[Federal Register: August 25, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 164)]
[Page 52305]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Final Recovery Plan for the Zapata 
bladderpod (Lesquerella thamnophila)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of the Final Recovery Plan for the Zapata bladderpod 
(Lesquerella thamnophila).

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to receive the Recovery Plan can obtain a 
copy from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Corpus Christi Ecological 
Services Field Office, c/o Corpus Christi State University, Campus Box 
338 (6300 Ocean Dr.), Corpus Christi, Texas, 78412.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Field Office Supervisor, Corpus 
Christi Ecological Services Field Office, at the above address; 
telephone 361/994-9005, facsimile 361/994-8262.



    The Zapata bladderpod (Lesquerella thamnophila), a plant of the 
Brassicaceae family, is listed as endangered with critical habitat. 
Historically, eleven populations of the plants have been located and 
described in Texas, and one has been documented from Mexico. Currently, 
seven of those eleven populations are still known to be extant; four of 
the populations are located in Starr County, and three in Zapata 
County. This species is threatened by increased urban development, 
highway construction, increased oil and gas activities, alteration and 
conversion of native plant communities to improved pastures, 
overgrazing, and vulnerability from low population size. The plant may 
have a more extensive range than what is currently known, as access for 
surveying on private land has been limited.
    This Recovery Plan includes information about the species and 
provides objectives and actions needed to downlist the species to 
threatened status. The Recovery Plan identifies specific information 
gaps that need to be filled in order to develop delisting criteria. 
Recovery activities designed to achieve reclassification objectives 
include: Protecting known populations, searching for additional 
populations, performing outreach activities to educate and obtain 
assistance from the general public to conserve the species and its 
habitat, and establishing additional populations through reintroduction 
in the known range of the species. Binational collaboration between the 
United States and Mexico for species recovery is recommended. Revision 
of the Recovery Plan and development of delisting criteria is 
recommended within five years.
    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point 
where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem is 
a primary goal of the Service's endangered species program. To help 
guide the recovery effort, the Service is working to prepare Recovery 
Plans for most of the listed species native to the United States. 
Recovery Plans describe actions considered necessary for conservation 
of species, establish criteria for downlisting or delisting them, and 
estimate time and cost for implementing the recovery measures needed.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency 
responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife 
and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. 
The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System 
comprising more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small 
wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 
national fish hatcheries and 78 ecological services field stations. The 
agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered 
Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally 
significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as 
wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation 
efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes 
hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting 
equipment to state wildlife agencies.

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

    Dated: July 26, 2004.
Geoffrey L. Haskett,
Acting Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 04-19426 Filed 8-24-04; 8:45 am]