[Federal Register: April 17, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 73)]
[Page 17877-17878]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2008-N0208; 10120-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery 
Plan for the [revaps]Alala (Corvus hawaiiensis)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability: revised recovery plan.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the Revised Recovery Plan for the Hawaiian crow or 
[revaps]Alala (Corvus hawaiiensis). This species, found only on the 
island of Hawai[revaps]i, was Federally listed as endangered in 1967.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the recovery plan are available by request from 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 
96850 (phone: (808) 792-9400). An electronic copy of the recovery plan 
is also available at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/
index.html#plans. Printed copies of the recovery plan will be available 
for distribution 4 to 6 weeks after the publication date of this 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Burgett, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office 
address and phone.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.) and our endangered species program. Recovery means improvement of 
the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
required under the criteria in section 4(a)(1) of the Act.
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for endangered 
or threatened species unless such a plan would not promote the 
conservation of the species. Recovery plans help guide the recovery 
effort by describing actions considered necessary for the conservation 
of the species, and estimating time and cost for implementing the 
measures needed for recovery. We originally completed a recovery plan 
for the [revaps]Alala in 1982, but the recommendations contained in 
that plan are outdated given the species' current status.
    Section 4(f) of the Act requires that we provide public notice and 
an opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. In fulfillment of this requirement, we made the draft 
revised recovery plan for the [revaps]Alala (Corvus hawaiiensis) 
available for public comment from December 18, 2003 through February 
20, 2004 (December 18, 2003, 68 FR 70527; December 22, 2003, 68 FR 
71128). As we prepared this final revised recovery plan, we considered 
information provided during the public comment period. We also 
summarized this information in an appendix to the plan.
    The [revaps]Alala or Hawaiian crow has been federally listed as 
endangered since 1967 (35 FR 16047) and is also listed as endangered by 
the State of Hawai[revaps]i. The [revaps]Alala is endemic to the island 
of Hawai[revaps]i. [revaps]Alala were last observed in the wild in 
2002, and we now believe the species to be extirpated from the wild. In 
January 2008, there were 56 [revaps]Alala, representing the entire 
known population of the species, in captivity at the Keauhou and Maui 
Bird Conservation Centers, on Hawai[revaps]i and Maui islands, 
    Historically, the [revaps]Alala was restricted to the dry and mesic 
forests in the western and southern portions of the island of 
Hawai[revaps]i. The species is associated with [revaps]ohi[revaps]a-koa 
(Metrosideros polymorpha) and [revaps]ohi[revaps]a-koa-koa (Acacia koa) 
forests with an understory of native fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. 
Current threats include predation by nonnative mammals and the 
endangered [revaps]Io or Hawaiian hawk (Buteo solitarius), introduced 
diseases, and habitat loss and fragmentation. Inbreeding depression may 
be reducing the reproductive success of the captive population, and 
loss of wild behaviors in captivity might reduce survivorship of 
captive-raised birds released into the wild. Recovery actions in this 
revised plan are designed to address threats to the [revaps]Alala to 
achieve the recovery objectives of downlisting to threatened status and 
then eventually delisting (removing from the list of endangered and 
threatened species).
    Because the [revaps]Alala exists only as a small population in 
captivity, the revised recovery plan emphasizes recovery actions for 
the next 5 years as well as presenting an overall strategy for long-
term recovery. Given that recovery will be based on releases of 
captive-bred [revaps]Alala to the wild, and much of the data necessary 
to determine the population size and parameters needed for recovery of 
the species do not exist at this time, it is only possible to establish 
general recovery criteria. We will consider the [revaps]Alala to be 
recovered when the genetic diversity that was present in the 

[[Page 17878]]

population in 2003 has been preserved to the maximum extent possible, 
the population as a whole is demographically stable, two or more 
subpopulations exist in the wild, persistence of wild subpopulations 
does not require additions from a captive flock, and peer-reviewed 
population models yield a probability of extinction of less than 5 
percent within 100 years. Recovery will also require that threats to 
the species within suitable habitat have been managed so that 
[revaps]Alala subpopulations in the wild are growing or stable in 
landscapes that include areas managed for native biodiversity.
    The following recovery actions address key threats to the species 
as well as the funding and public support necessary to recover the 
[revaps]Alala. First, we and our partners must manage the population of 
[revaps]Alala, including both captive and future reintroduced birds, to 
minimize loss of genetic diversity. Second, we must identify and manage 
suitable habitat to reduce or remove threats, including disease and 
predators, and we must halt additional habitat loss or degradation and, 
if possible, reverse them. Third, we must establish new populations in 
managed suitable habitat. Fourth, we must garner public involvement and 
support to facilitate captive propagation of [revaps]Alala and other 
recovery activities, including habitat management and [revaps]Alala 
reintroduction. Fifth, the recovery program must use focused research 
and an adaptive management strategy to increase the effectiveness of 
captive propagation, release methods, and habitat management, and to 
minimize the time to recovery. Some of these recovery actions are 
ongoing or were initiated prior to the publication of this revised 

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

    Dated: February 17, 2009.
David J. Wesley,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E9-8898 Filed 4-16-09; 8:45 am]