[Federal Register: August 21, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 161)]
[Page 48554-48555]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Recovery Plan for the Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability: final revised recovery plan.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce 
availability of a final revised recovery plan for the endangered 
Chittenango ovate amber snail (Novisuccinea chittenangoensis). The 
final plan incorporates comments received during the public and peer 
review period and updates the objectives, criteria, and actions for 
recovering this endangered species.

ADDRESSES: A copy of the revised plan may be requested by contacting 
the Fish and Wildlife Service's New York Field Office (NYFO), 3817 
Luker Road, Cortland, New York 13045. Copies will also be available for 
downloading from the NYFO's Web site at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/es/recoveryplans.htm
, and from the

[[Page 48555]]

Service's Endangered Species Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/recovery/index.html

Wildlife Service, at the above address or by telephone at 607-753-9334.



    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 Federally listed species native to the United 
States. Recovery plans describe actions necessary for the conservation 
of the species, establish criteria which, when met, would result in a 
determination that the species no longer needs the protection of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
(Act), and provide estimates of the time and cost for implementing the 
needed recovery measures.
    The Act requires recovery plans 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 public 
notice and opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. A final rule listing the Chittenango ovate 
amber snail (Novisuccinea chittenangoensis) as threatened was published 
in the Federal Register on July 3, 1978 (43 FR 28932), and became 
effective on August 2, 1978. The initial recovery plan for the species 
was completed in March 1983 (Riexinger, P., J. Proud, T. Lyons, and D. 
Sulitka. 1983. Chittenango ovate amber snail recovery plan. Region 5, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report, in cooperation with the 
Chittenango Ovate Amber Recovery Team. March 24, 1983). A draft 
recovery plan revision was prepared and issued for the species in 2003.
    Issuance of the draft revised plan included a notice of 
availability and opportunity for public comment (68 FR 68102, December 
5, 2003) and other public notification efforts. Pertinent information 
received by the Service during the public comment period has been 
considered in preparation of the final revised recovery plan and is 
summarized in an appendix to the plan. This information will also be 
taken into account in the course of implementing recovery actions. In 
addition, new information on population status and genetics that has 
become available since publication of the draft in 2003 has informed 
the final plan with a better understanding of the snail's distribution 
within its sole population, and has alleviated concerns about possible 
hybridization between Novisuccinea chittenangoensis and an introduced 
snail occupying the same habitat. The new information has resulted in 
only a slight shift in the recovery strategy for this species, which 
continues to be highly imperiled.
    Since its discovery in 1905, only one extant N. chittenangoensis 
colony has been verified, from a site within the Chittenango Falls 
State Park in Madison County, New York. The Chittenango ovate amber 
snail is a terrestrial species that requires the cool, mild-
temperature, moist conditions provided by the waterfalls and mist in 
its environment. Its habitat lies within a ravine at the base of a 167-
foot waterfall, and the ledges where it is found comprise an early 
successional sere that is periodically rejuvenated to a bare substrate 
by floodwaters. The species requires a substrate rich in calcium 
carbonate and appears to prefer green vegetation such as the various 
mosses, liverworts, and other low herbaceous vegetation found within 
the spray zone adjacent to the falls. Clean water may be necessary to 
maintain essential habitat, although water quality may have only an 
indirect effect on the snail.
    The Chittenango ovate amber snail was listed due to its rarity and 
population decline. Since listing, habitat protection and captive 
propagation measures have been implemented. Unfortunately, the captive 
propagation efforts to date have been unsuccessful, and the species' 
status remains exceedingly precarious. The primary continuing threats 
to the snail are its small population size and limited distribution as 
well as an undefined negative interaction with an introduced snail, 
Succinea sp. B. Additionally, potential threats persist from habitat 
changes and inadvertent human disturbance.
    The final revised recovery plan includes updated scientific 
information about the Chittenango ovate amber snail and identifies 
research and management actions needed to conserve and recover species 
within its ecosystem. The recovery goal for the snail is to achieve 
long-term viability of the species in the wild, thereby allowing it to 
be taken off the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. 
The initial recovery objective is to stabilize the extant population at 
Chittenango Falls. Two necessary conditions for stabilization are 
maintaining (or increasing) the baseline population size of the natural 
colony and maintaining multiple captive populations of N. 
chittenangoensis. Achievement of the first condition will entail 
habitat management planning and research into the species' biological 
requirements and possible means of controlling the competing Succinea 
sp. B. In addition to securing the in situ conditions necessary to 
stabilize the natural population, captive propagation should be 
reinitiated in accordance with a newly established propagation protocol 
to safeguard against extinction of this species.
    If and when stabilization of the extant N. chittenangoensis 
population at Chittenango Falls has been achieved, progress toward full 
recovery of the species can commence. This will include augmentation of 
the population at the Falls, searching for other possible extant 
populations, long-term maintenance of captive populations, and 
investigating the feasibility of initiating a population of N. 
chittenangoensis at an alternative location. The plan includes criteria 
for determining when the objectives of stabilization and full recovery 
have been met.
    Author: Mary Parkin, Recovery Coordinator, Endangered Species 
Program, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5.

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

    Dated: July 27, 2006.
Michael G. Thabault,
Acting Regional Director, Region 5, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E6-13717 Filed 8-18-06; 8:45 am]