have attempted to account for the wide-ranging behavior of the moth. 
Since the Blackburn's sphinx moth is believed to be a strong flier and 
is able to move many kilometers from one area to another, areas of 
larval or adult presence and feeding may be separated from similar 
habitat areas and still serve important functions in maintaining moth 
    Some small habitat areas are also suitable for Blackburn's sphinx 
moth larvae (e.g., Unit 3 and Units 5a and 5b discussed below) and are 
critical for the conservation of the moth since such habitats may 
facilitate adult moth dispersal and promote genetic exchange between 
populations located on different islands. These areas also provide 
nectar resources and sheltering opportunities required by the adult 
moth. As discussed earlier, small, geographically isolated populations 
may be subject to decreased viability caused by inbreeding depression, 
reductions in effective population size due to random variation in sex 
ratio, and limited capacity to evolve in response to environmental 
change (Soule 1987).
    Blackburn's sphinx moth populations fluctuate from year to year and 
season to season, apparently correlated with environmental and climatic 
variation. The moth is likely sensitive to thermal conditions and 
habitat changes which disrupt its micro-climatic requirements. 
Therefore, proposed critical habitat boundaries include dry and mesic 
habitats containing the primary constituent elements along wide 
elevational gradients to better ensure adult moth foraging needs up and 
downslope within its range. Furthermore, the boundaries include 
elevational gradients to better ensure larval host plant availability 
during periods of drought. The growth rates of larvae for many closely 
related sphingid species are reported to decrease when their host 
plants lack suitable water content. In fact, suitable host plant water 
content can improve the later fecundity of the adult stage (Murugan and 
George 1992). It is believed numerous habitat elevations, containing 
the various primary constituent elements, are necessary for successful 
conservation of the species (Ehrlich and Murphy 1987; Murphy and Weiss 
1988; Murphy et al. 1990; Shaffer 1987) to minimize the effects of 
annual localized drought conditions throughout different areas of the 
species' host plant range (Murugan and George 1992).
    Many sphingid studies have shown that air temperature restricts 
adult feeding activity above a certain temperature (usually 30 degrees 
Celsius) (Herrera 1992). This highlights the importance of protecting 
sufficiently large habitat areas throughout the Blackburn's sphinx moth 
range to ensure nectar resource availability as

[[Page 40643]]

temperatures change within the habitat range seasonally, during the 
night, and along elevational gradients. Increasing the potential for 
adult dispersal will help to alleviate many threats, thus, habitat 
which provides the primary constituent elements associated with adult 
dispersal and feeding is essential to the conservation of the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth.
    Critical habitat is proposed on those Hawaiian Islands where the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth's primary constituent elements considered 
essential for the conservation of the species are known to occur. This 
will allow the species the ability to persist and re-colonize areas 
where it has become extirpated due to catastrophic events or 
demographic stochasticity (randomness) (Shaffer 1987). For example, on 
the island of Kauai in 1992, Hurricane Iniki blew over large areas of 
native forest leaving open areas where nonnative plants became 
established and created paths for further invasion of nonnative 
animals, both of which have been identified as threats to the survival 
of the moth.
    Small habitats tend to support small populations, which frequently 
are extirpated by events that are part of normal environmental 
variation. The continued existence of such satellite populations 
requires the presence of one or more large reservoir populations, which 
may provide colonists to smaller, outlying habitat patches (Ehrlich and 
Murphy 1987). Based on recent field observations of the moth, we 
believe the species likely occurs within two regional populations on 
separate islands, one centered in the Kanaio area of leeward East Maui 
(Unit 1--see Proposed Critical Habitat Designation, below), and one 
centered near Puuwaawaa (Unit 6) of Hawaii Island, north of Kailua-Kona 
(F. Howarth, pers. comm., 2001; A. Medeiros, pers. comm., 1998). Both 
of these two areas contain populations of the moth regarded as probable 
source areas or ``reservoirs'' (Murphy et al. 1990) for dispersing or 
colonizing moth adults. We are also proposing areas (e.g., Auwahi 
Forest and portions of Ulupalukua Ranch, both within Unit 1; and Unit 4 
on Kahoolawe) that are large, mixed-quality habitat patches containing 
the primary constituent elements and located within several kilometers 
of the two potential reservoir populations. Because of their current 
occupancy and their proximity to larger populations, it appears likely 
that they will be the areas most rapidly re-colonized by the moth after 
potential extirpations.
    The designation of small habitat areas close to the two large 
reservoir areas is also proposed to promote genetic variability in the 
moth population, contributing to the long-term persistence and 
conservation of the species. These areas will serve as stepping stones 
or corridors for dispersing adult moths or as overflow habitat during 
particularly fecund years, which could be very important to the 
integrity of moth populations. For example, adult moths observed at 
Ahihi-Kinau NAR (Unit 1) on Maui may have originated from larval host 
plants located in the Kanaio NAR (also Unit 1), or moths seen in 
Kailua-Kona (Units 5-A and 5-B) from Puuwaawaa (Unit 6). The 
Blackburn's sphinx moth populations inhabiting these smaller habitat 
areas appear to be taking advantage of lower elevation adult native 
host plants and nonnative host plants such as tree tobacco upon which 
the larval stage is completed successfully. In addition, these small 
habitat areas may be able to support persistent moth populations 
independent of the reservoir areas, significantly contributing to 
conservation of the species.
    Natural areas of suitable native, dry to mesic habitat containing 
at least one Nothocestrum plant adjacent or near other Nothocestrum 
populations are included in the proposed critical habitat units. We 
have included suitable habitat without Nothocestrum larval host plants, 
provided it contained the adult primary constituent elements, including 
but not limited to Ipomoea species, Capparis sandwichiana, or Plumbago 
zeylanica. This is especially true for areas lying between or adjacent 
to large populations of Nothocestrum species and which could serve as a 
flight corridor or ``stepping stone'' to other larger host plant 
habitat areas. An area may also serve as a stepping stone when it 
contains adult native host plants thereby providing foraging 
opportunities for adults. Areas with larval nonnative host plants 
(e.g., Unit 3 on Maui and Unit 4 on Kahoolawe) may also serve as areas 
for population expansion during especially wet years when the nonnative 
larval host plants experience rapid growth. Natural areas of primarily 
native vegetation containing the larval or adult stage primary 
constituent elements and where habitat could support a moth population 
and increase the potential for conservation are also proposed to be 
designated as critical habitat. The designation and protection of a 
unit not known to currently contain a moth population (i.e., the unit 
on Molokai), but which contains the PCE's and lacks some of the serious 
threats to the species, (see Table 1) will enhance population expansion 
and connectivity, thereby improving the likelihood of the species' 
    The areas we are proposing to designate as critical habitat provide 
some or all of the known primary constituent elements for this species. 
These areas are on the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Maui, and Molokai 
between the elevations of sea level to 1,525 m (5,000 ft) within dry to 
mesic shrub lands or forests containing one or more populations of the 
adult host plants, or one or more populations of Nothocestrum 
latifolium or N. breviflorum. Proposed critical habitat boundaries 
include aggregations of native host plant habitat for both larvae and 
adults, and encompass the areas and flight corridors believed necessary 
to sustain moth populations.
    In summary, the long-term survival and recovery of the Blackburn's 
sphinx moth requires the designation of eight critical habitat units on 
four of the main Hawaiian Islands. One of these habitat units is 
currently not known to be occupied by the Blackburn's sphinx moth. To 
recover the species, it will be necessary to conserve suitable habitat 
in this unoccupied unit, which in turn will allow for the establishment 
of an additional Blackburn's sphinx moth population(s) through natural 
recruitment or managed re-introductions. Establishment of this 
additional moth population(s) will increase the likelihood that the 
species will survive and recover in the face of normal and random 
events (e.g., hurricanes, fire, alien species introductions, etc.) 
(Mangel and Tier 1994; Pimm et al. 1998; Stacy and Taper 1992).
    The lack of scientific data on Blackburn's sphinx moth life history 
makes it impossible for us to develop a quantitative model (e.g., 
population viability analysis (NRC 1995)) to identify the optimal 
number, size, and location of critical habitat units (Bessinger and 
Westphal 1998; Ginzburg et al. 1990; Karieva and Wennergren 1995; 
Menges 1990; Murphy et al. 1990; Taylor 1995). At this time, we are 
only able to conclude that the current size and distribution of the 
extant populations are not sufficient to expect a reasonable 
probability of the Blackburn's sphinx moth's long-term survival and 
recovery. Therefore, we used the best available information, including 
scientific opinion and professional judgement of non-Service 
scientists, to identify as critical habitat a reasonable number of 
additional units. Conservation of more than eight units could further 
increase the probability

