[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 12 (Thursday, January 19, 2012)]
[Pages 2753-2754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-926]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2010-N252; FXES11130100000C2-123-FF01E00000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Plan for 
Hawaiian Waterbirds, Second Revision

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the final approved Recovery Plan for Hawaiian 
Waterbirds, Second Revision. The recovery plan addresses four 
endangered bird species. This plan includes recovery objectives and 
criteria, and specific recovery actions necessary to achieve 
downlisting and delisting of the species and their removal from the 
Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the recovery plan is available at 
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html and http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ecoservices/endangered/recovery/plans.html. Copies 
of the recovery plan are 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, HI 96850 (telephone: 
(808) 792-9400).

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of the approved 
Recovery Plan for Hawaiian Waterbirds, Second Revision. The recovery 
plan addresses the following four bird species listed as endangered: 
Hawaiian duck or koloa maoli (Anas wyvilliana), Hawaiian coot or alae 
keokeo (Fulica alai), Hawaiian common moorhen or alae ula (Gallinula 
chloropus sandvicensis), and Hawaiian stilt or aeo (Himantopus 
mexicanus knudseni).


    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 set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. 
Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for the 
conservation of listed species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting, and estimate time and cost for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery.
    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. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that 
public notice, and an opportunity for public review and comment, be 
provided during recovery plan development. A recovery plan for these 
four waterbirds was first published in 1978, and the first revision of 
the recovery plan was published in 1985. A draft of the second revision 
to the recovery plan was made available for public comment from July 9 
through September 7, 1999 (64 FR 37148). However, that draft was never 
finalized. From August 24 through October 24, 2005, we made a second 
draft of the

[[Page 2754]]

second revision available for public comment (70 FR 49668). We have 
considered information we received from public comments and peer 
reviewers in our preparation of the recovery plan, and have summarized 
that information in an appendix of the approved recovery plan. We 
welcome continuing public comment on this recovery plan, and we will 
consider all substantive comments on an ongoing basis to inform the 
implementation of recovery activities and future updates to the 
recovery plan.
    The four species of waterbirds addressed in the recovery plan 
occurred historically on all of the main Hawaiian Islands except Lanai 
and Kahoolawe. Currently, Hawaiian ducks are found on the islands of 
Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii; Hawaiian coots and Hawaiiian 
stilts are found on all of the main Hawaiian Islands except Kahoolawe; 
and Hawaiian common moorhens are found only on the islands of Kauai and 
Oahu. These species use a variety of wetland habitats, including 
freshwater marshes and ponds, coastal estuaries and ponds, artificial 
reservoirs, taro patches, irrigation ditches, sewage treatment ponds, 
and, in the case of the Hawaiian duck, montane streams and swamplands. 
Historically, the primary cause of population declines for the 
endangered Hawaiian waterbirds has been loss of wetland habitat. Other 
factors that have contributed to waterbird population declines, and 
which continue to be detrimental, include predation by introduced 
animals, altered hydrology, grazing, alteration of habitat by invasive 
nonnative plants, disease, and possibly environmental contaminants. 
Hunting in the late 1800s and early 1900s took a heavy toll on Hawaiian 
duck populations and, to a lesser extent, populations of the other 
three endemic waterbirds. Currently, predation by introduced animals 
may be the greatest threat to the coot, moorhen, and stilt; 
hybridization with feral mallards is the most serious threat to the 
Hawaiian duck.
    The recovery of the endangered waterbirds focuses on the following 
objectives: (1) Increasing population numbers to be consistently stable 
or increasing, with a minimum of 2,000 birds for each species; (2) 
establishing multiple, self-sustaining breeding populations throughout 
each species' historical range; (3) establishing and protecting a 
network of both core and supporting wetlands that are managed as 
habitat suitable for waterbirds, including the maintenance of 
appropriate hydrological conditions and control of invasive nonnative 
plants; (4) eliminating or controlling the threats posed by introduced 
predators, avian diseases, and contaminants; and (5) for the Hawaiian 
duck, removing the threat of hybridization with feral mallards.

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

    Dated: October 28, 2011.
Richard R. Hannan,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-926 Filed 1-18-12; 8:45 am]