[Federal Register: September 22, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 183)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 57720-57734]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket number FWS-R4-ES-2010-0051]
[MO 92210-0-0008-B2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding 
on a Petition to List Agave eggersiana (no common name) as Endangered

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of 12-month petition finding.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-
month finding on a petition to list the plant Agave eggersiana (no 
common name) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). After review of all available scientific and commercial 
information, we find that listing A. eggersiana is warranted. 
Currently, however, listing A. eggersiana 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 A. eggersiana to our candidate species list. We 
will develop a proposed rule to list A. eggersiana as our priorities 
allow. We will make any determination on critical habitat during 
development of the proposed listing rule. In any interim period the 
status of the candidate taxon will be addressed through our annual 
Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR).

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on September 22, 

ADDRESSES: This finding is available on the Internet at http://
www.regulations.gov at Docket Number [FWS-R4-ES-2010-0051]. Supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this finding is available for public 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, 
Road 301, Km. 5.1, Boquero[acute]n, Puerto Rico 00622. Please submit 
any new information, materials, comments, or questions concerning this 
species or this finding to the above internet address or the mailing 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marelisa Rivera, Assistant Field 
Supervisor, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, P.O. Box 491, 
Boquero[acute]n, Puerto Rico 00622; by telephone at (787) 851-7297; or 
by facsimile at (787) 851-7440. Persons who use a telecommunications 
device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay 
Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.


    Section 4(b)(3)(A) 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 threatened or 
endangered, 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 

[[Page 57721]]

Previous Federal Actions

    We identified Agave eggersiana as a category 2 candidate species in 
the Notice of Review published in the Federal Register on September 30, 
1993 (58 FR 51144) and subsequent publication. A category 2 species was 
one for which the Service had information that proposing as endangered 
or threatened may be appropriate but for which sufficient information 
was not currently available to support a proposed rule. Designation of 
category 2 species was discontinued in the February 28, 1996, Notice of 
Review (61 FR 7596). This notice redefined candidates to include only 
species for which we have information needed to propose them for 
listing, and as a result, Agave eggersiana was removed from the 
Candidate species list.
    On November 21, 1996, we received a petition from the U.S. Virgin 
Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) requesting 
that we list Agave eggersiana and Solanum conocarpum as endangered. On 
November 16, 1998, we published in the Federal Register (63 FR 63659) 
our finding that the petition to list A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum 
presented substantial information indicating that the requested action 
may be warranted and initiated a status review on these two plants. On 
September 1, 2004, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit 
against the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) alleging that the Service failed to publish a 12-
month finding for A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum (Center for 
Biological Diversity v. Norton, Civil Action No. 1:04-CV-2553 CAP). In 
a stipulated settlement agreement resolving that case, signed April 27, 
2005, we agreed to submit our 12-month finding for A. eggersiana and S. 
conocarpum to the Federal Register by February 28, 2006. On March 7, 
2006, we published our 12-month finding (71 FR 11367) that listing of 
A. eggersiana and S. conocarpum was not warranted. On September 9, 
2008, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint challenging 
our 12-month finding (Center for Biological Diversity v. Hamilton, Case 
No. 1:08-cv-02830 -CAP). In a settlement agreement approved by the 
Court on August 21, 2009, the Service agreed to submit to the Federal 
Register a new 12-month finding for A. eggersiana by September 17, 
2010. This notice constitutes the 12-month finding on the 1996 petition 
to list A. eggersiana as endangered.

Species Information

Taxonomy and Species Description

    Agave eggersiana is a flowering plant of the family Agavaceae 
(century plant family) endemic to the island of St. Croix in the U.S. 
Virgin Islands. A. eggersiana was originally described in 1913 by 
Trelease from material collected on St. Croix, and is distinguished 
from other members of the Agavaceae family by its acaulescent (without 
an evident leafy stem), non-suckering growth habit (vegetative 
reproduction that does not form offshoots around its base), and fleshy, 
nearly straight leaves with small marginal prickles (1.00 millimeter 
(mm); 0.04 inches (in) long) that are nearly straight (Britton and 
Wilson 1923, p. 156; Proctor and Acevedo-Rodri[acute]guez 2005, p. 
118). Its flowers are deep yellow, 5 to 6 centimeters (cm) (1.95 to 
2.34 in) long. After flowering, the panicles (inflorescence) produce 
numerous small vegetative bulbs (bulbils), from which the species can 
be propagated (Proctor and Acevedo-Rodri[acute]guez 2005, p. 118). 
Avave eggersiana is not known to produce fruit. Furthermore, based on 
observations of cultivated plants, Agave eggersiana requires at least 
10 to 15 years to develop as a mature individual and to produce an 
inflorescence (David Hamada, St. George Botanical Garden, 2010, pers. 
comm.). Avave eggersiana like other Agave species are monocarpic, 
meaning the plant dies after producing the spike or inflorescence.

Habitat and Distribution

    Britton and Wilson (1923, p. 156) reported the species from 
hillsides and plains in the eastern dry districts of St. Croix but did 
not provide population estimates. In addition, Agave eggersiana is 
cultivated on St. Croix and St. Thomas for ornament (Trelease 1913, p. 
28; Britton and Wilson 1923, p. 156; Proctor and Acevedo-
Rodri[acute]guez 2005, p. 118). Information provided in the petition 
(Kojis and Boulon, DPNR, 1996, pers. comm.) specified that the species 
was last observed growing in the wild around 1984 to 1986 on St. Croix. 
In 2003, DPNR stated that the species is believed to be extinct 
(Plaskett 2003, pers. comm.; Dalmida-Smith 2010, pers. comm.). Proctor 
and Acevedo-Rodri[acute]guez (2005, p. 118) provided a general 
description of the species and they state that the species ``now 
appears to be extinct in the wild.'' However, no citations or survey 
information were provided to support this statement. Subsequently, in 
2010, DPNR provided information based on field visits and reported the 
existence of several populations in St. Croix (Dalmida-Smith 2010, 
pers. comm.).

