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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket Number FWS-R1-ES-2012-0070: 4500030113]

RIN 1018-AY09

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing 15 Species on Hawaii Island as Endangered and Designating Critical Habitat for 3 Species

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list 15 species on the Hawaiian island of Hawaii as endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), and to designate critical habitat for 1 of these species. For the remaining 14 species that we are proposing to list in this rule, we find that critical habitat is not determinable at this time. We also propose to designate critical habitat for two plant species that were listed as endangered species in 1986 and 1994. The proposed critical habitat designation totals 18,766 acres (ac) (7,597 hectares (ha)), and includes both occupied and unoccupied habitat. Approximately 55 percent of the area being proposed as critical habitat is already designated as critical habitat for 42 plants and the Blackburn's sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni). In addition, we propose a taxonomic change for one endangered plant species.
DATES: We will accept comments received on or postmarked on or before December 17, 2012. Please note that if you are using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (SeeADDRESSESsection below), the deadline for submitting an electronic comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on this date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in theFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACTsection by December 3, 2012.
ADDRESSES: *Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.Search for FWS[?]R1-ES-2012-0070, which is the docket number for this proposed rule. You may submit a comment by clicking on "Comment Now!"

*U.S. Mail or Hand Delivery:Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-2012-0070; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

We will post all comments onhttp://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see thePublic Commentssection below for more information).

The coordinates or plot points or both from which the maps were generated are included in the administrative record for the proposed critical habitat designation and are available athttp://www.fws.gov/pacificislands, http://www.regulations.govat Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2011-0070, and at the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (seeFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information that we may develop for this critical habitat designation will also be available at the above locations.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Loyal Mehrhoff, Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850; by telephone at 808-792-9400; or by facsimile at 808-792-9581. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary

Why we need to publish a rule.Under the Act, we are required to list a species if we determine that it meets the definition of an endangered species or a threatened species as defined in the Act. If this determination is made, we publish a proposed rule in theFederal Register, seek public comment on our proposal, and issue a final rule. This action consists of a proposed rule to list 15 species (13 plants, 1 insect (picture-wing fly), and 1 crustacean (anchialine pool shrimp)) from the Island of Hawaii in the State of Hawaii, as endangered. Further, under the Act, we are to designate critical habitat to the maximum extent prudent and determinable concurrently with a listing determination. We are proposing to designate critical habitat concurrently with listing for the plantBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla,due to the imminent threat of urban development to 98 percent of the individuals known for this species and its habitat within the lowland dry ecosystem. In addition, we are proposing to designate critical habitat for two previously listed plant species.Isodendrion pyrifolium,listed as an endangered species on March 4, 1994 (59 FR 10305), andMezoneuron kavaiense,listed as an endangered species on July 8, 1986 (51 FR 24672). These species co-occur withBidens micranthassp.ctenophyllain the same lowland dry ecosystem, but do not have designated critical habitat on Hawaii Island. We are also correcting critical habitat unit maps forCyanea shipmanii, Phyllostegia racemosa, Phyllostegia velutina,andPlantago hawaiensisto accurately reflect the designated critical habitat units for those plant species. These map corrections do not change the designated critical habitat for these plants. For the remaining 14 species that we are proposing to list in this rule, we find that critical habitat is not determinable at this time. This proposed rule is organized by ecosystem, which will allow the Service to better prioritize, direct, and focus conservation and recovery actions on Hawaii Island.

The basis for our action.Under the Endangered Species Act, a species may be determined to be an endangered species or a threatened species based on any of five factors: (1) Destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (2) Overuse; (3) Disease or predation; (4) Inadequate existing regulations; or (5) Other natural or manmade factors.

One or more of the species proposed for listing in this rule face the following threats related to these criteria:

• Habitat loss and degradation due to agriculture and urban development; nonnative feral ungulates (e.g.,pigs, goats) and plants; wildfire; hurricanes; flooding; and drought.

• Predation or herbivory by nonnative feral ungulates, rats, snails, and slugs.

• Inadequate existing regulatory mechanisms to prevent the introduction and spread of nonnative plants and animals.

• Small number of individuals and populations, and lack of reproduction in the wild.

This rule proposes to designate critical habitat for 3 plant species.

• Approximately 18,766 acres (7,597 hectares) is being proposed as critical habitat in seven multi-species critical habitat units on lands owned by the U.S. National Park Service, State of Hawaii, County of Hawaii, and private interests.

• Approximately 55 percent, or 10,304 acres (4,170 hectares), of the area being proposed as critical habitat overlaps with areas already designated as critical habitat for previously listed plant and animal species.

• Approximately 45 percent, or 8,464 acres (3,426 hectares), of the area does not overlap with areas already designated as critical habitat for previously listed plant and animal species.

• The proposed critical habitat units encompass areas containing physical and biological features essential to the conservation of these species and that may require special management considerations, or are otherwise essential for the conservation of these species.

• The proposed designation includes both occupied and unoccupied critical habitat for the three species for which we are proposing to designate critical habitat.

• The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if the benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of designation, unless the exclusion will result in the extinction of the species. We are considering excluding approximately 4,102 acres of privately owned and State lands from the critical habitat designation.

We are preparing an economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation.To consider economic impacts, we are preparing an analysis of the economic impacts of the proposed critical habitat designation and related factors. We will announce the availability of the draft economic analysis as soon as it is completed, at which time we will seek public review and comment. We will use information from this analysis to inform the development of our final designation of critical habitat for these species.

We will seek peer review.We will obtain opinions from knowledgeable individuals with scientific expertise regarding our technical assumptions, analysis, adherence to regulations, and use of the best available information.

