[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 72 (Thursday, April 14, 2011)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-9028]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17
[Docket No. FWS-R8-ES-2010-0031; MO 92210-0-0008-B2]
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding
on a Petition To List Hermes Copper Butterfly as Endangered or
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a
12-month finding on a petition to list Hermes copper butterfly
(Hermelycaena [Lycaena] hermes) as endangered and to designate critical
habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).
After review of all available scientific and commercial
information, we find that listing Hermes copper butterfly as endangered
or threatened is warranted. Currently, however, listing Hermes copper
butterfly is precluded by higher priority actions to amend the Lists of
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Upon publication of this
12-month petition finding, we will add Hermes copper butterfly to our
candidate species list. We will develop a proposed rule to list Hermes
copper butterfly as our priorities allow. We will make any
determination on critical habitat during development of the proposed
listing rule. During any interim period, we will address the status of
the candidate taxon through our annual Candidate Notice of Review
DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on April 14,
ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R8-ES-2010-0031. Supporting
documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010
Hidden Valley Road, Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA 92011. Please submit any
new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this
finding to the above internet address or the mailing address listed
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Bartel, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad
and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6010 Hidden Valley
Road, Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA 92011; by telephone at 760-431-9440; or
by facsimile at 760-431-9624. If you use a telecommunications device
for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service
(FIRS) at 800-877-8339.
Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires
that, for any petition to revise the Federal Lists of Threatened and
Endangered Wildlife and Plants that contains substantial scientific or
commercial information that listing a species may be warranted, we make
a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition. In
this finding, we determine whether the petitioned action is: (a) Not
warranted, (b) warranted, or (c) warranted, but immediate proposal of a
regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by other
pending proposals to determine whether species are endangered or
threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove
qualified species from the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened
Wildlife and Plants. Section 4(b)(3)(C) of the Act requires that we
treat a petition for which the requested action is found to be
warranted but precluded as though resubmitted on the date of such
finding, that is, requiring a subsequent finding to be made within 12
months. We must publish these 12-month findings in the Federal
Previous Federal Actions
On October 26, 2004, we received a petition dated October 25, 2004,
from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and David Hogan,
requesting that Hermes copper butterfly be listed as endangered under
the Act and that critical habitat be designated. Included in the
petition was supporting information regarding the species' taxonomy,
biology, ecology, historical and current distribution, status of
population, and actual and potential threats affecting the species and
On August 8, 2006, we published a 90-day finding for Hermes copper
butterfly in the Federal Register (71 FR 44966). The finding concluded
that the petition and information in our files did not present
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that
listing Hermes copper butterfly may be warranted. For a detailed
history of Federal actions involving Hermes copper butterfly prior to
the 2006 90-day finding, please see the August 8, 2006, Federal
Register finding (71 FR 44966).
On March 17, 2009, CBD and David Hogan filed a complaint for
declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the Service's decision
not to list Hermes copper butterfly as endangered or threatened under
the Act. In a settlement agreement dated October 23, 2009, (Case No.
09-0533 S.D. Cal.), the Service agreed to submit a new 90-day petition
finding to the Federal Register by May 13, 2010, for Hermes copper
butterfly. As part of the settlement agreement, we agreed to evaluate
the October 25, 2004, petition filed by CBD and David Hogan, supporting
information submitted with the petition, and information available in
the Service's files, including information that has become available
since the August 8, 2006, publication of the negative 90-day finding
(71 FR 44966). If the 90-day finding determined that listing may be
warranted, we agreed to submit a 12-month finding for Hermes copper
butterfly to the Federal Register by April 15, 2011.
On May 4, 2010, we published a 90-day finding in the Federal
Register (75 FR 23654) that determined listing of Hermes copper
butterfly as endangered or threatened may be warranted. This notice
constitutes the 12-month finding on the October 25, 2004, petition to
list Hermes copper butterfly as endangered.
It is our intent to discuss only those topics directly relevant to
the listing of Hermes copper butterfly under the Act in this 12-month
finding. For more information on the taxonomy, biology, and ecology of
Hermes copper butterfly, please refer to the 90-day finding published
in the Federal Register on May 4, 2010 (75 FR 23654). That document is
available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov under docket
Taxonomy and Species Description
Hermes copper butterfly was first described as Chrysophanus hermes
by Edwards (1870, p. 21). Scudder (1876, p. 125) placed this species in
the genus Tharsalea based on the presence of hindwing tails. Freeman
(1936, p. 279) placed Hermes copper butterfly in the genus Lycaena as
L. hermes based on the assessment of the male genetalia, finding that
L. hermes was distinctly a lycaenid and not typical of the other taxa
of Tharsalea. Miller and Brown (1979, p. 22) erected a monotypic genus
to accommodate Hermes copper butterfly as Hermelycaena hermes. This
segregation appears to be supported by allozyme data presented by Pratt
and Wright (2002, p. 223); although these authors did not recommend
separate genus or subgenus placement (Pratt and Wright 2002, p. 225).
The broadly based morphological assessment of Miller and Brown (1979)
coupled with the more recent allozyme work of Pratt and Wright (2002)
support recognition of Hermes copper butterfly as a distinct genus;
however, Lycaena hermes is the name predominantly used in recent
literature (Scott 1986, p. 392; Faulkner and Brown 1993, p. 120; Emmel
1998, p. 832; Opler and Warren 2005, p. 22), and we recognize it as
such for the purposes of this finding. Any data or information relevant
to the taxonomic status of Hermes copper butterfly will be fully
addressed in any proposed rule, and as such will be available for
public comment. However, there is no question that as a unique species,
Hermes copper butterfly is a listable entity under the Act.
Hermes copper butterfly is a small, brightly-colored butterfly
approximately 1 to 1.25 inches (2.5 to 3.2 centimeters (cm)) in length,
with one tail on the hindwing. On the upperside, the forewing is brown
with a yellow or orange area enclosing several black spots, and the
hindwing has orange spots that may be merged into a band along the
margin. On the underside, the forewing is yellow with four to six black
spots, and the hindwing is bright yellow with three to six black spots
(USGS 2006). Mean last instar (period between molts) larval body length
is 0.6 inches (in) (15 millimeters (mm)) (Ballmer and Pratt 1988, p.
4). Emmel and Emmel (1973, pp. 62, 63) provide a full description of
the early stages of the species (eggs, larvae, and pupae).
Females deposit single eggs on Rhamnus crocea (spiny redberry) in
the early summer, often where a branch splits or on a leaf (Marschalek
and Deutschman 2009, p. 401). Eggs overwinter, with larvae reported
from mid-April to mid-May (Marschalek and Deutschman 2009, p. 400)
followed by pupation on the host plant (Emmel and Emmel 1973, p. 63).
Not much is known regarding larval biology, as this life stage is
little-studied and extremely difficult to find in the field (Marschalek
and Deutschman 2009, pp. 400, 401). Hermes copper butterflies have one
flight period (termed univoltine) typically occurring in mid-May to
early July, depending on weather conditions and elevation (Marschalek
and Deutschman 2008, p. 100; Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 5).
Emergence appears to be influenced by weather;
however this relationship is not well understood. For example, weather
conditions in the spring of 2010 were cool and moist and resulted in a
late emergence; however, the spring of 2006 was hot and dry and also
resulted in a late emergence period (Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 4). We
have no information regarding the ability of immature life stages to
undergo multiple-year diapause (a low metabolic rate resting stage)
during years with poor conditions (Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 4).
Multiple year diapause is rare and can occur in stages more advanced
than the egg, such as pupae or larvae, after larvae have fed and
accumulated energy reserves (Gullan and Cranston 2010, p. 169, Service
2003, p. 8); it is less likely to occur with Hermes copper butterflies
because they overwinter (diapause) as eggs.
Deutschman et al. (2010, p. 8) used 145 Amplified Fragment Length
Polymorphism (AFLP) markers to estimate fundamental Hermes copper
butterfly population genetic parameters (i.e., polymorphism, expected
heterozygosity, FST values, and private alleles) that
allowed them to evaluate the magnitude of genetic differentiation
within and among sampled populations, an indicator of dispersal ability
(gene flow). The AFLP process was able to detect genetic differences
among individuals, even those captured within several meters of each
other. Deutschman et al. (2010, pp. 8-17) indicated that butterflies
can show differentiation even when close in proximity, presumably due
to physical barriers. Alternately, butterflies sampled at locations
that are not close have shown little differentiation, indicating that
butterflies can also disperse long distances under the right
conditions. Deutschman et al. (2010, pp. 8-17) sampled at one location
(Wildwood Glen) before and after a fire and found genetically
differentiated groups, indicating that Hermes copper butterfly
individuals are capable of movement between populations. Landscape
features may enhance or restrict dispersal which overall, may have
several implications regarding population structure and dynamics
(Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 16). Genetic differentiation of individuals
from proximal locations could be a result of dispersal barriers,
genetic drift, original colonizers, or a combination of factors
(Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 16). The genetic similarity of widely
geographically separate sample locations indicates that recolonization
events by females occur at much further distances than implied by
previous studies that suggest most individuals move less than 656 ft
(200 m) (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 102; Marschalek and Klein
2010, p. 7). Deutschman et al. (2010, p. 16) noted the majority of
genetically similar individuals were territorial males, so it is
possible Hermes copper butterfly exhibits sex-biased long-distance
dispersal by females, as has been noted for other lycaenids (Robbins
and Small 1981, pp. 312-313). In general, Hermes copper butterflies
have limited directed movement ability (Marschalek and Klein 2010, p.
1), though lyceanids can be dispersed by the wind (Robbins and Small
1981 p. 312). Deutschman et al. (2010, p. 16) analysis also showed the
genetic composition of individuals at any location exhibited a high
degree of temporal variability, possibly due to biotic (drift,
dispersal) and abiotic (landscape, fire regime) influences.
Hermes copper butterfly inhabits coastal sage scrub and southern
mixed chaparral (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 98). Hermes copper
butterfly larvae use only Rhamnus crocea as a host plant (Thorne 1963,
p. 143; Emmel and Emmel 1973, p. 62). The range of R. crocea extends
throughout coastal northern California, as far north as San Francisco
(Consortium of California Herbaria 2010); however, Hermes copper
butterfly has never been documented north of San Diego County (Carlsbad
Fish and Wildlife Office (CFWO) GIS database). Therefore, some factor
other than host plant availability apparently has historically limited
or currently limits the range of the species. Researchers report adults
are rarely found far from R. crocea (Thorne 1963, p. 143) and take
nectar almost exclusively from Eriogonum fasciculatum (California
buckwheat) (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 5). The densities of
host plants and nectar sources required to support a Hermes copper
population are not known. Recent research has not added much to
Thorne's (1963, p. 143) basic description of Hermes copper butterfly
habitat: ``It is very difficult to analyze the complex factors which
determine why a certain plant has been successful in a given spot * * *
In the case of Rhamnus crocea, the only consistent requirement seems to
be a well-drained soil of better than average depth, yet not deep
enough to support trees. Such soils occur along canyon bottoms and on
hillsides with a northern exposure; therefore, it is in these
situations that [Hermes copper butterfly] is generally found.''
Hermes copper butterflies exhibit a preference for micro-sites
within stands of Rhamnus crocea, which may be related to temperature
because adults become active around 72 degrees Fahrenheit ([deg]F) (22
degrees Celsius ([deg]C)) (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 5).
Marschalek and Deutschman (2008, p. 3) recorded densities of Hermes
copper butterflies on paired transects along edges and within the
interior of host plant stands in rural areas. Their study indicates
that Hermes copper butterfly densities are significantly higher near
host plant stand edges than in the interior (Marschalek and Deutschman
2008, p. 102). Adult males have a strong preference for openings in the
vegetation, including roads and trails, specifically for the north and
west sides of canopy openings (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 102).
These areas capture the first morning light and reach the temperature
threshold for activity more quickly than other areas (Deutschman et al.
2010, p. 4). Hermes copper butterflies tend to remain inactive under
conditions of heavy cloud cover and cooler weather (Marschalek and
Deutschman 2008, p. 5). Across all four sites sampled by Marschalek and
Deutschman, Hermes copper butterfly presence was positively associated
with Eriogonum fasciculatum, but negatively associated with Adenostema
fasciculatum (chamise) (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 102).
Therefore, woody canopy openings with a northern exposure in stands of
R. crocea and adjacent stands of Eriogonum fasciculatum appear to be
components of suitable habitat for Hermes copper butterfly.
Marschalek and Klein (2010) studied intra-habitat movement of
Hermes copper butterflies using mark-release-recapture techniques. They
found the highest median dispersal distance for a given site in a given
year was 146 ft (44.5 m), and their maximum recapture distance was 0.7
miles (mi) (1.1 kilometers (km)) (Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 1).
They also found no adult movement across non-habitat areas, such as
type-converted grassland or riparian woodland (Marschalek and Klein
2010, p. 6). Hermes copper butterfly is typically relatively sedentary
(Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 1), although winds may aid dispersal
(Robbins and Small 1981, p. 312). Studies to date infer that most
individuals typically move less than 656 ft. (200 m) (Marschalek and
Deutschman 2008, p. 102, Marschalek and Klein 2010, pp. 725-726),
supporting the assumption that Hermes copper butterflies are typically
compared to other butterfly species such as painted ladies--(Vanessa
cardui). However, as discussed above, genetic research indicates that
females may disperse longer distances than males (Deutschman et al.
2010, p. 16) contradicting previous methods used such as mark-release-
recapture (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 102) that may not detect
the movement of females and over sample territorial males. More
information is needed to fully understand movement patterns of Hermes
copper butterfly; however, dispersal is likely inhibited by lack of
available habitat in many areas (Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 17).
Range and Population Distribution Status
Hermes copper butterfly is endemic to the southern California
region, primarily occurring in San Diego County, California (Thorne
1963, p. 143). All records of Hermes copper butterflies in the United
States are within San Diego County, with most occurrences concentrated
in the southwest portion of the County (Marschalek and Klein 2010, p.