[[Page 40644]]

that the species will survive and recover; however, establishing and 
conserving viable moth populations on a total of eight discrete units 
on four islands will provide the species with a reasonable expectation 
of persistence and eventual recovery, even with the high potential that 
one or more of these subpopulations will be temporarily lost as a 
result of normal or random adverse events (Mangel and Tier 1994; Pimm 
et al. 1998; Stacey and Taper 1992).

Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

    The approximate area encompassing the proposed designation of 
critical habitat by island and landownership is shown in Table 2.

    Table 2.--Approximate Proposed Critical Habitat for the Blackburn's Sphinx Moth in Hectares (ha) (Acres (ac)) by Island and Land Ownership (Area
                              Estimates Reflect Critical Habitat Unit Boundaries, Not Primary Constituent Elements Within)
       Critical habitat unit                 Island                   State                 Federal                Private                 Total
1. Ahihi-Kinau NAR--Ulupalakua--     Maui..................  11,504 ha.............  1 ha.................  4,161 ha.............  15,216 ha
 Auwahi--Kanaio Maui Meta Unit.                              27,316 ac.............  2 ac.................  10,281 ac............  37,599 ac
2. Puu O Kali Unit.................  Maui..................  1,791 ha..............  0 ha.................  959 ha...............  2,750 ha
                                                             4,425 ac..............  0 ac.................  2,369 ac.............  6,794 ac
3. Kanaha Pond--Spreckelsville Unit  Maui..................  213 ha................  0 ha.................  13 ha................  226 ha
                                                             527 ac................  0 ac.................  31 ac................  559 ac
4. Upper Kahoolawe Unit............  Kahoolawe.............  1,878 ha..............  0 ha.................  0 ha.................  1,878 ha
                                                             4,641 ac..............  0 ac.................  0 ac.................  4,641 ac
5-A. Kailua-Kona Unit A............  Hawaii................  6 ha..................  0 ha.................  119 ha...............  125 ha
                                                             15 ac.................  0 ac.................  294 ac...............  309 ac
5-B. Kailua-Kona Unit B............  Hawaii................  105 ha................  0 ha.................  0 ha.................  105 ha
                                                             258 ac................  0 ac.................  0 ac.................  258 ac
6. Puuwaawaa--Hualalai Meta Unit...  Hawaii................  12,847 ha.............  0 ha.................  5,264 ha.............  18,111 ha
                                                             31,746 ac.............  0 ac.................  13,007 ac............  44,753 ac
7. Kamoko Flats--Puukolekole Unit..  Molokai...............  551 ha................  0 ha.................  1,278 ha.............  1,829 ha
                                                             1,362 ac..............  0 ac.................  3,158 ac.............  4,520 ac
    Total..........................  ......................  28,445 ha.............  1 ha.................  11,794 ha............  40,240 ha
                                                             70,290 ac.............  2 ac.................  29,140 ac............  99,433 ac

    The areas we are proposing to designate as critical habitat 
currently provide some or all of the habitat components necessary to 
meet the primary biological needs of the Blackburn's sphinx moth. Lands 
designated are under Federal, private, and State ownership. Lands 
proposed as critical habitat have been divided into eight critical 
habitat units.
    We are proposing to designate critical habitat on lands considered 
essential to the conservation of the moth. Conserving the moth includes 
the need to re-establish historic and possibly, extirpated populations 
of Blackburn's sphinx moth to areas within one of the critical habitat 
units, which represent a range of habitat and climate conditions within 
the moth's former range. Re-establishing the species to a diverse set 
of habitats and climates containing the primary constituent elements is 
necessary to reduce the long-term risk of range-wide extinction of the 
species (Service 1997).
    A brief description of each unit, and reasons for proposing to 
designate it as critical habitat are presented below.

Unit 1: Ahihi-Kinau NAR--Ulupalakua--Auwahi--Kanaio Unit (Maui)

    Unit 1 consists of approximately 15,216 ha (37,599 ac) encompassing 
portions of the leeward slope of Haleakala. The unit is bounded on the 
northeast by the 1,525 m (5,000 ft) elevation contour of Haleakala 
Volcano, to the south by the ocean, to the east by the dry coast and 
slopes toward Kaupo Gap, and on the west by the Haleakala Southwest 
Ridge. Natural features within the unit include widely spread, remnant 
dry forest communities, rocky coastline, numerous cindercones, and some 
of the most recent lava flows on Maui. Vegetation consists primarily of 
mixed-species mesic, and dry forest communities composed of native and 
introduced plants, with smaller amounts of dry coastal shrub land (HHP 
    This unit contains what is probably the largest, extant moth 
population or meta-population. This unit is essential to the species' 
conservation because it contains native (Nothocestrum latifolium) and 
other nectar-supplying plants for adult moths. In addition to providing 
essential habitat for the Maui meta-population, areas within this unit 
provides temporary (ephemeral) habitat for migrating Blackburn's sphinx 

Unit 2: Puu O Kali Unit (Maui)

    Unit 2 consists of approximately 2,750 ha (6,794 ac) encompassing 
portions of the leeward slope of Haleakala, and adjacent portions of 
the upper, southeast isthmus. The unit is bounded on the north and to 
the south by pasture lands, to the east by the lower slopes of 
Haleakala below the area of Kula, and on the west by the coastal town 
of Kihei. Natural features within the unit include widely spread, 
remnant dry forest communities, rugged aa lava flows, and numerous 
cindercones including the highly visible, Puu O Kali. Vegetation 
consists primarily of mixed-species mesic, and dry forest communities 
composed of native and introduced plants, with smaller amounts of dry 
coastal shrub land (HHP 1993). This unit is essential to the species' 
conservation because it contains native nectar-supplying plants for 
adult, and areas within this unit provide temporary (ephemeral) habitat 
for migrating Blackburn's sphinx moths.