Current Status

    Historically, Agave eggersiana was reported from the north coast in 
Christiansted, St. Croix and along the south coast of the island. The 
current distribution and rarity of the species do not represent the 
historical range. Historically, sugar cane was the main crop on the 
island and dominated the economy for nearly 200 years (Shaw, 1933, p. 
414). Apparently, the former land use of the areas used for sugar cane 
cultivation resulted in degradation of the species' habitat and nearly 
extirpated the species from the wild. Sugarcane is no longer cultivated 
on the island and the majority of the areas formerly used for sugarcane 
plantations are currently grasslands and early secondary forests 
dominated by the exotic tree Leucaena leucocephala (tantan).
    In 2010, the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the DPNR (Dalmida-
Smith 2010, pers. comm.) conducted a local status review to determine 
the extent of the populations of Agave eggersiana in St. Croix. They 
reported five sites where the species was found; however, it is 
uncertain if these populations are natural populations (individuals 
that come from wild populations) or if the populations consist of 
individuals that escaped from landscaping. The five reported sites are: 
(1) Manchineel/ Ha'penny Beach (Southern St. Croix) with an estimated 
30 individuals, which is approximately half the number of individuals 
that they encountered 2 years before; (2) West side of Vagthus point 
(Southern St. Croix ) with a single individual; (3) Gallows Bay 
(Northern St. Croix) with several plants but no approximate number was 
mentioned; (4) Protestant Cay (Northern St. Croix) with an estimated 30 
individuals, including a number of young plants; and (5) Ruth Island 
(Southern St. Croix) with a single individual that was introduced to 
the cay many years ago. However, the exact year of this introduction is 
    In February 2010, Service biologists conducted surveys of Agave 
eggersiana on St. Croix. In their 2010 surveys, Service biologists 
visited seven of the ten currently known populations (Table 1). They 
did not survey the two areas where a single individual has been 
reported (Ruth Island and West Vagthus point) or Buck Island Reef 
National Monument, where individuals have been planted and recent 
survey information exists. Based on their characteristics (growing 
mixed with native vegetation, evidence of natural recruitment and the 
presence of

[[Page 57722]]

different size classes), these surveys indicate that the species 
currently occurs in six areas that appear to be remnants of wild 
populations. Four localities (Buck Island Reef National Monument, Salt 
River Bay, Ruth Island, and Lagoon Picnic Area) contain individuals 
that were planted in recent years.

                     Table 1. Currently known populations of Agave eggersiana on St. Croix.
                                                                Estimated  of
              Locality                        Category            Adult  Individuals      Source of Information
Manchineel / Ha'penny Beach           Wild                                       25-30   Dalmida-Smith 2010,
                                                                                          pers. comm.; Monsegur
                                                                                          and Vargas 2010,
                                                                                          unpublished data
West Vagthus point                    Wild                                           1   Dalmida-Smith 2010.
                                                                                          pers. comm.
Gallows Bay                           Wild                                         2-3   David Hamada. 2010,
                                                                                          pers. comm.; Monsegur
                                                                                          and Vargas 2010,
                                                                                          unpublished data.
Protestant Cay                        Wild                          30-51 + 60 bulbils   Dalmida-Smith 2010,
                                                                                          pers. comm.; Monsegur
                                                                                          and Vargas 2010,
                                                                                          unpublished data
Ruth Island                           Introduced*                                    1   Dalmida-Smith 2010,
                                                                                          pers. comm.
Great Pond                            Wild                             76 + 50 bulbils   Monsegur and Vargas
                                                                                          2010, unpublished
                                                                                          data; Plaskett 2003.
                                                                                          pers. comm.
South Shore                           Wild                           100 + 150 bulbils   Monsegur and Vargas
                                                                                          2010, unpublished
Salt River Bay                        Introduced**                                   6   Monsegur and Vargas
                                                                                          2010, unpublished
Buck Island National Monument         Introduced*                                    5   Monsegur and Vargas
                                                                                          2010, unpublished
Lagoon Picnic Area                    Landscape                                    177   Monsegur and Vargas
                                                                                          2010, unpublished
        Total                                                         450 +260 bulbils   .......................
* Introduced by DPNR for conservation.
** Introduced by NPS for education and outreach.

    The eight localities containing multiple Agave eggersiana plants 
are described as follows:
    (1) Gallows Bay (private property) has several individuals that are 
considered by local experts as a remnant of a natural population (David 
Hamada 2010, pers. comm.). Historical documents and illustrations show 
that Agave eggersiana was common on the landscape of Gallows Bay (David 
Hamada 2010, pers. comm.).
    (2) Protestant Cay (owned by the government but leased to a private 
party), has an estimated population of 51 adult individuals of 
different sizes and about 60 bulbils.
    (3) Ha'penny Beach (private property), has an estimated population 
of 25 individuals of different size classes; one of the plants was 
found flowering during the site visit conducted by the Service in 2010.
    (4) Great Pond (managed by the Department of Housing, Parks and 
Recreation) has a healthy population of A. eggersiana with different 
size plants and evidence of recent flowering events. This population is 
located near Great Pond, an area where it was suspected that 
descendants from wild plants may have existed (Plaskett 2003, pers. 
    (5) South Shore (private property), has a population of about 100 
adult individuals and about 150 bulbils, all growing on small terraces 
at a rocky cliff. This population is actively flowering and it was 
noted that some of the bulbils are reaching the sea, suggesting a 
possible dispersal mechanism for the species.
    (6) Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve 
(SARI) (managed by the National Park Service (NPS)) has six individual 
plants. In 2007, personnel from the NPS planted these individuals at 
Salt River as part of the landscape with the idea of establishing a 
population at the site and for outreach purposes. At the time of the 
survey, five of these plants were producing spikes and were expected to 
produce bulbils within the following months (Monsegur and Vargas, 
USFWS, 2010, unpublished data). Based on information provided by 
personnel from NPS, additional propagation efforts with the species are 
planned in the near future (Lundgreen 2010, pers. comm.).
    (7) Buck Island Reef National Monument (managed by the NPS) has an 
estimated population of five individuals. In 2007, personnel from NPS 
planted these five individuals on the island, but at present time there 
is no information regarding the breeding condition of these plants 
(Lundgreen 2010, pers. comm.).
    (8) Lagoon Picnic Area (a public beach area that seems to be under 
a reforestation effort funded by the Antilitter and Beautification 
Commission) harbors about 177 plants as part of the landscape. The size 
of the individuals in this area ranges from small planted bulbils to a 
few adult individuals ready to flower. Based on the information 
gathered and observations, about 450 adult individuals and 260 bulbils 
are currently known in 10 localities, including 6 populations that are 
considered wild, 3 introduced populations for conservation and public 
education, and 1 landscape population (Table 1). In addition to these 
localities, Monsegur and Vargas (2010, personal observation) documented 
the species presence in private gardens scattered throughout the 
island. We estimate about 90 adult individuals are present in these 
private gardens.
    At the present time, information on ecology, phenology, and 
genetics for Agave eggersiana is lacking. Samples of A. eggersiana from 
individuals in the Gallows Bay area have been collected for genetics 
analysis, but results were not available prior to making this finding 
(Ray 2010, pers. comm.).

[[Page 57723]]

 Current evidence suggests that the wild and cultivated populations 
have minimum genetic variation. Therefore, all A. eggersiana plants 
(cultivated and wild) are included as part of the listable entity in 
this finding; however, we have focused our assessment of threats to the 
wild populations. Although data suggest that cultivated individuals 
could be used as genetic stock to aid in the long-term survival of this 
species, most cultivated populations are groomed to prevent recruitment 
and thus offer minimal conservation contribution. We do not feel that 
cultivated individuals propagated for private or commercial uses aid in 
the conservation or the recovery of the species in the wild.

