[Federal Register: May 19, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 96)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 28895-28900]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AT31

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Petition 
Finding and Proposed Rule To Delist the Mexican Bobcat (Lynx Rufus 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of finding.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
12-month finding that a petition to delist the Mexican bobcat (Lynx 
rufus escuinapae) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act, or ESA), is warranted. The best available information indicates 
that the Mexican bobcat may not constitute a separate subspecies and 
does not constitute a distinct population segment (DPS). Despite 
habitat modification by humans, the bobcat remains abundant throughout 
Mexico. Accordingly, we herein propose to delist the Mexican bobcat 
under the Act. The Service seeks data and comments from the public on 
this proposed rule.

DATES: Comments and information may be submitted until August 17, 2005. 
Public hearing requests must be received by July 5, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, information, and questions to the Chief, 
Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 
N. Fairfax Drive, Room 750, Arlington, VA 22203, USA; or by fax (703-
358-2276) or by e-mail (scientificauthority@fws.gov). Comments and 
supporting information will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the above address.
    To request copies of the regulations regarding listed wildlife or 
inquire about prohibitions or permits, write to: Division of Management 
Authority, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, VA 22203, 
USA. Alternatively, you may contact us by telephone (703-358-2104; toll 
free, 1-800-358-2104), fax (703-358-227), or e-mail 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Javier Alvarez at the above 
address; or by telephone (703-358-1708), fax (703-358-2276), or e-mail 


[[Page 28896]]


    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires the Service to make a 
finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species 
has presented substantial information indicating that the requested 
action may be warranted. This finding is to be based on all information 
available to us at the time the finding is made. To the maximum extent 
practicable, the finding shall be made within 90 days following receipt 
of the petition (this finding is referred to as the ``90-day finding'') 
and published promptly in the Federal Register. If the 90-day finding 
is positive (i.e., the petition has presented substantial information 
indicating that the requested action may be warranted), Section 
4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires the Service to commence a status review 
of the species if one has not already been initiated under the 
Service's internal candidate-assessment process. In addition, Section 
4(b)(3)(B) of the Act also requires the Service to make a finding 
within 12 months following receipt of the petition on whether the 
requested action is warranted, not warranted, or warranted but 
precluded by higher-priority listing actions (this finding is referred 
to as the ``12-month finding''). The 12-month finding is also to be 
published promptly in the Federal Register.