Unit 3: Kanaha Pond--Spreckelsville Unit (Maui)

    Unit 3 consists of approximately 226 ha (559 ac) encompassing 
portions of the Kahului coastland and the Kanaha Pond State Sanctuary 
on Maui. It is bounded on the south by the Kahului Airport, on the 
north by the ocean, on the east by sugarcane fields, and to the west by 
the town of Kahului. Natural features within the unit include Kanaha 
Pond and remnant coastal dune communities. Vegetation consists 
primarily of mixed-species, dry coastal shrub land communities composed 
of native and introduced plants, including

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nonnative larval host plants (HHP 2000).
    Although devoid of naturally occurring Nothocestrum spp., the unit 
contains adult moth primary constituent elements, and recent 
observations of both larvae and adults have been documented in the 
Kanaha-Spreckelsville area. This unit is also considered essential to 
the species' conservation because evidence indicates that it provides 
refuge for moths dispersing to other larger areas. Because it is a 
State Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kanaha Pond portion of this unit is 
currently managed to benefit resident native species and should benefit 
the moth and its host plants to some extent (F. Duvall, DoFAW, in litt. 
2001). Although this area is lower in elevation than areas containing 
Nothocestrum and associated species, the persistent occurrence of 
Blackburn's sphinx moth in this area suggests this site plays an 
important role in moth population dynamics.

Unit 4: Upper Kahoolawe Unit (Kahoolawe)

    Unit 4 consists of approximately 1,878 ha (4,641 ac), encompassing 
portions of the upper elevational contour of Kahoolawe, approximately 
above 305 m (1,000 ft) in elevation. Kahoolawe is located approximately 
11 km (6.7 mi) south of Maui Island and is approximately 11,655 ha 
(28,800 ac) in total land area. Natural features within the unit 
include the main caldera, Lua Makika, and Puu Moaulaiki. Vegetation 
within the proposed unit consists primarily of mixed-species, mesic and 
dry grass and shrubland communities composed of primarily introduced 
plants and some native plant species (HHP 2000).
    This unit contains a large moth population, which may or may not be 
part of the larger Maui populations. No native Nothocestrum species 
currently occur, but introduced tree tobacco is very common as are 
numerous native adult host plants as described by the primary 
constituent elements. Currently, the entire island is devoid of 
ungulates and is managed for control of fire and nonnative species to 
some degree. Because the unit harbors adult native host plants and is 
in close proximity to the large Maui moth population, this unit is 
essential for Blackburn's sphinx moth conservation and would improve 
dispersal and migration corridors and thus expand population 
recruitment potential. (P. Higashino, pers. comm., 2001).

Unit 5-A and Unit 5-B: Kailua-Kona Unit (Hawaii)

    Units 5-A and 5-B consists of approximately 230 ha (567 ac) 
encompassing portions of rugged lowland forest within the boundary of 
the Kailua-Kona township on the island of Hawaii. They are bounded on 
the south by Kailua-Kona town, on the north by rugged lava flows, to 
the west by coastal nonnative plant communities, and to the east by 
residential housing areas. Natural features within the units include 
rugged lava flows. Vegetation consists primarily of mixed-species 
mesic, and dry forest communities composed of native and introduced 
plants, with smaller amounts of dry coastal shrubland (HHP 2000). These 
units contains the endangered larval host plant, N. breviflorum. Adult 
and larval moth sightings have been documented within these units. In 
addition to providing habitat for this moth population, lands proposed 
for designation in Units 5-A and 5-B will provide refugia for moths 
migrating to other areas of existing suitable host plant habitat.

Unit 6: Puuwaawaa--Hualalai Meta-Unit (Hawaii)

    Unit 6 consists of approximately 18,111 ha (44,753 ac) encompassing 
portions of the flows and northwest slopes of the Hualalai volcano on 
the island of Hawaii. It is bounded on the south by the Kailua-Kona 
region and large expanses of barren lava flows, on the north by Parker 
Ranch and large expanses of nonnative grass lands, to the east by upper 
slopes of Hualalai volcano, and to the west by lava flows and 
coastland. Natural features within the unit include the Puuwaawaa 
cindercone and significant stands of native, dry forest including large 
numbers of Nothocestrum breviflorum host plants (Perry 2001). 
Vegetation consists primarily of mixed-species mesic, and dry forest 
communities composed of native and introduced plants, with smaller 
amounts of dry coastal shrubland (HHP 2000).
    Frequent and persistent observations of both moth larvae and adults 
throughout this unit indicate that this unit contains the largest 
population of Blackburn's sphinx moth on the island of Hawaii. In 
addition to providing habitat for this population, proposed lands in 
Unit 6 provide refugia for migrating moths to other areas of existing 
suitable host plant habitat. As previously discussed, given the large 
size and strong flight capabilities of the Blackburn's sphinx moth, 
support for moth population linkages requires habitat in large 
contiguous blocks or within a matrix of undeveloped habitat (McIntyre 
and Barrett 1992; A. Medeiros, pers. comm., 1998; S. Montgomery, pers. 
comm., 2001; Roderick and Gillespie 1997; Van Gelder and Conant 1998).

Unit 7: Kamoko Flats--Puukolekole Unit (Molokai)

    Unit 7 consists of approximately 1,829 ha (4,520 ac) encompassing 
portions of the higher, yet drier portions of east Molokai. It is 
bounded on the north by wet forests, to the south by drier coastland, 
to the east by rugged, dry gullies and valleys, and to the west by dry 
to mesic, lowland forest. Natural features within the unit include 
numerous forested ridges and gullies. Vegetation consists primarily of 
mixed-species mesic, and dry forest communities composed of native and 
introduced plants (HHP 2000).
    This unit is part of the historical range of the moth. This unit is 
not known to currently contain a moth population, but it does contain 
native Nothocestrum host plants, including N. longifolium and N. 
latifolium (Wood 2001a) as well as adult native host plants. Because 
the Molokai unit contains both larval and adult native host plants and 
is in close proximity to the large Maui population, this unit is 
essential for Blackburn's sphinx moth conservation because it would 
allow the species to expand into an area formerly part of its 
historical range and in very close proximity to its current range on 
the island of Maui. Furthermore, it may facilitate dispersal and 
provide a flight corridor for moths eventually migrating to the island 
of Oahu, also part of its historical range.
    Due to its proximity to the island of Maui where the current and 
presumed highest historical concentration of Blackburn's sphinx moth 
occurred and because this unit contains dry and mesic habitats which 
are known, both currently and historically, to support the larval and 
adult native host plants, researchers believe Blackburn's sphinx moth 
will re-establish itself on this unit over time. (F. Howarth, pers. 
comm., 2001). Furthermore, this unit lacks some of the serious 
potential threats to the moth (see Table 1). Conserving and restoring 
moth populations in multiple locations will decrease the likelihood 
that the effect of any single alien parasite or predator or combined 
pressure of such species and other threats could result in the 
diminished vigor or extinction of the moth. Including this unit within 
the designation will also reduce the possibility of the species' 
extinction from catastrophic events impacting the

[[Page 40646]]

existing populations on other islands. Designating Blackburn's sphinx 
moth critical habitat within this area on Molokai is complementary to 
existing and planned management activities of the landowners. The 
proposed critical habitat unit lies within a larger, existing, 
conservation area to be managed for watershed conservation and the 
conservation of endangered and rare species. The landowners, State and 
Federal resource agencies, and local citizens groups are involved with 
these planned natural resource management activities on Molokai.