Summary of Information Pertaining to the Five Factors

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and implementing regulations 
(50 CFR 424), set forth procedures for adding species to 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 educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy 
of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade 
factors affecting its continued existence. In making this finding, 
information pertaining to Agave eggersiana, in relation to the five 
factors provided in section 4(a)(1) of the Act is discussed below.
    In considering what factors might constitute threats to a species, 
we must look beyond the exposure of the species to a factor to evaluate 
whether the species may respond to the factor in a way that causes 
actual impacts to the species. If there is exposure to a factor and the 
species responds negatively, the factor may be a threat and we attempt 
to determine how significant a threat it is. The threat is significant 
if it drives, or contributes 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 the Species' Habitat or Range

    Of the currently known populations, only three areas are managed 
for conservation (Ruth Island, Salt River Bay, and Buck Island National 
Monument), the remaining populations occur within privately owned lands 
currently threatened by development or areas already developed and 
managed as tourism and residential projects. Based on information 
reported by the University of the Virgin Islands' Conservation Data 
Center (http://cdc.uvi.edu), at least three of the populations 
(Protestant Cay, Gallows Bay, and Ha'penny Beach) lie within areas 
identified by the DPNR as high-density land use areas, which have a 
higher susceptibility to development in the near future. Furthermore, 
Weiss (2010, pers. comm.) identified two proposed development projects 
within suitable habitat for the species (C&R Robin, LLC and Seven Hills 
Beach Resort and Casino). Based on the field assessment conducted by 
Service biologists, the coastal areas that harbor suitable habitat for 
the species are currently subject to urban and tourist development 
(Monsegur and Vargas 2010, personal observation).
    The population at Protestant Cay seems to be affected by the use of 
the area as a deposit for garden debris from a hotel that occupies the 
majority of this small island (Monsegur and Vargas 2010, personal 
observation). Since Agave eggersiana relies on asexual reproduction, 
the species depends on the bulbils becoming established. Covering the 
bulbils with debris may result in subsequent mortality of the bulbils 
and lack of natural recruitment, thus affecting the long-term survival 
of this population. Moreover, individuals located on the edges of the 
population are pruned as part of the gardens' maintenance. This 
practice may result in mortality or mutilation of individuals since the 
species is monopodial (single growth axis). The population at 
Protestant Cay is also threatened by competition with exotic plant 
species. Individuals seem to be stressed due to competition with 
exotics as what little undeveloped habitat is left is rapidly being 
colonized by nonnative species (see Factor E).
    The individuals located at Gallows Bay are within an area currently 
developed as a residential complex with the potential for future 
expansion, which may affect these individuals (Monsegur and Vargas 
2010, personal observation). In addition, this area does not contain 
additional habitat to allow the current population to expand. Remaining 
forested areas surrounding this location are characterized by the 
abundance of exotic species. Areas that could be used by bulbils to 
become established are occupied by the exotic plant Sansevieria 
cilindrica, a species that tends to form a complete cover of the 
understory (see Factor E).
    The areas adjacent to Ha'penny Bay on the south coast of St. Croix 
harbor two of the known natural populations of Agave eggersiana 
(Ha'penny Beach and South Shore). According to personnel from the DPNR 
(Valiulis 2010, pers. comm.) these areas are advertised by realtors as 
areas for tourism and residential development and, as previously 
mentioned, are planned for high-density development. Furthermore, the 
areas along the south coast that have not been developed are used for 
cattle or hay production, minimizing the recovery of native vegetation 
and, therefore, the habitat for A. eggersiana (Monsegur and Vargas 
2010, personal observation). The development of tourist and residential 
projects in these coastal areas may result in the extirpation of some 
populations, or at the least, will reduce the chances of the 
populations to expand or to colonize other areas. This is exacerbated 
by the low potential for natural recruitment due to the small number of 
populations and individuals.
    The population of Great Pond is located between the entrance road 
of the East End Marine Park office and a private property currently for 
sale. The population seems to be healthy based on the presence of 
different size plants and evidence of recent flowering events. It seems 
that there is suitable habitat for the species in the area; however, 
the area near the population is mowed and the access road limits the 
expansion of the population's range. Furthermore, the area adjacent to 
this population is a private property for sale. The possible use of the 
area for residential or tourist development may affect the population; 
owners will likely manage their properties as landscapes, which could 
lead to land clearing, additional mowing, and other maintenance of 
gardens. This could also lead to the introduction of exotics. Moreover, 
the abundance of grassland areas and the dominance of the exotic 
Megathyrsus maximus (guinea grass) in the area make the population 
Agave eggersiana susceptible to human-induced fires (addressed in 
Factor E). These exotic grasses are typically adapted to fire 
    Based on the above information, we consider the present or 
threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of the species 
habitat or range as a moderate but imminent threat to wild populations 
of Agave eggersiana. The threats of possible construction developments 
and current management of habitat of the populations may further limit 

[[Page 57724]]

propagation and expansion in the foreseeable future.

Factor B: Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes

    Agave eggersiana has been reported as a cultivar since it was 
described as a species in 1913 (Trelease, 1913, p. 28); historically, 
the majority of A. eggersiana found in St. Croix and St. Thomas were 
from landscaped areas (Britton and Wilson 1923, p. 156; Plaskett 2003, 
pers. comm.; Kojis and Boulon 1996, pers. comm.; Proctor and Acevedo-
Rodri[acute]guez 2005, p. 118; Acevedo-Rodri[acute]guez 2005, pers. 
comm.). The species is currently distributed by the St. George 
Botanical Garden for conservation and private landscaping purposes. A. 
eggersiana is a commonly used ornamental species on the island, and 
recent declines in the number of individuals at one population along 
the coast of Ha'penny Bay are thought to be due to collection for 
ornamental purposes (Dalmida-Smith 2010, pers. comm.; Valiulis 2010, 
pers. comm.).
    Based on the above, we consider the overutilization for commercial 
and recreational purposes a moderate to low but imminent threat to wild 
populations of the species. Although captively propagated Agave 
eggersiana are available to residents for use in private gardens, 
collection of wild individuals is a threat to the species, and we 
expect it to continue to be a threat in the foreseeable future.