Public Comments

We intend that any final action resulting from this proposal will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we solicit comments or suggestions on this proposed rule from other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We are proposing to list 15 species (13 plants, 1 anchialine pool shrimp, and 1 picture-wing fly) as endangered species. We are also proposing to designate critical habitat for one of the proposed endangered plant species and two plant species that are already listed as endangered species, but that do not have designated critical habitat on Hawaii Island. We particularly seek comments concerning:

(1) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning threats (or the lack thereof) to the 15 species proposed for listing, and the adequacy of the existing regulations that may be addressing those threats.

(2) Additional information concerning the range, distribution, and population sizes of each of the 15 species proposed for listing, including the locations of any additional populations of these species.

(3) Any information on the biological or ecological requirements of the 15 species proposed for listing.

(4) Current or planned activities within the area being proposed for critical habitat and possible impacts to these activities.

(5) The reasons why we should or should not designate areas forBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla, Mezoneuron kavaiense(taxonomic revision proposed forCaesalpinia kavaiensetoMezoneuron kavaiense), andIsodendrion pyrifoliumas “critical habitat” under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531et seq.). We specifically seek information on any threats to these species from human activity, the degree of which can be expected to increase due to the designation, and whether the benefit of designation would outweigh threats to these species caused by the designation, such that the designation of critical habitat is prudent.

(6) Specific information on:

• The amount and distribution of critical habitat for the species included in this proposed rule;

• Areas that are currently occupied and contain the necessary physical or biological features essential for the conservation of the species that we should include in the designation, and why;

• Whether special management considerations or protections may be required for the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species in this proposed rule; and

• What areas outside the geographical area occupied at the time of listing are essential to the conservation of the species, and why.

(7) Any reasonably foreseeable economic, national security, or other relevant impacts of the proposed critical habitat designation. We are particularly interested in any impacts on small entities, and the benefits of including or excluding areas that may experience these impacts.

(8) Whether the benefits of excluding any particular area from critical habitat outweigh the benefits of including that area as critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, after considering the potential impacts and benefits of the proposed critical habitat designation. Under section 4(b)(2), the Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if he or she determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of including that particular area as critical habitat, unless failure to designate that specific area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species. We request specific information on:

• The benefits of and supporting rationale for including specific areas in the final designation;

• The benefits of and supporting rationale for excluding specific areas from the final designation; and

• Whether any specific exclusions may result in the extinction of the species, and why.

(9) Whether the private and State lands being considered for exclusion from critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) of the Act should or should not be excluded, and why.

(10) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impact of climate change on the species included in this proposed rule, and any special management needs or protections that may be needed in the critical habitat areas we are proposing.

(11) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and comments.

(12) Specific information on ways to improve the clarity of this rule as it pertains to completion of consultations under section 7 of the Act.

(13) Comments on our proposal to revise the taxonomic classification forCaesalpinia kavaiense to Mezoneuron kavaiense.

You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in theADDRESSESsection. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in theADDRESSESsection.

We will post your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—onhttp://www.regulations.gov.If you provide personal identifying information in your comment, such as your street address, phone number, or email address, 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. Please include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov,or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (seeFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). You may obtain copies of the proposed rule by mail from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (SeeFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal athttp://www.regulations.gov.

Background Hawaii Island Species Addressed in This Proposed Rule

Table 1 below provides the scientific name, common name, listing status, and critical habitat status for the species that are the subjects of this proposed rule.

Table 1—The Hawaiian island species addressed in this proposed rule (note that many of the species share a common name. “e” denotes endangered status under the act; “c” denotes a species currently on the candidate list.) Scientific name Common name(s) Listing status Critical habitat status Plants Bidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana kookoolau Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Bidens micranthassp.ctenophylla kookoolau Proposed—Endangered (C) Proposed. Caesalpinia kavaiense(taxonomic revision proposed, toMezoneuron kavaiense) uhiuhi Listed 1986—E Proposed. Cyanea marksii haha Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Cyanea tritomantha aku Proposed—Endangered (C) Not determinable. Cyrtandra nanawaleensis haiwale Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Cyrtandra wagneri haiwale Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Isodendrion pyrifolium wahine noho kula Listed 1994—E Proposed. Phyllostegia floribunda no common name (NCN) Proposed—Endangered (C) Not determinable. Pittosporum hawaiiense hoawa, haawa Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Platydesma remyi NCN Proposed—Endangered (C) Not determinable. Pritchardia lanigera loulu Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Schiedea diffusassp.macraei NCN Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Schiedea hawaiiensis NCN Proposed—Endangered Not determinable. Stenogyne cranwelliae NCN Proposed—Endangered (C) Not determinable. Animals Drosophila digressa picture-wing fly Proposed—Endangered (C) Not determinable. Vetericaris chaceorum anchialine pool shrimp Proposed—Endangered (C) Not determinable [NCN] = no common name. Previous Federal Actions

Seven of the 15 species proposed for listing are candidate species (76 FR 66370; October 26, 2011). Candidate species are those taxa for which the Service has sufficient information on their biological status and threats to propose them for listing as endangered or threatened species under the Act, but for which the development of a listing regulation has been precluded to date by other higher priority listing activities. The current candidate species addressed in this proposed listing rule include the five plantsBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla, Cyanea tritomantha, Phyllostegia floribunda, Platydesma remyi,andStenogyne cranwelliae;and the anchialine pool shrimpVetericaris chaceorum,and the picture-wing flyDrosophila digressa.The candidate status of all of these species was most recently assessed and reaffirmed in the October 26, 2011, Review of Native Species that are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened (CNOR) (76 FR 66370).