Previous Federal Action

    We listed the Mexican bobcat as an endangered species on June 14, 
1976 (41 FR 24064). This subspecies was listed under the Act due to its 
inclusion in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in 
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). By July 1, 1975, 
the Convention was ratified by enough nations to enter into force, and 
at that time the countries participating in CITES agreed that the 
Mexican bobcat met the criteria for inclusion in Appendix I, which 
includes species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected 
by international trade. However, it is not clear why the Mexican bobcat 
was originally included in Appendix I. In 1992, during the 10-year 
review of species included in the CITES Appendices, the United States, 
with support from Mexico and other countries, proposed to transfer the 
Mexican bobcat to Appendix II, based on the bobcat's widespread and 
stable status in Mexico and the questionable taxonomy of this 
subspecies. The U.S. proposal was accepted and the transfer went into 
effect on November 6, 1992.
    On July 8, 1996, we received a petition dated June 30, 1996, from 
the National Trappers Association, Inc., Bloomington, Illinois. The 
petition and cover letter clearly identified itself as such and 
contained the name, address, and signature of the petitioning 
organization's representative. Information relating to the taxonomy, 
the present population status and trends, and threats were included in 
the petition. The petition requested that we delist the Mexican bobcat 
under the Act, and noted that downlisting to threatened status would 
not be an appropriate alternative. In a letter dated November 4, 1996, 
we acknowledged receipt of the petition (Service, in litt., 1996). We 
stated that we would address the petition as soon as possible. Due to 
staffing and budget constraints, we were unable to process the petition 
until 2003.
    On June 11, 2003, we made a positive 90-day finding on the National 
Trappers Association petition (i.e., the Service found that the 
petition presented substantial information indicating that the 
requested action may be warranted). That finding was published in the 
Federal Register on July 2, 2003 (68 FR 39590), thereby initiating a 
public comment period and status review for the species. In that 
notice, we indicated that we would determine whether delisting of the 
Mexican bobcat was warranted based on its status and taxonomy. If the 
subspecies designation was found not to be taxonomically valid, we 
would then evaluate if the listed population in Mexico constituted a 
Distinct Vertebrate Population Segment (DPS), and if so, whether or not 
we should retain the listing of this population. If this population did 
not meet the DPS criteria, we would then evaluate whether or not the 
listed population is endangered or threatened in a significant portion 
of the species' (i.e., Lynx rufus) range. The public comment period 
remained open until September 30, 2003.
    We received four comments during the public comment period, 
including two from the government of the range country (Mexico), one 
from a non-governmental conservation organization (Center for 
Biological Diversity [CBD]), and one from an individual (Mr. Lawrence 
G. Kline, who submitted the original petition on behalf of the National 
Trappers Association). The Government of Mexico (Comisi[oacute]n 
Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad/National 
Commission for the Understanding and Use of Biodiversity [CONABIO], and 
Secretar[iacute]a de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales/Ministry of 
Environment and Natural Resources [SEMARNAT]) did not object to the 
delisting. Mr. Kline supported the delisting, commenting that there is 
no evidence of taxonomic differences between bobcat populations in the 
United States and Mexico, and that the bobcat population in Mexico does 
not constitute a discrete population separate from the U.S. bobcat 
population. CBD opposed the delisting because of a lack of population 
information. CBD further argued that continued listing was necessary to 
help prioritize research, and that development along the U.S.-Mexico 
border was likely to increase, thus reducing genetic flow between 
bobcat populations in Mexico and the United States. However, no 
substantial new information was provided by any of the four commenters. 
The comments submitted by Mr. Kline and CBD are addressed in the 
sections below.
    In our 90-day finding, we stated that we had used all relevant 
literature and information available at that time (June 2003) on 
current status of and threats to the Mexican bobcat. Since then, a 
limited amount of relevant new information has become available as a 
result of the status review and separate consultations with the Mexican 
Government on a U.S. proposal to remove the bobcat from Appendix II of 
CITES. That information has been incorporated, as appropriate, in this 
12-month finding.

Taxonomy and Biology of the Species

    The Mexican bobcat belongs to the mammalian family Felidae and has 
been reported to be a subspecies of Lynx rufus. The number of taxa 
described within Lynx rufus ranges from 11 to 14. According to 
Larivi[egrave]re and Walton (1997), six subspecies of bobcat occur in 
Mexico, including L. r. escuinapae. The distribution of L. r. 
escuinapae extends from the northern states of Mexico, some distance 
south of the Rio Grande and the U.S.-Mexico border, to the Isthmus of 
Oaxaca in central Mexico (Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997). Allen 
(1903) first described the Mexican bobcat as a subspecies from two 
immature male specimens found in Escuinapa, Mexico, on the basis of 
color and cranial differences. However, the validity of this subspecies 
is questionable. Samson (1979) conducted a multivariate statistical 
analysis of a variety of skull measurements and found cranial 
characteristics of L. r. escuinapae to be similar to those of L. r. 
californicus and L. r. texensis. Also, the range of L. r. escuinapae 
overlaps with the ranges of L. r. baileyi and L. r. texensis, two 
subspecies found in the southern United States whose range

[[Page 28897]]