Factor C: Disease or Predation

    The genus Agave is widely affected by the agave snout weevil 
(Scyphophorus acupunctatus). This weevil has a wide distribution that 
includes the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola) (Vaurie 
1971, p. 4). The larvae of this weevil feed on the starchy base of the 
plant, increasing the risk of infestation by pathogens, such as a virus 
or fungus, later resulting in the death of the plant (Vaurie 1971, p. 
4). At this time, there is no information about the occurrence of the 
agave snout weevil within the Puerto Rican Platform or the Lesser 
Antilles where St. Croix is located. A small number of individuals of 
A. eggersiana were observed with scarring along the borders of some 
leaves (Monsegur and Vargas 2010, personal observation). It appears 
that an insect or an arthropod larva may feed on the leaves; however, 
the exact cause and the consequences of the scarring are unknown. 
Nevertheless, this is important and it should be monitored as it might 
be an indicator of a recently arrived pest to St Croix.
    On Mona Island (Puerto Rico), feral pigs are known to uproot 
juveniles and destroy the root system of Agave sisalana, to feed on the 
root system or to use them as a water source (Saliva 1983, 1996, 
personal observation). Since introduced pigs, donkeys, and goats have 
been reported in St. Croix we cannot discard the possible predation of 
A. eggersiana by these feral animals, particularly to young plants 
within the populations. The absence of evidence of predation by these 
species might be the result of the low number of populations of A. 
eggersiana, their isolation, and the proximity of some of these 
populations to human inhabited areas. However, at this time, there is 
no evidence that donkeys, pigs, or goats constitute a specific threat 
to any A. eggersiana populations.
    Since the agave snout weevil has not been reported in St. Croix, we 
do not consider disease as a threat to the species. Although there is 
some evidence that insect or arthropod larvae may feed on the leaves of 
Agave eggersiana, there is no evidence that this is negatively 
impacting the species' ability to grow or reproduce. In addition, we 
have no evidence of grazing on A. eggersiana by introduced donkeys, 
pigs, or goats. Therefore, we do not find disease or predation to be a 
current threat to the species.

Factor D: The Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms

    The Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands currently considers Agave 
eggersiana to be endangered under the Virgin Islands Indigenous and 
Endangered Species Act (V.I. Code, Title 12, Chapter 2), and has 
amended an existing regulation (Bill No. 18-0403) to provide for 
protection of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants by 
prohibiting the take, injury, or possession of indigenous plants. Based 
on the number of individuals currently used for private gardens and 
current landscape practices in private areas, such as pruning and 
mowing of populations, we believe that protection provisions under the 
local regulation are not being appropriately enforced. Rothenberger et 
al. (2008, p. 68) mentioned that the lack of management and enforcement 
capacity continues to be a significant challenge for the USVI since 
enforcement agencies are chronically understaffed and territorial 
resource management offices experience significant staff turnover, 
particularly during administration changes.
    Based on the information above, we consider the inadequacy of 
existing regulatory mechanisms as a current threat to the species due 
to a lack of enforcement. Because at least three populations exist in 
areas managed for conservation and public outreach, we consider this 
threat to be moderate to low in magnitude but imminent. We do not 
anticipate any regulatory or enforcement changes that would reduce this 
threat in the foreseeable future.

Factor E: Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued 
Existence of the Species

    The islands of the Caribbean are frequently affected by hurricanes. 
It has been suggested that hurricanes are responsible for shaping and 
modifying the structure and composition of the vegetation in the 
Caribbean (Van Bloem et al. 2003, p. 137; Van Bloem et al. 2005, p. 
572; Van Bloem et al. 2006, p. 517). As an endemic species to the 
island of St. Croix, Agave eggersiana would be expected to be well 
adapted to tropical storms. However, the low number of individuals 
found on the island and the reproductive biology of the species 
(dependence on asexual reproduction and the plant dying after 
flowering) increases the likelihood of stochastic events such as 
hurricanes extirpating a population. We believe that landslides and 
coastal erosion associated with hurricanes may affect the populations 
located along the coastal areas of St. Croix (Ha'penny Beach, South 
Shore, and Protestant Cay) due to their proximity to cliffs and the 
    Agave eggersiana may be further threatened by climate change, which 
is predicted to increase the frequency and strength of tropical storms 
and can cause severe droughts (Hopkinson et al. 2008, p. 260). The 
cumulative effect of coastal erosion due to severe hurricanes plus the 
habitat modification for urban and tourist development can further 
diminish the availability of suitable habitat and, therefore, limit 
population expansion and colonization of new areas. In addition, the 
possibility of severe droughts may contribute to an increase in the 
quantity and frequency of fires on the island. These cumulative factors 
may reduce the number of individuals and further reduce populations.
    Based on satellite images, there is evidence of human-induced fires 
along the south coast of the island. The vegetation of the Caribbean is 
not adapted to fires since this disturbance does not naturally occur on 
these islands (Brandeis and Woodall 2008, p. 557; Santiago-
Garci[aacute] et al. 2008, p. 608); juvenile plants are especially 
vulnerable to fire damage. This regime of human-induced fires could 
modify the landscape by promoting exotic trees and

[[Page 57725]]

grasses, and by diminishing the seed bank of native species. For 
example the exotic Megathyrsus maximus is well adapted to fires and 
typically colonizes areas that were previously covered by native 
vegetation. Furthermore, the presence of this species increases the 
amount of fuel and, therefore, the intensity of the fire events. Due to 
the abundance of grasses at Great Pond, this Agave eggersiana 
population is particularly threatened by human-induced fires.
    Moreover, the individuals of the populations of Protestant Cay, 
Gallows Bay and Great Pond are surrounded by dense stands of different 
species of Sansevieria, an herb native to Africa. This invasive species 
seems to be occupying the ecological niche adjacent to the known 
populations of Agave eggersiana. Plant invasion can affect the 
environment at three levels; at the genetic level the number of 
individuals of native species can be reduced below the minimum 
necessary for persistence, at the species diversity level the number of 
species present and their distribution can be reduced, and at the 
ecosystem level the functioning of the ecosystem can be changed (Rippey 
et al. 2002, p. 170). In this case, invasive species may constrain the 
number of A. eggersiana reducing variability in the population. 
Consequently, the loss of diversity of the species may eliminate A. 
eggersiana in the area affecting other organisms (e.g., insects and 
birds feeding on the flowers).
    Based on the above information and due to the reduced number of 
populations and individuals, we believe that the species is currently 
threatened by natural or manmade factors such as hurricanes, fires, and 
competition from exotic species. Climate change may exacerbate these 
habitat threats by increasing the frequency of fires, droughts, and 
hurricanes. We consider these threats to be moderate and imminent. We 
do not anticipate any changes that would appreciably reduce this threat 
in the foreseeable future.


