[Federal Register: March 30, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 60)]
[Page 15723]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2009-N207; 10120-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised 
Recovery Plan for the Mariana Fruit Bat or Fanihi (Pteropus mariannus 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment; draft 
revised recovery plan.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Mariana Fruit 
Bat or Fanihi (Pteropus mariannus mariannus), for public review and 

DATES: Comments on the recovery plan must be received on or before June 
28, 2010.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the recovery plan is available at 
http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans. The recovery plan 
is also 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, Hawaii 96850 (phone: 808/792-9400). 
Requests for copies of the recovery plan and written comments and 
materials regarding this plan should be addressed to the Field 
Supervisor, Ecological Services, at the above Honolulu address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Holly Freifeld, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above Honolulu address.



    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, establishing criteria for downlisting or delisting 
listed species, and estimating time and cost for implementing the 
measures needed for recovery. This draft revised recovery plan was 
developed with the input and assistance of a Recovery Team appointed by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public notice, and an 
opportunity for public review and comment, be provided during recovery 
plan development. We will consider all information presented during the 
public comment period, and substantive comments may result in changes 
to the recovery plan. Substantive comments regarding recovery plan 
implementation may not necessarily result in changes to the recovery 
plan, but will be forwarded to the appropriate Federal agency or other 
entities so that they can take these comments into account during the 
course of implementing recovery actions. Individual responses to 
comments will not be provided.
    This subspecies of the Mariana fruit bat or fanihi (Pteropus 
mariannus mariannus) is endemic to the Mariana archipelago (the 
Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
[CNMI]), where it is known from most of the 15 major islands. The 
subspecies was federally listed as endangered on the island of Guam in 
1984, and was reclassified as threatened throughout its range in 2005 
(70 FR 1190). Surveys on most or all islands in the archipelago were 
conducted in 1983, 2000, and 2001. A conservative interpretation of 
these data indicates a steep decline in fruit bat numbers has taken 
place since 1983. Available information indicates the chief threats to 
the fanihi are hunting, chronic habitat degradation by ungulates, 
predation by brown treesnakes, and risk factors associated with small 
population size (bats are highly vulnerable to extirpation on islands 
where they persist in chronically low numbers). Therefore, the recovery 
strategy in this plan focuses on the following actions: (1) Reduction 
or elimination of hunting to allow increase in fanihi numbers 
throughout the archipelago; (2) protection of the best existing habitat 
and enhancement of additional suitable habitat; (3) effective control 
and interdiction of the brown treesnake; and (4) population monitoring 
and modeling to (a) assess the fanihi's sensitivity to specific threats 
and management actions and (b) forecast the species' persistence.
    Implementing these actions requires building long-term support for 
and participation in the recovery effort through outreach and 
education; enhancing existing survey methodologies; developing research 
and monitoring projects to address gaps in our scientific knowledge of 
fanihi and provide new information for effective conservation and 
recovery; and application of this research and monitoring through 
adaptive management. The recovery strategy will be implemented as a 
collaborative effort among technical experts, agencies, the governments 
of the CNMI and Guam, and other participants and stakeholders. Owing to 
the limitations in our current knowledge of fanihi life history and 
ecology, this recovery plan focuses on the first 10 years of the 
recovery process. As additional information is gained about the fanihi 
through management, monitoring, and research, recovery strategies and 
measures should be reassessed to determine the appropriate steps toward 
recovery and delisting.

Request for Public Comments

    We solicit written comments on the recovery plan described. All 
comments received by the date specified above will be considered prior 
to approval of this plan.

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

    Dated: November 2, 2009.
David J. Wesley,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-6991 Filed 3-29-10; 8:45 am]