extends into northern Mexico. However, McCord and Cardoza (1982) noted 
that statistical analysis of skull measurements only has meaning in 
large samples and is thus ineffective in the subspecific assignment of 
individual specimens. They also noted that the 11-14 subspecies of 
bobcats described to date comprise few realistically distinguishable 
taxa that have any real biological or conservation significance. Most 
recently, in a meeting of Mexican mammal experts, no consensus was 
reached about the taxonomic validity of L. r. escuinapae (Hesiquio 
Ben[iacute]tez-D[iacute]az, CONABIO, in litt. 2004).
    The bobcat is the most widely distributed felid in North America 
(Anderson and Lovallo 2003). The majority of bobcats are found in the 
United States, where they range through a wide variety of habitats, 
including boreal coniferous and mixed forests in the north, bottomland 
hardwood forest and coastal swamp in the southeast, and desert and 
scrubland in the southwest. Even within a local area, individual 
bobcats usually use a variety of habitats (Wilson and Ruff 1999). Only 
large, intensively cultivated areas appear to be unsuitable habitat, 
presumably because of reductions in the availability of prey. Southern 
Canada represents the northern limit of bobcat range, with deep snow a 
significant limiting factor (Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997; Anderson 
and Lovallo 2003). In Mexico, bobcats are found in a wide range of 
habitats, including dry scrub, coniferous forests, mixed pine (Pinus 
spp.) and oak (Quercus spp.) forests, and tropical deciduous forests 
(Hall and Kelson 1959; Gonzalez and Leal 1984 and Woloszyn and Woloszyn 
1982 cited by Nowell and Jackson 1996; L[oacute]pez-Gonz[aacute]lez et 
al. 1998; Hesiquio Ben[iacute]tez-D[iacute]az, CONABIO, in litt. 2004).
    Aside from being habitat generalists, bobcats are opportunistic in 
their choice of prey (Wilson and Ruff 1999; Anderson and Lovallo 2003). 
Although rabbits predominate in their diet, bobcats feed on a wide 
range of taxa as well as carrion, with some regional variations 
(Anderson and Lovallo 2003).
    Over the last century, the bobcat has expanded its range northward 
as the mature, continuous coniferous forests have been opened by 
lumbering, fire, and agriculture (Rollings 1945; Banfield 1974). 
Similarly, in Mexico, fragmentation and clearing of tropical forests 
appear to be contributing to the range expansion of bobcats 
(L[oacute]pez-Gonz[aacute]lez et al. 1998), presumably because of 
increases in the diversity and abundance of prey species associated 
with forest edges and the opening of the forest canopy.
    Bobcats are polygamous (Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997). Most 
female bobcats reach reproductive maturity at 2 years of age and adults 
remain reproductively active until death (around 15 years of age) 
(Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997; Wilson and Ruff 1999). They 
generally have one litter per year, ranging in size from one to six, 
with an average of three young per litter. However, females are capable 
of producing a second litter if the first one is lost after birth 
(Anderson and Lovallo 2003).
    Censusing of bobcats is difficult because of their secretive 
nature, low densities, and wide dispersal (Anderson and Lovallo 2003). 
Although a wide range of techniques has been developed for estimating 
sizes of bobcat populations, these techniques remain imprecise and 
inaccurate (Anderson and Lovallo 2003).
    No population estimates are available for L. r. escuinapae, but the 
Mexican Government has stated that this subspecies is widespread and 
numerous, is not specialized in its habitat requirements, and is highly 
ecologically adaptable (Graciela de la Garza-Garc[iacute]a, 
Direcci[oacute]n General de Conservaci[oacute]n y Ecolog[iacute]a de 
los Recursos Naturales/General Direction of Conservation and Ecology of 
Natural Resources, in litt. 1991; Hesiquio Ben[iacute]tez-D[iacute]az, 
CONABIO, in litt. 2004). Furthermore, in a recent meeting, Mexican 
experts noted that there is no evidence of population declines in 
central and southern Mexico (one of the most disturbed parts of the 
country) during the past 25 years (Hesiquio Ben[iacute]tez-D[iacute]az, 
CONABIO, in litt. 2004).

