ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE PROPOSES CRITICAL HABITAT AND ENDANGERED STATUS FOR 48 SPECIES ON THE ISLAND OF KAUAI
On October 21, 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to list 48 species found only on the island of Kauai, as endangered (73 FR 62592). The species include 45 plants: Astelia waialealae, Canavalia napaliensis, Chamaesyce eleanoriae; Chamaesyce remyi var. kauaiensis, Chamaesyce remyi var. remyi, Charpentiera densiflora, Cyanea dolichopodia, Cyanea eleeleensis, Cyanea kolekoleensis, Cyanea kuhihewa, Cyrtandra oenobarba, Cyrtandra paliku, Diellia mannii, Doryopteris angelica, Dryopteris crinalis var. podosorus, Dubautia imbricata ssp. imbricata, Dubautia kalalauensis, Dubautia kenwoodii, Dubautia plantaginia ssp. magnifolia, Dubautia waialealae, Geranium kauaiense, Keysseria erici, Keysseria helenae, Labordia helleri, Labordia pumila, Lysimachia daphnoides, Lysimachia iniki, Lysimachia pendens, Lysimachia scopulensis, Lysimachia venosa, Melicope degeneri, Melicope paniculata, Melicope puberula, Myrsine knudsenii, Myrsine mezii, Phyllostegia renovans, Pittosporum napaliense, Platydesma rostrata, Pritchardia hardyi, Psychotria grandiflora, Psychotria hobdyi, Schiedea attenuata, Stenogyne kealiae, Tetraplasandra bisattenuata, and Tetraplasandra flynii; 2 birds, the Kauai creeper (akikiki, or Oreomystis bairdi) and the Kauai akepa (akekee, or Loxops caeruleirostris); and one Hawaiian picture-wing fly (Drosophila attigua). We are also proposing critical habitat for 47 of these 48 species totaling 27,674 acres, the majority of which is State-owned land. We determined that critical habitat is not prudent for Pritchardia hardyi, a species of the native palm or loulu, due to threats from vandalism and illegal collection. 26,028 acres or 94% of the proposed critical habitat is already designated critical habitat for other endangered or threatened species.
The most significant threat to these species is degradation and loss of their habitat by introduced plant and animal species. Other major threats are predation by introduced animals and, for the Kauai plants, competition with nonnative plants. In addition, the akikiki and the akekee are threatened by avian diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
A complete copy of the proposal was published in the Federal Register (73 FR 62592) on October 21, 2008, and can be found at http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands. Comments and materials related to this proposal are sought. If you would like a copy of the proposed rule to be mailed to you, please contact the Field Supervisor at the address or phone number below.
DATES: We will accept comments received on or before December 22, 2008 (see ADDRESSES). We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, by December 5, 2008, addressed to the Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, at the address below.
ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted electronically to the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov, or via U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: RIN 1018-AV48, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203. We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Patrick Leonard, Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Blvd., Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850; telephone 808-792/9400; facsimile 808-792-9581.