[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 144 (Friday, July 30, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 40996-41000]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-16248]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2020-0125; FF09E22000 FXES11130900000 212]
RIN 1018-BE41

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Adiantum 
vivesii From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
remove the plant Adiantum vivesii (no common name) from the Federal 
List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (List). Our review of the best 
available scientific and commercial data, including peer reviewer 
comments received on the 5-year status review (2008), indicate that A. 
vivesii is not a distinct species, but rather a sterile hybrid that 
does not have the capacity to establish a lineage that could be lost to 
extinction. Therefore, A. vivesii is not a listable entity under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
September 28, 2021. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 
p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for a 
public hearing, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT by September 13, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R4-ES-2020-0125, 
which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, click on the 
Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left 
side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, check the Proposed 
Rule box to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking 
on ``Comment.''
    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail to: Public Comments 
Processing, Attn: FWS-R4-ES-2020-0125, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We request that you send comments only by the methods described 
above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see Information Requested, below, for more information).
    Availability of supporting materials: This proposed rule and 
supporting documents, including the 5-year review, are available at 
https://www.fws.gov/southeast/caribbean/ and http://www.regulations.gov 
under Docket No. FWS-R4-ES-2020-0125.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edwin Mu[ntilde]iz, Field Supervisor, 
Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, P.O. Box 491, 
Boquer[oacute]n, PR 00622; telephone 787-851-7297. Persons who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay 
Service at 800-877-8339.


Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule 
will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and 
be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request 
comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, the 
scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties 
concerning this proposed rule.
    We particularly seek comments concerning:
    (1) Reasons we should or should not remove A. vivesii from the List 
of Endangered and Threatened Plants.
    (2) The location and characteristics of any additional populations 
not considered in previous work that might have bearing on the current 
taxonomic interpretation.
    (3) Additional information concerning range, distribution, and 
population sizes, particularly if it would assist in the evaluation of 
the accuracy of the current taxonomic interpretation.
    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as 
scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to 
verify any scientific or commercial information you include.
    Please note that submissions merely stating support for, or 
opposition to, the action under consideration without providing 
supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in 
making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act directs that 
determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or a 
threatened species must be made ``solely on the basis of the best 
scientific and commercial data available.''
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you 
send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.
    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your 
entire submission--including any personal identifying information--will 
be posted on the website. If your submission is made via a hardcopy 
that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the 
top of your document that we withhold this information from public 
review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We 
will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov.
    Because we will consider all substantial comments and information 
received during the comment period, our final determinations may differ 
from this proposal. Based on the new information we receive (and any 
comments on that new information), we may conclude that the species is 
a valid listable entity and should remained listed as endangered, or be 
reclassified from endangered to threatened.

Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for a public hearing on this 
proposal, if requested. Requests must be received by the date specified 
in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address

[[Page 40997]]

shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule a public 
hearing on this proposal, if requested, and announce the date, time, 
and place of the hearing, as well as how to obtain reasonable 
accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 
15 days before the hearing. For the immediate future, we will provide 
these public hearings using webinars that will be announced on the 
Service's website, in addition to the Federal Register. The use of 
these virtual public hearings is consistent with our regulations 50 CFR 

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy, ``Notice of Interagency Cooperative 
Policy for Peer Review in Endangered Species Act Activities,'' which 
was published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), and our August 22, 2016, 
Director's Memorandum ``Peer Review Process,'' we will seek the expert 
opinion of at least three appropriate and independent specialists 
regarding scientific data and interpretations contained in this 
proposed rule. We will send copies of this proposed rule to the peer 
reviewers immediately following publication in the Federal Register. We 
will ensure that the opinions of peer reviewers are objective and 
unbiased by following the guidelines set forth in the Director's Memo, 
which updates and clarifies Service policy on peer review (U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service 2016). The purpose of such review is to ensure 
that our decisions are based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, 
and analysis. Accordingly, our final decision may differ from this 