    As required by the Act, we conducted a review of the status of the 
species and considered the five factors in assessing whether Agave 
eggersiana is threatened or endangered 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 the species. We reviewed the petition, information available 
in our files, other available published and unpublished information, 
consulted with species and habitat experts and other Federal and State 
agencies, and conducted field work on the island of St. Croix.
    This status review identified threats to the species attributable 
to Factors A, B, D, and E. Of the currently known populations, only 
three populations are located in areas managed for conservation and 
public outreach (Ruth Island, Salt River Bay, and Buck Island National 
Monument). The remaining populations, containing about 97 percent of 
the currently known adult individuals, are located in areas either 
threatened by development pressure, or are currently affected by 
landscape practices and competition with exotic species, resulting in 
detrimental effects to reproduction and recruitment (see Factors A and 
E). Furthermore, the use of the Agave eggersiana as an ornamental 
species is common on the island, and evidence suggests that wild 
specimens are being collected due to the commercial interest in this 
species (Factor B). Although the species is currently listed under 
local regulations, lack of enforcement of local law does not provide 
adequate protection to ameliorate threats to the species.
    On the basis of the best scientific and commercial information 
available and our analysis of the current and foreseeable threats to 
the species and its habitat, we find that listing Agave eggersiana 
(including wild and cultivated populations), is warranted. We will make 
a determination on the status of the species as threatened or 
endangered when we do a proposed listing determination. However, as 
explained in more detail below, an immediate proposal of a regulation 
implementing this action is precluded by higher priority listing 
actions, and progress is being made 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 the species at risk of extinction now 
such that issuing an emergency regulation temporarily listing the 
species as per section 4(b)(7) of the Act is warranted. We determined 
that issuing an emergency regulation temporarily listing the species is 
not warranted for this species at this time since approximately 450 
individuals are known to occur in 10 localities (Table 1). However, if 
at any time we determine that issuing an emergency regulation 
temporarily listing the species is necessary, we will initiate this 
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 greatest 
importance on the immediacy and magnitude of threats, but also factors 
in the level of taxonomic distinctiveness by assigning priority in 
descending order to monotypic genera, full species, and subspecies (or 
equivalently, distinct population segments of vertebrates).
    We assigned Agave eggersiana an LPN of 8, based on our finding that 
the species faces moderate to low magnitude threats from the present or 
threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat; 
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes; the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; 
and other natural or manmade Factors. One or more of the threats 
discussed above are occurring, and we anticipate they will still occur 
in the near future in each known population in St. Croix. These threats 
are ongoing and in some cases considered irreversible.
    Although the species faces threats, as described above, we believe 
these threats to be of moderate to low magnitude; at least 450 adults 
and 260 bulbils are known to occur in 10 populations with half showing 
evidence of recruitment in the wild and 3 located in areas managed for 
conservation and public outreach. Under the 1983 Guidelines, a 
``species'' facing imminent moderate to low magnitude threats is 
assigned an LPN of 7, 8, or 9 depending on its taxonomic status. 
Because A. eggersiana is a species, but not a monotypic genus, we 
assigned it an LPN of 8. While we conclude that listing the species is 
warranted, an immediate proposal to list this species is precluded by 
other higher priority listing actions, which we address below.

Preclusion and Expeditious Progress

    Preclusion is a function of the listing priority of a species in 
relation to the resources that are available and 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 proposed 
listing regulation or whether promulgation of such a proposal is 
warranted but precluded by higher-priority listing actions.

[[Page 57726]]

    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 
determinations 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. For example, during the past 
several years, the cost (excluding publication costs) for preparing a 
12-month finding, without a proposed rule, has ranged from 
approximately $11,000 for one species with a restricted range and 
involving a relatively uncomplicated analysis to $305,000 for another 
species that is wide-ranging and involving a complex analysis.
    We cannot spend more than is appropriated for the Listing Program 
without violating the Anti-Deficiency Act (see 31 U.S.C. Sec.  
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, 105\th\ Congress, 1st Session, July 1, 1997).
    Recognizing that designation of critical habitat for species 
already listed would consume most of the overall Listing Program 
appropriation, Congress also put a critical habitat subcap in place in 
FY 2002 and has retained it each subsequent year 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, 107\th\ 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 FY 2007, we 
were able to use some of the critical habitat subcap funds to fund 
proposed listing determinations for high-priority candidate species. In 
FY 2009, 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. In FY 2010, we are using some of the 
critical habitat subcap funds to fund actions with statutory deadlines.
    Thus, 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. 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 also recognized that the availability of resources was the 
key element in deciding, when making a 12-month petition finding, 
whether we would prepare and issue a listing proposal or instead make a 
``warranted but precluded'' finding for a given species. The Conference 
Report accompanying Public Law 97-304, which established the current 
statutory deadlines and the warranted-but-precluded finding, states (in 
a discussion on 90-day petition findings that by its own terms also 
covers 12-month findings) that the deadlines 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.''
    In FY 2010, expeditious progress is that amount of work that can be 
achieved with $10,471,000, which is the amount of money that Congress 
appropriated for the Listing Program (that is, the portion of the 
Listing Program funding not related to critical habitat designations 
for species that are already listed). However these funds are not 
enough to fully fund all our court-ordered and statutory listing 
actions in FY 2010, so we are using $1,114,417 of our critical habitat 
subcap funds in order to work on all of our required petition findings 
and listing determinations. This brings the total amount of funds we 
have for listing action in FY 2010 to $11,585,417. Starting in FY 2010, 
we are also using our funds to work on listing actions for foreign 
species since that work was transferred from the Division of Scientific 
Authority, International Affairs Program to the Endangered Species 
Program. Our process is to 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. The $11,585,417 is being used 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. The allocations for each specific listing action are 
identified in the Service's FY 2010 Allocation Table (part of our 
administrative record).
    In FY 2007, we had more than 120 species with an LPN of 2, based on 
our September 21, 1983, guidance for assigning an LPN for each 
candidate species (48 FR 43098). Using this 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

[[Page 57727]]

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).
    To be more efficient in our listing process, as we work on proposed 
rules for these 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, available staff 
resources are also a factor in determining which high-priority species 
are provided with funding. Finally, proposed rules for reclassification 
of threatened species to endangered are lower priority, since as listed 
species, they are already afforded the protection of the Act and 
implementing regulations.
    Given the above-mentioned funding constraints, the Service's 
priority is to work on: (1) listing determinations for listing actions 
with absolute statutory, court-ordered, or court-approved deadlines, 
and final listing determinations for those species that have been 
proposed for listing; and (2) candidate species and reclassifications 
of other higher priority threatened species (i.e., species with LPN of 
1). This work includes all the actions listed in the tables below under 
expeditious progress.
    As explained above, a determination that listing is warranted but 
precluded must also demonstrate that expeditious progress is being made 
to add or remove qualified species to and from the Lists of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. (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, which is funded by a 
separate line item in the budget of the Endangered Species Program. As 
explained above in our description of the statutory cap on Listing 
Program funds, the Recovery Program funds and actions supported by them 
cannot be considered in determining expeditious progress made in the 
Listing Program.) As with our ``precluded'' finding, expeditious 
progress in adding qualified species to the Lists is a function of the 
resources available and the competing demands for those funds. Given 
that limitation, we find that we made progress in FY 2009 in the 
Listing Program and will continue to make progress in FY 2010. This 
progress included preparing and publishing the following 

