FWS announces recovery plan for short-tailed albatross, initiates 5-year status review
74 Fed. Reg. 23739 / Vol. 74, No. 96 / Wednesday, May 20, 2009 / DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service / Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Short-Tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus): Initiation of 5-Year Status Review; Availability of Final Recovery Plan
ACTION: Notice of availability of final recovery plan; initiation of 5-year status review and request for information.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our final recovery plan for and the initiation of a 5-year status review for the short-tailed albatross(Phoebastria albatrus), a bird species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Our recovery plan describes the status, current management, recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions needed to enable us to reclassify the short-tailed albatross from endangered to threatened, or from threatened to delisted. It also includes criteria that would justify reclassifying the species from threatened back to endangered. We conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that our classification of each species as threatened or endangered on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants is accurate. We request any new information on this species that may have a bearing on its classification as endangered. Based on the results of this 5-year review, we will make a finding on whether this species is properly classified under the Act. DATES: To allow us adequate time to conduct our 5-year review, we are requesting that you submit your information no later than July 20, 2009.
Albatrosses are amongst the largest of flying birds, and are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. Numbering about 2,400 individuals in 2008, the short-tailed albatross is a bird found in the North Pacific, primarily along the east coast of Japan and Russia, where it is currently threatened by volcanic activity, extreme weather, small population size, a limited number of breeding sites, contamination by oil and other pollutants, and commercial fishery bycatch. Key recommendations for immediate action, as described in the recovery plan, are: (1) Formation of new breeding colonies at safe locations on Torishima and in the Bonin Islands; (2) stabilization of existing breeding habitat on Torishima Island; and (3) reduction of seabird bycatch in all North Pacific fisheries that may take this species. Photo and some caption information from Wikipedia.