On May 4, 2004, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the Secretary of the Interior to list 225 species of plants and animals, including the 7 candidate species listed above, as endangered or threatened under the provisions of the Act. Since then, we have published our annual findings on the May 4, 2004, petition (including our findings on the 7 candidate species listed above) in the CNORs dated May 11, 2005 (70 FR 24870), September 12, 2006 (71 FR 53756), December 6, 2007 (72 FR 69034), and December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75176), November 9, 2009 (74 FR 57804), November 10, 2010 (75 FR 69222), and October 26, 2011 (76 FR 66370). This proposed rule constitutes a further response to the 2004 petition.

In addition to the seven candidate species, we are proposing to list four plant species,Cyanea marksii, Cyrtandra wagneri, Schiedea diffusassp.macraei,andSchiedea hawaiiensis,that have been identified as the “rarest of the rare” Hawaiian plant species in need of immediate conservation under the multi-agency (Federal, State, and private) Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP). The goal of PEPP is to prevent the extinction of plant species that have fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii (PEPP 2012, in litt.). We have determined that these four plant species warrant listing under the Act for the reasons discussed in the Summary of Factors Affecting the 15 Species Proposed for Listing section (below). Because these 4 plant species occur within 4 of the ecosystems identified in this proposed rule, and share common threats with the other 11 species proposed for listing under the Act, we have included them in this proposed rule to provide them with protection under the Act in an expeditious manner.

We are also proposing to list four other plant species (Bidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana, Cyrtandra nanawaleensis, Pittosporum hawaiiense,andPritchardia lanigera) that occur on Hawaii Island. We havedetermined that these four Hawaii Island plant species warrant listing under the Act for the reasons discussed in the Summary of Factors Affecting the 15 Species Proposed for Listing section (below). Because these 4 plant species occur within 7 of the ecosystems identified in this proposed rule, and share common threats with the other 11 species proposed for listing under the Act, we have included them in this proposed rule to provide them with protection under the Act in an expeditious manner.

We are proposing critical habitat for two endangered plant species,Mezoneuron kavaiense(currently listed asMezoneuron kavaiensebut listed in error asCaesalpinia kavaiensein 50 CFR 17.12, see taxonomic change discussion below) (51 FR 24672; July 8, 1986) andIsodendrion pyrifolium(59 FR 10305, March 4, 1994; 68 FR 39624, July 2, 2003) for which critical habitat has not been previously designated on the island of Hawaii. We are also proposing critical habitat forBidens microthiassp.ctenophylla,a candidate species proposed for listing in this rule (76 FR 66370; October 26, 2011).

Proposed Taxonomic Change Since Listing for One Plant Species

We listedMezoneuron kavaienseas an endangered species in 1986 (51 FR 24672; July 8, 1986), based on the taxonomic treatment of Hillebrand (1888, pp. 110-111). Following the reduction ofMezoneurontoCaesalpiniaby Hattink (1974, p. 5), Geesinket al.(1990, pp. 646-647) changed the name toCaesalpinia kavaiensis.In 1989, the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants was revised to identify the listed entity asCaesalpinia kavaiense.Recent phylogenetic studies support separation ofMezoneuronfromCaesalpinia(Bruneauet al.2008, p. 710). The recognized scientific name for this species isMezoneuron kavaiense(Wagneret al.2012, p. 37). The range of the species between the time of listing and now has not changed. Therefore, we propose to recognize the listed species asMezoneuron kavaiense.

Critical Habitat Unit Map Corrections

Critical habitat was designated forCyanea shipmanii, Phyllostegia racemosa, Phyllostegia velutina,andPlantago hawaiensisin 2003 (68 FR 39624; July 2, 2003). In this proposed rule, we are correcting critical habitat unit maps published in 50 CFR 17.99(k)(1) for these four species to accurately reflect their designated critical habitat units. We are amending 50 CFR 17.99(k)(1) by removing four maps (Map 97, Unit 30—Cyanea stictophylla—d; Map 100, Unit 30—Phyllostegia hawaiiensis—c; Map 101, Unit 30—Phyllostegia racemosa—c; and Map 102, Unit 30—Phyllostegia velutina—b) that are either a duplicate of another unit map or labeled with the incorrect species name. We are replacing these four maps, using the same map numbers, with correctly labeled maps that accurately represent the geographic location of each species' critical habitat unit.

An Ecosystem-Based Approach to Listing 15 Species on Hawaii Island

On the island of Hawaii, as on most of the Hawaiian Islands, native species that occur in the same habitat types (ecosystems) depend on many of the same biological features and the successful functioning of that ecosystem to survive. We have therefore organized the species addressed in this proposed rule by common ecosystem. Although the listing determination for each species is analyzed separately, we have organized the individual analysis for each species within the context of the broader ecosystem in which it occurs to avoid redundancy. In addition, native species that share ecosystems often face a suite of common factors that may be a threat to them, and ameliorating or eliminating these threats for each individual species often requires the exact same management actions in the exact same areas. Effective management of these threats often requires implementation of conservation actions at the ecosystem scale to enhance or restore critical ecological processes and provide for long-term viability of those species in their native environment. Thus, by taking this approach, we hope not only to organize this proposed rule efficiently, but also to more effectively focus conservation management efforts on the common threats that occur across these ecosystems. Those efforts would facilitate restoration of ecosystem functionality for the recovery of each species, and provide conservation benefits for associated native species, thereby potentially precluding the need to list other species under the Act that occur in these shared ecosystems. In addition, this approach is in accord with the primary stated purpose of the Act (see section 2(b)): “to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved.”