Application of the Section 3(5)(A) Criteria Regarding Special 
Management Considerations or Protection

    Pursuant to the definition of critical habitat in section 3 of the 
Act, any area so designated must also require ``special management 
considerations or protections.'' Special management and protection are 
not required if adequate management and protection are already in 
place. Adequate special management or protection is provided by a 
legally operative plan or agreement that addresses the maintenance and 
improvement of the primary constituent elements important to the 
species and manages for the long-term conservation of the species. If 
any areas containing the primary constituent elements are currently 
being managed to address the conservation needs of Blackburn's sphinx 
moth and do not require special management or protection, such areas 
would not be included in a critical habitat designation because they 
would not meet the definition of critical habitat in section 3(5)(A)(i) 
of the Act.
    We used the following three guidelines to determine if a plan 
provides adequate management or protection--(1) A current plan 
specifying the management actions must be complete and provide 
sufficient conservation benefit to the species, (2) the plan must 
provide assurances that the conservation management strategies will be 
implemented, and (3) the plan must provide assurances that the 
conservation management strategies will be effective. In determining if 
management strategies are likely to be implemented, we considered 
whether: (1) A management plan or agreement exists that specifies the 
management actions being implemented or to be implemented; (2) there is 
a timely schedule for implementation; (3) there is a high probability 
that the funding source(s) or other resources necessary to implement 
the actions will be available; and (4) the party(ies) have the 
authority and long-term commitment to the agreement or plan to 
implement the management actions, as demonstrated, for example, by a 
legal instrument providing enduring protection and management of the 
lands. In determining whether an action is likely to be effective, we 
considered whether: (1) The plan specifically addresses the management 
needs, including reduction of threats to the species; (2) such actions 
have been successful in the past; (3) there are provisions for 
monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of the management 
actions; and (4) adaptive management principles have been incorporated 
into the plan.
    Based on information provided to us by land owners and managers to 
date, we find that no areas are adequately managed and protected to 
address the threats to Blackburn's sphinx moth. Several areas, 
especially within Units 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 are covered under current 
management plans and are being managed in a manner that meets some of 
the conservation needs of Blackburn's sphinx moth including fire and 
ungulate management. However, we find that in none of these areas does 
the present management adequately address the needs of the species by 
reducing all of the primary threats to this species including the loss 
of host plant fecundity. Furthermore, all of the plans lack a timely 
schedule for implementation; a high probability of funding source(s) or 
other resources necessary to implement the necessary actions; and 
sufficient landowner/management authority or long-term commitment to 
implement the management actions, as demonstrated, for example, by a 
legal instrument providing enduring protection and management of the 

Effects of Critical Habitat Designation

Section 7  Consultation

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the 
Service, to ensure that actions they fund, authorize, or carry out do 
not destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Destruction or 
adverse modification occurs when a Federal action directly or 
indirectly alters critical habitat to the extent that it appreciably 
diminishes the value of critical habitat for the conservation of the 
species. Individuals, organizations, States, local governments, and 
other non-Federal entities are affected by the designation of critical 
habitat only if their actions occur on Federal lands, require a Federal 
permit, license, or other authorization, or involve Federal funding.
    Section 7(a) of the Act 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 designated or proposed. 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 result in destruction or 
adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. Conference reports 
provide conservation recommendations to assist the agency in 
eliminating conflicts that may be caused by the proposed action. The 
conservation recommendations in a conference report are advisory. We 
may issue a formal conference report if requested by a Federal agency. 
Formal conference reports on proposed critical habitat contain a 
biological opinion that is prepared according to 50 CFR 402.14, as if 
critical habitat were designated. We may adopt the formal conference 
report as the biological opinion when critical habitat is designated, 
if no significant new information or changes in the action alter the 
content of the opinion (see 50 CFR 402.10(d)).
    Section 7 of the Act and its implementing regulations require 
Federal agencies to consult with us if a proposed action may affect a 
listed species or its critical habitat (16 U.S.C. 1536; 50 CFR 
402.14(a)). If after consultation, we issue a biological opinion 
concluding that a project is likely to result in the destruction or 
adverse modification of critical habitat, we also provide reasonable 
and prudent alternatives to the project, if any are identifiable. 
Reasonable and prudent alternatives are defined at 50 CFR 402.02 as 
alternative actions identified during consultation that can be 
implemented in a manner consistent with the intended purpose of the 
action, that are consistent with the scope of the Federal agency's 
legal authority and jurisdiction, that are economically and 
technologically feasible, and that the Director believes would avoid 
destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. Reasonable and 
prudent alternatives can vary from slight project modifications to 
extensive redesign or relocation of the project.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate 
consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where critical 
habitat is subsequently designated and the Federal agency has retained 
discretionary involvement or control over the action or such 
discretionary involvement or control is authorized by law. 
Consequently, some Federal agencies may request re-initiation of 
consultation with us on actions for

[[Page 40647]]

which formal consultation has been completed if those actions may 
affect designated critical habitat.
    Activities on Federal lands that may affect the Blackburn's sphinx 
moth or its critical habitat will require section 7 consultation. 
Activities on non-Federal lands requiring a permit from a Federal 
agency, such as a permit from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers under 
section 404 of the Clean Water Act, or some other Federal action, 
including funding (e.g., the Federal Highway Administration, Federal 
Aviation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, or 
Natural Resources Conservation Service) will also be subject to the 
section 7 consultation process. Federal actions not affecting listed 
species or critical habitat and actions on non-Federal lands that are 
not federally funded or permitted do not require section 7 
    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to evaluate briefly in any 
proposed or final regulation that designates critical habitat those 
activities involving a Federal action that may adversely modify such 
habitat or that may be affected by such designation. We note that such 
activities may also jeopardize the continued existence of the species. 
Activities that may directly or indirectly adversely affect critical 
habitat include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Removing, thinning, or destroying Blackburn's sphinx moth 
habitat (as defined in the primary constituent elements discussion), 
whether by burning, mechanical, chemical, or other means (e.g., wood 
cutting, grading, overgrazing, construction, road building, mining, 
herbicide application, etc.).
    (2) Appreciably decreasing habitat value or quality through 
indirect effects (e.g., introduction or promotion of invasive plant 
species, forest fragmentation, overgrazing, augmentation of feral 
ungulate populations, water diversion or impoundment, groundwater 
pumping, or other activities that alter water quality or quantity to an 
extent that they affect vegetation structure) and activities that 
increase the risk of fire.
    Federal agencies already consult with us on activities in areas 
currently occupied by the species to ensure that their actions do not 
jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Thus, actions which 
may already require consultation include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Development on private or State lands requiring funding or 
authorization from other Federal agencies, such as the Department of 
Housing and Urban Development;
    (2) Military training or similar activities of the U.S. Department 
of Defense (Army, Navy, and National Guard) on State-owned lands (e.g., 
Kanaio Training Area);
    (3) Construction of communication sites licensed by the Federal 
Communications Commission;
    (4) Road construction and maintenance, right-of-way designation, 
and regulation of agricultural activities by Federal agencies;
    (5) Hazard mitigation and post-disaster repairs funded by the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency; and
    (6) Activities not previously mentioned that are funded or 
authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service), Department of Defense, 
Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of the 
Interior (U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service), Department of 
Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), 
Environmental Protection Agency, or any other Federal agency.
    Upon publication of this proposed rule, Federal agencies would also 
be required to confer with the Service on effects to critical habitat 
if such actions may destroy or adversely modify proposed critical 
habitat. Upon publication of a final rule designating critical habitat, 
Federal agencies would need to include consideration of effects to 
critical habitat in consultations on these actions.
    If you have questions regarding whether specific activities would 
constitute adverse modification of critical habitat, contact the Field 
Supervisor, Pacific Islands Ecological Services Field Office (see 
ADDRESSES section). Requests for copies of the regulations on listed 
wildlife and plants and inquiries about prohibitions and permits should 
be directed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species 
Act Section 10 Program at the same address.

