[Federal Register: December 13, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 238)]
[Page 72211-72212]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Tinian Monarch 
(Monarcha takatsukasae)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (we) announces the 
availability of the Draft Post-delisting Monitoring Plan for the Tinian 
Monarch (Monarcha takatsukasae) (Monitoring Plan). We propose to 
monitor the status of the Tinian monarch over a 5-year period from 2005 
to 2010 through regular field surveys of the distribution and abundance 
of the Tinian monarch, regular field surveys for brown treesnakes 
(Boiga irregularis) on Tinian, and tracking of land use and development 
on Tinian. We solicit review and comment on this Monitoring Plan from 
local, State and Federal agencies, and the public.

DATES: We will accept and consider all public comments received on or 
before January 12, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Monitoring Plan are available by request from 
Dr. Eric VanderWerf, Hawaiian Bird Recovery Coordinator, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala 
Moana Blvd., Box 50088, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850 (telephone: (808) 792-
9400; fax: (808) 792-9580). This Monitoring Plan is also available on 
the World Wide Web at http://pacificislands.fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Eric VanderWerf, Hawaiian Bird 
Recovery Coordinator, at the above Honolulu address or at (808) 792-



    The Tinian monarch, or Chuchurican Tinian in the Chamorro language, 
is a forest bird endemic to the island of Tinian in the Mariana 
Archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean. The Tinian monarch inhabits a 
variety of forest types on Tinian, including native limestone forest, 
secondary vegetation consisting primarily of non-native plants, and 
nearly pure stands of introduced tangantangan (Leucaena leucocephala).
    The Tinian monarch was listed as endangered on June 2, 1970 (35 FR 
8491), because its population was reported to be critically low due to 
the destruction of native forests by pre-World War II (WW II) 
agricultural practices, and by military activities during WW II. We 
conducted forest bird surveys on Tinian in 1982, which resulted in a 
population estimate of 39,338 Tinian monarchs. On November 1, 1985, we 
published a proposed rule to delist the Tinian monarch (50 FR 45632). 
Based on comments received, we instead downlisted the Tinian monarch, 
and a final rule reclassifying it from endangered to threatened was 
published on April 6, 1987 (52 FR 10890). There is no recovery plan 
specifying delisting criteria for the Tinian monarch. A study of Tinian 
monarch breeding biology in 1994 and 1995 resulted in a population 
estimate of approximately 52,900 birds. In 1996, a replication of the 
1982 surveys yielded a population estimate of 55,720 birds. The 1996 
survey also found a significant increase in forest density since 1982, 
indicating an improvement in Tinian monarch habitat quality.
    On February 22, 1999, we published a proposed rule to remove the 
Tinian monarch from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife (64 FR 8533). That proposal was based primarily on information 
from population surveys and demographic research, which indicated the 
Tinian monarch has increased in number or is stable, and that the 
primary listing factor, loss of habitat, has been ameliorated. On 
September 21, 2004, we published a final rule removing the Tinian 
monarch from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (69 
FR 65367).
    Section 4(g)(1) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.), requires that we implement a system, in cooperation with the 
States, to monitor for no fewer than 5 years the status of all species 
that have recovered and been removed from the Federal List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The purpose of post-
delisting monitoring is to verify that a species delisted due to 
recovery remains secure from risk of extinction after it has been 
removed from the protections of the Act.
    On December 7, 2002, we mailed letters to 18 scientific experts on 
the Tinian monarch and the brown treesnake, asking for scientific 
review of the Monitoring Plan. We received nine responses to our 
request. We carefully considered the comments of the reviewers and used 
them to improve the Monitoring Plan.
    We propose to monitor the status of the Tinian monarch over a 5-
year period from 2005 to 2010 in cooperation with the Commonwealth of 
the Northern Mariana Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. 
Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. 
Navy through regular field surveys of the distribution and abundance of 
the Tinian monarch, regular field surveys for brown treesnakes on 
Tinian, and by tracking changes in land use and development on Tinian. 
If data from this monitoring effort, or from some other source, 
indicate that the Tinian

[[Page 72212]]

monarch is experiencing significant declines in abundance or 
distribution or that it requires protective status under the Act for 
some other reason, we can initiate listing procedures including, if 
appropriate, emergency listing.

Public Comments Solicited

    We will accept written comments and information during this comment 
period. If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments and 
materials concerning this monitoring plan by any of these methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and information my mail, 
facsimile, or in person to the Hawaiian Bird Recovery Coordinator at 
the above Honolulu address (see ADDRESSES).
    2. You may send comments by electronic mail (e-mail) to: 
monarch_pdmp@r1.fws.gov. If you submit comments by e-mail, please submit them 

as an ASCII file and avoid the use of special characters and any form 
of encryption. Please also include your name and return address in your 
e-mail message.
    Comments and materials received, as well as supporting 
documentation used in preparation of the Monitoring Plan, will be 
available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours 
at the above Honolulu address (see ADDRESSES).


    The primary author of this document is Dr. Eric A. VanderWerf, 
Hawaiian Bird Recovery Coordinator (see ADDRESSES).


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

    Dated: November 15, 2004.
David Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-27022 Filed 12-10-04; 8:45 am]