[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 58 (Monday, March 26, 2012)]
[Pages 17498-17499]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7180]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2012-N032; FXES11130400000C2]

Recovery Plan for the Endangered Spigelia gentianoides (Gentian 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of the final recovery plan for Spigelia gentianoides (Gentian 
pinkroot), a threatened species restricted to six locations within 
three counties in the Florida Panhandle and two counties in Alabama. 
The recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to 
be met in order to reclassify this species from endangered to 
threatened status under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the recovery plan by contacting the 
Panama City Field Office (PCFO), by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1601 Balboa Ave, Panama City, FL 32405, or by telephone at 
(850) 769-0552. Alternatively, you may visit the Fish and Wildlife 
Service's recovery plan Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html or the PCFO Web site at http://www.fws.gov/panamacity/listedplants.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Vivian Negr[oacute]n-Ortiz, at the 
above address, or by telephone at (850) 769-0552, ext. 231.



    We listed Spigelia gentianoides (Gentian pinkroot) as an endangered 
species under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) on November 26, 1990 (55 
FR 49046). Spigelia gentianoides is a small herbaceous plant and has 
two varieties: Var. gentianoides is restricted to five locations within 
three counties in the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, and var. 
alabamensis is limited to Bibb County, Alabama. The loss or alteration 
of habitat is thought to be the primary reason for the species' 
decline. The extant plants of var. gentianoides are located in fire-
dependent longleaf pine-wiregrass and pine-oak-hickory ecosystems. Much 
of this habitat has been reduced in its range, converted to pine 
plantation, and managed without fire. Variety alabamensis is a narrow 
endemic, restricted to the Bibb County Glades (open, almost treeless 
areas within woodlands). Some of the glades are owned and protected by 
The Nature Conservancy. However, this variety is threatened by 
potential development of privately owned glades.
    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 endangered species program. To help guide the 
recovery effort, we are preparing recovery plans

[[Page 17499]]

for most listed species. Recovery plans describe actions considered 
necessary for conservation of the species, establish criteria for 
downlisting or delisting, and estimate time and cost for implementing 
recovery measures.
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide a 
public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during 
recovery plan development. We made the draft of this recovery plan 
available for public comment from March 23 through May 23, 2011 (76 FR 
16439). We considered information we received during this public 
comment period and information from peer reviewers in our preparation 
of this final recovery plan. Some sections of the recovery plan were 
edited based on peer reviewer and public comments. However, no 
substantial changes were made to the final plan.

Recovery Plan Criteria

    The goal of this plan is to provide a framework to conserve and 
recover S. gentianoides so it may be reclassified to threatened status. 
Spigelia gentianoides will be considered for reclassification to 
threatened status when:
     Extant populations and newly discovered sites are 
identified and mapped;
     Inventories have been conducted across the species' 
historic sites and/or on new locations;
     Monitoring programs and management protocols on selected 
populations are established for 15 years to track threats to the 
species and its habitat;
     Extant populations located on public land are stable;
     The minimum viable population (MVP) size has been 
determined for each variety;
     Research on key aspects related to demography, 
reproductive biology, and seed ecology is accomplished; and
     Collect viable seeds from at least 50 percent of the 
populations for each variety and store them ex situ (off site--that is, 
in designated seed storage facilities).
    In addition, the following specific actions must be completed for 
each variety:
    [cir] Var. gentianoides:
    [ssquf] Sizes of populations  1 to  4 (out of 5) 
are increased via prescribed burns until plant numbers are stabilized;
    [ssquf] At least one new population is found; and
    [ssquf] At least one population is re-established within the 
historic range.
    [cir] Var. alabamensis:
    [ssquf] Fifty percent of the Bibb County glades known to support 
the variety on private land are protected through conservation 
agreements, easements, or land acquisition.
    As reclassification criteria are met the status of the species will 
be reviewed, and the species will be considered for reclassification to 
threatened status.
    Defining delisting criteria is not possible at this time, given the 
current low numbers of populations and individuals, lack of information 
about the species' biology, and the magnitude of current threats from 
development. Reclassification criteria will be reevaluated and 
delisting criteria will be created as new scientific data and 
information become available and recovery actions are implemented.


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

    Dated: January 24, 2012.
Mark J. Musaus,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-7180 Filed 3-23-12; 8:45 am]