[Federal Register: December 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 232)]
[Page 67697-67698]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for 
the American Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the post-delisting monitoring plan for the American 
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum). This plan is titled, 
``Monitoring Plan for the American Peregrine Falcon, A Species 
Recovered Under the Endangered Species Act'' (Monitoring Plan). The 
American peregrine falcon was removed from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants in August 1999 due to its recovery. The 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended in 1988 (Act) (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), requires that we implement a system, in cooperation with 
the States, to monitor effectively for at least 5 years, the status of 
all species that have recovered and no longer need the protection of 
the Act.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Monitoring Plan are available by request from 
Michael Green, Migratory Birds and State Programs, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 911 NE. 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97232. Requests may 
also be made via fax at 503-231-2019, or via telephone at 503-231-6164. 
This Monitoring Plan is also available on the World Wide Web at http://migratorybirds.fws.gov and http://endangered.fws.gov/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Green, Migratory Birds and State Programs, at the above address, at michael_green@fws.gov, or at 



    The American peregrine falcon occurs throughout much of North 
America, from the subarctic boreal forests of Alaska and Canada south 
to Mexico. American peregrine falcons nest from central Alaska, central 
Yukon Territory, and northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, east to the 
Maritime Provinces, and south (excluding coastal areas north of the 
Columbia River in Washington and British Columbia) throughout western 
Canada and the United States to Baja California, Sonora,

[[Page 67698]]

and the highlands of central Mexico. The American peregrine falcons 
that nest in subarctic areas generally winter in South America. Those 
that nest at lower latitudes exhibit variable migratory behavior; some 
do not migrate.
    The American peregrine falcon declined precipitously in North 
America following World War II, a decline attributed largely to 
organochlorine pesticides, mainly DDT, applied in the United States, 
Canada, and Mexico. Because of the decline, the American peregrine 
falcon was listed as endangered on June 2, 1970, under the precursor of 
the Endangered Species Act (35 FR 16047). Recovery goals were 
substantially exceeded in some areas, and on August 25, 1999, the 
American peregrine falcon was removed from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants (64 FR 46541). There are currently 
between 2,000 and 3,000 pairs breeding each year across the United 
States, Canada, and Mexico, and the population continues to increase.
    Section 4(g)(1) of the Act requires that we monitor for not less 
than 5 years, in cooperation with States, the status of all species 
removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants 
due to recovery. In keeping with that mandate, we have developed this 
Monitoring Plan to guide our ongoing monitoring efforts in cooperation 
with State resource agencies, recovery team members, independent 
scientists, biostatisticians, and other cooperators. A 30-day public 
comment period was opened on July 31, 2001 (66 FR 39523), and again on 
September 27, 2001 (66 FR 49395), and the Monitoring Plan received 
additional review by States, cooperators, and other private 
organizations and individuals in December 2002 and January 2003.
    The Monitoring Plan is designed to monitor the status of the 
American peregrine falcon by detecting whether the number of occupied 
American peregrine falcon territories across the contiguous United 
States and Alaska is declining, and whether American peregrine falcons 
are experiencing a decrease in nesting success and productivity, which 
are indices of population health. The Monitoring Plan also includes a 
contaminant monitoring component. Data will be collected from a 
randomly selected subset of American peregrine falcon territories (494 
across the nation) for five sampling periods, at three-year intervals 
starting in 2003 and ending in 2015. The 2003 monitoring effort is 
currently underway. We will publish a report on the results of the 2003 
monitoring once the data are analyzed. This will be the first of our 
triennial reports. A Notice of Availability for the triennial and final 
reports will be published in the Federal Register and posted on the 
World Wide Web as outlined in the Monitoring Plan.
    We will work cooperatively with the States, other agencies, and 
partners to collect this information. We will analyze the information 
after each monitoring effort and will propose adjustments to the 
sampling design, if necessary. The Monitoring Plan is designed to 
detect declines in the health of American peregrine falcon populations 
that might arise from a variety of threats including, but not limited 
to, environmental contaminants and diseases (such as West Nile Virus). 
If these data indicate that this species is experiencing significant 
decreases in territory occupancy, nest success, or productivity, we 
will initiate more intensive review or studies to determine the cause, 
or take action to re-list the American peregrine falcon under section 4 
of the Act, if necessary.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), the information collection and recordkeeping 
requirements included in the Monitoring Plan have been approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB control number 1018-
0101, which expires March 31, 2005. An agency may not conduct or 
sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended in 1988 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: October 23, 2003.
Matt Hogan,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-30065 Filed 12-2-03; 8:45 am]