4). Notable exceptions to the ``southwestern distribution pattern'' are
two old museum specimens collected in north San Diego County, one from
the vicinity of the community of Bonsall in 1934, and another from the
vicinity of the community of Pala in 1932. Historical data indicate
Hermes copper butterflies ranged from the vicinity of the community of
Pala, California, in northern San Diego County (CFWO GIS database) to
approximately 18 mi (29 km) south of Santo Tomas in Baja California,
Mexico, and from Pine Valley in eastern San Diego County to Mira Mesa,
Kearny Mesa, and Otay Mesa in western San Diego County (Thorne 1963,
pp. 143, 147). They have never been recorded immediately adjacent to
the coast, and have not been found east of the western slopes of the
Cuyamaca Mountains above approximately 4,264 ft (1,300 m) (Marschalek
and Klein 2010, p. 4).
The distribution of Hermes copper butterfly in Mexico is not well-
known and researchers have not explored this area (Marschalek and Klein
2010, p. 4). Of the two museum specimens from Mexico, one collected in
1936 was labeled ``12 miles north of Ensenada,'' and another collected
in 1983 was labeled ``Salsipuedes'' (Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 4).
Assuming older specimens were usually collected relatively close to
roads that existed at the time (Thorne 1963, p. 145), these Mexican
locations probably were collected from approximately the same location,
which is a popular surf destination known as Salsipuedes, located
approximately 12 mi (19 km) north of Ensenada off the Esconica Tijuana-
Ensenada (coastal highway to Ensenada). The known distribution in
Mexico of Rhamnus crocea is relatively contiguous with that in the
U.S., extending to approximately 190 mi (312 km) south of the border
into Mexico along the western Baja California Peninsula (Little 1976,
p. 150). Hermes copper butterflies have been recorded as far south into
Mexico as 18 mi ( 29 km) south of Santo Tomas, which is approximately
half the distance of the extent of Rhamus crocea's Mexican range;
(Thorne 1963, p. 143). As stated in our 2006, 90-day finding (71 FR
44969; August 8, 2006), there have been recent discoveries (post-1993)
of extant populations within the species' known historical range in the
United States. These include Black Mountain, Crestridge and two
populations on the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. However, there
is still uncertainty as to the distribution of Hermes copper butterfly
within the known historical range because we have very little
information on the status of the species in Mexico.
A species' range can be defined at varying relevant scales of
resolution, from maximum geographic range capturing all areas within
the outermost record locations (coarsest scale, hereafter called
``known historical range''), to the scale of individual population
distributions (finest scale, hereafter called ``population
distributions''). This concept was discussed by Thorne (1963, p. 143):
``However within this range [Hermes copper butterfly] distribution is
limited to pockets where the larval food plant occurs, so that the
total area where the insect actually flies is probably not more than a
fraction of one percent of the maximum area.''
To more precisely determine the historical range of Hermes copper
butterfly, we entered all Hermes copper butterfly observation records
that had information about collection location in our GIS database, and
mapped all observed and museum specimen records with an appropriate
level of detail and location description. To better determine the
geographic locations of historical Hermes copper butterfly records
mapped by Thorne (1963, p. 147), we overlaid a transparent image of his
map on Google Earth imagery, and scaled it appropriately to ensure that
geographic features and community locations corresponded with those of
the imagery. Examination of Thorne's (1963 p. 147) map expanded the
known historical range as described by Deutschman et al. (2010, p. 3)
to the southeast in the vicinity of the community of Pine Valley and
Corte Madera Valley. The resulting known historical range of Hermes
copper butterfly within the United States can be described as comprised
of a narrow northern portion within the Central Valley and Central
Coast ecoregions, north of Los Penasquitos Canyon and Scripps Poway
Parkway (latitude midway between the northernmost record location and
the international border), and a wider southern portion encompassing
the Southern Coast, Southern Valley, and Southern Foothills ecoregions
(see Figure 1 and Table 1 below; San Diego County Plant Atlas 2010).
Although the distribution of Hermes copper butterfly populations in
Mexico is not well understood, United States populations minimally
encompass half the species' known historical latitudinal range. The
results of our population distribution analysis indicate areas in the
United States most likely to harbor possible extant undiscovered Hermes
copper butterfly populations within the known historical range are
primarily limited to a relatively narrow area within the southern
portion of the range bordered on the north and south by the 2003 Cedar
Fire and 2007 Harris Fire perimeters, and on the west and east roughly
by Sycuan Peak and Long Valley (see Figure 1 and Table 1 below).
Table 1--All Known Hermes Copper Butterfly Populations in the United States and Mexico
Population name Extant in
Map No. (other names) Last observed Presumed status 2000 * Fire Extirpated why?
1................ Elfin Forest (Onyx 2002.................... Unknown................ Y 2007 ....................................
2................ Rancho Santa Fe 2004.................... Extirpated............. Y 2007 Fire, Development.
3................ Black Mountain..... 2004.................... Unknown................ Y .......... ....................................
4................ Van Dam Peak 2003.................... Extirpated............. Y .......... Isolation (Development).
5................ Lopez Canyon....... 2008.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
6................ Sycamore Canyon.... 2003.................... Extirpated............. Y 2003 Fire.
7................ North Santee 2005.................... Unknown................ Y 2003 ....................................
8................ Mission Trails 2010.................... Extant................. Y 2003 ....................................
9................ Crestridge......... 2007.................... Extirpated ***......... Y 2003 Fire.
10............... Anderson Truck 2003.................... Extirpated............. Y 2003 Fire.
11............... Alpine (Wright's 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
12............... North McGinty 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
13............... South McGinty 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
14............... Los Montanas....... 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
15............... Rancho San Diego... 2009.................... Extant................. Y 2007 ....................................
16............... San Miguel Mountain 2006.................... Extirpated............. Y 2007 Fire.
17............... Rancho Jamul....... 2007.................... Extirpated............. Y 2003, 2007 Fire.
18............... North Jamul........ 2004.................... Unknown................ Y 2003 ....................................
19............... East McGinty 2001.................... Unknown................ Y .......... ....................................
20............... Loveland Reservoir. 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
21............... Sycuan Peak........ 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
22............... Skyline Truck Trail 2010.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
23............... Lyons Peak......... 2003.................... Unknown................ Y 2007 ....................................
24............... Hollenbeck Canyon.. 2007.................... Extirpated............. Y 2003, 2007 Fire.
25............... Dulzura (Near 2005.................... Extirpated............. Y 2003, 2007 Fire.
26............... Lawson Valley 2010.................... Extant................. Y 2006, 2007 ....................................
27............... Hidden Glen 2008.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
Lyons Valley Road).
28............... Willows (Viejas 2003.................... Extirpated............. Y 2003 Fire.
29............... North Guatay 2004.................... Unknown................ Y 2003 ....................................
30............... North Descanso 2010.................... Extant................. Y 2003 ....................................
31............... South Descanso 2010.................... Extant................. Y 2003 ....................................
32............... Japutal (Japutal 2009.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
33............... South Guatay 2008.................... Extant................. Y .......... ....................................
34............... Hartley Peak 2010.................... Extant................. Y 2007 ....................................
35............... Pala............... 1932.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Unknown.
36............... Bonsall............ 1934.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Unknown.
37............... San Elijo Hills 1979.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
(San Marcos Creek,
San Elijo Road and
38............... Lake Hodges........ 1982.................... Extirpated............. ........... 2007 Fire.
39............... Sabre Springs 2001.................... Extirpated............. Y .......... Development.
(Poway Road and
40............... Miramar............ 1996.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
41............... Mira Mesa.......... Prior to 1963........... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
42............... Cowles Mountain 1973.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Isolation.
(Big Rock Road
43............... Kearny Mesa........ 1939.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
44............... Mission Valley 1908.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
45............... San Diego State 1957.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
46............... El Monte (El Monte 1960.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Fire, Development.
Park, El Monte
47............... Pine Valley........ Pre-1963................ Unknown.
48............... Corte Madera....... Pre-1963................ Unknown.
49............... Tecate Peak........ 1980.................... Extirpated............. ........... 2007 Fire.
50............... Deerhorn Valley.... 1970.................... Extirpated............. ........... 2007 Fire.
51............... Dictionary Hill.... 1962.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Isolation (Development).
52............... Otay Mountain 1979.................... Extirpated............. ........... 2003, 2007 Fire.
53............... South Otay Mesa.... Pre-1920................ Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
54............... Salsipuedes (12 1983.................... Unknown.
miles North of
55............... Santo Tomas (18 Pre-1920................ Unknown.
miles south of
Santo Tomas) **.
56............... South Santee....... 1967.................... Extirpated............. ........... .......... Development.
57............... North Ensenada 1936.................... Unknown.
* Populations with last observation prior to 2000 have lower geographic accuracy.
** Map Nos. 54, 55, and 57 are populations in Mexico that are not represented on Figure 1 in this document.
*** Extirpation was a result of high mortality from fire, followed by reduced population density. Only one male was observed in 2007, and none after
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP14AP11.000
To evaluate the status of Hermes copper butterfly's current range
and populations, we considered all available historical data and recent
research results, including record locations (CFWO GIS databases),
monitoring data, (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008; Marschalek and Klein
2010), movement data (Marschalek and Deutschman 2009; Marschalek and
Klein 2010), and data from a recent distribution study (Deutschman et
al. 2010). To estimate the geographic population distribution of Hermes
copper butterfly, we used all occurrence records and mapped areas
within approximately 0.6 mi (1 km) of known observation sites. This
distance is greater than the average recapture distance recorded by
Marschalek and Klein (2010, p. 1), but just under the maximum recorded
recapture distance, an approximate within-population movement distance
further supported by Deutschman et al.'s (2010, p. 26) genetic data
(see Habitat section above). Locations within approximately 1.2 mi (2
km) (where 0.6 mi (1 km) movement distances overlapped) were considered
part of the same population, unless topographic or genetic information
indicated the possibility of barriers to movement. We used recent fire
footprint data and aerial GIS information, in addition to the
information referenced above, to determine which Hermes copper
butterfly populations may be extant, extirpated, or of unknown status.
A Hermes copper population was considered to be ``extant'' if the
species was recorded based on recent survey records and not affected by
recent fires. A Hermes copper population was considered to be
extirpated if the area had been developed and no habitat remained, a
fire footprint encompassed the area and subsequent surveys were
negative, or if the record was very old with no recent detections. In
some instances, we had no recent information to make a determination on
Hermes copper butterfly's current status and it was therefore
classified as ``unknown.'' See Figure 1 and Table 1 above for a list of
populations and information used to determine population status.
In summarizing the results of our analysis of Hermes copper
butterfly's current range and population distributions (see Figure 1
and Table 1 above), we estimated there were at least 57 known separate
historical populations throughout the species' range since the species
was first described. In the year 2000, 35 populations were thought to
be extant. Since that time, 11 populations have been extirpated (2 by
development, 1 by fire and development, 8 by fire alone) and 7 are of
unknown status. As of 2011, of the 57 known populations, 17 Hermes
copper butterfly populations are extant, 28 populations are believed to
have been extirpated, and 12 populations are of unknown status. In the
northern portion of the range, most remaining suitable habitat is
limited to the relatively isolated and fragmented undeveloped lands
between the cities of San Marcos, Carlsbad, and Escondido and the
community of Rancho Santa Fe, and the habitat ``islands'' containing
the Black Mountain and Van Dam Peak observation locations; however, no
new populations have been discovered. In the southern portion of the
range, all extant populations except Lopez Canyon and the southern
portion of Mission Trails Park (both isolated from other extant
populations by development and fire) are within
relatively well-connected undeveloped lands east of the City of El
Cajon between the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Harris Fire perimeters (see
Figure 1 and Table 1 above). The Mission Trails Park population remains
extant even after approximately 74 percent of the population area
burned in 2003, presumably because burned areas were recolonized (after
host plant and nectar sources regrew) by Hermes copper butterflies from
nearby unburned areas. The best information available leads us to
conclude that the northern portion of the species' known historical
range has contracted or may no longer exist, and we estimate that
approximately 27 percent of the populations within the southern portion
of the species' known historical U.S. range that were extant in 2000
have been extirpated (see Figure 1 and Table 1 above; Map s 6,
9, 10, 16, 17, 24, 25, 28). Further investigation is needed to
accurately determine the status of Hermes copper butterfly in Mexico
(Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 2). Klein (2010a, p. 1) visited the
Salsipuedes location in the first week of June 2005 for approximately
30 minutes. He did not observe any Hermes copper butterflies; however,
he described the habitat as having a ``decent number of [Rhamnus
crocea], a large amount of Eriogonum fasciculatum,'' and said he felt
the area was ``very good'' for Hermes copper butterfly (Klein 2010, p.
Summary of Information Pertaining to Five Factors
Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and implementing regulations
(50 CFR part 424) set forth procedures for adding species to, removing
species from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of
the Act, a species may be determined to be endangered or threatened
based on any of the following five factors:
(A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or
curtailment of its habitat or range;
(B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or
(C) Disease or predation;
(D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued
In making this finding, information pertaining to Hermes copper
butterfly in relation to the five factors provided in section 4(a)(1)
of the Act is discussed below.
In considering whether a species warrants listing under any of the
five factors, we look beyond the species' exposure to a potential
threat or aggregation of threats under any of the factors, and evaluate
whether the species responds to those potential threats in a way that
causes actual impact to the species. The identification of threats that
might impact a species negatively is not sufficient to compel a finding
that the species warrants listing. The information must include
evidence indicating that the threats are operative and, either singly
or in aggregation, affect the status of the species. Threats are
significant if they drive, or contribute to, the risk of extinction of
the species, such that the species warrants listing as endangered or
threatened, as those terms are defined in the Act.
Factor A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or
Curtailment of Its Habitat or Range
Here we describe the primary threats that result in Hermes copper
butterfly habitat destruction and modification, describe how those
threats interact to cause long-term or permanent range curtailment, and
provide an assessment of the likelihood of those threats continuing
into the foreseeable future.