Previous Federal Actions

    A. vivesii was recommended for Federal listing in an interagency 
workshop held to discuss candidate plants in September 1988. The 
species was subsequently included as a ``category 1'' species (species 
for which the Service has substantial information supporting the 
appropriateness of proposing to list them as endangered or threatened) 
in our February 21, 1990, notice of review (55 FR 6184). We listed A. 
vivesii as endangered under the Act on June 9, 1993 (58 FR 32308). We 
assigned the species a recovery priority number of 5, which reflected a 
high degree of threat and low recovery potential. We did not designate 
critical habitat for A. vivesii.
    We completed two 5-year reviews for A. vivesii, the first on June 
10, 2008 (see the announcement initiating the review at 70 FR 53807, 
September 12, 2005), and the second on September 25, 2018 (see the 
announcement initiating the review at 82 FR 29916, June 30, 2017). Both 
5-year reviews recommended delisting due to the entity not meeting the 
Act's definition of a species.


Entity Description

    A. vivesii is found growing in colonies (clusters) where the 
rhizome (rootstock or underground stem) spreads horizontally. The 
fronds (leaves) are distichous (arranged in one plane) and erect-
spreading with broad and irregular lance-oblong blades. The blades have 
two or three alternate or occasionally subopposite pinnae (segment of 
leaf), with a larger terminal pinna. The terminal pinnae are stalked 
often somewhat inequilateral with approximately 10 to 13 pairs of 
alternate, narrowly oblong-falcate pinnules (smaller segments of a 
leaf), shaped unequally cuneate at the base. The irregularly-branched 
stalks are lustrous purple-black with hairlike scales. The rachis (axis 
of a fern leaf) and costae (central vein of a leaf) are more densely 
covered with hairlike scales than the stipe. The outer sterile margins 
of the pinna are irregularly serrulate (serrated teeth), and the tissue 
is dull green on both sides. Five elliptic to linear sori (sacks of 
spores) are borne along the basal half of the acroscopic (facing the 
apex) margin. The sori are also close or contiguous, but remain 
distinct, and the indusium flap (tissue covering the sori) is gray-
brown and turgid, with an erose (irregular) margin (Proctor 1989, p. 
140; USFWS 1995, pp. 1-2).

Distribution and Habitat

    A. vivesii is found in the limestone or karst region of 
northwestern Puerto Rico. This region is underlain by limestone rocks 
of the Oligocene or Miocene age. Topography varies throughout the karst 
region, from extremely rugged to gentle rolling hills. Canyons, 
sinkholes, and subterranean rivers, as well as these rolling hills, are 
the most common features of the region. Soils in the limestone hills 
are shallow, well-drained, alkaline, and interspersed between limestone 
outcrops (Lugo et al. 2001, pp. 13-26; USFWS 1995, pp. 6-7). A. vivesii 
occurs within the semi-evergreen seasonal forests of the subtropical 
moist forest life zone (Ewel and Whitmore 1973, p. 20). This life zone, 
which covers 58 percent of the total area of Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, is delineated by a mean annual rainfall of between 
1,000 to 1,100 mm (40 to 44 in) and about 2,000 to 2,200 mm (80 to 88 
in) and a mean temperature between about 18 and 24 degrees Centigrade 
(64.4 and 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit) (Ewel and Whitmore 1973, p. 20). A. 
vivesii occurs in a deeply shaded hollow at the base of a limestone 
hill in Quebradillas (USFWS 1995, p. 7).
    When the species was listed in 1993, it was known from only one 
population on a privately owned limestone hill in Quebradillas. That 
population was estimated at 1,000 plants or growing apices by Proctor 
(1991, p. 5). The population was later documented at the same location 
occurring in an area of 21 meters (m) by 10 m (68.9 feet (ft) by 32.8 
ft) by Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo (2000, p. 21). In the vicinity of this 
area, eight other species of the genus Adiantum were found (A. 
cristatum, A. fragile, A. latifolium, A. melanoleucum, A. 
pulverulentum, A. tenerum, A. tetraphyllum, and A. wilsonii). The fern 
A. tetraphyllum was growing intermixed within the area occupied by A. 
vivesii (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 22). Surveys conducted in 
2017 at the type locality (the location where the specimen was first 
identified) were unable to identify material that morphologically 
matched the original type specimen (despite similarities), nor any 
clonal stand of Adiantum material as it had been described there in 
1991 and 2000 (Possley et al. 2020, p. 6). These results suggest that 
A. vivesii is extirpated from the only known location.