                                        FY 2010 Completed Listing Actions
         Publication Date                      Title                     Actions                FR Pages
10/08/2009                         Listing Lepidium papilliferum  Final Listing               74 FR 52013-52064
                                    (Slickspot Peppergrass) as a  Threatened..........
                                    Threatened Species
                                    Throughout Its Range
10/27/2009                         90-day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            74 FR 55177-55180
                                    To List the American Dipper   Petition Finding,...
                                    in the Black Hills of South   Not substantial.....
                                    Dakota as Threatened or
10/28/2009                         Status Review of Arctic        Notice of Intent to         74 FR 55524-55525
                                    Grayling (Thymallus           Conduct Status......
                                    arcticus) in the Upper        Review..............
                                    Missouri River System
11/03/2009                         Listing the British Columbia   Proposed Listing            74 FR 56757-56770
                                    Distinct Population Segment   Threatened..........
                                    of the Queen Charlotte
                                    Goshawk Under the Endangered
                                    Species Act
11/03/2009                         Listing the Salmon-Crested     Proposed Listing            74 FR 56770-56791
                                    Cockatoo as Threatened         Threatened
                                    Throughout Its Range with
                                    Special Rule
11/23/2009                         Status Review of Gunnison      Notice of Intent to         74 FR 61100-61102
                                    sage-grouse (Centrocercus      Conduct Status
                                    minimus)                      Review..............
12/03/2009                         12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          74 FR 63343-63366
                                    Petition to List the Black-    petition finding,
                                    tailed Prairie Dog as          Not warranted
                                    Threatened or Endangered
12/03/2009                         90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            74 FR 63337-63343
                                    to List Sprague's Pipit as    Petition Finding,...
                                   Threatened or Endangered.....  Substantial.........
12/15/2009                         90-Day Finding on Petitions    Notice of 90-day            74 FR 66260-66271
                                    To List Nine Species of       Petition Finding,...
                                    Mussels From Texas as         Substantial.........
                                    Threatened or Endangered
                                    With Critical Habitat
12/16/2009                         Partial 90-Day Finding on a    Notice of 90-day            74 FR 66865-66905
                                    Petition to List 475 Species  Petition Finding,...
                                    in the Southwestern United    Not substantial and.
                                    States as Threatened or       Substantial.........
                                    Endangered With Critical
12/17/2009                         12-month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          74 FR 66937-66950
                                    Petition To Change the Final   petition finding,
                                    Listing of the Distinct        Warranted but
                                    Population Segment of the     precluded...........
                                    Canada Lynx To Include New
1/05/2010                          Listing Foreign Bird Species   Proposed Listing                75 FR 605-649
                                    in Peru and Bolivia as        Endangered..........
                                    Endangered Throughout Their

[[Page 57728]]

1/05/2010                          Listing Six Foreign Birds as   Proposed Listing                75 FR 286-310
                                    Endangered Throughout Their   Endangered..........
1/05/2010                          Withdrawal of Proposed Rule    Proposed rule,                  75 FR 310-316
                                    to List Cook's Petrel         withdrawal..........
1/05/2010                          Final Rule to List the         Final Listing                   75 FR 235-250
                                    Galapagos Petrel and          Threatened..........
                                    Heinroth's Shearwater as
                                    Threatened Throughout Their
1/20/2010                          Initiation of Status Review    Notice of Intent to           75 FR 3190-3191
                                    for Agave eggersiana and       Conduct Status
                                    Solanum conocarpum            Review..............
2/09/2010                          12-month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month            75 FR 6437-6471
                                   Petition to List the American   petition finding,
                                    Pika as Threatened or          Not warranted
2/25/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month            75 FR 8601-8621
                                    Petition To List the Sonoran   petition finding,
                                    Desert                         Not warranted
                                   Population of the Bald Eagle
                                    as a Threatened or
                                   Distinct Population Segment..
2/25/2010                          Withdrawal of Proposed Rule    Withdrawal of                 75 FR 8621-8644
                                    To List the Southwestern      Proposed Rule to....
                                   Washington/Columbia River      List................
                                    Distinct Population Segment
                                    of Coastal Cutthroat Trout
                                    (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki)
3/18/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 13068-13071
                                    to List the Berry Cave        Petition Finding,...
                                    Salamander as Endangered      Substantial.........
3/23/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 13717-13720
                                    to List the Southern          Petition Finding,...
                                    Hickorynut                    Not substantial.....
                                   Mussel (Obovaria jacksoniana)
                                    as Endangered or Threatened.
3/23/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 13720-13726
                                    to List the Striped Newt as   Petition Finding,...
                                   Threatened...................  Substantial.........
3/23/2010                          12-Month Findings for          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 13910-14014
                                    Petitions to List the          petition finding,
                                    Greater Sage-Grouse           Warranted but.......
                                    (Centrocercus urophasianus)   precluded...........
                                   as Threatened or Endangered..
3/31/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 16050-16065
                                    Petition to List the Tucson    petition finding,
                                    Shovel-Nosed Snake            Warranted but.......
                                    (Chionactis occipitalis       precluded...........
                                    klauberi) as Threatened or
                                    Endangered with Critical
4/5/2010                           90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 17062-17070
                                    To List Thorne's Hairstreak   Petition Finding,...
                                    Butterfly as Threatened or    Substantial.........
4/6/2010                           12-month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 17352-17363
                                    Petition To List the           petition finding,
                                    Mountain Whitefish in the      Not warranted
                                    Big Lost River, Idaho, as
                                    Endangered or Threatened
4/6/2010                           90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 17363-17367
                                    to List a Stonefly (Isoperla  Petition Finding,...
                                    jewetti) and a Mayfly         Not substantial.....
                                    (Fallceon eatoni) as
                                    Threatened or Endangered
                                    with Critical Habitat
4/7/2010                           12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 17667-17680
                                    Petition to Reclassify the     petition finding,
                                    Delta Smelt From Threatened   Warranted but.......
                                    to Endangered Throughout Its  precluded...........
4/13/2010                          Determination of Endangered    Final Listing               75 FR 18959-19165
                                    Status for 48 Species on      Endangered..........
                                    Kauai and Designation of
                                    Critical Habitat
4/15/2010                          Initiation of Status Review    Notice of Initiation        75 FR 19591-19592
                                    of the North American          of Status Review
                                    Wolverine in the Contiguous
                                    United States

[[Page 57729]]