Distinct Vertebrate Population Segment

    ``Species'' is defined by the Act as including any subspecies of 
fish and wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of 
vertebrate fish or wildlife that interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 
1532 (16)). We, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service 
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration--Fisheries), developed 
the Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Population 
Segments (DPS Policy) (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996) to help us in 
determining what constitutes a distinct population segment (DPS). Under 
this policy, we use three elements to assess whether a population under 
consideration for listing may be recognized as a DPS: (1) Discreteness 
of the population in relation to the remainder of the species to which 
it belongs; (2) the significance of the population segment to the 
species to which it belongs; and (3) the population segment's 
conservation status in relation to the Act's standards for listing.
    The DPS analysis is a stepwise analysis. Significance is considered 
only when discreteness of the population has been determined, and the 
conservation status is considered only when both discreteness and 
significance of the population have been established. Discreteness 
refers to the isolation of a population from other members of the 
species and is based on two criteria: (1) Marked separation from other 
populations of the same taxon resulting from physical, physiological, 
ecological, or behavioral factors, including genetic discontinuity; or 
(2) populations delimited by international boundaries. If the 
population is determined to be discrete, we determine significance by 
assessing the distinct population segment's importance and/or 
contribution to the species throughout its range. Measures of 
significance may include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) 
Persistence of the discrete population segment in an ecological setting 
unusual or unique for the taxon; (2) evidence that loss of the discrete 
population segment would result in a significant gap in the range of 
the taxon; (3) evidence that the discrete population segment represents 
the only surviving natural occurrence of the taxon that may be more 
abundant elsewhere as an introduced population outside its historic 
range; and (4) evidence that the discrete population segment differs 
markedly from other populations of the taxon in its genetic 
    If we determine that a population meets the discreteness and 
significance criteria for a distinct population segment, we evaluate 
the threats to determine if classification as endangered or threatened 
is warranted based on the Act's standards. ``Endangered'' means the 
species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant 
portion of its range. ``Threatened'' means the species is likely to 
become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range.
    In reviewing the taxonomic information on Mexican bobcat, the 
available information suggests that the subspecies designation may not 
be valid. Subsequently, we evaluated the status of the listed 
population in its range within Mexico to determine whether the listed 
population met the DPS policy, and if so, whether this population of 
bobcat should remain listed.
    The available information indicates that the bobcat population 
represented by L. r. escuinapae is not discrete. The population is not 
delineated by any

[[Page 28898]]