    A. vivesii was believed to be a fern of the family Pteridaceae. It 
was described by Dr. George R. Proctor in 1985, from specimens 
collected by Miguel Vives and William Estremera at San Antonio Ward in 
the municipality of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico (Proctor 1989, p. 140). 
Non-genetic research on A. vivesii after it was described as a species 
suggested this fern is actually a single sterile hybrid plant, rather 
than a population of individuals of a species (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 
2000, entire). Excavations at different points throughout the entire 
``population'' of A. vivesii found rhizome, or underground stem, 
connections between most of the apparent individual ferns 
(Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 21). Plantings of two 10-centimeter 
(4-inch) rhizome segments (planted in pots using the same soil from the 
colony location) of A. vivesii grew into healthy plants within about 3 
months (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 21). Production of sporangia 
(structures from which the reproductive gametophytes arise) was 
observed throughout the year, but actual gametophytes (structures 
containing sperm and eggs, or gametes) were not

[[Page 40998]]

observed. The lack of gamete production but growth of fronds from 
rhizome segments suggests that the A. vivesii ``population'' consists 
of only one individual with rhizome proliferations (below-ground 
    A morphometric analysis of A. vivesii and the co-occurring species, 
A. tetraphyllum, was conducted on 21 vegetative characters and one 
spore character (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 22). In conjunction 
with the morphometric analysis, the following studies of A. vivesii and 
A. tetraphyllum were conducted: Chromosome counts; light microscopy 
observations of fresh or dried pinnules, sori, and sporangia; and 
scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of rhizomes, fertile pinnules, and 
spores. The morphometric analysis showed significant differences 
between A. vivesii and A. tetraphyllum for 16 of the vegetative 
characters as well as spore size, revealing that A. vivesii is 
morphologically different. Based on the results, the morphological 
features that best distinguish A. vivesii from A. tetraphyllum are the 
number of lateral pinnae and the number of pinnules on each lateral 
pinna, which are fewer in A. vivesii. Although there are morphological 
differences, chromosome number in each taxon appears to be similar 
(Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 23), indicating A. vivesii is not a 
polyploid (possesses more than two sets of chromosomes), a common cause 
of sterility in plants.
    Based on spore observations in the light microscopy and SEM 
studies, A. vivesii appears to be a sterile hybrid (Sep[uacute]lveda-
Orengo 2000, p. 31). The greater variation in spore size in A. vivesii 
observed in these studies was mainly produced by spore abortion. These 
observations of sori containing abortive sporangia and spores suggested 
A. vivesii is indeed a hybrid (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 29). 
Further, the forms of the spores of A. vivesii are different from A. 
tetraphyllum because of the collapse of the exospore (outer layer of 
the spore membrane) that is associated with the absence of the 
protoplast (plant cell with no cell wall). Mature spores of A. vivesii 
are more compactly constructed than those of A. tetraphyllum, with the 
sporangia appearing as more or less globular objects tightly grouped 
together, which is consistent with the sorus (spore producing 
structure) of a hybrid (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, p. 28).
    Based on the initial taxonomic analysis discussed above, A. vivesii 
does not appear to be a distinct species (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, 
entire). This analysis showed that sporangia and spores were produced 
throughout the year, but signs of sexual reproduction as gametophytes 
or small plants were not observed. The plant instead reproduces 
vegetatively (asexually), and the entire colony seems to be the result 
of vegetative reproduction via rhizomes from a single, sterile 
individual (Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo 2000, pp. 26-31).
    More recently, the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (Fairchild) 
has been collaborating with the Service on the assessment of endangered 
ferns including A. vivesii (Possley and Lange, 2016 and 2017, p. 4; 
Possley et al. 2020, pp. 5-11). In 2017, fieldwork was conducted to 
