[Federal Register: April 1, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 63)]
[Page 17224-17225]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Technical Agency Draft Recovery Plan 
for the Threatened Guaj[oacute]n (Eleutherodactylus cooki) for Review 
and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability and public comment period.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of the technical agency draft recovery plan for the guaj[oacute]n (also 
referred to as the Puerto Rican demon). The guaj[oacute]n is one of 
sixteen species of frogs from the genus Eleutherodactylus, commonly 
known as ``coqu[iacute]es'' that inhabit the island of Puerto Rico, and 
is also the second largest species found on the island. The 
guaj[oacute]n is extremely limited in its geographic distribution. The 
species inhabits localities in the ``Sierra de Panduras'' mountain 
range, and the municipalities of Yabucoa, San Lorenzo, Humacao, Las 
Piedras, and west to Patillas-San Lorenzo. The guaj[oacute]n, named 
after the habitat it occupies, occurs at low and intermediate 
elevations, from 18 to 1,183 feet (5.5 to 360.6 meters) above sea 
level, where it inhabits caves formed by large boulders of granite rock 
known as ``guajonales'' or streams with patches of rock without cave 
systems. The technical agency draft recovery plan includes specific 
recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order to delist the 
guaj[oacute]n under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act). We solicit review and comment on this technical agency draft 
recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public.

DATES: In order to be considered, we must receive comments on the 
technical agency draft recovery plan on or before June 1, 2004.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review this technical agency draft recovery 
plan, you may obtain a copy by contacting the Boquer[oacute]n Field 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 491, Boquer[oacute]n, 
Puerto Rico 00622 (telephone (787) 851-7297), or by visiting our 
recovery plan Web site at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans.
 If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments 

by any one of several methods:
    1. You may submit written comments and materials to the Field 
Supervisor, at the above address.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Boquer[oacute]n 
Field Office, at the above address, or fax your comments to (787) 851-
    3. You may send comments by e-mail to Jorge_Saliva@fws.gov. For 
directions on how to submit electronic filing of comments, see the 
``Public Comments Solicited'' section.
    Comments and materials received are available for public inspection 
on request, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jorge Saliva at the above address 
(telephone (787) 851-7297, ext. 24).



    We listed the guaj[oacute]n as threatened on June 11, 1997 under 
the Act (62 FR 31757). The guaj[oacute]n may be the only species of 
Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico that exhibits differences between 
sexes in color. Females have solid brown coloration, with a uniformly 
white undersurface. They have white-rimmed eyes, and large, truncate 
disks on their feet. Males have yellow coloration extending from the 
vocal sac to the abdomen and flanks. Females are larger than males, 
with a mean size (snout-vent length) of 2.01 inches (5.11 cm) for 
females and 1.71 inches (4.34 cm) for males. The voice of the 
guaj[oacute]n is low and melodious.
    For this species, deforestation and earth movement for 
agricultural, urban and rural development, and highway construction are 
likely the principal causes for decline. In addition, the guaj[oacute]n 
is threatened by the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in 
adjacent areas, illegal garbage dumping, and the effects of 
catastrophic natural events such as droughts and hurricanes. Additional 
research is planned to look at these and other potential causes for 
    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 endangered species program. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we are preparing recovery plans for most listed 
species. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting, and estimate time and cost for implementing recovery 
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide a 
public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 
during a public comment period prior to approval of each new or revised 
recovery plan. We and other Federal agencies will take these comments 
into account in the course of implementing approved recovery plans.
    The objective of this technical agency draft plan is to provide a 
framework for the recovery of the guaj[oacute]n so that protection 
under the Act is no longer necessary. As recovery criteria are met, the 
status of the species will be reviewed and they will be considered for 
removal from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and 
Plants (50 CFR part 17).

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the recovery plan described. We will 
consider all comments received by the date specified above prior to 
final approval of the draft recovery plan.
    Please submit electronic comments as an ASCII file format and avoid 
the use of special characters and encryption. Please also include your 
name and return address in your e-mail message. If you do not receive a 
confirmation from the system that we have received your e-mail message, 
contact us directly by calling our Boquer[oacute]n Field Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).
    Our practice is to make all comments, including names and home 
addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their home addresses from the record, which we will honor to the extent 
allowable by law. In some circumstances, we would withhold also from 
the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If 
you wish for us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state 
this prominently at the beginning of your comments. However, we will 
not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from 
organizations or businesses, and from

[[Page 17225]]

individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of 
organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their 


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

    Dated: February 19, 2004.
J. Mitch King,
Deputy Regional Director, Southeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 04-7349 Filed 3-31-04; 8:45 am]