international political boundary. It is contained entirely within 
Mexico and its range does not extend to any border between Mexico and 
another country, particularly the United States. It also does not 
represent the only bobcat population within Mexico and is not separated 
by physical, physiological, ecological, or behavioral factors from 
other bobcat populations. As already stated, the range of L. r. 
escuinapae overlaps with two other putative subspecies that occur in 
both Mexico and the United States, and there is no evidence that it is 
biologically distinguishable from them. Therefore, the Mexican bobcat 
does not constitute a DPS.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4(a)(1) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and regulations 
promulgated to implement the listing provisions of the Act (50 CFR part 
424) set forth the procedures for deleting species from the Federal 
lists. A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species on the basis of one or more of the five factors described in 
section 4(a)(1). The same factors are used to determine if a listed 
species continues to qualify for listing. These factors and their 
application to the Mexican bobcat are as follows:
A. Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of 
its Habitat or Range
    Distribution of bobcats may be negatively or positively affected by 
habitat modification (Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997; Woolf and 
Hubert 1998). In a recent meeting convened by the Mexican Government to 
evaluate the status of bobcats, Mexican experts noted that there is no 
evidence of population declines in central and southern Mexico during 
the past 25 years, even in heavily disturbed areas (Hesiquio 
Ben[iacute]tez-D[iacute]az, CONABIO, in litt. 2004). To the contrary, 
the creation of semi-open areas by fragmentation and clearing of 
tropical forests may be contributing to a range expansion of Mexican 
bobcats (L[oacute]pez-Gonz[aacute]lez et al. 1998). This is consistent 
with information from the United States that suggests that bobcats can 
easily colonize isolated or over-harvested areas (Anderson and Lovallo 
2003), are very tolerant to habitat fragmentation and modification 
caused by land conversion for agriculture and urbanization (McCord and 
Cardoza 1982; Woolf and Hubert 1998; Crooks 2002; Riley et al. 2003), 
and modify their behavior to survive in human settings (Tigas et al. 
2002; Riley et al. 2003).
B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes
    Human exploitation appears to be the predominant cause of bobcat 
mortality (Anderson and Lovallo 2003). Little information is available 
on utilization of the species in Mexico, but local hunting and trapping 
for subsistence are possible. According to the Mexican Government, its 
bobcat populations do not face any conservation problems (Hesiquio 
Ben[iacute]tez-D[iacute]az, CONABIO, in litt. 2004). Thus, the species 
is not legally protected. The harvest of native Mexican species, 
including the bobcat, is regulated by the Mexican federal government 
through the Ecological Equilibrium Law (Ley General de Equilibrio 
Ecol[oacute]gico) and the Wildlife Law (Ley General de Vida Silvestre) 
(Jorge G. Alvarez-Romero, CONABIO, in litt. 2004). Under the Wildlife 
Law, utilization of native species on private, communal, state, and 
federal lands is allowed and restricted to areas referred to as 
Management Units for the Conservation of Wildlife (Unidades de Manejo 
para la Conservaci[oacute]n de Vida Silvestre [UMAs]). To ensure that 
the removal of specimens is sustainable, these UMAs must be registered 
with and have a management plan approved by SEMARNAT. However, to date, 
there are no UMAs registered for the harvest of Mexican bobcats (Leonel 
Urbano, SEMARNAT, in litt. 2004).
    International trade in bobcats is regulated by CITES. International 
trade in bobcat pelts increased significantly in the 1970s after 
several species of cats were placed in Appendix I of CITES and 
commercial trade of their skins was prohibited (Woolf and Hubert 1998). 
However, between 1975 and 1992, commercial trade in bobcat skins was 
limited only to specimens originating in Canada and the United States 
as a result of the inclusion of L. r. escuinapae in Appendix I. 
International trade in Mexican bobcats was reopened in 1993 after 
transfer of L. r. escuinapae from Appendix I to Appendix II in 1992. 
According to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), between 
1993 and 2002, only 155 bobcat specimens were exported from Mexico as 
trophies (20), live animals (4), skins (1), and undetermined (130). 
Thus, even after transfer of L. r. escuinapae to Appendix II, 
international trade in Mexican bobcats has been limited. Furthermore, 
there is no indication of significant illegal trade.
    Although there is no information available on the impact of 
commercial trade on the Mexican bobcat, information from the United 
States suggests that bobcat populations can withstand high levels of 
harvest and remain stable or increase, provided there are moderate 
levels of management (Woolf and Hubert 1998). Modeling suggests that 
harvest levels of up to 20% have little impact on bobcat populations, 
depending on prey availability, environmental conditions, poaching 
levels, disease, and density of competitors (Knick 1990). However, 
demand for furs from Europe (the main market for bobcat furs), 
particularly of those originating from wild animals, is expected to 
continue to decline as a result of animal rights campaigns and stricter 
import regulations imposed by the European Union. Thus, over-harvest 
for domestic or international trade does not appear to represent a 
threat to the bobcat population in Mexico.
C. Disease or Predation
    Wild bobcats are susceptible to a wide range of diseases and 
parasites (Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997; Anderson and Lovallo 
2003). Mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs may predate 
on adult bobcats, and humans may depredate bobcats to protect small 
livestock (Larivi[egrave]re and Walton 1997; Anderson and Lovallo 
2003). However, at the present time, neither disease nor predation is 
considered to threaten or endanger the species in any portion of its 
D. Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms
    As noted above, Mexico does not grant legal protection to bobcats 
since it considers that the species is abundant and not at risk. 
However, it has regulations pertaining to hunting and export of the 
species (see Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, 
or educational purposes above). Although illegal take and trade in 
bobcats probably occur in Mexico, there is no evidence that such 
activities occur at higher levels than in the United States or Canada, 
or that they have led to a decline in numbers and/or distribution of 
the species in the country. Thus, the existing regulatory mechanisms 
appear to be adequate and sufficient to ensure the long-term survival 
of the species in Mexico.
E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors
    Aside from the factors described above, bobcats may experience 
mortality due to starvation, vehicular collisions, and incidental 
poisoning (e.g., anticoagulant rodenticides and contaminants) (Tigas et 
al. 2002; Cain et al. 2003; Anderson and Lovallo 2003; Riley et al. 
2003). However, none of these has led to significant declines in