assess the colony of A. vivesii and collect material for genetic 
analyses. Fairchild engaged Dr. Emily Sessa from the University of 
Florida (UF) to assist on a genetic study to validate whether A. 
vivesii is a hybrid as indicated by Sep[uacute]lveda-Orengo (2000, p. 
    Leaf material for DNA extraction was collected in the field in 
Puerto Rico in February 2017, and from herbarium specimens, including 
the isotype (duplicate or very similar type specimen) for A. vivesii. A 
total of 27 specimens were sampled: 5 identified as A. latifolium, 2 as 
A. obliquum, 3 as A. petiolatum, 4 as A. pyramidale, 5 as A. 
tetraphyllum, 4 as A. vivesii, and 4 unidentified Adiantum individuals 
(Possley et al. 2020, p. 6).
    The analysis found that five samples, including the A. vivesii 
isotype, had sequence variants that fell in different groups, which 
indicate their hybrid origin (Possley et al. 2020, p. 10). The genetic 
sequencing further indicates that A. vivesii is of hybrid origin with 
A. petiolatum as one parent and the other parent likely being A. 
tetraphyllum (Possley et al. 2020, p. 10).
    The Act and supporting regulations define a species as any species 
or subspecies of fish, wildlife, or plant, and any distinct population 
segment of any vertebrate species that interbreeds when mature, but do 
not further define the terms ``species'' or ``subspecies'' used in this 
definition. Rather, per 50 CFR 424.11(a), the Service shall rely on 
standard taxonomic distinctions and the biological expertise of the 
agency and the scientific community in determining whether a particular 
taxon or population is a species for the purposes of the Act. The 
standard biological definition of a ``species'' is a group of organisms 
that are capable of interbreeding when mature. The application of this 
definition becomes more complicated with plant species, as many can 
exhibit asexual reproduction (NRC 1995, p. 50). For this reason, we 
consulted with experts to assist in determining the appropriate 
treatment for this entity (Riibe 2020, pers. comm.; Sessa 2020, pers. 
comm). Based upon expert input, here we are considering a species to be 
a distinct unit with a natural evolutionary trajectory, meaning that it 
has the ability to establish a lineage that could be lost to extinction 
(NRC 1995, p. 54; Riibe 2020, pers. comm.; Sessa 2020, pers. comm.). In 
the case of A. vivesii, it was determined to be a sterile hybrid by 
Sepulveda-Orengo (2000, entire), indicating that A. vivesii is unable 
to sexually reproduce and is unlikely to perpetuate into the future. 
This research also demonstrated that the only known population was 
comprised of clonal individuals resulting from rhizome proliferations, 
some of which eventually fragmented. Despite the extensive botanical 
research and inventories in Puerto Rico by the late Dr. George Proctor 
(former authority on ferns across the Caribbean) and other experts, A. 
vivesii remains only known from the type locality. Additionally, during 
the latest field surveys at the type locality (2017), the Fairchild 
team was unable to locate material that morphologically matched the 
type specimen (despite similarities), nor any clonal stand of Adiantum 
material as described by Proctor and Sepulveda-Orengo (Possley et al. 
2020, p. 6). The team collected a variety of morphotypes from the type 
locality for genetic sequencing at the University of Florida; however, 
none of the material was a genetic match to A. vivesii. These results 
suggest that A. vivesii is extirpated from the only known location. 
Recent research has confirmed that A. vivesii is a sterile hybrid that 
does not have the capacity to establish a lineage that could be lost to 
extinction; consequently, we have determined that it does not qualify 
as a listable entity under the Act.

Determination of Adiantum vivesii's Status

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and its implementing 
regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for adding 
species to, removing species from, or reclassifying species on the 
Lists. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.11(e)) state that the Secretary 
shall delist a species if the Secretary finds that, after conducting a 
status review based on the best scientific and commercial data 
    (1) The species is extinct;
    (2) The species does not meet the definition of an endangered 
species or a threatened species. In making such a determination, we 
consider the same five factors and apply the same standards set forth 
as for listing and reclassification; or

[[Page 40999]]