We propose to list the plantsBidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana, B. micranthassp.ctenophylla, Cyanea marksii, Cyanea tritomantha, Cyrtandra nanawaleensis, Cyrtandra wagneri, Phyllostegia floribunda, Pittosporum hawaiiense, Platydesma remyi, Pritchardia lanigera, Schiedea diffusassp.macraei, Schidea hawaiiensis,andStenogyne cranwelliae;and the animalsDrosophila digressaandVetericaris chaceorum,from Hawaii Island as endangered species. These 15 species (13 plants, 1 anchialine pool shrimp, and 1 picture-wing fly) are found in 10 ecosystem types: anchialine pool, coastal, lowland dry, lowland mesic, lowland wet, montane dry, montane mesic, montane wet, dry cliff, and wet cliff (Table 2).

Table 2—Species Proposed for Listing on Hawaii Island and the Ecosystems Upon Which They Depend Ecosystem Species Plants Animals Anchialine Pool Vetericaris chaceorum. Coastal Bidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana Lowland Dry Bidens micranthassp.ctenophylla Lowland Mesic Pittosporum hawaiiense Drosophila digressa. Pritchardia lanigera Lowland Wet Cyanea marksii Cyanea tritomantha Cyrtandra nanawaleensis Cyrtandra wagneri Phyllostegia floribunda Platydesma remyi Pritchardia lanigera Montane Dry Schiedea hawaiiensis
Montane Mesic Phyllostegia floribunda Drosophila digressa. Pittosporum hawaiiense Montane Wet Cyanea marksii Drosophila digressa. Cyanea tritomantha Phyllostegia floribunda Pittosporum hawaiiense Platydesma remyi Pritchardia lanigera Schiedea diffusassp.macraei Stenogyne cranwelliae Dry Cliff Bidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana Wet Cliff Cyanea tritomantha Pritchardia lanigera Stenogyne cranwelliae

For each species, we identified and evaluated those factors that threaten the species and that may be common to all of the species at the ecosystem level. For example, the degradation of habitat by nonnative ungulates is considered a threat to 14 of the 15 species proposed for listing, and is likely a threat to many, if not most or all, of the native species within a given ecosystem. We consider such a threat factor to be an “ecosystem-level threat,” as each individual species within that ecosystem faces a threat that is essentially identical in terms of the nature of the impact, its severity, its timing, and its scope. Beyond ecosystem-level threats, we further identified and evaluated threat factors that may be unique to certain species, but do not apply to all species under consideration within the same ecosystem. For example, the threat of predation by nonnative wasps is unique to the picture-wing fly in this proposed rule, and is not applicable to any of the other species proposed for listing. We have identified such threat factors, which apply only to certain species within the ecosystems addressed here, as “species-specific threats.”

An Ecosystem-Based Approach to Determining Primary Constituent Elements of Critical Habitat

Under section 4(a)(3)(A) of the Act, we are required to designate critical habitat to the maximum extent prudent and determinable concurrently with the publication of a final determination that a species is an endangered or threatened species. We are proposing to designate critical habitat concurrently with listing for the plantBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla,and for two previously listed plant species:Isodendrion pyrifolium,which was listed as an endangered species on March 4, 1994 (59 FR 10305), andMezoneuron kavaiense,which was listed as an endangered species on July 8, 1986 (51 FR 24672). These two species are included in this proposed rule because they share proposed occupied and unoccupied critical habitat withBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla.

In this proposed rule, we propose to designate critical habitat for three species in seven multiple-species critical habitat units. Although critical habitat is identified for each species individually, we have found that the conservation of each depends, at least in part, on the successful functioning of the physical or biological features of the commonly shared ecosystem. Each critical habitat unit identified in this proposed rule contains the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of those individual species that occupy that particular unit at the time of listing, or contains areas essential for the conservation of those species identified that do not presently occupy that particular unit. Where the unit is not occupied by a particular species, we believe it is still essential for the conservation of that species because the designation allows for the expansion of its range and reintroduction of individuals into areas where it occurred historically, and provides area for recovery in the case of stochastic events that otherwise hold the potential to eliminate the species from the one or more locations where it is presently found. Under current conditions, many of these species are so rare in the wild that they are at high risk of extirpation or even extinction from various stochastic events, such as hurricanes or landslides. Therefore, building up resilience and redundancy in these species through the establishment of multiple robust populations is a key component of recovery.

Each of the areas proposed for designation represents critical habitat for multiple species, based upon their shared habitat requirements (i.e.,physical or biological features) essential for their conservation. The identification of critical habitat also takes into account any species-specific conservation needs as appropriate.

The proposed speciesBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla,and the listed speciesIsodendrion pyrifoliumandMezoneuron kavaienseco-occur in the same lowland dry ecosystem on the island of Hawaii. These three species (Bidens micranthassp.ctenophylla, Isodendrion pyrifolium,andMezoneuron kavaiense) share many of the same physical or biological features (e.g.,elevation, annual rainfall, substrate, associated native plant genera), as well as the same threats from development, fire, and nonnative ungulates and plants. However, for the remaining 14 species proposed for listing in this rule, we do not have the analysis necessary to refine the identification of the physical and biological features and delineate the specific areas that contain those features in the appropriate arrangement and quantity or the specific unoccupied areas essential to the species' conservation. As a result, we find that, for the remaining 14 species that we are proposing to list in this rule, the designation of critical habitat is not determinable at this time.