4/15/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 19592-19607
                                    Petition to List the Wyoming   petition finding,
                                    Pocket                         Not warranted
                                   Gopher as Endangered or
                                    Threatened with Critical
4/16/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 19925-19935
                                    to List a Distinct            Petition Finding,...
                                    Population                    Substantial.........
                                   Segment of the Fisher in Its
                                    United States Northern Rocky.
                                   Mountain Range as Endangered
                                    or Threatened with Critical.
4/20/2010                          Initiation of Status Review    Notice of Initiation        75 FR 20547-20548
                                    for Sacramento splittail       of Status Review
4/26/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 21568-21571
                                    to List the Harlequin         Petition Finding,...
                                    Butterfly as                  Substantial.........
4/27/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 22012-22025
                                    Petition to List Susan's       petition finding,
                                    Purse-making Caddisfly         Not warranted
                                    (Ochrotrichia susanae) as
                                    Threatened or Endangered
4/27/2010                          90-day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 22063-22070
                                    to List the Mohave Ground     Petition Finding,...
                                    Squirrel as Endangered with   Substantial.........
                                    Critical Habitat
5/4/2010                           90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 23654-23663
                                    to List Hermes Copper         Petition Finding,...
                                    Butterfly as Threatened or    Substantial.........
6/1/2010                           90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 30313-30318
                                    To List Castanea pumila var.  Petition Finding,...
                                    ozarkensis                    Substantial.........
6/1/2010                           12-month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 30338-30363
                                    Petition to List the White-    petition finding,
                                    tailed Prairie Dog as          Not warranted
                                    Endangered or Threatened
6/9/2010                           90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 32728-32734
                                    To List van Rossem's Gull-    Petition Finding,...
                                    billed Tern as Endangered     Substantial.........
6/16/2010                          90-Day Finding on Five         Notice of 90-day            75 FR 34077-34088
                                    Petitions to List Seven       Petition Finding,...
                                    Species of                    Substantial.........
                                   Hawaiian Yellow-faced Bees as
6/22/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 35398-35424
                                    Petition to List the Least     petition finding,
                                    Chub as                       Warranted but.......
                                   Threatened or Endangered.....  precluded...........
6/23/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 35746-35751
                                    to List the Honduran Emerald  Petition Finding,...
                                   Hummingbird as Endangered....  Substantial.........
6/23/2010                          Listing Ipomopsis polyantha    Proposed Listing            75 FR 35721-35746
                                    (Pagosa Skyrocket) as         Endangered..........
                                    Endangered Throughout Its     Proposed Listing....
                                    Range, and Listing Penstemon  Threatened..........
                                   (Parachute Beardtongue) and
                                    Phacelia submutica (DeBeque
                                    Phacelia) as Threatened
                                    Throughout Their Range.
6/24/2010                          Listing the Flying Earwig      Final Listing               75 FR 35990-36012
                                    Hawaiian Damselfly and        Endangered..........
                                   Hawaiian Damselfly As
                                    Endangered Throughout Their
6/24/2010                          Listing the Cumberland         Proposed Listing            75 FR 36035-36057
                                    Darter, Rush Darter,          Endangered..........
                                    Yellowcheek Darter, Chucky
                                    Madtom, and Laurel Dace as
                                    Endangered Throughout Their
6/29/2010                          Listing the Mountain Plover    Reinstatement of            75 FR 37353-37358
                                    as Threatened                 Proposed Listing....
7/20/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 42033-42040
                                    to List Pinus albicaulis      Petition Finding,...
                                    (Whitebark Pine) as           Substantial.........
                                    Endangered or Threatened
                                    with Critical Habitat

[[Page 57730]]

7/20/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 42040-42054
                                    Petition to List the           petition finding,
                                    Amargosa Toad as Threatened    Not warranted
                                    or Endangered
7/20/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 42059-42066
                                    to List the Giant Palouse     Petition Finding,...
                                    Earthworm (Driloleirus        Substantial.........
                                    americanus) as Threatened or
7/27/2010                          Determination on Listing the   Final Listing               75 FR 43844-43853
                                    Black-Breasted Puffleg as     Endangered..........
                                   Endangered Throughout its
                                    Range; Final Rule.
7/27/2010                          Final Rule to List the Medium  Final Listing               75 FR 43853-43864
                                    Tree-Finch (Camarhynchus      Endangered..........
                                    pauper) as Endangered
                                    Throughout Its Range
8/3/2010                           Determination of Threatened    Final Listing              75 FR 45497- 45527
                                    Status for Five Penguin       Threatened..........
8/4/2010                           90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day           75 FR 46894- 46898
                                    To List the Mexican Gray      Petition Finding,...
                                    Wolf as an Endangered         Substantial.........
                                    Subspecies With Critical
8/10/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 48294-48298
                                    to List Arctostaphylos        Petition Finding,...
                                    franciscana as Endangered     Substantial.........
                                    with Critical Habitat
8/17/2010                          Listing Three Foreign Bird     Final Listing               75 FR 50813-50842
                                    Species from Latin America    Endangered..........
                                    and the Caribbean as
                                    Endangered Throughout Their
8/17/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 50739-50742
                                    to List Brian Head            Petition Finding,...
                                    Mountainsnail as Endangered   Not substantial.....
                                    or Threatened with Critical
8/24/2010                          90-Day Finding on a Petition   Notice of 90-day            75 FR 51969-51974
                                    to List the Oklahoma Grass    Petition Finding,...
                                   Pink Orchid as Endangered or   Substantial.........
9/01/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 90-day            75 FR 53615-53629
                                    Petition to List the White-   Notice of 12-month
                                    Sided Jackrabbit as            petition finding,.
                                    Threatened or Endangered      Not warranted.......
9/08/2010                          Proposed Rule To List the      Proposed                    75 FR 54561-54579
                                    Ozark Hellbender Salamander    ListingEndangered
9/08/2010                          Revised 12-Month Finding to    Notice of 12-month          75 FR 54707-54753
                                    List the Upper Missouri        petition finding,
                                    River                          Warranted but
                                   Distinct Population Segment    precluded...........
                                    of Arctic Grayling as
                                   or Threatened................
9/09/2010                          12-Month Finding on a          Notice of 12-month          75 FR 54822-54845
                                    Petition to List the Jemez     petition finding,
                                    Mountains                     Warranted but.......
                                   Salamander (Plethodon          precluded...........
                                    neomexicanus) as Endangered
                                   Threatened with Critical

    Our expeditious progress also includes work on listing actions that 
we funded in FY 2010 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 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, as compared to 
preparing separate proposed rules for each of them in the future.

