FWS announces Revised Recovery plan for Laysan duck, and post-delisting monitoring plan for Concho water snake
74 Fed. Reg. 48284 / Vol. 74, No. 182 / Tuesday, September 22, 2009 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis)
ACTION: Notice of document availability; revised recovery plan.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the Revised Recovery Plan for the Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis). This species, found only on Laysan Island and Midway Atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, was federally listed as endangered in 1967. An electronic copy of the recovery plan is available here.
Historically, the Laysan duck occurred in a diverse range of habitats on Hawaiian islands other than Laysan. Paleoecological evidence indicates the species likely was a habitat generalist. A population of Laysan ducks at Midway Island was founded with a total of 42 wild birds translocated in 2004 and 2005. Of this original total, an estimated 25 or 26 birds are believed to have bred. After successful breeding seasons in 2005 through 2007, the number of ducks at Midway had increased to nearly 200 individuals. Another successful breeding season at Midway in 2008 added significantly to the population, but an outbreak of botulism in August of 2008 caused the death of more than 140 ducks and a temporary set-back to this new population. Photo (and background on the translocation project) from USGSand Evan Jorgenson, USFWS volunteer
74 Fed. Reg. 48595 / Vol. 74, No. 183 / Wednesday, September 23, 2009 / Notices
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho Water Snake
ACTION: Notice of availability of draft post-delisting monitoring plan.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Concho water snake (Nerodia paucimaculata). The draft post-delisting monitoring (PDM) plan describes the methods we propose to monitor the status of the snake and its habitat, in cooperation with the State of Texas and other conservation partners, for a 15-year period if we remove this species from the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife under another pending action. The draft PDM plan also provides a strategy for identifying and responding to any future population declines or habitat alterations. The draft PDM plan is available online for review.
Photo of the Concho Water Snake from USFWS Austin Ecological Field Services Office.
EXCERPT: The Concho water snake is a reptile endemic to central Texas. We listed this species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), effective September 3, 1986... Section 4(g)(1) of the Act requires us to implement a system, in cooperationcwith the States, to effectively monitor the status of each species we remove from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants due to recovery. The monitoring must occur for at least 5 years. The purpose of post delisting monitoring (PDM) is to verify that a species we delist due to recovery remains secure from risk of extinction after we remove the protections of the Act… To fulfill the PDM requirement, we drafted a monitoring plan for the Concho water snake in cooperation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Colorado River Municipal Water District. Over a 15-year period, we propose to conduct surveys to measure the presence and abundance of snakes 2 times a year at 18 sample sites across the range of the snake… if snakes are not captured from at least 75 percent of sample sites in any year, sampling effort will be intensified the following year beyond the minimum called for in the PDM plan… If future information collected from the PDM, or any other reliable source, indicates an increased likelihood that the species may become in danger of extinction, we will initiate a status review of the Concho water snake and determine if relisting the species is warranted.