The Island of Hawaii

The island of Hawaii, located southeast of the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe, is the largest, highest, and youngest island of the Hawaiian archipelago (Figure 1). At 4,038 square(sq) miles (mi) (10,458 sq kilometers (km)) in area, it comprises approximately two-thirds of the land area of the State of Hawaii, giving rise to its common name, the “Big Island.” Five large shield volcanoes make up the island of Hawaii: Mauna Kea at 13,796 feet (ft) (4,205 meters (m)) and Kohala at 5,480 ft (1,670 m) are both extinct volcanoes (volcanoes that are not expected to erupt again); Hualalai at 8,271 ft (2,521 m) is dormant (an active volcano that is not erupting, but expected to erupt again); and Mauna Loa at 13,677 ft (4,169 m) and Kilauea at 4,093 ft (1,248 m) are both active (volcanoes that are currently erupting or showing signs of unrest, such as significant new gas emission) (McDonaldet al.1990, pp. 345-379; 59 FR 10305, March 4, 1994; USGS 2012, pp. 1-2). Hawaii Island, with its greater mass and higher elevations, has more distinctive climatic zones and ecosystems than can be found elsewhere in the State (Juvik and Juvik 1998, p. 22). The highest and lowest recorded temperatures in the State occur on Hawaii Island (USFWS 1996, p. 6; Wagneret al.1999a, p. 38).

EP17OC12.000

The island of Hawaii lies within the trade wind belt. Moisture derived from the Pacific Ocean is carried to the island by north-easterly trade winds. Heavy rains fall when the moisture in clouds makes contact with windward (the direction upwind from the point of reference, usually the more wet side of an island) mountain slopes (Wagneret al.1999a, pp. 38-42). Considerable moisture reaches the leeward (the course in which the wind is blowing, typically the dryer side of an island) slopes of the saddle area between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, but dries out rapidly as elevation increases. This orographic (associated with or induced by the presence of mountains) effect reaches an elevation of about 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,500 to 9,850 ft) and tends to go around rather than over the high mountains. Thus, in the leeward saddle area, and high-elevation areas of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, dry or arid conditions predominate (USFWS 1996, p. 6; Mitchellet al.2005a, pp. 6-71).

A rain shadow effect, created by Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, on the leeward side of the island prevents the Kona (west side of the island) coast from receiving precipitation from the predominantly northeasterly trade winds (Wagneret al.1999a, pp. 36-44). However, convection-driven onshore breezes create upslope showers most afternoons, resulting in greater than expected annual rainfall (50 to more than 100 inches (in) (1,270 to more than 2,540 millimeters (m)), which supportsa broad band of mesic forest on portions of leeward Hawaii (Mitchellet al.2005a, pp. 6-71-6-91). Another major source of rainfall is provided by winter (Kona) storms, which develop south of the island, and impact the island when trade winds subside during the winter months. Kawaihae, in south Kohala (on the northwest side of the island), is effectively cut off from the northeasterly tradewinds by the Kohala Mountains, and from southerly and southwesterly winds of winter storms by Mauna Loa and Hualalai. It is the driest place in the main (Hawaii, Kauai, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Maui, Niihau, and Oahu) Hawaiian Islands, receiving only about 8 in (200 mm) of rain per year (Wagneret al.1999a, p. 39).

Due to its relatively young age (less than 1 million years old), the island of Hawaii is represented by fewer soil types than the older main Hawaiian Islands. Sizable areas of lava, cinder, and rubble occur in the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and on recent lava flows originating from Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea (Juvik and Juvik 1998, pp. 44-46; Mitchellet al.2005a, pp. 6-71-6-72). Other soil types include: histosols, which are characterized by a thin, well-drained, organic layer and occur on younger lava flows common in the Hilo and Kau areas; andisols, which occur on substrates older than 3,000 years, are characterized by the ability to take up large amounts of phosphorous and are common on the east flank of Mauna Kea and above Hilo; aridosols, which are characterized by horizons with accumulations of carbonates, gypsum, or sodium chloride, and are found in the dry soils of deserts or the dry leeward sides of the island; and mollisols, which are characterized by a distinct dark-colored surface horizon enriched with organic matter, and are found under the grasslands on the dry leeward areas of the island (Gavendaet al.1998, p. 94).

The vegetation on the island of Hawaii continues to experience extreme alterations due to ongoing volcanic activity, past and present land use, and other activities. Land with rich soils was altered by the early Hawaiians and, more recently, converted to agricultural use in the production of sugar, diversified agriculture, and pasture for cattle (Bos taurus) ranching. For example, large areas on the eastern slopes of the Kohala Mountains, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa were maintained in sugarcane production until the late 1960s (Juvik and Juvik 1998, p. 22). Intentional and inadvertent introduction of alien plant and animal species has also contributed to the reduction in range of native vegetation on the island of Hawaii (throughout this rule, the terms “alien,” “feral,” “nonnative,” and “introduced” all refer to species that are not naturally native to the Hawaiian Islands). Currently, most of the native vegetation on the island persists on upper elevation slopes, valleys, and ridges; steep slopes; precipitous cliffs; valley headwalls; and other regions where unsuitable topography has prevented urbanization and agricultural development, or where inaccessibility has limited encroachment by nonnative plant and animal species.

Hawaii Island Ecosystems

There are 12 different ecosystems (anchialine pool, coastal, lowland dry, lowland mesic, lowland wet, montane dry, montane mesic, montane wet, subalpine, alpine, dry cliff, and wet cliff) recognized on the island of Hawaii. The 15 species proposed for listing occur in 10 of these 12 ecosystems (none of the 15 species are reported in subalpine and alpine ecosystems). The lowland dry ecosystem supports the three species for which critical habitat is proposed. The 10 Hawaii Island ecosystems that support the 15 proposed species are described in the following section; see Table 2 (above) for a list of the species that occur in each ecosystem type.

