[Federal Register: November 18, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 222)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 69922-69924]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AG23

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed 
Endangered Status for 12 Species of Hawaiian Picture-Wings

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), pursuant to 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), announce the 
reopening of the comment period on the proposal to list 12 species of 
Hawaiian picture-wings as endangered to allow peer reviewers and all 
interested parties another opportunity to submit comments on the rule.

[[Page 69923]]

DATES: Comments from all interested parties must be received by 
December 2, 2005.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials concerning the proposal by any one of the following methods:
    1. You may submit comments and information to Patrick Leonard, 
Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (PIFWO), 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, 
P.O. Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850;
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments and information to our 
PIFWO at the address given above;
    3. You may also send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to 
12pic_species_listing@fws.gov. For directions on how to submit 

electronic filing of comments, see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' 
section; or
    4. You may fax your comments to 808/792-9581.
    All comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment during normal business 
hours at our PIFWO at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Leonard, Field Supervisor, at 
the above address (telephone 808/792-9400; facsimile 808/792-9581).



    On January 17, 2001, we published a proposed rule to list as 
endangered 12 species of Hawaiian picture-wings: Drosophila aglaia, D. 
differens, D. hemipeza, D. heteroneura, D. montgomeryi, D. mulli, D. 
musaphilia, D. neoclavisetae, D. obatai, D. ochrobasis, D. 
substenoptera, and D. tarphytrichia (66 FR 3964).
    These insect species, known as Hawaiian picture-wings, are part of 
the intensely studied family, Drosophilidae, found throughout the main 
islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. Hawaiian picture-wings are known 
for their elaborate markings on otherwise clear wings. They also have 
been called the ``birds of paradise'' of the insect world because of 
their spectacular courtship displays and defense of their territories.
    As many as 1,000 species of Hawaiian picture-wing may exist, each 
adapted not only to a particular island, but to a specific habitat 
type. Individual species have adapted to a wide diversity of ecosystems 
ranging from desert-like habitats to rain forests and swamplands. In 
many cases, a species requires a specific native plant host during 
portions of its breeding cycle.
    Each of the 12 Hawaiian picture-wing species in the proposed 
listing rule is found only on a single island, and each breeds only on 
a single or a few related species of plants, some of which are also 
listed as threatened or endangered species. Six of the picture-wing 
species are found on Oahu; three species, on the island of Hawaii (Big 
Island); and one species, on each of the islands of Kauai, Molokai, and 
Maui. One of the Big Island species was thought to be extinct until an 
extremely small population was rediscovered in 1993.
    Threats to the continued existence of these species include habitat 
degradation caused by feral animals and nonnative weeds, habitat loss 
from fire, biological pest control, and predation from alien ants and 
wasps. Three of the picture-wing species exist in such a small number 
of populations that naturally occurring events such as hurricanes and 
landslides could eliminate them.
    In our January 17, 2001, proposed rule and associated 
notifications, we requested that all interested parties submit 
comments, data, or other information that might contribute to the 
development of a final rule. A 60-day comment period closed on March 
19, 2001. The comment period was reopened on October 4, 2005, and 
closed on November 3, 2005, to allow another opportunity to submit 
comments on the rule (70 FR 57851). We are reopening the comment period 
again to give additional time for all interested parties to submit 
comments on the proposed listing.
    Pursuant to a settlement agreement approved by the United States 
District Court for the District of Hawaii on August 31, 2005, the 
Service must make a final listing decision for these 12 Hawaiian 
picture-wing species by April 17, 2006. If the final listing 
determination results in the listing of one or more of the 12 species 
and a critical habitat designation is found to be prudent, the Service 
must submit to the Federal Register a proposed critical habitat 
determination by September 15, 2006, and a final critical habitat 
determination by April 16, 2007 (Center for Biological Diversity v. 
Allen, CV-05-27400326 JE).

Public Comments Solicited

    We intend that any final action resulting from the proposal be as 
accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we are reopening the 
comment period again to give additional time for all interested parties 
to consider the information provided in the proposed rule and submit 
comments on the proposed listing. Comments from the public regarding 
the proposed rule are sought, especially concerning:
    (1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning 
any threats (or lack thereof) to the 12 Hawaiian picture-wing species;
    (2) The location of any additional populations of the 12 Hawaiian 
picture-wing species;
    (3) Additional information on the range, distribution, and 
population sizes of these species;
    (4) Current or planned activities in the areas inhabited by the 12 
Hawaiian picture-wing species and the possible impacts of these 
activities on these species;
    (5) The reasons why critical habitat is or is not prudent as 
provided by section 4 of the Act; and
    (6) Comments on the basis of the original proposed rule to list, or 
the basis for determining that these twelve picture-wings represent 
separate species.
    If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and materials 
concerning this proposal by any one of several methods (see ADDRESSES 
section). Please submit Internet comments to 
12pic_species_listing@fws.gov in ASCII file format and avoid the use of special 

characters or any form of encryption. Please also include ``Attn: RIN 
1018-AG23'' in your e-mail subject header and your name and return 
address in the body of your message. If you do not receive a 
confirmation from the system that we have received your Internet 
message, contact us directly by calling our PIFWO at 808/792-9400. 
Please note that the Internet address, 12pic_species_listing@fws.gov, 
will be closed at the termination of the public comment period.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 

their home addresses from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which 
we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, 
as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or 
address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your 
comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make 
all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

[[Page 69924]]

    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the January 17, 2001, proposal to 
list the 12 Hawaiian picture-wings as endangered, will be available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at our PIFWO 
at the address given above.


    The primary author of this notice is Michael Richardson, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES section above).


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: November 8, 2005.
Marshall P. Jones Jr.,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-22827 Filed 11-17-05; 8:45 am]