[[Page 28899]]

the distribution and abundance of bobcats in any portion of their 

Summary of Findings

    The Service has reviewed the information presented in the original 
petition, the literature cited in that petition, all public comments 
received, and other available literature and information. On the basis 
of the best scientific and commercial information available, the 
Service's 12-month finding is that the petitioned action is warranted. 
The best available information indicates that the Mexican bobcat may 
not constitute a separate subspecies and does not constitute a distinct 
population segment (DPS). Furthermore, despite habitat modification by 
humans, the bobcat remains abundant throughout Mexico and its range 
appears to be expanding. Therefore, neither listing of the Mexican 
bobcat as endangered, nor its downlisting to threatened, are 
appropriate. Accordingly, we herein propose to remove the Mexican 
bobcat, L. r. escuinapae, from the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife promulgated under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended. Public comments on this proposed rule will be solicited, as 
will peer review (see subsequent sections of this FR notice).

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act include recognition, 
recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions 
against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in 
public awareness, and encourages and results in conservation actions by 
Federal and State governments, private agencies and groups, and 
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, and as implemented by 
regulations at 50 CFR 402, requires Federal agencies to evaluate the 
impact of their actions within the United States or on the high seas on 
any species that is proposed or listed as endangered or threatened, and 
on critical habitat of an endangered or threatened species, if any is 
designated. Because L. r. escuinapae is not native to the United 
States, no critical habitat has been designated for this taxon, in 
accordance with 50 CFR 424.12(h). However, permits for import and 
export, foreign and interstate commerce, and take within the United 
States are currently required. Delisting of the Mexican bobcat under 
the Act would eliminate the need for the issuance of ESA permits by the 
Service's Division of Management Authority (DMA), and the required 
consultation with the Service's Division of Scientific Authority (DSA) 
under Section 7 of the Act prior to the issuance of any permit.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
prohibitions and exceptions that generally apply to all endangered 
wildlife. The prohibitions, codified at 50 CFR 17.21, in part, make it 
illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States 
to take (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, 
capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these), within U.S. territory 
or on the high seas, import or export, ship in interstate commerce in 
the course of a commercial activity, or sell or offer for sale in 
interstate or foreign commerce, any listed species. It also is illegal 
to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife 
that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees or 
agents of the Service and State conservation agencies.
    Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered wildlife species under certain circumstances. 
Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22 and 17.23. 
Such permits are available for scientific research purposes, for 
enhancement of the propagation or survival of the species, and/or for 
incidental take in the course of otherwise lawful activities. Because 
the bobcat is listed in Appendix II of CITES, a CITES permit is already 
required for export from the United States. In addition, shipments 
originating outside the United States must be accompanied by an export 
permit or re-export certificate issued by the exporting country. Under 
this rulemaking, no ESA permit would be required for import or export 
of Mexican bobcats to or from the United States.

Public Comments Solicited

    The Service intends that any final action resulting from this 
proposal will be based on the most accurate and up-to-date information 
possible. Therefore, comments or suggestions from the public, other 
concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or 
any other interested party concerning this proposed rule are hereby 
solicited. Comments particularly are sought concerning the taxonomy, 
population status, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threats to the Mexican bobcat. Final action on this proposed rule 
will take into consideration the comments and any additional 
information received by the Service, and such communications may lead 
to a final action that differs from this proposal.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Commenters may request that we withhold their home 
addresses, and we will honor these requests to the extent allowable by 
law. In some circumstances, we may also withhold a commenter's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name or 
address, you must state this request prominently at the beginning of 
your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. To the 
extent consistent with applicable law, we will make all submissions 
from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying 
themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or 
businesses, available for public comment in their entirety. Comments 
and materials received will be available for public inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address.
    The Endangered Species Act provides for one or more public hearings 
on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received within 45 
days of the date of the publication of this proposal in the Federal 
Register. Such requests must be made in writing and be addressed to: 
Chief, Division of Scientific Authority, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 
750, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we will seek expert opinions of at least three appropriate 
independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of 
such review is to ensure that listing decisions are based on 
scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analysis. We will send 
copies of this proposed rule immediately following publication in the 
Federal Register to these peer reviewers.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that Environmental Assessments and Environmental 
Impact Statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection 
with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended.