Economic Analysis

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that we designate critical 
habitat on the basis of the best scientific and commercial information 
available, and that we consider the economic and other relevant impacts 
of designating a particular area as critical habitat. We may exclude 
areas from critical habitat designation if the benefits of exclusion 
outweigh the benefits of designation, provided the exclusion will not 
result in the extinction of the species. We will conduct an analysis of 
the economic impacts of designating these areas as critical habitat 
prior to making a final determination. When completed, we will announce 
the availability of the draft economic analysis with a notice in the 
Federal Register.

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal be as 
accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we solicit comments 
or suggestions from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, 
the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party 
concerning this proposed rule. We are particularly interested in 
comments concerning:
    (1) The reasons why any proposed area should or should not be 
determined to be critical habitat as provided by section 4 of the Act 
and 50 CFR 424.12(a)(1), including whether the benefits of designation 
will outweigh any threats to the species due to designation;
    (2) Any areas on the islands of Maui, Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Molokai, 
or the other main Hawaiian Islands not included in this proposed 
designation that may be considered essential to the species' 
conservation and recovery and should be included in the final 
    (3) Specific information on the number and distribution of the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth and what habitat is essential to the 
conservation of this species and why;
    (4) Whether lands within proposed critical habitat are currently 
being managed to address conservation needs of the Blackburn's sphinx 
    (5) Land use practices and current or planned activities in the 
subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat;
    (6) Military training or similar activities of the U.S. Department 
of Defense (Army, Navy, and National Guard) on State-owned lands (e.g., 
Kanaio Training Area);
    (7) Any foreseeable economic or other impacts resulting from the 
proposed designation of critical habitat, in particular, any impacts on 
small entities or families;
    (8) Whether future development and approval of conservation 
measures (e.g., Conservation Agreements, Safe Harbor Agreements, etc.) 
should be excluded from critical habitat and, if so, by what mechanism; 
    (9) Economic and other values associated with designating critical 
habitat for the Blackburn's sphinx moth, such as those derived from 
non-consumptive uses (e.g., hiking, camping, eco-tourism, enhanced 

[[Page 40648]]

protection, improved air quality, increased soil retention, ``existence 
values,'' and reductions in administrative costs).
    If we receive information that any of the areas proposed as 
critical habitat are currently being managed to address the 
conservation needs of the Blackburn's sphinx moth and provide adequate 
management and protection, we would remove such areas from the final 
rule because they would not meet the definition of critical habitat in 
section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act. If you wish to comment, you may submit 
your comments and materials concerning this proposal by either of the 
following methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information to Paul Henson, 
Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, 
Honolulu, HI 96850.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Pacific Islands 
Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, 
Honolulu, Hawaii.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Respondents may request that we withhold their home 
address, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also 
may be circumstances in which we would withhold a respondent's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name or 
address, you must state this request prominently at the beginning of 
your comment. To the extent consistent with applicable law, we will 
make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from 
individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of 
organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their 
entirety. Comments and materials received will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Pacific 
Islands Fish and Wildlife Office in Honolulu.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we will seek the expert opinions of at least three appropriate 
and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose 
of such review is to ensure listing and critical habitat decisions are 
based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We will 
send copies of this proposed rule to these peer reviewers immediately 
following publication in the Federal Register. We will invite the peer 
reviewers to comment, during the public comment period, on the specific 
assumptions and conclusions regarding the proposed designations of 
critical habitat. We will consider all comments and data received 
during the 60-day comment period on this proposed rule during 
preparation of a final rule-making. Accordingly, the final decision may 
differ from this proposal.

Clarity of the Rule

    Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations and 
notices that are easy to understand. We invite your comments on how to 
make this proposed rule easier to understand, including answers to 
questions such as the following--(1) Are the requirements in the 
proposed rule clearly stated? (2) Does the proposed rule contain 
technical jargon that interferes with the clarity? (3) Does the format 
of the proposed rule (grouping and order of the sections, use of 
headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce its clarity? (4) Is the 
description of the notice in the ``Supplementary Information'' section 
of the preamble helpful in understanding the notice? What else could we 
do to make this proposed rule easier to understand?
    Send a copy of any comments that concern how we could make this 
rule easier to understand to the Office of Regulatory Affairs, 
Department of the Interior, Room 7229, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, 
DC 20240. You also may e-mail comments to: Exsec@ios.doi.gov.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review

    In accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, this document is a 
significant rule and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) in accordance with the four criteria discussed below. We 
are preparing a draft economic analysis of this proposed action, which 
will be available for public comment, to determine the economic 
consequences of designating the specific areas as critical habitat. The 
availability of the draft economic analysis will be announced in the 
Federal Register so that it is available for public review and comment.
    (a) While we will prepare an economic analysis to assist us in 
considering whether areas would be excluded from critical habitat 
designation pursuant to section 4 of the Act, we do not believe this 
rule will have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more 
or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, 
or State, local or tribal communities. Therefore, we do not believe a 
cost benefit and economic analysis pursuant to E.O. 12866 is required.
    Under the Act, critical habitat may not be adversely modified by a 
Federal agency action; critical habitat does not impose any 
restrictions on non-Federal persons unless they are conducting 
activities funded or otherwise sponsored or permitted by a Federal 
agency. Section 7 of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that 
they do not jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Section 
7 also requires Federal agencies to consult with us if a proposed 
action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat. Based on 
our experience with the species and its needs, we believe that any 
Federal action or authorized action that could potentially cause an 
adverse modification of the proposed critical habitat would currently 
be considered as jeopardy to the species under the Act in areas 
occupied by the species.
    Accordingly, we do not expect the designation of areas as critical 
habitat within the geographical range of the species to have any 
incremental impacts on what actions may or may not be conducted by 
Federal agencies or non-Federal persons that receive Federal 
authorization or funding. The designation of areas as critical habitat 
where section 7 consultations would not have occurred but for the 
critical habitat designation may have impacts on what actions may or 
may not be conducted by Federal agencies or non-Federal persons who 
receive Federal authorization or funding that are not attributable to 
the species listing. We will evaluate any impact through our economic 
analysis (required under section 4 of the Act: see the ``Exclusions 
Under Section 4(b)(2)'' section of this rule). Non-Federal persons who 
do not have a Federal sponsorship of their actions are not restricted 
by the designation of critical habitat.
    (b) We do not believe this rule would create inconsistencies with 
other agencies' actions. As discussed above, Federal agencies have been 
required to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the continued 
existence of the Blackburn's sphinx moth since its listing in February 
2000 (65 FR 4770). We will evaluate any additional impact through our 
economic analysis. Because of the potential for impacts on other 
Federal agencies' activities, we will continue to review this proposed 

