[Federal Register: October 11, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 198)]
[Page 63442-63443]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Approved Recovery Plan for the 
Illinois Cave Amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the 
availability of the approved recovery plan for the Illinois cave 
amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes.) The endangered Illinois cave amphipod 
is known only to occur in Monroe and St. Clair Counties in southwestern 
Illinois. It is a groundwater dwelling invertebrate found in gravel or 
cobble sections of cave streams. The quality and condition of 
groundwater in the amphipod's habitats are tied to land use practices 
within cave recharge areas. The plan proposes to develop partnerships 
with Federal and state agencies, organizations, and private landowners 
that will provide mechanisms for protecting Illinois cave amphipod 
populations through voluntary and incentive-driven stewardship efforts.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's approved recovery plans are 
available from:
    1. Fish and Wildlife Reference Service, 5430 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 
110, Bethesda, Maryland 20814 (the fee for the plan varies depending on 
the number of pages of the plan).
    2. Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rock Island 
Ecological Services Field Office, 4469-48th Avenue Court, Rock Island, 
Illinois 61201
    3. The World Wide Web at: http://endangered.fws.gov/RECOVERY/

ADDRESSES section No. 2 above) or telephone at (309) 793-5800. The Fish 
and Wildlife Reference Service may be reached at (301) 492-6403 or 
(800) 582-3421. TTY users may contact Ms. Millar and the Fish and 
Wildlife Reference Service through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals or plants is a primary 
goal of the Service's endangered species program. A species is 
considered recovered when the species' ecosystem is restored and/or 
threats to the species are removed so that self-sustaining and self-
regulating populations of the species can be supported as persistent 
members of native biotic communities. Recovery plans describe actions 
considered necessary for the conservation of the species, establish 
criteria for reclassification to threatened status or delisting listed 
species, and estimate time and cost for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) requires that recovery plans be developed for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act, as amended in 1988, 
requires that during recovery plan development, we provide public 
notice and an opportunity for public review and comment. Information 
presented during the comment period has been considered in the 
preparation of the approved recovery plan, and is summarized in an 
appendix to the recovery plan. We will forward substantive comments 
regarding recovery plan implementation to appropriate Federal Agencies 
and other entities so that they can take these comments into account 
during the course of implementing recovery actions.
    The Illinois cave amphipod was listed as an endangered species 
under the Act on September 3, 1998 (63 FR 46900). It is a groundwater 
dwelling invertebrate

[[Page 63443]]

found in gravel or cobble sections of cave streams. The principle 
threats to the existence of the species are degradation of karst 
terrain habitat through groundwater contamination (resulting from 
urbanization, agricultural activities, and human and animal waste from 
residential septic systems and livestock feedlots), inadequate 
protection of water quality in a sensitive geological formation (such 
as karst) through current state and local regulations, and natural 
events (i.e., a heavy spring snowmelt or rainstorm) that could cause a 
flushing of all systems at one time.
    Historically, the Illinois cave amphipod was known to occur in six 
cave systems in Monroe and St. Clair Counties, Illinois. Its presence 
has not been confirmed in Madonnaville Cave, Monroe County and it 
appears to be extirpated from Stemler Cave, St. Clair County. 
Additional populations have been found within the known range of the 
species in eight additional groundwater systems in Monroe County.
    The quality and condition of groundwater in the amphipod's habitats 
are tied to land use practices within cave recharge areas. The plan 
proposes to develop partnerships with Federal and state agencies, 
organizations, and private landowners that will provide mechanisms for 
protecting Illinois cave amphipod populations through voluntary and 
incentive-driven stewardship efforts.
    The objective of this plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of the Illinois cave amphipod so that protection by the Act is 
no longer necessary. As recovery criteria are met, the status of the 
species will be reviewed and it will be considered for removal from the 
List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR part 17). 
The Illinois cave amphipod will be considered for reclassification to 
threatened when five viable, stable populations in five separate 
groundwater basins with distribution in two of three sub-regions remain 
extant, and when there is a significant increase in the use of best 
management practices in the groundwater recharge areas in each of the 
five groundwater basins. The subregions are Columbia, Waterloo, and 
Renault Sub-regions of the Illinois Salem Plateau. The cave amphipod 
may be considered for delisting when five viable, stable populations in 
five separate groundwater basins with distribution in two of three sub-
regions remain extant and are supported by persistent use of best 
management practices substantially protecting the groundwater recharge 
areas of the five groundwater basins. The subregions are Columbia, 
Waterloo, and Renault Sub-regions of the Illinois Salem Plateau.

    Authority: The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the 
Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

    Dated: September 19, 2002.
Lynn M. Lewis,
Acting Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Region 3, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
[FR Doc. 02-25954 Filed 10-10-02; 8:45 am]