[[Page 57731]]

             Actions funded in FY 2010 but not yet completed
                  Species                              Action
           Actions Subject to Court Order/Settlement Agreement
6 Birds from Eurasia                        Final listing determination
African penguin                             Final listing determination
Flat-tailed horned lizard                   Final listing determination
Mountain plover                             Final listing determination
6 Birds from Peru                           Proposed listing
Sacramento splittail                        Proposed listing
Pacific walrus                              12-month petition finding
Gunnison sage-grouse                        12-month petition finding
Wolverine                                   12-month petition finding
Solanum conocarpum                          12-month petition finding
Sprague's pipit                             12-month petition finding
Desert tortoise - Sonoran population        12-month petition finding
Pygmy rabbit (rangewide)\1\                 12-month petition finding
Thorne's Hairstreak Butterfly               12-month petition finding
Hermes copper butterfly                     12-month petition finding
                    Actions with Statutory Deadlines
Casey's june beetle                         Final listing determination
Georgia pigtoe, interrupted rocksnail, and  Final listing determination
 rough hornsnail
7 Bird species from Brazil                  Final listing determination
Southern rockhopper penguin - Campbell      Final listing determination
 Plateau population
5 Bird species from Colombia and Ecuador    Final listing determination
Queen Charlotte goshawk                     Final listing determination
5 species southeast fish (Cumberland        Final listing determination
 darter, rush darter, yellowcheek darter,
 chucky madtom, and laurel dace)
 Salmon crested cockatoo                    Proposed listing
CA golden trout                             12-month petition finding
Black-footed albatross                      12-month petition finding
Mount Charleston blue butterfly             12-month petition finding
Mojave fringe-toed lizard\1\                12-month petition finding
Kokanee - Lake Sammamish population\1\      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
Dusky tree vole                             12-month petition finding
3 MT invertebrates (mist forestfly(Lednia   12-month petition finding
 tumana), Oreohelix sp.3, Oreohelix sp.
 31) from 206 species petition

[[Page 57732]]

5 UT plants (Astragalus hamiltonii,         12-month petition finding
 Eriogonum soredium, Lepidium ostleri,
 Penstemon flowersii, Trifolium friscanum)
 from 206 species petition
2 CO plants (Astragalus microcymbus,        12-month petition finding
 Astragalus schmolliae) from 206 species
5 WY plants (Abronia ammophila, Agrostis    12-month petition finding
 rossiae, Astragalus proimanthus, Boechere
 (Arabis) pusilla, Penstemon gibbensii)
 from 206 species petition
Leatherside chub (from 206 species          12-month petition finding
Frigid ambersnail (from 206 species         12-month petition finding
Gopher tortoise - eastern population        12-month petition finding
Wrights marsh thistle                       12-month petition finding
67 of 475 southwest species                 12-month petition finding
Grand Canyon scorpion (from 475 species     12-month petition finding
Anacroneuria wipukupa (a stonefly from 475  12-month petition finding
 species petition)
Rattlesnake-master borer moth (from 475     12-month petition finding
 species petition)
3 Texas moths (Ursia furtiva, Sphingicampa  12-month petition finding
 blanchardi, Agapema galbina) (from 475
 species petition)
2 Texas shiners (Cyprinella sp.,            12-month petition finding
 Cyprinella lepida) (from 475 species
3 South Arizona plants (Erigeron            12-month petition finding
 piscaticus, Astragalus hypoxylus,
 Amoreuxia gonzalezii) (from 475 species
5 Central Texas mussel species (3 from 475  12-month petition finding
 species petition)
14 parrots (foreign species)                12-month petition finding
Berry Cave salamander\1\                    12-month petition finding
Striped Newt\1\                             12-month petition finding
Fisher - Northern Rocky Mountain Range\1\   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 var.      12-month petition finding
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 oklahomensis)\1\   12-month petition finding
Southeastern pop snowy plover & wintering   90-day petition finding
 pop. of piping plover\1\
Eagle Lake trout\1\                         90-day petition finding
Smooth-billed ani\1\                        90-day petition finding
Bay Springs salamander\1\                   90-day petition finding
32 species of snails and slugs\1\           90-day petition finding
42 snail species (Nevada & Utah)            90-day petition finding
Red knot roselaari subspecies               90-day petition finding
Peary caribou                               90-day petition finding

[[Page 57733]]

Plains bison                                90-day petition finding
Spring Mountains checkerspot butterfly      90-day petition finding
Spring pygmy sunfish                        90-day petition finding
Bay skipper                                 90-day petition finding
Unsilvered fritillary                       90-day petition finding
Texas kangaroo rat                          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 butterfly         90-day petition finding
6 sand dune (scarab) beetles                90-day petition finding
Golden-winged warbler                       90-day petition finding
Sand-verbena moth                           90-day petition finding
Aztec (beautiful) gilia                     90-day petition finding
Arapahoe snowfly                            90-day petition finding
404 Southeast species                       90-day petition finding
                    High Priority Listing Actions\3\
19 Oahu candidate species\3\ (16 plants, 3  Proposed listing
 damselflies) (15 with LPN = 2, 3 with LPN
 = 3, 1 with LPN =9)
19 Maui-Nui candidate species\3\ (16        Proposed listing
 plants, 3 tree snails) (14 with LPN = 2,
 2 with LPN = 3, 3 with LPN = 8)
Sand dune lizard\3\ (LPN = 2)               Proposed listing
2 Arizona springsnails\3\ (Pyrgulopsis      Proposed listing
 bernadina (LPN = 2), Pyrgulopsis
 trivialis (LPN = 2))
2 New Mexico springsnails\3\ (Pyrgulopsis   Proposed listing
 chupaderae (LPN = 2), Pyrgulopsis
 thermalis (LPN = 11))
2 mussels\3\ (rayed bean (LPN = 2),         Proposed listing
 snuffbox No LPN)
2 mussels\3\ (sheepnose (LPN = 2),          Proposed listing
 spectaclecase (LPN = 4),)
Altamaha spinymussel\3\ (LPN = 2)           Proposed listing
8 southeast mussels (southern kidneyshell   Proposed listing
 (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 = 11))
\1\ Funds for listing actions for these species were provided in
  previous FYs.
\2\ We funded a proposed rule for this subspecies with an LPN of 3 ahead
  of other species with LPN of 2, because the threats to the species
  were so imminent and of a high magnitude that we considered emergency
  listing if we were unable to fund work on a proposed listing rule in
  FY 2008.
\3\ Funds for these high-priority listing actions were provided in FY
  2008 or 2009

    We 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.
    We intend that any proposed reclassification of Agave eggersiana 
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

[[Page 57734]]

other interested party concerning this finding.
    Agave eggersiana will be added to the list of candidate species 
upon publication of this 12-month finding. We will continue to evaluate 
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 procedures.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Caribbean 
Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the 
Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office.


    The authority for this section is section 4 of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: September 2, 2010.
Paul R. Schmidt,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-23571 Filed 9-21-10; 8:45 am]