The current distribution of Hermes copper butterfly habitat in San
Diego County is largely due to previous urban development within
coastal and interior San Diego County which resulted in the loss and
fragmentation of Hermes copper butterfly habitat (CalFlora 2010;
Consortium of California Herbaria 2010; San Diego Plant Atlas 2010). Of
the 28 known extirpated Hermes copper butterfly populations, loss and
fragmentation of habitat as a result of development has contributed to
the extirpation of 14 populations (50 percent) (see Background section
above and, Table 1 above, and Factor E discussion below). Since the
year 2000, occupied habitats containing Hermes copper butterfly's host
plant, Rhamnus crocea, in Rancho Santa Fe and Sabre Springs were lost
due to urban development. In the City of San Marcos, one R. crocea
stand near Jacks Pond was lost to development (Anderson 2010a, pp. 1,
2) and another R. crocea stand was significantly reduced in the
vicinity of Palomar College (Anderson 2010b, pp. 1, 2). The R. crocea
stand in Lopez Canyon is currently found within a relatively small
preserve (roughly rectangular area 0.4 mi (0.6 km) by 0.5 mi (0.8 km))
that is contiguous with suitable Hermes copper butterfly habitat in Del
Mar Mesa where development is ongoing. This stand of R. crocea is
likely all that remains of what was once a wider distribution,
encompassing the community of Mira Mesa and the western portion of
Miramar Naval Air Station (per Thorne's 1963 map, p. 147).
Although a significant amount of habitat has been lost due to
development throughout the range of Hermes copper butterfly within the
United States, the remaining currently occupied population areas are
protected from destruction by development due to their presence on
federally owned lands, on lands conserved under regional habitat
conservation plans, or on lands subject to local resource protection
ordinances in San Diego County (approximately 66 percent of the total
area currently occupied by Hermes copper butterfly populations occurs
on federal and non-federal conserved lands; see Figure 1 above) and the
remaining 34 percent of occupied habitat occurs on lands subject to
local resource protection ordinances in San Diego County. Our GIS
analysis indicates that of the total conserved area discussed above (66
percent of all occupied areas), approximately 27 percent (encompassing
portions of 10 populations) is located within established regional
habitat conservation plan preserve lands (see Factor D San Diego
Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) discussion below),
approximately 38 percent (encompassing portions of 7 populations) falls
within U.S. Forest Service lands, and approximately 1 percent
(encompassing portions of 3 populations) falls within Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) land. These lands are therefore afforded protection
from development. Additionally, as described in Factor D below, the
County of San Diego now has in place two ordinances that restrict new
development or other proposed projects within sensitive habitats. The
Biological Mitigation Ordinance of the County of San Diego Subarea Plan
(County of San Diego, 1998b, Ord. Nos. 8845, 9246) regulates
development within coastal sage scrub and mixed chaparral habitats that
currently support portions of 10 extant Hermes copper butterfly
populations on non-Federal land within the boundaries of the County's
MSCP subarea plan. The County of San Diego Resource Protection
Ordinance (County of San Diego 2007) restricts development within
coastal sage scrub and mixed chaparral habitats that currently support
all extant Hermes copper butterfly populations on non-Federal lands
throughout the county. These ordinances provide some regulatory
measures of protection for the
remaining 34 percent of extant Hermes copper butterfly habitat
throughout the species occupied range. Although past development in
occupied Hermes copper butterfly habitat resulted in a substantial
number of extirpations of Hermes copper butterfly populations,
restrictions are in place to limit development and the corresponding
destruction and modification of Hermes copper butterfly habitat in the
future. Therefore, we do not believe future development alone will
significantly reduce or fragment remaining Hermes copper butterfly
habitat on non-federal lands. However, as discussed below under
``Habitat Fragmentation,'' we believe that the combined impacts of
existing development, limited future small-scale development, existing
dispersal barriers, and megafires could further fragment Hermes copper
butterfly habitat and threaten the species. Within U.S. Forest Service
lands, we anticipate that future development, if any, will be limited,
and the Forest Service has incorporated measures to address threats to
Hermes copper butterfly and its habitat as it implements specific
activities within forest lands (see Factor D below for additional
discussion). The very limited number of Hermes copper butterfly
populations within BLM lands are unlikely to face future development
pressure. Therefore, we conclude that Hermes copper butterfly is not
currently threatened by habitat loss due to future development alone.
The historical fire regime in southern California likely was
characterized by many small lightning-ignited fires in the summer and a
few, infrequent large fires in the fall of varying fire intensity
(Keeley and Fotheringham 2003, p. 242-243). These infrequent, large,
high-intensity wildfires, so-called ``megafires'' (greater than 123,553
ac (50,000 ha) in size), burned the landscape long before Europeans
settled the Pacific coast (Keeley and Zedler 2009, p. 90). As such,
modern fire regimes in southern California ``have much in common with
historical regimes'' (Keeley and Zedler 2009, p. 69). While some
researchers claim that the fire regime of chaparral growing in adjacent
Baja California is not affected by megafires due to a lack of fire
suppression activities (cf. Minnich and Chou 1997, Minnich 2001),
Keeley and Zedler (2009, p. 86) believe that the fire regime in Baja
California similarly consists of ``small fires punctuated at periodic
intervals by large fire events.'' The current fire regime in southern
California consists of numerous small fires that are periodically
impacted by megafires that are generally driven by extreme ``Santa
Ana'' weather conditions of high temperatures, low humidity, and strong
erratic winds (Keeley and Zedler 2009, p. 90). The primary difference
between the current fire regime and historical fire regimes in southern
California is that human-induced or anthropogenic ignitions have
increased the frequency of fires, and in particular, megafires, far
above historical levels. While this change may not have demonstrably
affected the nectar sources of Hermes copper butterfly in San Diego
County, especially within chaparral (Franklin et al. 2004, p. 701),
frequent fires open up the landscape, particularly coastal sage scrub,
making the habitat more vulnerable to invasive, nonnative plants
(Keeley et al. 2005, p. 2117). However the primary concern with
frequent megafires is the Hermes copper butterfly mortality associated
with these extensive and intense events (see Factor E discussion below)
which precludes recolonization of burned areas by Hermes copper
The significance of this concern can be seen in the current
distribution of the species in southern California. Analysis of GIS
information indicates approximately 66 percent of the extant
occurrences are found within the footprint of the 1970 Laguna Fire,
which Minnich and Chou (1997, p. 240) reported last burned in 1920. In
contrast, the areas north and south of the extant Hermes copper
butterfly occurrences reburned several times between 2001 and 2007
(Keeley et al. 2009, pp. 287, 293). We examined maps of current high
fire threat areas in San Diego County based on recent reports by the
Forest Area Safety Task Force (Jones 2008, p. 1; SANDAG 2010, p. 1).
Areas identified as most vulnerable include all occupied and
potentially occupied Hermes copper butterfly habitats in San Diego
County within the species' known historical range, with the exception
of Black Mountain, Van Dam Peak, Lopez Canyon, and the unburned
southern portion of Mission Trails Park. In light of the recent spate
of drought-influenced wildfires in southern California, especially the
2007 fires, a future megafire affecting most or all of the area burned
by the Laguna Fire in 1970 (40-year chaparral) is likely to occur and
would pose a significant threat to Hermes copper butterfly in the
United States because it would encompass the majority of extant
populations (see Factor E below for direct mortality effects
As described in our August 8, 2006, 90-day finding (71 FR 44966),
Rhamnus crocea are ``obligate resprouters'' after fires and are
resilient to frequent burns (Keeley 1998, p. 258). Additionally,
although Keeley and Fotheringham (2003, p. 244) indicated that
continued habitat disturbance, such as fire, will result in conversion
of native shrublands to nonnative grasslands, Keeley (2004, p. 7) also
noted that invasive, nonnative plants will not typically displace
obligate resprouting plant species in mesic shrublands that burn once
every 10 years. Therefore, because R. crocea is an obligate resprouter,
it will likely recover in those areas that retain this burn frequency.
Specific information regarding Hermes copper butterfly's primary nectar
source (Eriogonum fasciculatum (California buckwheat)) is less
understood. Eriogonum fasciculatum is a facultative seeder and high
proportions of this nectar source are likely killed by fire, and
densities are reduced the following year within burned areas (Zedler et
al. 1983, p. 814); however, E. fasciculatum does show minimal
resprouting capability (approximately 10 percent) if individuals are
young (Keeley 2006, p. 375). The extent of invasion of nonnative plants
and type conversion in areas specifically inhabited by Hermes copper
butterfly are unknown. However, information clearly indicates that
wildfire results in at least temporary reductions in suitable habitat
for Hermes copper butterfly and may result in lower densities of E.
fasciculatum (Zedler et al. 1983, p. 814; Keeley 2006, p. 375;
Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 728). In areas where R. crocea is capable
of resprouting, the quantity of E. fasciculatum nectar source necessary
to support a persisting Hermes copper butterfly population may be
temporarily unavailable due to recent fire impacts. If areas are
repeatedly burned, E. fasciculatum will not have the time necessary to
become reestablished, rendering the habitat unsuitable for Hermes
copper butterfly (Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 728). Increased fire
frequency may also pose a threat to Hermes copper butterfly through
loss of host plant and nectar source habitat, and fire management plans
are not expected to provide protection from megafires such as those
that occurred in 2003 and 2007. Based on the above, we consider
wildfire, specifically megafires that encompass vast areas and are
increasing in frequency, a significant threat to Hermes copper
Habitat fragmentation can result in smaller, more vulnerable Hermes
copper butterfly populations (see Factor E discussion below). The
presence of suitable habitat on which Hermes
copper butterflies depend often determines the size and range of the
local population. Wildfires and past development have caused habitat
fragmentation that separates populations and inhibits movement by
creating a gap in area that Hermes copper butterflies are not capable
of traversing. The connectivity of habitat occupied by a butterfly
population is not defined by host plant distribution at the scale of
host plant stands or patches, but rather by adult butterfly movement
that results in interbreeding (see Service 2003, pp. 22, 162-165). Any
loss of resource contiguity on the ground that does not affect
butterfly movement, such as burned vegetation, may degrade habitat, but
may not fragment habitat. Therefore, in order for habitat to be
fragmented, movement must be prevented by a barrier, or the distance
between remaining host plants where larvae develop must be greater than
adult butterflies will move to mate or deposit eggs. Genetic analysis
(Deutschman et al. 2010; p. 16) indicates that butterflies can show
differentiation even when close in proximity, presumably due to
physical barriers that may be a result of development or a landscape
feature (i.e., the three McGinty Mountain sites that are on opposite
sides of the mountain may be separated by topography). Alternately,
sampling locations that are not close have shown little genetic
differentiation, indicating that butterflies can also disperse long
distances under the right conditions. Sampling at one location before
and after a fire found genetically differentiated groups. Deutschman et
al. (2010, p. 16) concluded their findings supported the idea that
Hermes copper butterfly individuals are capable of long-distance
movement, but developed areas and natural landscape features may
enhance or restrict dispersal. It is important to note that although
movement may be possible, the habitat must be suitable at the time
Hermes copper butterflies arrive to ensure successful recolonization.
As described in our 90-day finding published in 2010 (75 FR 23658,
May 4, 2010) Hermes copper butterfly habitat has become fragmented by
both past urban development (permanently) and wildfires. Comparison of
Hermes copper butterfly occurrences and host plant distribution with
mapped wildfire perimeters indicates that wildfires cause short-term
fragmentation of habitat, and, historically, Hermes copper butterfly
habitat in San Diego County has been fragmented and lost due to the
progression of development over the last 50 years. Analysis of the
Hermes copper butterfly populations indicates that in the northern
portion of the U.S. range, the habitat has been fragmented (and lost)
permanently by development and further fragmented temporally by
wildfires, resulting in extirpation of at least four Hermes copper
butterfly populations (see Table 1 above). As described in the
Background section above and Factor E below, two historical Hermes
copper butterfly populations (Rancho Santa Fe and Van Dam Peak) in the
northern portion of the range have been lost since the year 2000,
presumably because the habitat became isolated to an extent that
connectivity with other populations was lost. Neither the Rancho Santa
Fe habitat area nor Van Dam Peak habitat area is expected to be
recolonized because the distance to the next nearest source population
(13 mi (20 km) and 7 mi (11 km), respectively) exceeds the dispersal
capability of the species. In the southern portion of the range, Lopez
Canyon and the extant portion of Mission Trails Park are both isolated
(7 mi (11 km) separation) from other extant populations by development
and burned areas that are no longer likely occupied. Although the
Mission Trails Park population remains extant this population was
likely reduced up to 74 percent by the 2003 fire, and remaining
unburned habitat is surrounded by development, functionally isolating
it from any potential source populations thought to be extant (see
Figure 1 above). While we do not expect future development alone to
threaten Hermes copper butterfly habitat, we believe that the combined
impacts attributable to wildfire and small scale development may
fragment habitat further and hence, threaten the species' continued
existence. Based on the above, we consider habitat fragmentation, due
to the combined impact of existing development, possible future
(limited) development, existing dispersal barriers, and megafires, a
significant threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Summary of Factor A
Based on the above information, we consider Hermes copper butterfly
to be threatened by the present or threatened destruction,
modification, or curtailment of the species habitat or range.
Specifically, we consider Hermes copper butterfly threatened by habitat
fragmentation and wildfire. The combination of habitat fragmentation
(as a result of past and potential limited future urban development),
existing dispersal barriers, and megafires (that encompass vast areas
and are increasing in frequency) that fragment, limit, and degrade
Hermes copper butterfly habitat threaten the species with extirpation
throughout its range. These threats are evidenced by the loss and
isolation of many populations throughout the range; those remaining
extant populations fall within areas of high megafire risk. Thus, we
consider threats under this factor to be significant.
Factor B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or
We found two Internet postings (accessed in June 2004) offering to
sell specimens of Hermes copper butterfly (Martin 2004, pers. comm.).