Anchialine Pools

The anchialine pool ecosystem has been reported from Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe, and Hawaii Island. Anchialine pools are land-locked bodies of water that have indirect underground connections to the sea, contain varying levels of salinity, and show tidal fluctuations in water level. Because all anchialine pools occur within coastal areas, they are technically a part of the coastal ecosystem (see below) with many of the same applicable and overlapping habitat threats. However, in this proposal, we are addressing this unique ecosystem distinctly. Over 80 percent of the State's anchialine pools are found on the island of Hawaii, with a total of approximately 600 to 650 pools distributed over 130 sites along all but the island's northernmost and steeper northeastern shorelines. Characteristic animal species include crustaceans (e.g.,shrimps, prawns, amphipods, isopods, etc.), several fish species, molluscs, and other invertebrates adapted to the pools' surface and subterranean habitats (The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 2009, pp. 1-3). Generally, vegetation within the pools consists of various types of algal forms (blue-green, green, red, and golden-brown). The majority of Hawaii's anchialine pools occur in bare or sparsely vegetated lava fields, although some pools occur in areas with various groundcover, shrub, and tree species (Chai 1989, pp. 2-24; Brock 2004, p. 35). The anchialine pool shrimp,Vetericaris chaceorum,which is proposed for listing as an endangered species in this rule, occurs in this ecosystem (Kensley and Williams 1986, pp. 417-437).

Coastal

The coastal ecosystem is found on all of the main Hawaiian Islands, with the highest native species diversity occurring in the least populated coastal areas of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe, Hawaii Island, and their associated islets. On Hawaii Island, the coastal ecosystem includes mixed herblands, shrublands, and grasslands, from sea level to 1,000 ft (300 m) in elevation, generally within a narrow zone above the influence of waves to within 330 ft (100 m) inland, sometimes extending farther inland if strong prevailing onshore winds drive sea spray and sand dunes into the lowland zone (TNC 2006a, pp. 1-3). The coastal ecosystem is typically dry, with annual rainfall of less than 20 in (50 cm); however, windward rainfall may be high enough (up to 40 in (100 centimeters (cm)) to support mesic-associated and sometimes wet-associated vegetation (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, pp. 54-66). Biological diversity is low to moderate in this ecosystem, but may include some specialized plants and animals such as nesting seabirds and the endangered plantSesbania tomentosa(ohai) (TNC 2006a, pp. 1-3). The plantBidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana,which is proposed for listing as an endangered species in this rule, occurs in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (Hawaii Biodiversity and Mapping Program Database (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; HBMP 2010a)).

Lowland Dry

The lowland dry ecosystem includes shrublands and forests generally below 3,300 ft (1,000 m) elevation that receive less than 50 in (130 cm) annual rainfall, or are in otherwise prevailingly dry substrate conditions that range from weathered reddish silty loams to stony clay soils, rocky ledges with very shallow soil, or relatively recent little-weathered lava (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, p. 67). Areas consisting of predominantly native species in the lowland dry ecosystem are now rare; however, this ecosystem is found on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Kahoolawe and Hawaii, and isbest represented on the leeward sides of the islands (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, p. 67). On leeward Hawaii Island, this ecosystem occurs on the northwest flank of Hualalai in north Kona and on Mauna Loa in south Kona, but also occurs on the eastern Hawaii Island in Puna and Kau (within and adjacent to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP)) (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, p. 67; TNC 2006b, pp. 1-2). Overall native biological diversity is low to moderate in this ecosystem; however, tree species exhibit a higher rate of diversity and endemism (Pauet al.2009, p. 3,167). The lowland dry ecosystem includes specialized animals and plants such as the Hawaiian owl or pueo (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) andSantalum ellipticum(iliahialoe or coast sandalwood) (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, pp. 45-114; TNC 2006b, pp. 1-2). The plantBidens micranthassp.ctenophylla,which is proposed for listing as an endangered species in this rule, occurs in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; HBMP 2010b).

Lowland Mesic

The lowland mesic ecosystem includes a variety of grasslands, shrublands, and forests, generally below 3,300 ft (1,000 m) elevation, that receive between 50 and 75 in (130 and 190 cm) annual rainfall (TNC 2006c, pp. 1-2). In the Hawaiian Islands, this ecosystem is found on Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii, on both windward and leeward sides of the islands. On Hawaii Island, this ecosystem is often reduced to remnant occurrences, but can be found in north Kohala, on the southwest and southeast flanks of Mauna Loa and Kilauea (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, p. 75; TNC 2006c, pp. 1-2). Native biological diversity is high in this system (TNC 2006c, pp. 1-2). The plants,Pittosporum hawaiienseandPritchardia lanigera,and the picture-wing flyDrosophila digressa,which are proposed for listing as endangered species in this rule, occur in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; Benitezet al.2008, p. 58; HBMP 2010c; HBMP 2010d).

Lowland Wet

The lowland wet ecosystem is generally found below 3,300 ft (1,000 m) elevation on the windward sides of the main Hawaiian Islands, except Niihau and Kahoolawe (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, p. 85; TNC 2006d, pp. 1-2). These areas include a variety of wet grasslands, shrublands, and forests that receive greater than 75 in (190 cm) annual precipitation, or are in otherwise wet substrate conditions (TNC 2006d, pp. 1-2). On the island of Hawaii, this system is best developed in north Kohala, on the lower windward flanks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, as well as leeward areas benefiting from convection-driven upslope showers on leeward Mauna Loa and Hualalai (TNC 2006d, pp. 1-2). Native biological diversity is high in this system (TNC 2006d, pp. 1-2). The plantsCyanea marksii, Cyanea tritomantha, Cyrtandra nanawaleensis, Cyrtandra wagneri, Phyllostegia floribunda, Platydesma remyi,andPritchardia lanigera,which are proposed for listing as endangered species in this rule, occur in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (Lorence and Perlman 2007, pp. 357-361; TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; HBMP 2010c; HBMP 2010e; HBMP 2010f; HBMP 2010g; HBMP 2010h; HBMP 2010i).