[[Page 40649]]

for any inconsistencies with other Federal agencies' actions.
    (c) We do not believe this rule, if made final, would materially 
affect entitlements, grants, user fees, loan programs, or the rights 
and obligations of their recipients. Federal agencies are currently 
required to ensure that their activities do not jeopardize the 
continued existence of a listed species, and, as discussed above, we 
will evaluate any additional impacts through an economic analysis.
    (d) OMB has determined that this rule raises novel legal or policy 
issues and, as a result, this rule has undergone OMB review.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act (SBREFA) of 
1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking 
for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for 
public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the 
effects of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small 
organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of the agency 
certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of 
the factual basis for certifying that rule will not have a significant 
economic effect on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA also 
amended the RFA to require a certification statement. In today's rule, 
we are certifying that the rule will not have a significant effect on a 
substantial number of small entities for the reasons described below. 
However, should the economic analyses prepared pursuant to section 
4(b)(2) of the ESA indicate otherwise, we will revisit this 
determination at that time.
    Small entities include small organizations, such as independent 
non-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions, 
including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer 
than 50,000 residents, as well as small businesses. Small businesses 
include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 
employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, 
retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual 
sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 
million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than 
$11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with 
annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic 
impacts to these small entities are significant, we consider the types 
of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this rule as 
well as the types of project modifications that may result. In general, 
the term significant economic impact is meant to apply to a typical 
small business firm's business operations.
    To determine if the rule would affect a substantial number of small 
entities, we consider the number of small entities affected within 
particular types of economic activities (e.g., housing development, 
grazing, oil and gas production, timber harvesting, etc.). We apply the 
``substantial number'' test individually to each industry to determine 
if certification is appropriate. In some circumstances, especially with 
proposed critical habitat designations of very limited extent, we may 
aggregate across all industries and consider whether the total number 
of small entities affected is substantial. In estimating the numbers of 
small entities potentially affected, we also consider whether their 
activities have any Federal involvement; some kinds of activities are 
unlikely to have any Federal involvement and so will not be affected by 
critical habitat designation.
    Designation of critical habitat only affects activities conducted, 
funded, or permitted by Federal agencies; non-Federal activities are 
not affected by the designation. In areas where the species is present, 
Federal agencies are already required to consult with us under section 
7 of the Act on activities that they fund, permit, or implement that 
may affect the Blackburn's sphinx moth. If this critical habitat 
designation is finalized, Federal agencies must also consult with us if 
their activities may affect designated critical habitat. However, we do 
not believe this will result in any additional regulatory burden on 
Federal agencies or their applicants because consultation would already 
be required due to the presence of the listed species, and the duty to 
avoid adverse modification of critical habitat would not trigger 
additional regulatory impacts beyond the duty to avoid jeopardizing the 
    Even if the duty to avoid adverse modification does not trigger 
additional regulatory impacts in areas where the species is present, 
designation of critical habitat could result in an additional economic 
burden on small entities due to the requirement to reinitiate 
consultation for ongoing Federal activities. However, Blackburn's 
sphinx moth has only been listed since February 2000, and there have 
been only five informal consultations involving the species. Therefore, 
the requirement to reinitiate consultations for ongoing projects is not 
anticipated to affect a substantial number of small entities.
    When the species is clearly not present, designation of critical 
habitat could trigger additional review of Federal activities under 
section 7 of the Act. Blackburn's sphinx moth has been listed only a 
relatively short time and there have been no activities with Federal 
involvement in these areas during this time. There is a history of only 
five informal consultations based on the listing of this species to 
date. Therefore, for the purposes of this review and certification 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we are assuming that any future 
consultations in the areas proposed as critical habitat will be due to 
the critical habitat designation.
    One of the proposed designation is partially on Federal lands. All 
of the eight units are partially or entirely on lands owned and managed 
by the State of Hawaii, which is not a small entity for purposes of 
this analysis. This includes units within the Ahihi-Kinau NAR, Kanaio 
NAR, Kanaha State Bird Sanctuary, or the Kahoolawe Island Reserve. All 
of these land areas are primarily managed for conservation of natural 
resources, including threatened and endangered species. On State lands, 
activities with no Federal involvement would not be affected by the 
critical habitat designation.
    Six of the eight units of the proposed designation are partially on 
privately-owned land. On private lands, activities that lack Federal 
involvement would not be affected by the critical habitat designation. 
Other than some agriculture and ranching, no activities of an economic 
nature currently occur on the private lands in the area encompassed by 
this proposed designation. Furthermore, many of these areas are within 
a State Conservation District and have a very limited range of 
allowable activities that could occur there under the State 
Conservation District Use permitting program. Because of the 
Conservation District zoning, and because many of the sites are so 
remote and inaccessible that off-road vehicular transport or hiking is 
normally required for access, new commercial or additional agricultural 
development is unlikely even at a small scale. Therefore, Federal 
agencies such as the Economic Development Administration, which is 

[[Page 40650]]