References Cited

    Allen, J. A. 1903. A new deer and a new lynx from the State of 
Sinaloa, Mexico.

[[Page 28900]]

Bulletin of American Museum of Natural History, 19:613-615.
    Anderson, E. M., and M. J. Lovallo. 2003. Bobcat and lynx, pages 
758-786, in Wild mammals of North America: Biology, management, and 
conservation. Second Edition. G. A. Feldhamer, B. C. Thompson, and 
J. A. Chapman, eds. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 
    Banfield, A.W. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of 
Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada.
    Cain, A. T., V. R. Tuovila, D. G. Hewitt, and M. E. Tewes. 2003. 
Effects of a highway and mitigation projects on bobcats in southern 
Texas. Biological Conservation, 114:189-197.
    Crooks, K. R. 2002. Relative sensitivities of mammalian 
carnivores to habitat fragmentation. Conservation Biology, 16:488-
    Hall, E. R., and K. R. Kelson 1959. The mammals of North 
America. The Ronald Press Company, New York.
    Government of the United States. 1992. Proposal to Transfer 
Felis rufa escuinapae from Appendix I to Appendix II. Proceedings of 
the 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, CITES 
Secretariat, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Gonzalez, C.B., and C. G. Leal. 1984. [Forest Mammals of the 
Mexican Basin.] Programme on Man and the Biosphere (UNESCO) and 
Editorial Limusa. Mexico City (in Spanish).
    Knick, S. T. 1990. Ecology of bobcats relative to exploitation 
and prey decline in southeastern Idaho. Wildlife Monographs, 108:1-
    Larivi[eacute]re, S., and L. R. Walton. 1997. Lynx rufus. 
Mammalian Species, 563:1-8.
    L[oacute]pez-Gonz[aacute]lez, C. A., A. Gonz[aacute]lez-Romero, 
and J. W. Laundre. 1998. Range extension of the bobcat (Lynx rufus) 
in Jalisco, Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist, 43:103-105.
    McCord, C. M., and J. E. Cardoza. 1982. Bobcat and Lynx, pages 
728-766, in Wild mammals of North America: Biology, management and 
economics. J. A. Chapman and G. A. Feldhamer, eds. John Hopkins 
University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
    Nowell, K., and P. Jackson. 1996. Wild Cats: Status Survey and 
Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, IUCN, 
Gland, Switzerland.
    Riley, S. P. D., R. M. Sauvajot, T. K. Fuller, E. C. York, D. A. 
Kamradt, C. Bromley, and R. K. Wayne. 2003. Effects of urbanization 
and habitat fragmentation on bobcats and coyotes in southern 
California. Conservation Biology, 17:566-576.
    Rollings, C. T. 1945. Habits, food and parasites of the bobcat 
in Minnesota. Journal of Wildlife Management, 9:131-145.
    Samson, F. B. 1979. Multivariate analysis of cranial 
characteristics among bobcats with a preliminary discussion of the 
number of subspecies, pages 80-86, in Proceedings of the 1979 Bobcat 
Research Conference. P. C. Escherich and L. Blum, eds. Science and 
Technology Series 6, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C.
    Tigas, L. A., D. H. Van Vuren, and R. M. Sauvajot. 2002. 
Behavioral responses of bobcats and coyotes to habitat fragmentation 
and corridors in an urban environment. Biological Conservation, 
    Wilson, D. E., and S. Ruff. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North 
American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.
    Woloszyn, D., and B. W. Woloszyn. 1982. [The Mammals of Sierra 
de La Laguna Baja California Sur.] Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y 
Tecnolog[iacute]a, Mexico (in Spanish).
    Woolf, A., and G. F. Hubert, Jr. 1998. Status and management of 
bobcats in the United States over three decades: 1970s-1990s. 
Wildlife Society Bulletin, 26:287-293.


    The primary author of this proposed rule is Dr. Javier Alvarez, 
Division of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 750, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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


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

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

Sec.  17.11  [Amended]

    2. Amend Sec.  17.11 (h) by removing the entry ``Bobcat, Mexican'' 
under MAMMALS from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Dated: April 27, 2005.
Matt Hogan,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-10002 Filed 5-18-05; 8:45 am]