We found no evidence that Hermes copper butterflies, whole or in parts,
were being used in a commercial ``butterfly essence'' process (Morning
Star Essences 2006, pers. comm.) and we have no other information to
indicate that other commercial business activities are a threat to
Hermes copper butterfly. Neither of these previously viewed Web sites
offered Hermes copper butterfly for sale during a more recent search
(November 22, 2010), nor did we locate any additional commercially
available specimens. We found no other information to indicate Hermes
copper butterfly is used for commercial, scientific, or educational
purposes. Therefore, based on our review of the best available
scientific and commercial information, we do not consider
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or
educational purposes a current threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Factor C. Disease or Predation
We evaluated the potential of disease to threaten Hermes copper
butterfly rangewide and found no information indicating disease to be
current threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Predation (including parasitism) is a factor that is known to cause
mortality in butterflies, and therefore could potentially threaten any
butterfly species. Faulkner and Klein (2005, p. 26) stated that ``no
papers have reported any parasites or predators for the Hermes copper
butterfly, though they obviously exist.'' Birds may consume Hermes
copper butterfly larvae, although we are not aware of any data that
indicate bird predation is a significant threat to Hermes copper
butterfly. Furthermore, heavy predation of adult insects and their
progeny is a common ecological phenomenon, and most species have
conditions where high mortality due to natural enemies has shaped their
evolution (see Ehrlich et al. 1988). However, we found no information
to indicate predation to be current threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Therefore, based on our review of the best available scientific and
commercial information, we do not consider disease or predation a
current threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Factor D. The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms
The Act requires us to examine the adequacy of existing regulatory
mechanisms, with respect to threats, that may ameliorate the danger of
Hermes copper butterfly becoming either endangered or threatened.
Existing regulatory mechanisms that may have an effect on potential
threats to Hermes copper butterfly can be placed into two general
categories: (1) Federal mechanisms, and (2) State and local mechanisms.
There are five primary Federal regulatory mechanisms that we
discuss below: the National Forest Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1600 et
seq.); the Federal Land Policy and Management Act; the Sikes Act as
amended (16 U.S.C. 670a et seq.); the Healthy Forests Restoration Act
of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.); and the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
Under the National Forest Management Act of 1976, the U.S. Forest
Service (Forest Service) is required to prepare a comprehensive land
and natural resource management plan for each unit of the Forest
Service, in accordance with NEPA's procedural requirements, to guide
the maintenance and use of resources within national forests. The plans
require an interdisciplinary approach, including a provision providing
for diversity for plant and animal communities (16 U.S.C.
1604(g)(3)(B)). The Forest Service is currently operating under the
transition provisions of the 2000 Planning Rule (65 FR 67514; November
9, 2000) as an interim measure until a new planning rule is issued (see
74 FR 67059; December 18, 2009). The 2000 rule allows forests to
develop, revise and amend forest plans using the procedures of the 1982
Rule (47 FR 43037; September 30, 1982). All existing forest plans have
been developed using the 1982 Planning Rule procedures, including the
Cleveland National Forest Plan.
In preparing the Cleveland National Forest (CNF) Plan, the Forest
Service evaluated and identified Hermes copper butterfly as a species
of concern and then evaluated this species relative to its potential of
risk from Forest Service activities and plan decisions in its 2005
Final Environmental Impact Statement (USFS 2005). Hermes copper
butterfly, along with 148 other species, was defined as a ``species-at-
risk'' (USFS 2005, Appendix B, p. 36), requiring a further individual
viability assessment. The subsequent threat category identified for
Hermes copper butterfly was ``5'' or ``Uncommon, narrow endemic,
disjunct, or peripheral in the plan area with substantial threats to
persistence or distribution from Forest Service activities'' (USFS
2005, Appendix B, p. 43). The specific threat associated with Hermes
copper butterfly and Forest Service management activities is described
as ``Prescribed fire or fuel reduction projects in habitat (affecting
host plant, Rhamnus crocea)'' (USFS 2005, Appendix B, p. 52). There are
approximately 7,860 acres (ac) (3,181 hectares (ha)) of extant Hermes
copper butterfly habitat (encompassing 7 populations) within the CNF
and approximately 2,100 ac (850 ha) of Hermes copper butterfly habitat
that has been extirpated or is of unknown status. The Forest Service
incorporates measures into its planning efforts to address identified
threats as it implements specific activities on forest lands. As an
example, in 2007, measures were included to protect Hermes copper
butterfly habitat ahead of the Horsethief Fuels Reduction Project
(Jennings 2007, pers. comm.). Although the proposed project has not yet
been implemented, the recommendations of flagging and avoidance of all
R. crocea bushes are standard management measures for relevant CNF
activities (Winter 2010, pers. comm.).
The CNF has also initiated two projects for restoration of habitat
at Barber Mountain related to impacts from the Harris Fire (Metz 2010,
pers. comm.). In an effort to restore nectar and host plants at this
site, seeds from both Eriogonum fasciculatum and Rhamnus crocea plants
have been collected locally and E. fasciculatum seeds have already been
planted (Metz 2010, pers. comm.).
Because fires, particularly recent wildfires (megafires), have been
identified as a factor affecting the distribution of this species, the
CNF has been monitoring Hermes copper butterfly populations in burned
and unburned areas of CNF to assist in monitoring the recovery and
management of this species on its lands (HDR and E2M, 2009, p. 1). As
part of the Forest Service's approach to management of Hermes copper
butterfly and its habitat, the Forest Service commissioned a 2009
survey to determine the current status of Hermes copper butterfly
populations at eight locations in the Descanso Ranger District of the
CNF. A total of 16 Hermes copper butterflies were observed at 12
locations at 5 study sites (HDR and E2M, 2009, p. 11). The 2009 study
concluded that the low number of observations were reflective of the
on-going recovery of Hermes copper butterfly habitats from the effects
of wildfires, the precipitation pattern in Hermes copper butterfly
habitat in 2009, and host plant health (HDR and E2M, 2009, p. 25).
Previous monitoring surveys conducted on CNF lands include a 2005
survey for assessment of recolonization at Viejas Mountain, an area
impacted by the Cedar Fire in 2003, in which no Hermes copper
butterflies were observed (Klein 2005, pers. comm.). Additionally, a
2005 survey at Barber Mountain, an area that had not recently burned,
revealed 95 specimens of Hermes copper butterflies (Faulkner 2005,
pers. comm.), while a wider 2008 survey of the area after the Witch
Fire in 2007 found scattered populations with only two sites containing
more than a single specimen (Faulkner 2008 pers. comm.). Locations were
marked for revegetation with Eriogonum fasciculatum and Rhamnus crocea
in an attempt to extend the unburned chaparral habitat so as to expand
the existing Hermes copper butterfly populations or establish new
populations (Faulkner 2008, pers. comm.).
Recent fire events appear to have negatively affected the current
occupancy of Hermes copper butterfly at the surveyed locations on CNF
lands. The 2009 survey results indicate that of the study sites
affected by fires in 2003 and 2007, Hermes copper butterfly was only
found at one site (North Descanso), an area located on the southern
edge of the area affected by the 2003 Cedar Fire and adjacent to
unburned private lands, which the authors speculate contain a source
population of Hermes copper butterflies (HDR and E2M, 2009, p. 25). The
current monitoring, management efforts, and conservation measures
implemented and planned by the Forest Service indicate that the CNF is
actively working towards conservation of Hermes copper butterfly and
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) governs
the management of public lands under the jurisdiction of the BLM. The
legislative goals of FLPMA are to establish public land policy; to
establish guidelines for its [BLM's]
administration; and to provide for the management, protection,
development and enhancement of the public lands. While FLPMA generally
directs that public lands be managed on the basis of multiple use, the
statute also directs that such lands be managed to ``protect the
quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental,
air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values; * * * [
to] preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural
condition; [and to] provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife * *
*.'' (43 U.S.C. 1701(a)(8)). Although the BLM has a multiple-use
mandate under the FLPMA which allows for grazing, mining, and off-road
vehicle use, the BLM also has the ability under the FLPMA to establish
and implement special management areas such as Areas of Critical
Environmental Concern, wilderness areas, research areas, etc. BLM's
South Coast Resource Management Plan covers the San Diego County area.
Approximately 1 percent, or 411 ac (166 ha) of the total Hermes copper
butterfly habitat occupied by extant populations (3 populations in this
case) occur within the BLM owned lands. An additional approximately 289
ac (117 ha) of Hermes copper butterfly habitat that supported
populations believed to have been extirpated or that are of unknown
status (encompassing 3 populations) also occurs on BLM lands. Hermes
copper butterfly was a species considered but not addressed in the
BLM's South Coast Resource Management Plan (SCRMP; BLM 1994, p. 76) but
many components of Hermes copper butterfly habitat (coastal sage scrub
and chaparral) are contained within the SCRMP planning area, and
receive some regulatory protection under the plan. Approximately half
of Hermes copper butterfly habitat supporting extant populations on BLM
lands, a 201 ac (81 ha) portion of the Descanso South population (see
Table 1 and Figure 1 above; Map 31) falls within the Pine
Creek Wilderness Area and therefore benefits from BLM's wilderness
protection policies. The Pine Creek Wilderness Area is managed in
accordance with the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C.
1131 et seq.). The Wilderness Act of 1964 strictly limits use of
wilderness areas, imposing restrictions on use of vehicles, new
developments, chainsaw use, mountain bike use, leasing, and mining, in
order to protect the natural habitats of the areas, maintain species
diversity, and enhance biological values. Lands acquired by BLM within
wilderness area boundaries become part of the designated wilderness
area and are managed in accordance with all provisions of the
Wilderness Act and applicable laws. We believe existing BLM regulations
provide adequate protection from the threat of development described in
Factor A above, but not from mortality and habitat fragmentation due to
megafire as described in Factors A above and E below. However, megafire
is not a threat that is susceptible to reduction or elimination by
The Sikes Act requires the Department of Defense to develop and
implement integrated natural resources management plans (INRMPs) for
military installations across the United States. We are not aware of
any currently extant Hermes copper butterfly populations on military
installations; however there are historical Hermes copper butterfly
observation locations and potential Hermes copper butterfly habitat
(see Table 1 and Figure 1 above, Map 40) on Miramar Naval Air
Station and the adjacent Mission Gorge Recreational Facility (MGRF)
(also known as Admiral Baker Field). Through the 2002 Naval Base San
Diego INRMP, which is currently under revision, the Navy manages its
open space areas using an ecosystem-level approach that includes
invasive species removal, habitat restoration and enhancement, and
natural resource inventories (Stathos 2010, pers. comm.). In the 2002
INRMP, the Navy identified the following focus areas for management
actions: Wildlife conservation and management, rare wildlife species,
exotic vegetation control, habitat restoration, and fire management
(U.S. Navy 2002, section 3, pp. 37-40 and 45-47). Hermes copper
butterfly is not identified as a rare species in the INRMP; however,
some existing management recommendations and actions may also be
beneficial to Hermes copper butterfly, if it is rediscovered on Navy
lands. The INRMPs are reviewed every year by military installations and
modified as needed, and are reviewed at least every 5 years with the
Service and States.
The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 includes the first
meaningful statutory incentive for the U.S. Forest Service and the
Bureau of Land Management to give consideration to prioritized fuel
reduction projects identified by local communities. In order for a
community to take advantage of this opportunity, a Community Wildfire
Protection Plan (CWPP) must be prepared. The process of developing a
CWPP can help a community identify and clarify priorities for the
protection of life, property and critical infrastructure in the
wildland-urban interface (WUI) (Fire Safe Council of San Diego County
2011). See our discussion of CWPPs below under the State and Local
Regulations subsection. Combined, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act
and the Community Wildfire Protection Plan emphasize the need for
federal, state and local agencies to work collaboratively with
communities in developing hazardous fuel reduction projects, and place
priority on treatment areas identified by the communities themselves in
a CWPP (Fire Safe Council of San Diego County 2011). While these
regulations reduce the impact of wildfire to some extent, especially
with regard to human property and safety, the impact of megafires on
wildlands is not a threat that is susceptible to elimination by such
All Federal agencies are required to adhere to the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970 for projects they fund,
authorize, or carry out. The Council on Environmental Quality's
regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1518) state that
in their environmental impact statements agencies shall include a
discussion on the environmental impacts of the various project
alternatives (including the proposed action), any adverse environmental
effects which cannot be avoided, and any irreversible or irretrievable
commitments of resources involved (40 CFR part 1502). NEPA itself is a
disclosure law that provides an opportunity for the public to submit
comments on the particular project and propose other conservation
measures that may directly benefit listed species; however, it does not
require subsequent minimization or mitigation measures by the Federal
agency involved. Although Federal agencies may include conservation
measures for listed species as a result of the NEPA process, Hermes
copper butterfly may be provided indirect protections due to its co-
occurrence with listed species. Any such measures are typically
voluntary in nature and are not required by the statute. Additionally,
activities on non-Federal lands are subject to NEPA if there is a
As stated above, land and resource management plans prepared by the
Forest Service and BLM must be developed in accordance with NEPA
requirements and, as noted above, the Forest Service prepared an
environmental impact statement for its 2005 Land Management Plans
(including the Cleveland National Forest Plan) and will be required to
meet NEPA requirements in preparing its revised plan. Similarly, the
U.S. Navy must meet the procedural
requirements of NEPA in developing its INRMPs.
