[Federal Register: September 30, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 188)]
[Page 50236-50237]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2009-N163; 80221-1113-0000-D3]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Post-
Delisting Monitoring Plan for the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus 

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the draft post-delisting monitoring plan for the brown 
pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) (draft PDM Plan, Draft Monitoring 
Plan). The Endangered Species Act (Act) 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 been recovered and 
no longer need the protection afforded by the Act (i.e. delisted). The 
brown pelican has been proposed to be removed from the Federal List of 
Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants due to recovery. If the 
brown pelican is removed from the list, we propose to monitor the 
status of the brown pelican over a 10-year period from 2010 through 
2020, through annual evaluation of information collected by the States 
of California, Texas, and Louisiana; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 
and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the West Indies; Mexico; other partners; 
and the Service.

DATES: To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by 
October 30, 2009.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the Draft Monitoring Plan will be 
available on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/Ventura. Requests for 
copies of the Draft Monitoring Plan and submission of written comments 
or materials regarding the plan should be addressed to Field 
Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife 
Office, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. The Draft 
Monitoring Plan, reference materials, and submitted comments regarding 
the Draft Monitoring Plan will also be available for inspection, by 
appointment, during normal business hours at the above address. You may 
also submit electronic comments on the Draft Monitoring Plan to: 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael McCrary, Listing and Recovery 
Coordinator, at the above address or at telephone 805-644-1766, 
extension 372. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-



    On February 20, 2008, we published a proposed rule to remove the 
brown pelican from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife (List) due to recovery (73 FR 9408), with a 60-day comment 
period that closed on April 21, 2008. Our proposed rule concluded that 
the primary reason for severe declines in the brown pelican population 
in the United States, and for designating the species as endangered, 
was DDT contamination in the 1960s and early 1970s. Banning of DDT, 
along with other recovery actions, has resulted in increased population 
numbers and reproductive success, and information now indicates that 
major threats to brown pelicans have been reduced, managed, or 
eliminated. We are currently reviewing comments we received on the 
proposed rule and preparing responses as appropriate.
    Section 4(g) of the Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
implement a system in cooperation with the States to monitor 
effectively for not less than 5 years the status of any species that is 
delisted due to recovery. The intent of this monitoring is to determine 
whether the species should be proposed for relisting under the normal 
listing procedures, relisted under the emergency listing authority of 
the Act, or kept off of the List because it remains neither threatened 
nor endangered.
    Brown pelican populations currently listed under the Act breed 
along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from Mississippi to Texas; along 
the Pacific Coast from southern California, south through Mexico into 
Central and South America; and in the West Indies (Shields 2002, pp. 2-
4). Additional information about the brown pelican's biology and life 
history can be found in the Birds of North America, No. 609 (Shields 
2002, pp. 1-36).
    The brown pelican draft PDM Plan was developed in cooperation with 
the State resources agencies of California, Louisiana, and Texas and 
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. If the brown pelican is removed from 
the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants, our 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office will be the lead office responsible 
for this monitoring effort, and will coordinate all phases of 
implementation of the plan and ensure that monitoring

[[Page 50237]]

requirements outlined within the plan are accomplished. The draft PDM 
Plan proposes to conduct monitoring annually for at least 10 years. 
Post-delisting monitoring of the brown pelican will consist primarily 
of annual collection of information on colony occupancy and number of 
nesting pairs. Information on contaminants will also be collected at 5-
year intervals beginning with the first year.
    Post-delisting monitoring of the brown pelican will be focused 
along the Gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas; the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the West Indies; the Pacific coast 
of southern California and Baja California, Mexico; and the Gulf of 
California. We will be monitoring these areas because: (1) Existing 
population data are available for these areas for comparison with data 
to be collected during post-delisting monitoring; (2) these populations 
were among some of the largest (outside of those in Peru) prior to 
listing (73 FR 9408); and (3) these populations suffered the greatest 
declines in productivity and abundance that led to the listing of the 
species. Additionally, we have no evidence that brown pelicans outside 
these areas ever suffered declines in response to persistent organic 
pesticides. We are also interested in any information that may suggest 
a new or increasing threat that may impact the brown pelican in other 
parts of its range proposed for delisting under the Act but not covered 
by this Draft Monitoring Plan.

Request for Public Comments

    We solicit written comments on the Draft Monitoring Plan described 
in this notice. All comments received by the date specified above will 
be considered in development of a final post-delisting monitoring plan 
for the brown pelican. We will take into consideration the relevant 
comments, suggestions, or objections that we receive by the comment due 
date indicated above in the DATES section. These comments, suggestions, 
or objections, and any additional information we receive, may lead us 
to adopt a final PDM Plan that differs from this draft PDM Plan. 
Comments merely stating support or opposition to the draft PDM Plan 
without providing supporting data are not as helpful. We particularly 
seek comments concerning:
    (1) Information and data on contaminants from brown pelicans or 
other seabirds near pelican nesting colonies throughout the range of 
the brown pelican that may affect our selection of the areas to be 
    (2) The appropriateness of assaying contaminants in brown pelicans 
and/or their eggs every 5 years and reasons, if any, for increasing or 
decreasing the frequency of analysis; and
    (3) The appropriateness of the areas selected for monitoring and 
reasons, if any, for modifying the survey areas, including information 
related to the number of nesting pairs and population trends of brown 
pelicans outside the survey areas in the Draft Monitoring Plan.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, electronic mail 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you 
should be aware that your entire document--including your personal 
identifying information--may be publicly available at any time. While 
you can ask us in your comments to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Authority:  The authority for this action is the Act (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.).

Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest 
[FR Doc. E9-23557 Filed 9-29-09; 8:45 am]