involved in funding municipal projects, are unlikely to be involved in 
projects in these areas. Informal consultation under section 7 of the 
Act between us and another Federal agency has occurred a total of five 
times, specifically on the island of Kahoolawe and entirely involved 
the Department of the Navy.
    In general, two different mechanisms in section 7 consultations 
could lead to additional regulatory requirements. First, if we conclude 
in a biological opinion, that a proposed action is likely to jeopardize 
the continued existence of a species or adversely modify its critical 
habitat, we can offer ``reasonable and prudent alternatives.'' 
Reasonable and prudent alternatives are alternative actions that can be 
implemented in a manner consistent with the scope of the Federal 
agency's legal authority and jurisdiction, that are economically and 
technologically feasible, and that would avoid jeopardizing the 
continued existence of listed species or resulting in adverse 
modification of critical habitat. A Federal agency and an applicant may 
elect to implement a reasonable and prudent alternative associated with 
a biological opinion that has found jeopardy or adverse modification of 
critical habitat. An agency or applicant could alternatively choose to 
seek an exemption from the requirements of the Act or proceed without 
implementing the reasonable and prudent alternative. However, unless an 
exemption were obtained, the Federal agency would be at risk of 
violating section 7(a)(2) of the Act if it chose to proceed without 
implementing the reasonable and prudent alternatives. Secondly, if we 
find that a proposed action is not likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of a listed animal species, we may identify reasonable and 
prudent measures designed to minimize the amount or extent of take and 
require the Federal agency or applicant to implement such measures 
through non-discretionary terms and conditions. However, the Act does 
not prohibit the take of listed plant species or require terms and 
conditions to minimize adverse effect to critical habitat. We may also 
identify discretionary conservation recommendations designed to 
minimize or avoid the adverse effects of a proposed action on listed 
species or critical habitat, help implement recovery plans, or to 
develop information that could contribute to the recovery of the 
    Based on our experience with section 7 consultations for all listed 
species, virtually all projects-including those that, in their initial 
proposed form, would result in jeopardy or adverse modification 
determinations in section 7 consultations-can be implemented 
successfully with, at most, the adoption of reasonable and prudent 
alternatives. These measures, by definition, must be economically 
feasible and within the scope of authority of the Federal agency 
involved in the consultation. As we have only a minimal consultation 
history for Blackburn's sphinx moth, we can only describe the general 
kinds of actions that may be identified in future reasonable and 
prudent alternatives. These are based on our understanding of the needs 
of the species and the threats it faces, especially as described in the 
final listing rule and in this proposed critical habitat designation, 
as well as our experience with native Hawaiian arthropods in Hawaii. 
The kinds of actions that may be included in future reasonable and 
prudent alternatives include conservation set-asides, management of 
competing non-native species and predators, restoration of degraded 
habitat, construction of protective fencing, and regular monitoring. 
These measures are not likely to result in a significant economic 
impact to project proponents. As required under section 4(b)(2) of the 
Act, we will conduct an analysis of the potential economic impacts of 
this proposed critical habitat designation, and will make that analysis 
available for public review and comment before finalizing this 
    In summary, we have considered whether this proposed rule would 
result in a significant economic effect on a substantial number of 
small entities. It would not affect a substantial number of small 
entities. The entire designation involves eight sites partially or 
entirely on State lands, one site partially on Federal land, and six 
sites partially on privately owned lands, all of which are located in 
areas where likely future land uses are not expected to result in 
Federal involvement or section 7 consultations. As discussed earlier, 
many of the private lands are within a State Agricultural District 
where few commercial activities are undertaken, or within a State 
Conservation District where no commercial activities are undertaken at 
those locations and, therefore, are not likely to require any Federal 
authorization. In these areas, Federal involvement--and thus section 7 
consultations, the only trigger for economic impact under this rule--
would be limited to a small subset of the area proposed. The most 
likely Federal involvement would be through a habitat restoration or 
conservation activity for this species or another federally listed 
endangered or threatened species. Because of the rugged terrain and 
extreme remoteness of most of the proposed designation areas, we 
anticipate that projects involving Federal agencies will be infrequent. 
This rule would result in project modifications only when proposed 
Federal activities would destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. 
While this may occur, it is not expected frequently enough to affect a 
substantial number of small entities. Even when it does occur, we do 
not expect it to result in a significant economic impact, as the 
measures included in reasonable and prudent alternatives must be 
economically feasible and consistent with the proposed action. We are 
certifying that the proposed designation of critical habitat for 
Blackburn's sphinx moth will not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities, and an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required. However, should the economic 
analyses of this proposed rule indicate that there may be significant 
economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities, we will 
revisit this determination.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
August 25, 2000 et seq.):
    (a) We believe this rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' 
affect small governments. A Small Government Agency Plan is not 
required. Small governments will be affected only to the extent that 
any programs having Federal funds, permits, or other authorized 
activities must ensure that their actions will not adversely affect the 
critical habitat. However, as discussed above, these actions are 
currently subject to equivalent restrictions through the listing 
protections of the species, and no further restrictions are anticipated 
to result from critical habitat designation of occupied areas. In our 
economic analysis, we will evaluate any impact of designating areas 
where section 7 consultations would not have occurred but for the 
critical habitat designation.
    (b) This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 
greater in any year; that is, it is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. The designation of 
critical habitat imposes no obligations on State or local governments.


    In accordance with Executive Order 12630 (``Government Actions and 
Interference with Constitutionally

[[Page 40651]]

Protected Private Property Rights''), we have analyzed the potential 
takings implications of designating critical habitat for the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth in a preliminary takings implication 
assessment. The takings implications assessment concludes that this 
proposed rule does not pose significant takings implications. Once the 
revised economic analysis is completed for this proposed rule, we will 
review and revise this preliminary assessment as warranted.

Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O. 
13211) on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, 
distribution, and use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to 
prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. 
Although this rule is a significant regulatory action under Executive 
Order 12866, it is not expected to significantly affect energy 
supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a 
significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is 


    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have 
significant Federalism effects. A Federalism assessment is not 
required. As discussed above, the designation of critical habitat in 
areas currently occupied by the Blackburn's sphinx moth would have 
little incremental impact on State and local governments and their 
activities. The designations may have some benefit to these governments 
in that the areas essential to the conservation of these species are 
more clearly defined, and the primary constituent elements of the 
habitat necessary to the survival of the species are identified. While 
this definition and identification does not alter where and what 
federally sponsored activities may occur, it may assist these local 
governments in long-range planning rather than waiting for case-by-case 
section 7 consultation to occur.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Department of the 
Interior's Office of the Solicitor has determined that this rule does 
not unduly burden the judicial system and does meet the requirements of 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We designate critical habitat 
in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The Office of the 
Solicitor will review the final determination for this proposal. We 
will make every effort to ensure that the final determination contains 
no drafting errors, provides clear standards, simplifies procedures, 
reduces burdens, and is clearly written, such that the risk of 
litigation is minimized. The proposed rule uses standard property 
descriptions and identifies the primary constituent elements within the 
designated areas to assist the public in understanding the habitat 
needs of Blackburn's sphinx moth.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not 
impose new record-keeping or reporting requirements on State or local 
governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. 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 OMB 
Control Number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that an Environmental Assessment or an 
Environmental Impact Statement as defined by 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 as 
amended. A notice outlining our reason for this determination was 
published in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). 
This proposed rule does not constitute a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and the Department of the 
Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with federally recognized 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. The proposed designation of 
critical habitat for Blackburn's sphinx moth does not contain any 
Tribal lands or lands that we have identified as impacting Tribal trust 

References Cited

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


    The primary authors of this document are Mike Richardson and Dave 
Hopper, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES 

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
record keeping requirements, Transportation.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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


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

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

    2. In Sec. 17.11(h) revise the entry for ``Moth, Blackburn's 
Sphinx'' under ``INSECTS'' to read as follows:

Sec. 17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

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

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *

[[Page 40652]]

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *
Moth, Blackburn's sphinx.......  Manduca            U.S.A. (HI)......  NA...............  E                     682  17.95(i)..............           NA

                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *

    3. Amend Sec. 17.95(i) by adding critical habitat for the 
Blackburn's sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni) in the same alphabetical 
order as this species occurs in Sec. 17.11(h), to read as follows:

Sec. 17.95  Critical habitat--fish and wildlife.