State and Local Mechanisms
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Public Resources
Code 21000-21177) and the CEQA Guidelines (California Code of
Regulations, Title 14, Division 6, Chapter 3, sections 15000-15387)
requires State and local agencies to identify the significant
environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those
impacts, if feasible. CEQA applies to projects proposed to be
undertaken or requiring approval by State and local government agencies
and the lead agency must complete the environmental review process
required by CEQA, including conducting an initial study to identify the
environmental impacts of the project and determine whether the
identified impacts are ``significant.'' If significant impacts are
determined, then an environmental impact report must be prepared to
provide State and local agencies and the general public with detailed
information on the potentially significant environmental effects (CERES
2010). ``Thresholds of Significance'' are comprehensive criteria used
to define environmental significant impacts based on quantitative and
qualitative standards and include impacts to biological resources such
as candidate, sensitive, or special status species identified in local
or regional plans, policies, or regulations, or by the California
Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) or the Service; or impacts to any
riparian habitat or other sensitive natural community identified in
local or regional plans, policies, regulations or by the CDFG or
Service (Appendix G, CEQA 2010). Defining these significance thresholds
helps ensure a ``rational basis for significance determinations'' and
provides support to the final determination and appropriate revisions
or mitigation actions to a project in order to develop a mitigated
negative declaration rather than an environmental impact report
(Governor's Office of Planning and Research, 1994, p. 5).
The County of San Diego has developed the Guidelines for
Determining Significance and Report Format and Content Requirements--
Biological Resources (Guidelines) (County of San Diego, 2010) to review
discretionary projects and environmental documents pursuant to the
CEQA. The Guidelines provide guidance for evaluating adverse
environmental effects that a proposed project may have on biological
resources and are consulted during the evaluation of any biological
resource pursuant to CEQA. Included in the specific guidelines, under
Special Species Status, is a determination as to whether a project will
impact occupied Hermes copper butterfly habitat. Section 4.1 K (p. 14)
of the guidelines states:
``Though not state or federally listed, the Hermes copper meets the
definition of endangered under CEQA Sec. 15380 because its `survival
and reproduction in the wild are in immediate jeopardy from one or more
causes, including loss of habitat, change in habitat, overexploitation,
predation, competition, disease, or other factors.' The County's
determination that the Hermes copper meets the definition of endangered
under CEQA is based on the loss of Hermes copper populations by
development and wildfire, and the review of published and unpublished
literature. Interim guidelines for surveying, assessing impacts, and
designing mitigation for Hermes copper are provided in Attachment C of
the Report Format and Content Requirements--Biological Resources.''
(County of San Diego, 2010, p. 14).
The newly added Hermes copper butterfly section of the guidelines
offers a proactive requirement for project review under CEQA that can
provide a specific protective measure to the species and its habitat.
The San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) is a
subregional habitat conservation plan (HCP) and Natural Community
Conservation Plan (NCCP) made up of several subarea plans that have
been in place for more than a decade. Under the umbrella of the MSCP,
each of the 12 participating jurisdictions is required to prepare a
subarea plan that implements the goals of the MSCP within that
particular jurisdiction. The MSCP covers 582,243 ac (235,625 ha) and
the County of San Diego Subarea Plan covers 252,132 ac (102,035 ha) of
unincorporated county lands in the southwestern portion of the MSCP
plan area. The County subarea plan is implemented in part by the
Biological Mitigation Ordinance (BMO), which outlines specific project
design criteria and species and habitat protection and mitigation
requirements for projects within subarea boundaries (see MSCP Subarea
Plan, County of San Diego 2007, and Biological Mitigation Ordinance
(Ord. Nos. 8845, 9246), County of San Diego 1998b). All projects within
the County's subarea plan boundaries must comply with both the MSCP
requirements and the County's policies under CEQA. Hermes copper
butterfly is not a covered species under any MSCP subarea plans;
however, the protections afforded by the BMO indirectly benefit the
species by establishing mitigation ratios and project development
conditions that restrict development within coastal sage scrub and
mixed chaparral habitats. Of the 17 currently extant Hermes copper
butterfly populations, the BMO affords some indirect protection to the
10 that fall all or partially within the County's subarea plan
The County of San Diego Resource Protection Ordinance (RPO) (County
of San Diego 2007) applies to all non-federal lands within the County
located within and outside of the County of San Diego subarea plan
boundaries. The RPO imposes restrictions on development to reduce
impacts to natural resources including sensitive habitat lands.
Sensitive habitat lands are those that support unique vegetation
communities or those that are either necessary to support a viable
population of sensitive species, are critical to the proper functioning
of a balanced natural ecosystem, or which serve as a functioning
wildlife corridor (County of San Diego, 2007, p. 3). They can include
areas that contain maritime succulent scrub, southern coastal bluff
scrub, coastal and desert dunes, calcicolous scrub, and maritime
chaparral, among others. Impacts to RPO sensitive habitat lands, which
include lands with potential host and nectar plant habitat for Hermes
copper butterfly (i.e., scrub and chaparral), are only allowed when all
feasible measures have been applied to reduce impacts and when
mitigation provides an equal or greater benefit to the affected species
(County of San Diego, 2007, p. 13).
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL
FIRE) is an emergency response and resource protection department. CAL
FIRE protects lives, property and natural resources from fire, and
protects and preserves timberlands, wildlands, and urban forests. The
CAL FIRES's varied programs work together to plan protection strategies
incorporating concepts of the National Fire Plan, the California Fire
Plan, individual CAL FIRE Unit Fire Plans, and Community Wildfire
Protection Plans (CWPPs). Fire Plans outline the fire situation within
each CAL FIRE Unit, and CWPPs do the same for communities (CALFIRE
2011a, p. 1; County of San Diego 2011a). Each plan identifies
prevention measures to reduce risks, informs and involves the local
communities in the area, and provides a framework to diminish potential
wildfire losses and implement all applicable fire management
regulations and policies (CALFIRE 2011b; County of San Diego 2011a).
Planning includes other state, federal
and local government agencies as well as Fire Safe Councils (CALFIRE
2011a, p. 1). Cooperative efforts via contracts and agreements between
state, federal, and local agencies are essential to respond to wildland
fires (CALFIRE 2011a, p. 1). Because of these types of cooperative
efforts, fire engines and crews from many different agencies may
respond at the scene of an emergency (CALFIRE 2011a, p. 1); however
CALFIRE typically takes the lead with regard to planning for megafire,
prevention, management, and suppression, and CAL FIRE is in charge of
incident command during a wildfire. The San Diego County Fire Authority
(SDCFA), local governments, and CAL FIRE cooperatively protect 1.42
million acres of land with 54 fire stations throughout San Diego County
(County of San Diego 2011b, p. 1). Wildfire management plans and
associated actions can help to reduce the impacts of wildfire on
natural resources, including Hermes copper butterfly, but their first
priority is human health and safety. While these plans and associated
measures ameliorate the impacts of wildfire to some extent, especially
with regard to human property and safety, the impact of megafires on
wildlands is not a threat that is susceptible to elimination by such
Summary of Factor D
In summary, we considered the adequacy of existing regulatory
mechanisms to protect Hermes copper butterfly. On Forest Service lands,
the Cleveland National Forest Plan addresses the conservation of
natural resources, including Hermes copper butterfly, and specific
management practices have been identified and are being implemented to
conserve existing populations of Hermes copper butterfly and its
habitat. Approximately 1 percent of Hermes copper butterfly habitat
occurs on BLM lands and is afforded some protection through the South
Coast Management Plan and Wilderness Area designation through
management of habitat areas for listed and other sensitive species and
land use limitation. Although the Navy has not recorded extant
populations of Hermes copper butterfly on their lands in San Diego
County, we believe the management measures identified in their INRMP
for the Mission Gorge Recreational Facility provides an adequate
protective mechanism for existing coastal sage habitat suitable for
Hermes copper butterfly. Hermes copper butterfly and its habitat may
also receive protection under NEPA as land management plans, INRMPs,
and activity level plans are developed on Forest Service, BLM and U.S.
Navy lands either occupied by or that contain suitable habitat for the
On State and county lands occupied by Hermes copper butterfly or
containing its habitat, we believe the requirements of CEQA and the two
County ordinances are adequate regulatory mechanisms that protect the
species and its habitat from development related impacts. The
Biological Mitigation Ordinance of the County of San Diego Subarea Plan
and the County of San Diego Resource Protection Ordinance impose
restrictions on development within coastal sage scrub and mixed
chaparral habitats that support half of the historical distribution of
Hermes copper butterfly populations. Although Federal, State, and local
regulatory mechanisms help to reduce wildfire impacts, primarily to
property and human safety, they do not adequately protect Hermes copper
butterfly from direct mortality or habitat fragmentation due to
megafires. However, we do not consider the impact of megafire on
wildlands to be a threat that is susceptible to elimination by
Therefore, based on our review of the best available scientific and
commercial information, we do not consider the inadequacy of existing
regulatory mechanisms to be a threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Species'
As discussed in the Background section and Factor A discussions
above, wildfire can result in temporal loss of Hermes copper butterfly
habitat. However, the most significant threat posed by wildfire to
Hermes copper butterfly is the direct loss (i.e., mortality) of
butterflies associated with extensive and intense fire events. The
magnitude of this threat is increased by the periodic occurrence of
megafires, which are typically created by extreme ``Santa Ana'' weather
conditions of high temperatures, low humidity, and strong erratic winds
(see Background section and Factor A's wildfire discussion above;
Keeley and Zedler 2009, p. 90). Human-induced or anthropogenic
ignitions have increased the frequency of fire far above historical
levels (Keeley and Fotheringham 2003, p. 240). Recolonization of burned
areas by Hermes copper butterfly can be precluded when fires, and
particularly megafires, occur too frequently. The significance of this
concern can be seen in the current distribution of the species in
southern California; analysis of GIS information indicates
approximately 66 percent of the extant occurrences are found within the
footprint of the 1970 Laguna Fire, which Minnich and Chou (1997, p.
240) reported last burned in 1920. In contrast, the areas north and
south of the extant Hermes copper butterfly occurrences burned several
times from 2001 to 2007 (Keeley et al. 2009, pp. 287, 293). A single
megafire burning most or all of the 40-year old chaparral in the
footprint of the Laguna fire would likely imperil the species in the
United States (see Figure 1 above). Additionally, as discussed in the
Background section above, the 2003 Otay and Cedar fires and the 2007
Harris and Witch fires in particular have negatively impacted the
species, resulting in or contributing to the extirpation of 9 of 35
populations (see Table 1 above).
It is well-documented that wildfires that occur in occupied Hermes
copper butterfly habitat result in loss of Hermes copper butterflies
(Klein and Faulkner 2003, pp. 96, 97; Marschalek and Klein 2010, pp. 4,
5). The butterflies rarely survive wildfire because life stages of the
butterfly inhabit host plant foliage, and Rhamnus crocea typically
burns to the ground and resprouts from stumps (Deutschman et al. 2010,
p. 8; Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 8). This results in at least the
temporal loss of both the habitat (until the R. crocea and nectar
source regrowth occurs) and the presence of butterflies (occupancy) in
the area. Wildfires can also leave patches of unburned occupied habitat
that are functionally isolated (e.g., further than the dispersal
distance of the butterfly) from other occupied habitat. Furthermore,
large fires can eliminate source populations before previously burned
habitat can be recolonized, and can result in long-term or permanent
loss of butterfly populations. For example, in Mission Trails Park the
7,303 ac (2596 ha) ``Assist 59'' Fire in 1981 and the smaller
126 ac (51 ha) ``Assist 14'' Fire in 1983 (no significant
overlap between fires), resulted in an approximate 18-year extirpation
of the Mission Trails Park Hermes copper butterfly population (Klein
and Faulkner 2003, pp. 96, 97). More recent examples include
extirpations of the monitored Crestridge, Rancho Jamul, Anderson Road,
Hollenbeck Canyon, and San Miguel Mountain populations, as well as
other less-monitored populations (Marschalek and Klein 2010, pp. 4, 5;
Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 36). After the 2003 Cedar Fire, Hermes
copper butterfly records at the
regularly monitored Crestridge population, once considered the largest
and most robust population within the species' range (Klein and
Faulkner 2003, p. 86), were limited to presumably the same male for a
6-day period in 2005, and another single male observed in 2007
(Marschalek and Klein 2010, p. 4; Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 33).
Marschalek (2010a, p. 2) described how when his study ``colonies'' in
the Rancho Jamul population were extirpated by fire in 2003, he
discovered additional occupied habitat on the other side of a nearby
firebreak in 2004; however the remaining population distribution was
extirpated in the 2007 Harris Fire (Marschalek 2010a, p. 1). Data
indicate all historical populations burned in both the 2003 and 2007
fires were extirpated except North Descanso, where record locations
were within a narrow extension of the fire perimeter surrounded on
three sides by unburned habitat (see Table 1 and Figure 1 above). We
know this habitat was recolonized because genetic research determined
the colonizing individuals were not related to those collected before
the fire (Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 26). These facts underscore the
importance of having available Hermes copper butterfly source
populations to recolonize habitat after fire. As discussed in the
Background section above, of the 35 known Hermes copper butterfly
populations in 2000, 1 northern Hermes copper butterfly population and
8 southern populations are believed to have been extirpated by fire or
a combination of fire and development since 2003 (see Table 1 above).
As discussed above under Factor A, we examined maps of current high
fire threat areas in San Diego County based on recent reports by the
Forest Area Safety Task Force (Jones 2008; SANDAG 2010). Areas
identified as most vulnerable include all occupied and potentially
occupied Hermes copper butterfly habitats in San Diego County within
the species' known historical range, with the exception of Black
Mountain, Van Dam Peak, Lopez Canyon, and the unburned southern portion
of Mission Trails Park. Nineteen potential source populations for
recolonization of habitats burned in the past 10 years (extant or of
unknown status) fall within a contiguous area that has not recently
burned (southeastern populations in Figure 1), and where the threat of
fire is considered high (SANDAG 2010). All except 3 of these potential
source populations (North Descanso, Hartley Peak, and North Guatay
Mountain) also fall within the 174,026 ac (70,426 ha) 1970 Laguna Fire
perimeter (similar in size to the 2003 and 2007 fires), and the 3 that
do not fall within the Laguna Fire perimeter fall partially within the
2003 and 2007 fire perimeters. This analysis of current fire danger and
fire history illustrates the potential for permanent loss of the
majority, if not all, remaining butterfly populations should another
large fire occur prior to recolonization of burned habitats (per
discussion above, recolonization may not occur for up to 18 years). As
discussed by Marschalek and Klein (2010, p. 9) and Deutschman et al.