Montane Dry

The montane dry ecosystem includes grasslands, shrublands, and forests at elevations between 3,300 and 6,600 ft (1,000 and 2,000 m), that receive less than 50 in (130 cm) of annual precipitation, or are in otherwise dry substrate conditions (TNC 2006e, pp. 1-2). In the Hawaiian Islands, this ecosystem is found on the islands of Maui and Hawaii (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, pp. 93-97). On Hawaii Island, this ecosystem is best represented on the upper slopes of Hualalai and the Mauna Kea-Mauna Loa saddle area, and includes specialized animals and plants such as the elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis) andIsodendrion hosakae(aupaka) (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, pp. 45-114; TNC 2006e, pp. 1-2). The plantSchiedea hawaiiensis,proposed for listing as an endangered species in this rule, is found in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (U.S. Army Garrison 2006, pp. 1-55).

Montane Mesic

The montane mesic ecosystem is composed of natural communities (forests and shrublands) found at elevations between 3,300 and 6,600 ft (1,000 and 2,000 m), in areas where annual precipitation is between 50 and 75 in (130 and 190 cm), or areas in otherwise mesic substrate conditions (TNC 2006f, pp. 1-2). This system is found on Kauai, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii Island (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, pp. 97-99; TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished). Native biological diversity is moderate (Gagne and Cuddihy 1999, pp. 98-99; TNC 2006f, pp. 1-2). On Hawaii Island, specialized plants and animals such as io or Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius) andPittosporum hosmeri(hoawa) occur in the montane mesic ecosystem. The plantsPhyllostegia floribundaandPittosporum hawaiiense,and the picture-wing flyDrosophila digressa,which are proposed for listing as endangered species in this rule, are found in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; Benitezet al.2008, p. 58; HBMP 2010d; HBMP 2010h).

Montane Wet

The montane wet ecosystem is composed of natural communities (grasslands, shrublands, forests, and bogs) found at elevations between 3,300 and 6,600 ft (1,000 and 2,000 m), in areas where annual precipitation is greater than 75 in (191 cm) (TNC 2006g, pp. 1-2). This system is found on all of the main Hawaiian Islands except Niihau and Kahoolawe, and only the islands of Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii have areas above 4,020 ft (1,225 m) (TNC 2006g, pp. 1-2). On Hawaii Island, the montane wet ecosystem occurs in the Kohala Mountains, in the east flank of Mauna Kea, in the Kau Forest Reserve (FR) on windward Mauna Loa, and on the upper slopes of leeward Mauna Loa (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished). Native biological diversity is moderate to high (TNC 2006g, pp. 1-2). The plantsCyanea marksii, C. tritomantha, Phyllostegia floribunda, Pittosporum hawaiiense, Platydesma remyi, Pritchardia lanigera, Schiedea diffusassp.macraei,andStenogyne cranwelliae,and the picture-wing flyDrosophila digressa,which are proposed for listing as endangered species in this rule, occur in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; Benitezet al.2008, p. 58; HBMP 2010c; HBMP 2010d; HBMP 2010e; HBMP 2010f; HBMP 2010h; HBMP 2010i; HBMP 2010j; HBMP 2010k).

Dry Cliff

The dry cliff ecosystem is composed of vegetation communities occupying steep slopes (greater than 65 degrees) in areas that receive less than 75 in (190 cm) of rainfall annually, or that are in otherwise dry substrate conditions (TNC 2006h, pp. 1-2). This ecosystem is found on all of the main Hawaiian Islands except Niihau, and is best represented along portions of the eroded cliffs of east Kohala on Hawaii Island (TNC 2006h, pp. 1-2). A variety ofshrublands occur within this ecosystem (TNC 2006h, pp. 1-2). Native biological diversity is low to moderate (TNC 2006h, pp. 1-2). The plantBidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana,which is proposed for listing as an endangered species in this rule, occurs in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; HBMP 2010a).

Wet Cliff

The wet cliff ecosystem is generally composed of shrublands on near-vertical slopes (greater than 65 degrees) in areas that receive more than 75 in (190 cm) of annual precipitation, or that are in otherwise wet substrate conditions (TNC 2006i, pp. 1-2). This system is found on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii. On the island of Hawaii, this system is found in windward Kohala valleys and on the southeastern slope of Mauna Loa (TNC 2006i, pp. 1-2). Native biological diversity is low to moderate (TNC 2006i, pp. 1-2). The plantsCyanea tritomantha, Pritchardia lanigera,andStenogyne cranwelliae,which are proposed for listing as endangered species in this rule, are found in this ecosystem on Hawaii Island (TNC 2007-Ecosystem Database of ArcMap Shapefiles,unpublished; HBMP 2010d; HBMP 2010f; HBMP 2010k).

Description of the 15 Species Proposed for Listing

Below is a brief description of each of the 15 species proposed for listing, presented in alphabetical order by genus. Plants are presented first, followed by animals.

Plants

In order to avoid confusion regarding the number of locations of each species (a location does not necessarily represent a viable population), we use the word “occurrence” instead of “population.” Each occurrence is composed only of wild (i.e.,not propagated and outplanted) individuals.

