[Federal Register: August 16, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 157)]
[Page 48191-48192]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 5-Year Review of 
Tooth Cave Ground Beetle

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of review.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces a 5-
year review of the Tooth Cave ground beetle (Rhadine persephone) under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act). The purpose of reviews 
conducted under this section of the Act is to ensure that the 
classification of species as threatened or endangered on the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR 17.12) is 
accurate. The 5-year review is an assessment of the best scientific and 
commercial data available at the time of the review.

DATES: To allow adequate time to conduct this review, information 
submitted for our consideration must be received on or before November 
14, 2005. However, we will continue to accept new information about any 
listed species at any time.

ADDRESSES: Information submitted on this species should be sent to the 
Field Supervisor, attention 5-year Review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Road, 
Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758. Information received in response to 
this notice of review will be available for public inspection by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the same address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Pine, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet 
Road, Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78758, 512-490-0057 x -248.


Why Is a 5-year Review Conducted?

    Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires 
that we conduct a review of listed species at least once every 5 years. 
We are then, under section 4(c)(2)(B) and the provisions of subsections 
(a) and (b), to determine, on the basis of such a review, whether or 
not any species should be removed from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List), or reclassified from endangered 
to threatened, or from threatened to endangered. The 5-year review is 
an assessment of the best scientific and commercial data available at 
the time of the review. Therefore, we are requesting submission of any 
new information (best scientific and commercial data) on the Tooth Cave 
ground beetle since the original listing as endangered in 1988 (53 FR 
    Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice 
in the Federal Register announcing those species currently under active 
review. This notice announces our active review of the Tooth Cave 
ground beetle.

What Could Happen as a Result of This Review?

    If we find that there is new information concerning Tooth Cave 
ground beetle indicating a change in classification may be warranted, 
we may propose a new rule that could either reclassify the species from 
endangered to threatened (downlist) or remove the species from the List 
(delist). If we determine that a change in classification is not 
warranted, then this species will remain on the List under its current 
status of endangered. Any change in Federal classification would 
require a separate rule-making process.

What Information Is Considered in the Review?

    A 5-year review considers all new information available at the time 
of the review. These reviews will consider the best scientific and 
commercial data that have become available since the current listing 
determination or most recent status review of each species, such as:
    A. Species biology, including but not limited to population trends, 
distribution; abundance, demographics, and genetics;
    B. Habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, 
distribution, and suitability;
    C. Conservation measures that have been implemented to benefit the 
    D. Threat status and trends (see five factors under heading ``How 
do we determine whether a species is endangered or threatened?''); and
    E. Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not 
limited to taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of 
erroneous information contained in the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants, and improved analytical methods.

Background on the Tooth Cave Ground Beetle

    The Tooth Cave ground beetle is a very small invertebrate found 
only underground in caves and karst features in Williamson and Travis 
Counties, Texas, in and near the Austin metropolitan area. The 
continued existence of this species depends on the ecological stability 
of the karst environments in which it is found. The Tooth Cave ground 
beetle is known only from the Cedar Park and Jollyville karst fauna 
regions as delineated by Veni & Associates (1992, Geologic controls on 
cave development and the distribution of cave fauna in the Austin, 
Texas, region, Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, v+77 pp.). 
Karst fauna regions are geographic areas delineated based on geologic 
continuity, hydrology, and the distribution of rare karst invertebrate 
species. There are seven karst fauna regions delineated in Williamson 
and Travis Counties.
    The primary threat to the Tooth Cave ground beetle is habitat loss 
due to encroaching urban development. The species occurs in an area of 
central Texas that is undergoing continued

[[Page 48192]]

urbanization. Alterations of topography, vegetation and drainage 
patterns from urbanization can ultimately lead to changes (increases or 
decreases) in the moisture regime and nutrient input into the karst 
ecosystems. Alterations can also result in increased sedimentation in 
karst habitats. Karst environments are also highly susceptible to 
groundwater contamination, that is, the addition of pollutants to water 
(from either point or non-point sources) that may pass through karst 
habitats. Sources of this contamination include urban runoff, 
agricultural pesticide use, transportation and pipeline spills and 
landfills. Impacts from red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), an 
exotic species proliferating within the range of Tooth Cave ground 
beetle, pose another major threat.

How Is the Tooth Cave Ground Beetle Currently Listed?

    The List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List) is 
found in 50 CFR 17.11 (wildlife) and 17.12 (plants). Amendments to the 
List through final rules are published in the Federal Register. The 
List is also available on the internet at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://endangered.fws.gov/wildlife.html#Species.
 The Tooth Cave ground beetle is currently listed 

as endangered (53 FR 36029). The recovery plan for this species was 
completed in 1994 (available online at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/
) and describes the specific criteria needed to achieve 

recovery of the species.

Specific Information Requested for the Tooth Cave Ground Beetle

    We are especially interested in: (1) The results of survey and 
monitoring efforts that provide a better understanding of current 
population numbers and the status, security, and location of karst 
features that provide habitat for this species; (2) recent information 
regarding the impacts of urban development on the karst environment 
within the range of the Tooth Cave ground beetle; (3) the impacts of 
red imported fire ants on the species; and (4) additional site-specific 
information on protective measures currently in place for this species 
and its habitat and the expected longevity of those measures.

Definitions Related to This Notice

    The following definitions are provided to assist those persons who 
consider submitting information regarding the species being reviewed:
    A. Species includes any species or subspecies of fish, wildlife, or 
plant, and any distinct population segment of any species of 
vertebrate, which interbreeds when mature.
    B. Endangered means any species that is in danger of extinction 
throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
    C. Threatened means any species that is likely to become an 
endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range.

How Do We Determine Whether a Species Is Endangered or Threatened?

    Section 4(a)(1) of the Act establishes that we determine whether a 
species is endangered or threatened based on one or more of the five 
following factors:
    A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    B. Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    C. Disease or predation;
    D. The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    E. Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 

Section 4(a)(1) of the Act requires that our determination be made on 
the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.

Public Solicitation of New Information

    We request any new information concerning the status of Tooth Cave 
ground beetle. See ``What information is considered in the review?'' 
for specific criteria. Information submitted should be supported by 
documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods used to 
gather and analyze the data, and/or copies of any pertinent 
publications, reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources. Our 
practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of 
respondents, available for public review. Individual respondents may 
request that we withhold their home addresses from the supporting 
record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also 
may be circumstances in which we may withhold from the supporting 
record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to 
withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at 
the beginning of your comment. We will not consider anonymous comments, 
however. 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.

    Authority: This document is published under the authority of the 
Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: August 10, 2005.
Nancy J. Gloman,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-16181 Filed 8-15-05; 8:45 am]