(2010, p. 42), there is a risk that one or more wildfires could
extirpate the majority of extant Hermes copper butterfly populations.
Based on the above, we consider wildfire, specifically megafires that
encompass vast areas and are increasing in frequency, a significant
threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Vulnerability of Small and Isolated Populations
Small population size, low population numbers, and population
isolation are not necessarily independent factors that threaten a
species. Typically, it is the combination of small size and number and
isolation of populations in conjunction with other threats (such as the
present or threatened destruction and modification of the species'
habitat or range) that may significantly increase the probability of
Population isolation renders smaller populations more vulnerable to
stochastic extirpation. Small populations and isolation could also
subject Hermes copper butterfly to genetic drift and restricted gene
flow that may decrease genetic variability over time and could
adversely affect species' viability (Allee 1931, pp. 12-37; Stephens et
al. 1999, pp. 185-190; Dennis 2002, pp. 389-401). The best available
scientific information indicates adult Hermes copper butterfly
densities have been reduced to low or no detectability, or occupancy
has been entirely eliminated in some burned areas (for example
Crestridge, see Factor A discussion above), and habitat has been
fragmented and isolated by development (Deutschman et al. 2010, p. 33).
As discussed in the Background section and Factor A discussion above,
most remaining northern habitats are limited to the relatively isolated
and fragmented undeveloped lands between the cities of San Marcos,
Carlsbad, and Escondido and the community of Rancho Santa Fe. The
nearest occupied Hermes copper butterfly location (Mission Trails) to
the habitat ``islands'' containing the Black Mountain and Van Dam Peak
observation locations are approximately 9 mi (14 km) and 7 mi (11 km)
away, respectively, and separated by highly developed areas. Future
recolonization of Hermes copper butterfly to these areas, which appear
to contain suitable habitat, is not likely due to their isolation. One
population isolated by development was extirpated due to the 2007 Witch
Fire (Rancho Santa Fe), and a second isolated population was extirpated
for unknown reasons (Van Dam Peak). As discussed above under Factor A,
neither the Rancho Santa Fe habitat area nor the Van Dam Peak habitat
area is expected to be recolonized because the distance to the next
nearest source population exceeds the dispersal capability of the
species. In the southern portion of the range, Lopez Canyon and the
extant portion of Mission Trails Park are both isolated from other
extant populations by development and burned areas that are no longer
likely occupied. Although the Mission Trails Park population remains
extant this population was likely reduced up to 74 percent by the 2003
fire, and remaining unburned habitat is surrounded by development,
functionally isolating it from any potential source populations thought
to be extant (see Figure 1 above). Therefore, we consider the effects
of restricted geographical range, population isolation, and reduced
population size a significant threat to Hermes copper butterfly.
Global Climate Change
Evaluations by Parmesan and Galbraith (2004, pp. 1-2, 29-33)
indicate whole ecosystems may be shifting northward and upward in
elevation, or are otherwise being altered by differing climate
tolerance among species within communities. Climate change may be
causing changes in the arrangement and community composition of
occupied habitat patches. Current climate change predictions for
terrestrial areas in the Northern Hemisphere and the southwestern
United States indicate warmer air temperatures, more intense
precipitation events, and increased summer drying (Field et al. 1999,
pp. 1-3; Hayhoe et al. 2004, p. 12422; Cayan et al. 2005, p. 6;
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007, p. 11). However,
predictions of climatic conditions for smaller subregions, such as San
Diego County, remain less certain. Tabor and Williams (2010, p. 562)
summarized the four major sources of uncertainty in downscaled climate
projections: (1) Uncertainties in future greenhouse gas emissions and
atmospheric composition (scenario uncertainty); (2) uncertainties in
modeling the climate response (Global Circulation Model uncertainty);
(3) uncertainties in the observational data sets used as the basemap
for the debiasing procedure (historical observational uncertainty); and
(4) uncertainty over the validity of assumptions underlying the change-
factor approach (change-factor uncertainty). These uncertainties are a
general phenomenon of climate model downscaling and they can be
substantial, especially the first two (Tabor and Williams 2010, pp.
562, 564). Thus, discretion is necessary when using downscaled climate
projections, because downscaling Global Circulation Models to the
finest available resolution may produce misleading results (Tabor and
Williams 2010, p. 564). Southern California has a unique and globally
rare Mediterranean climate. Summers are typically dry and hot while
winters are cool, with minimal rainfall averaging about 10 inches per
year. The maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean combined with the
coastal and inland mountain ranges creates an inversion layer typical
of Mediterranean-like climates, particularly in southern California.
These conditions also create microclimates, where the weather can be
highly variable within small geographic areas at the same time. These
microclimates are difficult to model and make it even more difficult to
predict meaningful changes in climate for this region, specifically for
small local areas, and the resultant impact on the Hermes copper
butterfly and its habitat.
We evaluated the available historical weather data and the species
biology to determine the likelihood of effects assuming the climate has
been and will continue to change. The typical effect of a warmer
climate, as observed with Hermes copper butterfly in lower, warmer
elevation habitats compared to higher, cooler elevations, is an earlier
flight season by several days (Thorne 1963, p. 146; Marschalek and
Deutschman 2008, p. 98). Marschalek and Klein (2010, p. 2) noted that
past records suggest a slightly earlier flight season in recent years
compared to the 1960s. The earliest published day of flight prior to
1963, after ``30 years of extensive collecting,'' was May 20 (Thorne
1963, pp. 143, 146), but adults began flying on May 16 and May 12 in
2003 and 2004, respectively (Marschalek and Deutschman 2008, p. 100),
and were reported as early as April 29 in 2003, and May 14 in 2008
(CFWO GIS database). The record early observation on April 29, 2003,
was from Fortuna Mountain in Mission Trails Park, a well-collected
population with records dating back to 1958, including collections by
Thorne (called ``Mission Gorge'' or ``Mission Dam'' on museum specimen
labels) where May 21 was the earliest documented record from the 1960s
and early 1970s (before climate change trends were reasonably
detectable as described by the IPCC (2007, pp. 2, 4)). The historical
temperature trend in Hermes copper butterfly habitats for the month of
April (when larvae are typically developing and pupating) from 1957 to
2006 can be calculated with relatively high confidence (p values from
0.001 to 0.05). The rate of temperature change has been an increase of
0.04 to 0.07 [deg]F (0.07 to 0.13 [deg]C) per year (Climate Wizard
2010), a total increase of which could explain the earlier than average
flight seasons. The latest published observation date (presumed end of
flight season) of an adult prior to 1970 was on July 30, 1967 (museum
specimen collected by Thorne at ``Suncrest''); however, the latest
observation date from monitoring and data and other records in the past
10 years was on July 2 in 2010, despite an uncharacteristically late
start to the flight season (May 29). Shorter flight seasons are also
consistent with higher average temperatures, as a higher metabolism in
these exothermic short-lived invertebrates typically results in faster
growth and earlier death. Nevertheless, given the temporal and
geographical availability of their widespread perennial host plant, and
exposure to extremes of climate throughout their known historical range
(Thorne 1963, p. 144), Hermes copper butterfly and its host and nectar
plants are not likely to be negatively affected throughout the majority
of the species' range by phenological shifts in development of a few
days (unlike species such as Edith's checkerspot (Euphydryas editha)
that depend on annual host plants; Service 2003, pp. 63, 64). While it
is possible the species' climatic tolerance, such as temperature
thresholds for activity (see Background section above), could result in
a change in the species niche and distribution of suitable habitat as
the climate changes, predicting any such changes would be speculative
because we do not understand what currently limits the species' range
to a much smaller geographic area than its host plant. Based on the
above, we do not consider global climate change a current threat to
Hermes copper butterfly.
Although wildfire and isolation of small populations may be threats
to Hermes copper butterfly and its habitat in Mexico, especially near
the U.S. border where the human population and development is most
concentrated (see for example National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's 2010 October 24 update wildfire satellite imagery that
includes Baja California, Mexico), these threats are likely of less
magnitude because there is far less development in the more remote
areas of Baja California that may support Hermes copper butterfly. We
are not aware of any conservation activities related to Hermes copper
butterfly in Mexico.
Summary of Factor E
In summary, we consider Hermes copper butterfly threatened by other
natural or manmade factors affecting the species' continued existence.
Specifically, Hermes copper butterfly is threatened with extirpation
due to wildfire (megafire), restricted geographical range, and
population isolation. The loss of populations, due to megafires and
population fragmentation and isolation, inhibits the ability of Hermes
copper butterfly to rebound from stochastic events such as megafires.
These threats are evidenced by the loss of populations in the north and
south of the U.S. range and subsequent isolation of other populations
throughout the range. The remaining extant populations fall within a
restricted area bounded by development and face high megafire risk.
Thus, we consider threats under this factor to be significant.
As required by the Act, we conducted a review of the status of the
species and considered the five factors in assessing whether Hermes
copper butterfly is endangered or threatened throughout all or a
significant portion of its range. We examined the best scientific and
commercial information available regarding the past, present, and
future threats faced by Hermes copper butterfly. We reviewed the
petition, information available in our files, other available published
and unpublished information, and we consulted with Hermes copper
butterfly experts and other Federal, State, and local jurisdictions.
This status review identified threats to Hermes copper butterfly
attributable primarily to ``megafires'' (large wildfires) and small and
isolated populations (Factor E), and to a lesser extent, habitat loss
due to increased wildfire frequency and due to fragmentation resulting
from the combined impacts of existing development, possible future
(limited) development, existing dispersal barriers, and megafires
(Factor A). The primary
threats to the species are mortality from wildfire and small population
size. These threats increase the risk of extirpation of Hermes copper
butterfly populations rangewide. Hermes copper butterfly occupies
scattered areas of sage scrub and chaparral habitat in an arid region
susceptible to wildfires of increasing frequency and size. The
likelihood that the species will be burned by catastrophic wildfires,
combined with the isolation and small size of extant populations makes
Hermes copper butterfly particularly vulnerable to population
extirpation rangewide. Therefore, we find that there are threats of
sufficient imminence, intensity, or magnitude to indicate that Hermes
copper butterfly is in danger of extinction (endangered), or likely to
become endangered within the foreseeable future (threatened),
throughout its range or a significant portion of its range based on the
threats described above.
On the basis of the best scientific and commercial information
available, we find that the petitioned action to list Hermes copper
butterfly is warranted. We will make a determination on the status of
the species as endangered or threatened when we do a proposed listing
determination. However, as explained in more detail below, immediate
proposal of a regulation to implement this finding is precluded by
higher priority listing actions, and we are making expeditious progress
to add or remove qualified species from the Lists of Endangered and
Threatened Wildlife and Plants.
We reviewed the available information to determine if the existing
and foreseeable threats render Hermes copper butterfly at risk of
extinction now such that issuing an emergency regulation temporarily
listing the species under section 4(b)(7) of the Act is warranted. We
determined that issuing an emergency regulation temporarily listing the
species is not warranted at this time, because the threat of extinction
is not immediate. However, if at any time we determine that issuing an
emergency regulation temporarily listing the species is warranted, we
will initiate such action at that time.
Listing Priority Number
The Service adopted guidelines on September 21, 1983 (48 FR 43098)
to establish a rational system for utilizing available resources for
the highest priority species when adding species to the Lists of
Endangered or Threatened Wildlife and Plants or reclassifying species
listed as threatened to endangered status. The system places the
greatest emphasis on taxonomic distinctiveness by assigning priority in
descending order to monotypic genera (genus with one species), full
species, and subspecies.
Using the Service's LPN guidance, we assign each candidate an LPN
of 1 to 12, depending on the magnitude of threats (high vs. moderate to
low), immediacy of threats (imminent or nonimminent), and taxonomic
status of the species (in order of priority: Monotypic genus (a species
that is the sole member of a genus), species, or part of a species
(subspecies, distinct population segment, or significant portion of the
range)). The lower the listing priority number, the higher the listing
priority (that is, a species with an LPN of 1 would have the highest
Under the Service's guidelines, the magnitude of threat is the
first criterion we look at when establishing a listing priority. The
guidance indicates that species with the highest magnitude of threat
are those species facing the greatest threats to their continued
existence. These species receive the highest listing priority. The
threats that Hermes copper butterfly faces are high in magnitude
because the major threats (particularly mortality due to wildfire and
increased wildfire frequency) occur throughout all of the species'
range and are likely to result in adverse impacts to the status of the
species. Based on an evaluation of all known historical populations,
approximately 49 percent are believed to have been extirpated.
Historical records indicate that development has isolated and modified
habitats in the northern portion of the U.S. range. The isolation of
these habitats has inhibited the species' ability to recolonize after
stochastic events such as wildfires. When a wildfire passes through an
occupied area, it is highly likely that all individuals or eggs, if
present, within the area are killed (see discussion under Factor E:
Wildfire above). As populations become more isolated from other
occupied areas, their ability to recolonize after such events is lost.
As described in the discussions of wildlife under Factors A and E
above, wildfires are increasing in frequency and magnitude which
increases the potential for isolation of populations and, in turn,
increases the risk of extirpation rangewide.
Under our LPN guidelines, the second criterion we consider in
assigning a listing priority is the immediacy of threats. This
criterion is intended to ensure that the species that face actual,
identifiable threats are given priority over those for which threats
are only potential or that are intrinsically vulnerable but are not
known to be presently facing such threats. Hermes copper butterfly
faces actual, identifiable threats as discussed under Factors A and E
of this finding, including the threat of a large, high-intensity
wildfire (megafire) capable of killing Hermes copper butterfly
populations and destroying or modifying the species' habitat in a way
that would cause a rangewide reduction in populations; however, the
impact of wildfire to Hermes copper butterfly and its habitat occurs on
a sporadic basis and we do not have the ability to predict when
wildfires will occur. While we conclude that listing Hermes copper
butterfly is warranted, an immediate proposal to list this species is
precluded by other higher priority listings, which we address below.