Bidens hillebrandianassp.hillebrandiana(kookoolau), a perennial herb in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), occurs only on the island of Hawaii (Ganders and Nagata 1999, pp. 275-276). Historically,B. hillebrandianassp.hillebrandianawas known from two locations along the windward Kohala coastline, in the coastal and dry cliff ecosystems, often along rocks just above the ocean (Degener and Wiebke 1926, in litt.; Flynn. 1988, in litt.). Currently, there are two known occurrences ofB. hillebrandianassp.hillebrandianatotaling 40 or fewer individuals along the windward Kohala coast, in the coastal and dry cliff ecosystems. There are 30 individuals on the Pololu seacliffs, and 5 to 10 individuals on the seacliffs between Pololu and Honokane Nui (Perlman 1998, in litt.; Perlman 2006, in litt.). Biologists speculate that this species may total as many as 100 individuals with further surveys of potential habitat along the Kohala coast (Mitchellet al.2005b; PEPP 2006, p. 3).

Bidens micranthassp.ctenophylla(kookoolau), a perennial herb in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), occurs only on the island of Hawaii (Ganders and Nagata 1999, pp. 271, 273). Historically,B. micranthassp.ctenophyllawas known from the north Kona district, in the lowland dry ecosystem (HBMP 2010b). Currently, this subspecies is restricted to an area of less than 10 sq mi (26 sq km) on the leeward slopes of Hualalai volcano, in the lowland dry ecosystem in 6 occurrences totaling fewer than 1,000 individuals. The largest occurrence is found off Hina Lani Road with over 475 individuals widely dispersed throughout the area (Zimpfer 2011, in litt.). The occurrence at Kealakehe was reported to have been abundant and common in 1992, but by 2010 had declined to low numbers (Whister 2007, pp. 1-18; Bio 2008, in litt.; HBMP 2010b; Whister 2008, pp. 1-11). In addition, there are three individuals in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (NHP) (Beavers 2010, in litt.), and three occurrences are found within close proximity to each other to the northeast: five individuals in an exclosure at Puuwaawaa Wildlife Sanctuary (HBMP 2010b); a few scattered individuals at Kaupulehu; and a few individuals on private land at Palani Ranch (Whistler 2007, pp. 1-18; Whistler 2008, pp. 1-11).Bidens micranthassp.ctenophyllahas also been outplanted within fenced exclosures at Kaloko-Honokohau NHP (49 individuals), Koaia Tree Sanctuary (1 individual), and Puuwaawaa (5 individuals) (Boston 2008, in litt.; HBMP 2010b).

Cyanea marksii(haha), a shrub in the bellflower family (Campanulaceae), is found only on the island of Hawaii. Historically,C. marksiiwas known from the Kona district, in the lowland wet and montane wet ecosystems (Lammers 1999, p. 457; HBMP 2010e). Currently, there are 27 individuals distributed among 3 occurrences in south Kona, in the lowland wet and montane wet ecosystems (PEPP 2007, p. 61). There is an adult and 20 to 30 juveniles (each approximately 1 in (2.54 cm tall)) in a lava tube in the Kona unit of the Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (PEPP 2007, p. 61), one individual in a pit crater in the South Kona FR, and 25 individuals on private land in south Kona (PEPP 2007, p. 61; Bio 2011, pers. comm.). Fruit has been collected from the individuals on private land, and 11 plants have been successfully propagated at the Volcano Rare Plant Facility (VRPF) (PEPP 2007, p. 61; Bio 2011, pers. comm.).

Cyanea tritomantha(aku), a palmlike shrub in the bellflower family (Campanulaceae), is known only from the island of Hawaii (Pratt and Abbott 1997, p. 13; Lammers 2004, p. 89). Historically, this species was known from the windward slopes of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and the Kohala Mountains, in the lowland wet, montane wet, and wet cliff ecosystems (Pratt and Abbott 1997, p. 13). Currently, there are 16 occurrences ofCyanea tritomanthatotaling fewer than 400 individuals in the lowland wet, montane wet, and wet cliff ecosystems: 10 occurrences (totaling fewer than 240 individuals) in the Kohala Mountains (Perlman 1993, in litt.; Perlman 1995a, in litt.; Perlman and Wood 1996, pp. 1-14; HBMP 2010f; PEPP 2010, p. 60); 2 occurrences (totaling fewer than 75 individuals) in the Laupahoehoe Natural Area Reserve (NAR) (HBMP 2010f; Bio 2011, pers. comm.); 1 occurrence (20 adults and 30 juveniles) at Puu Makaala NAR (Perlman and Bio 2008, in litt.; Agorastos 2010, in litt.; HBMP 2010f; Bio 2011, pers. comm.); 1 occurrence (a few scattered individuals) off Tom's Trail in the Upper Waiakea FR (Perlman and Bio 2008, in litt.); and 2 occurrences (totaling 11 individuals) in Olaa Tract in HVNP (Pratt 2007a, in litt.; Pratt 2008a, in litt). In 2003, over 75 individuals were outplanted in HVNP's Olaa Tract and Small Tract; however, by 2010, less than one third of these individuals remained (Pratt 2011a, in litt.). In addition, a few individuals have been outplanted at Puu Makaala NAR and Upper Waiakea FR (Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (HDLNR) 2006; Belfield 2007, in litt.; Agorastos 2010, in litt.).Cyanea tritomanthaproduces few seeds, and their viability tends to be low (Moriyasu 2009, in litt.)

Cyrtandra nanawaleensis(haiwale), a shrub or sma