[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 26, 2012)]
[Pages 76066-76067]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30914]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2012-N291; 20124-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for the Gulf Coast Jaguarundi

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of our draft recovery plan for the Gulf Coast jaguarundi 
(Puma yagouaroundi cacomitli) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). This species historically occurred in southern Texas 
in the United States and is currently known to occur in eastern Mexico 
as far south as Veracruz. We request review and comment on our plan 
from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. We will also 
accept any new information on the status of the Gulf Coast jaguarundi 
throughout its range to assist in finalizing the recovery plan.

DATES: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or 
before February 22, 2013. However, we will accept information about any 
species at any time.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the draft recovery plan, you may 
obtain a copy by visiting our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. Alternatively, you may contact 
the South Texas Refuges Complex Headquarters at 3325 Green Jay Road, 
Alamo, Texas, or by phone at (956) 784-7500. If you wish to comment on 
the plan, you may submit your comments in writing by any one of the 
following methods:
     U.S. mail: Mitch Sternberg, at the above address;
     Hand-delivery: South Texas Refuges Complex Headquarters at 
the above address;
     Fax: (956) 787-8338; or
     Email: Mitch_Sternberg@fws.gov.
    For additional information about submitting comments, see the 
``Request for Public Comments'' section below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mitch Sternberg at the above address, 
phone number, or email.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status 
of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. 
The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, 
unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular 

Species' History

    We listed the Gulf Coast jaguarundi as an endangered species under 
the Act on June 14, 1976 (41 FR 24062). The Listed Cats of Texas and 
Arizona Recovery Plan (With Emphasis on the Ocelot), was completed in 
1990 and it briefly addressed the jaguar, jaguarundi, and margay, but 
focused on the ocelot, primarily in Texas. The Draft Gulf Coast 
Jaguarundi Recovery Plan only applies to the Gulf Coast subspecies of 
    The jaguarundi was originally included in the genus Felis, and the 
Gulf Coast jaguarundi was originally listed under the Act as Felis 
yagouaroundi cacomitli in 1976. Later, genus classification was changed 
from Felis to Herpailurus, and this widely accepted change was 

[[Page 76067]]

made to the listing. Thus, this subspecies is currently listed under 
the Act as Herpailurus (=Felis) yagouaroundi cacomitli. However, more 
recent genetic work assigns the jaguarundi to the genus Puma, and this 
has become the generally accepted nomenclature. Therefore, in keeping 
with this current information, we refer to the Gulf Coast jaguarundi 
subspecies as Puma yagouaroundi cacomitili throughout this recovery 
plan, and we officially accept the new scientific name of the 
jaguarundi as Puma yagouaroundi.
    The Sinaloan jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi tolteca) was originally 
listed under the Act at the same time as the Gulf Coast subspecies. 
Because all of the current information indicates that the tolteca 
subspecies occurs entirely outside the United States and has never been 
confirmed within the United States, the Sinaloan jaguarundi was 
exempted from recovery planning on June 7, 2011.
    The Gulf Coast jaguarundi is found in the Tamaulipan Biotic 
Province of northeast Mexico and south Texas. Within Mexico it occurs 
in the eastern lowlands and has not been recorded in the Central 
Highlands. In southern Texas, jaguarundis used dense thorny shrublands. 
Jaguarundis will use bunchgrass pastures if dense brush or woody cover 
is nearby.
    The primary known threats to the Gulf Coast jaguarundi are habitat 
destruction, degradation, and fragmentation associated with agriculture 
and urbanization, and, to some extent, border security activities. 
Mortality from collisions with vehicles is also a threat.

Recovery Plan Goals

    The objective of an agency recovery plan is to provide a framework 
for the recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no 
longer necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about 
the species and provides criteria and actions necessary for us to be 
able to reclassify the species to threatened status or remove it from 
the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants 
(List). Recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing 
actions we consider necessary for the species' conservation, and by 
estimating time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures. To 
achieve its goals, this draft recovery plan identifies the following 
     Support efforts to develop more effective survey 
techniques for jaguarundis and to ascertain the status, better 
understand ecological and conservation needs, and promote conservation 
of the Gulf Coast jaguarundi and its habitats.
     Assess, protect, and restore sufficient habitat and 
connectivity to support viable populations and genetic exchange of the 
Gulf Coast jaguarundi in southern Texas and in Mexico.
     Reduce the effects of human population growth and 
development on potential Gulf Coast jaguarundi habitat in the United 
States and on the jaguarundi's potential survival and mortality.
     Assure the long-term viability of jaguarundi conservation 
through partnerships, the development and application of incentives for 
landowners, application of existing regulations, and public education 
and outreach.
     Practice adaptive management in which recovery is 
monitored and recovery tasks are revised by the FWS as new information 
becomes available.
    The draft revised recovery plan contains recovery criteria based on 
maintaining and increasing population numbers and habitat quality and 
quantity. The revised recovery plan focuses on protecting populations, 
managing threats, maintaining habitat, monitoring progress, and 
building partnerships to facilitate recovery.
    As the subspecies meets recovery criteria, we will review the 
subspecies' status and consider removal from the List.

Request for Public Comments

    Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. It is also our policy to request peer review of recovery 
plans (July 1, 1994; 59 FR 34270). In an appendix to the approved 
recovery plan, we will summarize and respond to the issues raised by 
the public and peer reviewers. Substantive comments may or may not 
result in changes to the recovery plan; comments regarding recovery 
plan implementation will be forwarded as appropriate to Federal or 
other entities so that they can be taken into account during the course 
of implementing recovery actions. Responses to individual commenters 
will not be provided, but we will provide a summary of how we addressed 
substantive comments in an appendix to the approved recovery plan.
    We invite written comments on the draft recovery plan. This plan 
incorporates the most recent scientific research specific to the Gulf 
Coast jaguaurundi. In particular, we are interested in information 
regarding the current threats to the species and the costs associated 
with implementing the recommended recovery actions.
    Before we approve the plan, we will consider all comments we 
receive by the date specified in DATES above. Methods of submitting 
comments are in the ADDRESSES section above.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at our 
office (see ADDRESSES).


    We developed our draft recovery plan and publish this notice under 
the authority of section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: December 10, 2012.
Benjamin Tuggle,
Regional Director, Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-30914 Filed 12-21-12; 8:45 am]