    (3) The listed entity does not meet the statutory definition of a 
    Under section 3 of the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 
CFR 424.02, a ``species'' includes any subspecies of fish or wildlife 
or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of 
vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature. As such, a 
species under the Act may include any taxonomically defined species of 
fish, wildlife, or plant; any taxonomically defined subspecies of fish, 
wildlife, or plant; or any distinct population segment of any 
vertebrate species as determined by us per our Policy Regarding the 
Recognition of District Vertebrate Population Segments Under the 
Endangered Species Act (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996).
    Our implementing regulations provide further guidance on 
determining whether a particular taxon or population is a species or 
subspecies for the purposes of the Act; under 50 CFR 424.11(a), the 
Service shall rely on standard taxonomic distinctions and the 
biological expertise of the agency and the scientific community in 
determining whether a particular taxon or population is a species for 
the purposes of the Act. For each species, section 4(b)(1)(A) of the 
Act mandates that we use the best scientific and commercial data 
available for each individual species under consideration. Given the 
wide range of taxa and the multitude of situations and types of data 
that apply to species under review, the application of a single set of 
criteria that would be applicable to all taxa is not practical or 
useful. In addition, because of the wide variation in kinds of 
available data for a given circumstance, we do not assign a priority or 
weight to any particular type of data, but must consider it in the 
context of all the available data for a given species.
    To determine what constitutes a listable entity under the Act, we 
evaluate and consider all available types of data, which may or may not 
include genetic information, to determine whether a taxon is a 
distinguishable species or subspecies. As a matter of practice, and in 
accordance with our regulations, in deciding which alternative 
taxonomic interpretations to recognize, the Service rely on the 
professional judgment available within the Service and the scientific 
community to evaluate the most recent taxonomic studies and other 
relevant information available for the subject species. Therefore, we 
continue to make listing decisions based solely on the best scientific 
and commercial data available for each species under consideration on a 
case-by-case basis.
    In making our determination whether we recognize A. vivesii as a 
listable entity, we considered all available data that may inform the 
taxonomy of A. vivesii, such as ecology, morphology, and genetics, as 
well as expert opinion (Riibe 2020, pers. comm.; Sessa 2020, pers. 
comm). Here, we considered the ability of an entity to establish a 
lineage that could be lost to extinction in our determination of 
whether the species constituted a listable entity.
    After a review of all information available, we propose to remove 
A. vivesii from the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants at 50 CFR 
17.12. Since the time of listing, additional studies have shown that A. 
vivesii is not a distinct species, but rather consists of a sterile 
hybrid with rhizome proliferations that lacks the ability to establish 
a lineage that could be lost to extinction. As a result, we have 
determined that the entity is not a listable entity under the Act.

Determination of Status

    Our review of the best available scientific and commercial 
information available indicates that A. vivesii is not a valid 
taxonomic entity and, therefore, does not meet the definition of a 
species under the Act. Accordingly, we propose to remove A. vivesii 
from the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants per 50 CFR 

Effects of This Rule

    This proposed rule, if made final, would revise 50 CFR 17.12(h) by 
removing A. vivesii from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened 
Plants. The prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act, 
particularly through sections 7 and 9, would no longer apply to A. 
vivesii. Federal agencies would no longer be required to consult with 
the Service under section 7 of the Act in the event that activities 
they authorize, fund, or carry out may affect A. vivesii. There is no 
critical habitat designated for A. vivesii, so there would be no effect 
to 50 CFR 17.96.

Required Determinations

Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (1) Be logically organized;
    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us 
revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For 
example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs 
that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, 
the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be 
prepared in connection with determining a species' listing status under 
the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this 
determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 
(Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the 
Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our 
responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal 
Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with 
Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, 
Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), 
we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with 
Tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge 
that Tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal 
public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make 
information available to Tribes. We have determined that there are no 
Tribal lands that may be affected by this proposal.

References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available 
on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the 
Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

[[Page 41000]]


    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of 
the Fish and Wildlife Service's Species Assessment Team and the 
Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

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


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

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, 
unless otherwise noted.

Sec.  17.12   [Amended]

2. In Sec.  17.12(h) amend the table by removing the entry for 
``Adiantum vivesii'' under ``FERNS AND ALLIES'' from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Plants.

Martha Williams,
Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-16248 Filed 7-29-21; 8:45 am]