The third criterion in our LPN guidance is intended to devote
resources to those species representing highly distinctive or isolated
gene pools as reflected by taxonomy. Hermes copper butterfly is a valid
taxon at the species level. Hermes copper butterfly faces high
magnitude, non-imminent threats, and is a valid taxon at the species
level. Thus, in accordance with our LPN guidance (48 FR 43098,
September 21, 1983), we have assigned Hermes copper butterfly an LPN of
As a result of our analysis of the best available scientific and
commercial information, we assigned Hermes copper butterfly a Listing
Priority Number of 5, based on species level taxonomic classification
and high magnitude but nonimminent threats. Hermes copper butterfly is
threatened by megafires, habitat fragmentation, and the effects of
restricted range and small population size throughout all of the known
populations in the United States. The effect of past habitat
fragmentation is considered irreversible and has continuing impacts
over the range of the species. The threat of wildfire continues to
exist throughout the species range; however, the impact of wildfire on
Hermes copper butterfly and its habitat occurs on a sporadic basis and
we do not have the ability to predict when wildfires will occur. While
we conclude that listing Hermes copper butterfly is warranted, an
immediate proposal to list this species is precluded by other higher
priority listings, which we address below.
We will continue to monitor the threats to Hermes copper butterfly,
and the species' status on an annual basis, and should the magnitude or
the imminence of the threats change, we will revisit our assessment of
Work on a proposed listing determination for Hermes copper
butterfly is precluded by work on higher priority listing actions with
absolute statutory, court-ordered, or court-approved deadlines and
final listing determinations for those species that were proposed for
listing with funds from Fiscal Year 2011. This work includes all the
actions listed in the tables below under expeditious progress.
Preclusion and Expeditious Progress
Preclusion is a function of the listing priority of a species in
relation to the resources that are available and the cost and relative
priority of competing demands for those resources. Thus, in any given
fiscal year (FY), multiple factors dictate whether it will be possible
to undertake work on a listing proposal or whether promulgation of such
a proposal is precluded by higher priority listing actions.
The resources available for listing actions are determined through
the annual Congressional appropriations process. The appropriation for
the Listing Program is available to support work involving the
following listing actions: Proposed and final listing rules; 90-day and
12-month findings on petitions to add species to the Lists of
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (Lists) or to change the
status of a species from threatened to endangered; annual
``resubmitted'' petition findings on prior warranted-but-precluded
petition findings as required under section 4(b)(3)(C)(i) of the Act;
critical habitat petition findings; proposed and final rules
designating critical habitat; and litigation-related, administrative,
and program-management functions (including preparing and allocating
budgets, responding to Congressional and public inquiries, and
conducting public outreach regarding listing and critical habitat). The
work involved in preparing various listing documents can be extensive
and may include, but is not limited to: Gathering and assessing the
best scientific and commercial data available and conducting analyses
used as the basis for our decisions; writing and publishing documents;
and obtaining, reviewing, and evaluating public comments and peer
review comments on proposed rules and incorporating relevant
information into final rules. The number of listing actions that we can
undertake in a given year also is influenced by the complexity of those
listing actions; that is, more complex actions generally are more
costly. The median cost for preparing and publishing a 90-day finding
is $39,276; for a 12-month finding, $100,690; for a proposed rule with
critical habitat, $345,000; and for a final listing rule with critical
We cannot spend more than is appropriated for the Listing Program
without violating the Anti-Deficiency Act (see 31 U.S.C.
1341(a)(1)(A)). In addition, in FY 1998 and for each fiscal year since
then, Congress has placed a statutory cap on funds that may be expended
for the Listing Program, equal to the amount expressly appropriated for
that purpose in that fiscal year. This cap was designed to prevent
funds appropriated for other functions under the Act (for example,
recovery funds for removing species from the Lists), or for other
Service programs, from being used for Listing Program actions (see
House Report 105-163, 105th Congress, 1st Session, July 1, 1997).
Since FY 2002, the Service's budget has included a critical habitat
subcap to ensure that some funds are available for other work in the
Listing Program (``The critical habitat designation subcap will ensure
that some funding is available to address other listing activities''
(House Report No. 107-103, 107th Congress, 1st Session, June 19,
2001)). In FY 2002 and each year until FY 2006, the Service has had to
use virtually the entire critical habitat subcap to address court-
mandated designations of critical habitat, and consequently none of the
critical habitat subcap funds have been available for other listing
activities. In some FYs since 2006, we have been able to use some of
the critical habitat subcap funds to fund proposed listing
determinations for high-priority candidate species. In other FYs, while
we were unable to use any of the critical habitat subcap funds to fund
proposed listing determinations, we did use some of this money to fund
the critical habitat portion of some proposed listing determinations so
that the proposed listing determination and proposed critical habitat
designation could be combined into one rule, thereby being more
efficient in our work. At this time, for FY 2011, we do not know if we
will be able to use some of the critical habitat subcap funds to fund
proposed listing determinations.
We make our determinations of preclusion on a nationwide basis to
ensure that the species most in need of listing will be addressed first
and also because we allocate our listing budget on a nationwide basis.
Through the listing cap, the critical habitat subcap, and the amount of
funds needed to address court-mandated critical habitat designations,
Congress and the courts have in effect determined the amount of money
available for other listing activities nationwide. Therefore, the funds
in the listing cap, other than those needed to address court-mandated
critical habitat for already listed species, set the limits on our
determinations of preclusion and expeditious progress.
Congress identified the availability of resources as the only basis
for deferring the initiation of a rulemaking that is warranted. The
Conference Report accompanying Public Law 97-304 (Endangered Species
Act Amendments of 1982), which established the current statutory
deadlines and the warranted-but-precluded finding, states that the
amendments were ``not intended to allow the Secretary to delay
commencing the rulemaking process for any reason other than that the
existence of pending or imminent proposals to list species subject to a
greater degree of threat would make allocation of resources to such a
petition [that is, for a lower-ranking species] unwise.'' Although that
statement appeared to refer specifically to the ``to the maximum extent
practicable'' limitation on the 90-day deadline for making a
``substantial information'' finding (see 16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)(A)), that
finding is made at the point when the Service is deciding whether or
not to commence a status review that will determine the degree of
threats facing the species, and therefore the analysis underlying the
statement is more relevant to the use of the warranted-but-precluded
finding, which is made when the Service has already determined the
degree of threats facing the species and is deciding whether or not to
commence a rulemaking.
In FY 2011, on March 18, 2010, Congress passed a continuing
resolution which provides funding at the FY 2010 enacted level through
April 8, 2011. Until Congress appropriates funds for FY 2011 at a
different level, we will fund listing work based on the FY 2010 amount.
Thus, at this time in FY 2011, the Service anticipates an appropriation
of $22,103,000 based on FY 2010 appropriations. Of that, the Service
must dedicate $11,632,000 for determinations of critical habitat for
already listed species. Also $500,000 is appropriated for foreign
species listings under the Act. The Service thus has $9,971,000
available to fund work in the following categories: compliance with
court orders and court-approved settlement agreements requiring that
petition findings or listing determinations be completed by a specific
date; section 4 (of the Act) listing actions with absolute statutory
deadlines; essential litigation-related, administrative, and listing
program-management functions; and high-priority listing actions for
some of our
candidate species. In FY 2010, the Service received many new petitions
and a single petition to list 404 species. The receipt of petitions for
a large number of species is consuming the Service's listing funding
that is not dedicated to meeting court-ordered commitments. Absent some
ability to balance effort among listing duties under existing funding
levels, it is unlikely that the Service will be able to initiate any
new listing determinations for candidate species in FY 2011.
In 2009, the responsibility for listing foreign species under the
Act was transferred from the Division of Scientific Authority,
International Affairs Program, to the Endangered Species Program.
Therefore, starting in FY 2010, we used a portion of our funding to
work on the actions described above for listing actions related to
foreign species. In FY 2011, we anticipate using $1,500,000 for work on
listing actions for foreign species, which reduces funding available
for domestic listing actions; however, currently only $500,000 has been
allocated for this function. Although there are no foreign species
issues included in our high-priority listing actions at this time, many
actions have statutory or court-approved settlement deadlines, thus
increasing their priority. The budget allocations for each specific
listing action are identified in the Service's FY 2011 Allocation Table
(part of our administrative record).
For the above reasons, funding a proposed listing determination for
the Hermes copper butterfly is precluded by court-ordered and court-
approved settlement agreements, listing actions with absolute statutory
deadlines, work on final listing determinations for those species that
were proposed for listing with funds from FY 2011, and work on proposed
listing determinations for those candidate species with a higher
listing priority (i.e., candidate species with LPNs of 1 to 4).
Based on our September 21, 1983, guidelines for assigning an LPN
for each candidate species (48 FR 43098), we have a significant number
of species with a LPN of 2. Using these guidelines, we assign each
candidate an LPN of 1 to 12, depending on the magnitude of threats
(high or moderate to low), immediacy of threats (imminent or
nonimminent), and taxonomic status of the species (in order of
priority: monotypic genus (a species that is the sole member of a
genus); species; or part of a species (subspecies, distinct population
segment, or significant portion of the range)). The lower the listing
priority number, the higher the listing priority (that is, a species
with an LPN of 1 would have the highest listing priority).
Because of the large number of high-priority species, we have
further ranked the candidate species with an LPN of 2 by using the
following extinction-risk type criteria: International Union for the
Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red list status/
rank; Heritage rank (provided by NatureServe); Heritage threat rank
(provided by NatureServe); and species currently with fewer than 50
individuals, or 4 or fewer populations. Those species with the highest
IUCN rank (critically endangered); the highest Heritage rank (G1); the
highest Heritage threat rank (substantial, imminent threats); and
currently with fewer than 50 individuals, or fewer than 4 populations,
originally comprised a group of approximately 40 candidate species
(``Top 40''). These 40 candidate species have had the highest priority
to receive funding to work on a proposed listing determination. As we
work on proposed and final listing rules for those 40 candidates, we
apply the ranking criteria to the next group of candidates with an LPN
of 2 and 3 to determine the next set of highest priority candidate
species. Finally, proposed rules for reclassification of threatened
species to endangered are lower priority, because as listed species,
they are already afforded the protections of the Act and implementing
regulations. However, for efficiency reasons, we may choose to work on
a proposed rule to reclassify a species to endangered if we can combine
this with work that is subject to a court-determined deadline.
With our workload so much bigger than the amount of funds we have
to accomplish it, it is important that we be as efficient as possible
in our listing process. Therefore, as we work on proposed rules for the
highest priority species in the next several years, we are preparing
multi-species proposals when appropriate, and these may include species
with lower priority if they overlap geographically or have the same
threats as a species with an LPN of 2. In addition, we take into
consideration the availability of staff resources when we determine
which high-priority species will receive funding to minimize the amount
of time and resources required to complete each listing action.
As explained above, a determination that listing is warranted but
precluded must also demonstrate that expeditious progress is being made
to add and remove qualified species to and from the Lists of Endangered
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. As with our ``warranted-but-
precluded'' finding, the evaluation of whether progress in adding
qualified species to the Lists has been expeditious is a function of
the resources available for listing and the competing demands for those
funds. (Although we do not discuss it in detail here, we are also
making expeditious progress in removing species from the list under the
Recovery program in light of the resource available for delisting,
which is funded by a separate line item in the budget of the Endangered
Species Program. So far during FY 2011, we have completed one delisting
rule; see 76 FR 3029.) Given the limited resources available for
listing, we find that we are making expeditious progress in FY 2011.
This progress includes preparing and publishing the following
FY 2011 Completed Listing Actions
Publication date Title Actions FR pages
10/6/2010............... Endangered Status for Proposed Listing, 75 FR 61664-61690.
the Altamaha Endangered.
10/7/2010............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 75 FR 62070-62095.
Petition to list the petition finding, Not
Sacramento Splittail warranted.
as Endangered or
10/28/2010.............. Endangered Status and Proposed Listing, 75 FR 66481-66552.
Designation of Endangered (uplisting).
Critical Habitat for
Spikedace and Loach
11/2/2010............... 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 75 FR 67341-67343.
Petition to List the Petition Finding, Not
Bay Springs Salamander substantial.
11/2/2010............... Determination of Final Listing, 75 FR 67511-67550.
Endangered Status for Endangered.
the Georgia Pigtoe
Rocksnail, and Rough
11/2/2010............... Listing the Rayed Bean Proposed Listing, 75 FR 67551-67583.
and Snuffbox as Endangered.
11/4/2010............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 75 FR 67925-67944.
Petition to List petition finding,
Cirsium wrightii Warranted but
(Wright's Marsh precluded.
Thistle) as Endangered
12/14/2010.............. Endangered Status for Proposed Listing, 75 FR 77801-77817.
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. Endangered.
12/14/2010.............. 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 75 FR 78029-78061.
Petition to List the petition finding,
North American Warranted but
Wolverine as precluded.
12/14/2010.............. 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 75 FR 78093-78146.
Petition to List the petition finding,
Sonoran Population of Warranted but
the Desert Tortoise as precluded.
12/15/2010.............. 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 75 FR 78513-78556.
Petition to List petition finding,
Astragalus microcymbus Warranted but
and Astragalus precluded.
12/28/2010.............. Listing Seven Brazilian Final Listing, 75 FR 81793-81815.
Bird Species as Endangered.
1/4/2011................ 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 304-311.
Petition to List the Petition Finding, Not
Red Knot subspecies substantial.
1/19/2011............... Endangered Status for Proposed Listing, 76 FR 3392-3420.
the Sheepnose and Endangered.
2/10/2011............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 7634-7679.
Petition to List the petition finding,
Pacific Walrus as Warranted but
Endangered or precluded.
2/17/2011............... 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 9309-9318.
Petition to List the Petition Finding,
Sand Verbena Moth as Substantial.