* * * * *
    (i) Insects.
* * * * *
Blackburn's Sphinx Moth (Manduca blackburni)
    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for the islands of Maui, 
Kahoolawe, Hawaii, and Molokai on the maps below.
    (2) Found within these areas are the primary constituent elements 
of critical habitat for Blackburn's sphinx moth that includes specific 
habitat components identified as essential for the primary biological 
needs of foraging, sheltering, maturation, dispersal, breeding, and egg 
laying. The primary constituent elements required by Blackburn's sphinx 
moth larvae for foraging and maturation are the two identified larval 
host plant species within the endemic Nothocestrum genus (Nothocestrum 
breviflorum and Nothocestrum latifolium) and the dry and mesic habitats 
between the elevations of sea level and 1,525 m (5,000 ft) and 
receiving between 25 and 250 cm (10 and 100 in) of annual precipitation 
that currently support or historically have supported these plants. The 
primary constituent elements required by Blackburn's sphinx moth adults 
for foraging, sheltering, dispersal, breeding, and egg production are 
native, nectar-supplying plants, including but not limited to Ipomoea 
spp., Capparis sandwichiana, and Plumbago zeylanica and the dry and 
mesic habitats between the elevations of sea level and 1,525 m (5,000 
ft) and receiving between 25 and 250 cm (10 and 100 in) of annual 
precipitation that currently support or historically have supported 
these plants.
    (3) Critical habitat does not include existing man-made features 
and structures within the boundaries of the mapped units, such as 
houses, offices, warehouses, stores, or any other buildings, roads, 
aqueducts, antennas, towers, water tanks, agricultural fields, paved 
areas, residential lawns, gardens, parking lots, cemeteries, and any 
other urban landscaped areas or man-made structures.

[[Page 40653]]

    (4) Critical Habitat Unit 1: Island of Maui, Ahihi-Kinau NAR--
Ulupalakua--Auwahi--Kanaio Meta Unit (15,217 ha; 37,603 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of eighteen boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 4 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): coastline. 766711, 2282647; 766747, 2282662; 
767710, 2282266; 769673, 2283077; 771466, 2284436; 774373, 2286248; 
774750, 2286890; 775222, 2286928; 775776, 2286374; 776595, 2286552; 
777581, 2286456; 779622, 2286089; 782827, 2286695; 789629, 2288724; 
790001, 2287513; 789133, 2286682; 789642, 2282642; 789689, 2282548. 
    (ii) Excluding one area (502 ha; 1,241 ac) with eleven boundary 
points with the following coordinates in UTM Zone 4 with the units in 
meters using North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 774448, 2284474; 
774807, 2284493; 775562, 2284002; 775392, 2282436; 775203, 2282020; 
775033, 2281700; 774505, 2281416; 773882, 2281643; 773957, 2282247; 
773165, 2282492; 773806, 2284304.
    (5) Critical Habitat Unit 2: Island of Maui, Puu O Kali Unit (2,750 
ha; 6,794 ac)
    (i) Unit consists of twelve boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 4 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 768031, 2292836; 768276, 2295610; 768897, 
2295644; 770362, 2295705; 771540, 2297064; 773291, 2296777; 775265, 
2296040; 774448, 2294006; 774392, 2292779; 773825, 2291760; 772557, 
2291243; 770315, 2292439.
    (ii) Units 1 and 2 map follows:
    (6) Critical Habitat Unit 3: Island of Maui, Kanaha Pond--
Spreckelsville Unit (226 ha; 559 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of 32 boundary points connecting to the coastline 
with the following coordinates in UTM Zone 4 with the units in meters 
using North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83): coastline; 768327, 2314328; 
768382, 2314137; 767760, 2313845; 767663, 2314040; 767504, 2314125; 
766602, 2313625; 766566, 2313467; 765920, 2313174; 765615, 2312894; 
765481, 2312662; 765152, 2312516; 765017, 2312187; 764298, 2312089; 
763994, 2312370; 764115, 2312821; 764262, 2313077; 768327, 2314328; 
768382, 2314137; 767760, 2313845; 767663, 2314040; 767504, 2314125; 
766602, 2313625; 766566, 2313467; 765920, 2313174; 765615, 2312894; 
765481, 2312662; 765152, 2312516; 765017, 2312187; 764298, 2312089; 
763994, 2312370; 764115, 2312821; 764262, 2313077; coastline.
    (ii) Unit 3 map follows:

[[Page 40654]]


    (7) Critical Habitat Unit 4: Island of Kahoolawe, Upper Kahoolawe 
Unit (1,878 ha; 4,641 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of 11 boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 4 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 751626, 2276907; 752925, 2277513; 754425, 
2276936; 754916, 2275176; 754483, 2273646; 752982, 2272377; 750905, 
2272175; 749058, 2273300; 750876, 2274570; 751020, 2275984; 751626, 
    (ii) Unit 4 map follows:

[[Page 40655]]


    (8) Critical Habitat Unit 5-A: Island of Hawaii, Kailua-Kona Unit 
5-A (125 ha; 309 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of twelve boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 5 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 183939, 2179538; 184520, 2179963; 185151, 
2180448; 185315, 2180573; 185691, 2180671; 185857, 2180468; 185894, 
2179969; 185820, 2179858; 185434, 2179678; 185248, 2179574; 184128, 
2179413; 183981, 2179367.
    (9) Critical Habitat Unit 5-B: Island of Hawaii, Kailua-Kona Unit 
5-B (105 ha; 258 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of eleven boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 5 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 185735, 2177873; 185487, 2177806; 185264, 
2177683; 185592, 2177229; 185290, 2177181; 184428, 2177141; 184179, 
2177926; 184567, 2177983; 185170, 2178035; 185410, 2178129; 185570, 
    (10) Critical Habitat Unit 6: Island of Hawaii, Puuwaawaa-Hualalai 
Unit (18,111 ha; 44753 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of forty-two boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 5 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 197118, 2195356; 202108, 2197143; 202133, 
2196862; 202349, 2196713; 202177, 2196459; 202117, 2196355; 202013, 
2196242; 202195, 2195935; 202342, 2195847; 202416, 2195563; 202342, 
2195466; 202422, 2195266; 201923, 2195212; 201490, 2194988; 201289, 
2194293; 201423, 2193644; 201610, 2193412; 201976, 2193196; 202259, 
2192949; 202797, 2192583; 203648, 2193808; 204126, 2194708; 205894, 
2191689; 206044, 2191339; 206344, 2191105; 206443, 2190759; 206778, 
2190572; 206728, 2189754; 207295, 2189387; 207595, 2188520; 205155, 
2186232; 200424, 2183478; 194641, 2182859; 188871, 2184829; 187928, 
2184862; 188121, 2185610; 187173, 2185749; 187029, 2185392; 185530, 
2185978; 185844, 2186480; 186693, 2187771; 191074, 2191859.
    (ii) Unit 5-A, Unit 5-B, and Unit 6 map follows:

[[Page 40656]]


    (11) Critical Habitat Unit 7: Island of Molokai, Kamoko Flats--
Puukolekole Unit (1,829 ha; 4,520 ac).
    (i) Unit consists of nine boundary points with the following 
coordinates in UTM Zone 4 with the units in meters using North American 
Datum of 1983 (NAD83): 710484, 2337505; 711990, 2339952; 713666, 
2338327; 715057, 2336242; 716822, 2335699; 718354, 2334492; 718279, 
2333663; 717488, 2332722; 710484, 2337505.
    (ii) Unit 7 map follows:

[[Page 40657]]


* * * * *

    Dated: May 17, 2002.
Craig Manson,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 02-14683 Filed 6-12-02; 8:45 am]