2/22/2011............... Determination of Final Listing, 76 FR 9681-9692.
Threatened Status for Threatened.
the New Zealand-
Population Segment of
2/22/2011............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 9722-9733.
Petition to List petition finding,
Solanum conocarpum Warranted but
(marron bacora) as precluded.
2/23/2011............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 991-1003.
Petition to List petition finding, Not
Thorne's Hairstreak warranted.
2/23/2011............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 10166-10203.
Petition to List petition finding,
Astragalus hamiltonii, Warranted but
Penstemon flowersii, precluded & Not
Eriogonum soredium, Warranted.
Lepidium ostleri, and
Trifolium friscanum as
2/24/2011............... 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 10299-10310.
Petition to List the Petition Finding, Not
Wild Plains Bison or substantial.
Each of Four Distinct
Population Segments as
2/24/2011............... 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 10310-10319.
Petition to List the Petition Finding, Not
Unsilvered Fritillary substantial.
3/8/2011................ 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 12667-12683.
Petition to List the petition finding,
Mt. Charleston Blue Warranted but
Butterfly as precluded.
3/8/2011................ 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 12683-12690.
Petition to List the Petition Finding,
Texas Kangaroo Rat as Substantial.
3/10/2011............... Initiation of Status Notice of Status Review 76 FR 13121-31322.
Review for Longfin
3/15/2011............... Withdrawal of Proposed Proposed rule 76 FR 14210-14268.
Rule to List the Flat- withdrawal.
tailed Horned Lizard
3/22/2011............... 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 15919-15932.
Petition to List the petition finding,
Berry Cave Salamander Warranted but
as Endangered. precluded.
4/1/2011................ 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 18138-18143.
Petition to List the Petition Finding,
Spring Pygmy Sunfish Substantial.
4/5/2011................ 12-Month Finding on a Notice of 12-month 76 FR 18684-18701.
Petition to List the petition finding, Not
Bearmouth Warranted and
Mountainsnail, Byrne Warranted but
Resort Mountainsnail, precluded.
and Meltwater Lednian
Stonefly as Endangered
4/5/2011................ 90-Day Finding on a Notice of 90-day 76 FR 18701-18706.
Petition To List the Petition Finding,
Peary Caribou and Substantial.
Dolphin and Union
population of the
as Endangered or
Our expeditious progress also includes work on listing actions that
we funded in FY 2010 and FY 2011 but have not yet been completed to
date. These actions are listed below. Actions in the top section of the
table are being conducted under a deadline set by a court. Actions in
the middle section of the table are being conducted to meet statutory
timelines, that is, timelines required under the Act. Actions in the
bottom section of the table are high-priority listing actions. These
actions include work primarily on species with an LPN of 2, and, as
discussed above, selection of these species is partially based on
available staff resources, and when appropriate, include species with a
lower priority if they overlap geographically or have the same threats
as the species with the high priority. Including these species together
in the same proposed rule results in considerable savings in time and
funding, when compared to preparing separate proposed rules for each of
them in the future.
Actions Funded in FY 2010 and FY 2011 But Not Yet Completed
Actions Subject to Court Order/Settlement Agreement
Mountain plover \4\.............. Final listing determination.
Hermes copper butterfly \3\...... 12-month petition finding.
4 parrot species (military macaw, 12-month petition finding.
yellow-billed parrot, red-
crowned parrot, scarlet macaw)
4 parrot species (blue-headed 12-month petition finding.
macaw, great green macaw, grey-
cheeked parakeet, hyacinth
4 parrots species (crimson 12-month petition finding.
shining parrot, white cockatoo,
Philippine cockatoo, yellow-
crested cockatoo) \5\.
Utah prairie dog (uplisting)..... 90-day petition finding.
Actions With Statutory Deadlines
Casey's june beetle.............. Final listing determination.
6 Birds from Eurasia............. Final listing determination.
5 Bird species from Colombia and Final listing determination.
Queen Charlotte goshawk.......... Final listing determination.
5 species southeast fish Final listing determination.
(Cumberland darter, rush darter,
yellowcheek darter, chucky
madtom, and laurel dace) \4\.
Ozark hellbender \4\............. Final listing determination.
Altamaha spinymussel \3\......... Final listing determination.
3 Colorado plants (Ipomopsis Final listing determination.
polyantha (Pagosa Skyrocket),
Penstemon debilis (Parachute
Beardtongue), and Phacelia
submutica (DeBeque Phacelia))
Salmon crested cockatoo.......... Final listing determination.
6 Birds from Peru & Bolivia...... Final listing determination.
Loggerhead sea turtle (assist Final listing determination.
National Marine Fisheries
2 mussels (rayed bean (LPN = 2), Final listing determination.
snuffbox No LPN) \5\.
CA golden trout \4\.............. 12-month petition finding.
Black-footed albatross........... 12-month petition finding.
Mojave fringe-toed lizard \1\.... 12-month petition finding.
Kokanee--Lake Sammamish 12-month petition finding.
Cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl \1\. 12-month petition finding.
Northern leopard frog............ 12-month petition finding.
Tehachapi slender salamander..... 12-month petition finding.
Coqui Llanero.................... 12-month petition finding/Proposed
Dusky tree vole.................. 12-month petition finding.
5 WY plants (Abronia ammophila, 12-month petition finding.
Agrostis rossiae, Astragalus
proimanthus, Boechere (Arabis)
pusilla, Penstemon gibbensii)
from 206 species petition.
Leatherside chub (from 206 12-month petition finding.
Frigid ambersnail (from 206 12-month petition finding.
species petition) \3\.
Platte River caddisfly (from 206 12-month petition finding.
species petition) \5\.
Gopher tortoise--eastern 12-month petition finding.
Grand Canyon scorpion (from 475 12-month petition finding.
Anacroneuria wipukupa (a stonefly 12-month petition finding.
from 475 species petition) \4\.
3 Texas moths (Ursia furtiva, 12-month petition finding.
Sphingicampa blanchardi, Agapema
galbina) (from 475 species
2 Texas shiners (Cyprinella sp., 12-month petition finding.
Cyprinella lepida) (from 475
3 South Arizona plants (Erigeron 12-month petition finding.
hypoxylus, Amoreuxia gonzalezii)
(from 475 species petition).
5 Central Texas mussel species (3 12-month petition finding.
from 475 species petition).
14 parrots (foreign species)..... 12-month petition finding.
Striped newt \1\................. 12-month petition finding.
Fisher--Northern Rocky Mountain 12-month petition finding.
Mohave ground squirrel \1\....... 12-month petition finding.
Puerto Rico harlequin butterfly 12-month petition finding.
Western gull-billed tern......... 12-month petition finding.
Ozark chinquapin (Castanea pumila 12-month petition finding.
var. ozarkensis) \4\.
HI yellow-faced bees............. 12-month petition finding.
Giant Palouse earthworm.......... 12-month petition finding.
Whitebark pine................... 12-month petition finding.
OK grass pink (Calopogon 12-month petition finding.
Ashy storm-petrel \5\............ 12-month petition finding.
Honduran emerald................. 12-month petition finding.
Southeastern pop snowy plover & 90-day petition finding.
wintering pop. of piping plover
Eagle Lake trout \1\............. 90-day petition finding.
Smooth-billed ani \1\............ 90-day petition finding.
32 Pacific Northwest mollusks 90-day petition finding.
species (snails and slugs) \1\.
42 snail species (Nevada & Utah). 90-day petition finding.
Peary caribou.................... 90-day petition finding.
Spring Mountains checkerspot 90-day petition finding.
Spring pygmy sunfish............. 90-day petition finding.
Bay skipper...................... 90-day petition finding.
Spot-tailed earless lizard....... 90-day petition finding.
Eastern small-footed bat......... 90-day petition finding.
Northern long-eared bat.......... 90-day petition finding.
Prairie chub..................... 90-day petition finding.
10 species of Great Basin 90-day petition finding.
6 sand dune (scarab) beetles..... 90-day petition finding.
Golden-winged warbler \4\........ 90-day petition finding.
404 Southeast species............ 90-day petition finding.
Franklin's bumble bee \4\........ 90-day petition finding.
2 Idaho snowflies (straight 90-day petition finding.
snowfly & Idaho snowfly) \4\.
American eel \4\................. 90-day petition finding.
Gila monster (Utah population) 90-day petition finding.
Arapahoe snowfly \4\............. 90-day petition finding.
Leona's little blue \4\.......... 90-day petition finding.
Aztec gilia \5\.................. 90-day petition finding.
White-tailed ptarmigan \5\....... 90-day petition finding.
San Bernardino flying squirrel 90-day petition finding.
Bicknell's thrush \5\............ 90-day petition finding.
Chimpanzee....................... 90-day petition finding.
Sonoran talussnail \5\........... 90-day petition finding.
2 AZ Sky Island plants 90-day petition finding.
(Graptopetalum bartrami & Pectis
I'iwi \5\........................ 90-day petition finding.
High-Priority Listing Actions
19 Oahu candidate species \2\ (16 Proposed listing.
plants, 3 damselflies) (15 with
LPN = 2, 3 with LPN = 3, 1 with
LPN = 9).
19 Maui-Nui candidate species \2\ Proposed listing.
(16 plants, 3 tree snails) (14
with LPN = 2, 2 with LPN = 3, 3
with LPN = 8).
2 Arizona springsnails \2\ Proposed listing.
(Pyrgulopsis bernadina (LPN =
2), Pyrgulopsis trivialis (LPN =
Chupadera springsnail \2\ Proposed listing.
(Pyrgulopsis chupaderae (LPN =
8 Gulf Coast mussels (southern Proposed listing.
kidneyshell (LPN = 2), round
ebonyshell (LPN = 2), Alabama
pearlshell (LPN = 2), southern
sandshell (LPN = 5), fuzzy
pigtoe (LPN = 5), Choctaw bean
(LPN = 5), narrow pigtoe (LPN =
5), and tapered pigtoe (LPN =
Umtanum buckwheat (LPN = 2) and Proposed listing.
white bluffs bladderpod (LPN =
Grotto sculpin (LPN = 2) \4\..... Proposed listing.
2 Arkansas mussels (Neosho mucket Proposed listing.
(LPN = 2) & rabbitsfoot (LPN =
Diamond darter (LPN = 2) \4\..... Proposed listing.
Gunnison sage-grouse (LPN = 2) Proposed listing.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Proposed listing.
Beetle (LPN = 2) \5\.
Miami blue (LPN = 3) \3\......... Proposed listing.
Lesser prairie chicken (LPN = 2). Proposed listing.
4 Texas salamanders (Austin blind Proposed listing.
salamander (LPN = 2), Salado
salamander (LPN = 2), Georgetown
salamander (LPN = 8), Jollyville
Plateau (LPN = 8)) \3\.
5 SW aquatics (Gonzales Spring Proposed listing.
Snail (LPN = 2), Diamond Y
springsnail (LPN = 2), Phantom
springsnail (LPN = 2), Phantom
Cave snail (LPN = 2), Diminutive
amphipod (LPN = 2)) \3\.
2 Texas plants (Texas golden Proposed listing.
texana) (LPN = 2), Neches River
rose-mallow (Hibiscus dasycalyx)
(LPN = 2)) \3\.
4 AZ plants (Acuna cactus Proposed listing.
(Echinomastus erectocentrus var.
acunensis) (LPN = 3), Fickeisen
plains cactus (Pediocactus
peeblesianus fickeiseniae) (LPN
= 3), Lemmon fleabane (Erigeron
lemmonii) (LPN = 8), Gierisch
mallow (Sphaeralcea gierischii)
(LPN = 2)) \5\.
FL bonneted bat (LPN = 2) \3\.... Proposed listing.
3 Southern FL plants (Florida Proposed listing.
semaphore cactus (Consolea
corallicola) (LPN = 2),
shellmound applecactus (Harrisia
(=gracilis)) (LPN = 2), Cape
Sable thoroughwort (Chromolaena
frustrata) (LPN = 2)) \5\.
21 Big Island (HI) species \5\ Proposed listing.
(includes 8 candidate species--5
plants & 3 animals; 4 with LPN =
2, 1 with LPN = 3, 1 with LPN =
4, 2 with LPN = 8).
12 Puget Sound prairie species (9 Proposed listing.
subspecies of pocket gopher
(Thomomys mazama ssp.) (LPN =
3), streaked horned lark (LPN =
3), Taylor's checkerspot (LPN =
3), Mardon skipper (LPN = 8))
2 TN River mussels (fluted Proposed listing.
kidneyshell (LPN = 2), slabside
pearlymussel (LPN = 2)) \5\.
Jemez Mountain salamander (LPN = Proposed listing.
\1\ Funds for listing actions for these species were provided in
\2\ Although funds for these high-priority listing actions were provided
in FY 2008 or 2009, due to the complexity of these actions and
competing priorities, these actions are still being developed.
\3\ Partially funded with FY 2010 funds and FY 2011 funds.
\4\ Funded with FY 2010 funds.
\5\ Funded with FY 2011 funds.
We have endeavored to make our listing actions as efficient and
timely as possible, given the requirements of the relevant law and
regulations, and constraints relating to workload and personnel. We are
continually considering ways to streamline processes or achieve
economies of scale, such as by batching related actions together. Given
our limited budget for implementing section 4 of the Act, these actions
described above collectively constitute expeditious progress.
The Hermes copper butterfly will be added to the list of candidate
species upon publication of this 12-month finding. We will continue to
monitor the status of this species as new information becomes
available. This review will determine if a change in status is
warranted, including the need to make prompt use of emergency listing
We intend that any proposed classification of the Hermes copper
butterfly will be as accurate as possible. Therefore, we will continue
to accept additional information and comments from all concerned
governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other
interested party concerning this finding.
A complete list of references cited is available on the internet at
http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Carlsbad Fish and
Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES).
The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office.
The authority for this action is section 4 of the Endangered
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
Dated: March 29, 2011.
Rowan W. Gould,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-9028 Filed 4-13-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P