[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 6 (Wednesday, January 9, 2013)]
[Pages 1879-1880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00213]



[FWS-R5-ES-2012-N195; FXES11130300000-134-FF03E00000]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised 
Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidelines

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), announce the 
availability of our draft revised summer survey guidelines for the 
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) for public review and comment. The Indiana 
bat is federally listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended (Act). The draft guidelines were prepared by 
representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, 
U.S. Department of Defense's Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department 
of the Interior's Geological Survey and USFWS, Kentucky Department of 
Fish and Wildlife Resources, New York State Department of Environmental 
Conservation, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. We 
request review and comment on our guidelines--along with acoustic 
identification software testing criteria our 2013 contingency plan--
from local, State, and Federal agencies and the public.

DATES: Comments on the draft guidelines must be received on or before 
February 8, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: The draft survey guidelines, acoustic 
identification software testing criteria, and 2013 contingency plan are 
available at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/mammals/inba/inbasummersurveyguidance.html. The documents are also available by 
request, by U.S. mail from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Ecological Services Field Office, 620 South Walker Street, Bloomington, 
IN 47403-2121; or by phone at 812-334-4261, x1216. Submitting Comments: 
If you wish to comment on the documents, you may submit your comments 
in writing by any one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 620 South 
Walker Street, Bloomington, IN 47403-2121;
     Hand-delivery: Field Supervisor at the above U.S. mail 
     Email: indiana_bat@fws.gov; or
     Fax: 812-334-4273. Include ``Indiana Bat Summer Survey 
Guidelines'' in the subject line of the facsimile transmittal.

[[Page 1880]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions or requests for additional 
information may be directed to any of the following: (1) Mr. Andrew 
King, Endangered Species Biologist, at the Bloomington, Indiana, Field 
Office address or phone above; (2) Ms. Robyn Niver, Endangered Species 
Biologist, by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, NY 13045; or by phone 
at 607-753-9334; or (3) Mr. Mike Armstrong, Endangered Species 
Biologist, by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services Field Office, J. C. Watts Federal Building, Room 265, 330 West 
Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601-8670; or by phone at 502-229-4632.



    The Indiana bat was originally listed as in danger of extinction 
under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. Summer survey 
guidelines (mist-netting protocols) were first developed for the 
species in the early 1990s and the USFWS provided revised mist-netting 
guidelines in our 2007 Draft Revised Recovery Plan. The USFWS recently 
convened a group of State and Federal agency representatives to revise 
existing survey guidelines. We solicited peer review through the bat 
working groups across the range of the Indiana bat between February and 
March 2012 and received comments from 57 individuals. Based upon 
comments received and the results of pilot testing of the survey 
guidelines at known Indiana bat maternity colonies in the summer of 
2012, we offer the revised guidelines for public review and comment.
    In addition to soliciting comments on draft survey guidelines for 
determining presence or probable absence of Indiana bats in the summer, 
we request comment on our proposed approach and criteria for testing 
the accuracy and suitability of available acoustic identification 
software programs. Only programs that pass our suitability test would 
be approved by the USFWS for official survey use. Our goal is to 
incorporate comments and finalize the draft survey guidelines and 
testing criteria in time for implementation in the 2013 field season. 
However, should no USFWS-approved software programs be concurrently 
available, we propose to follow an intermediary contingency plan. The 
draft survey guidelines, draft acoustic identification software testing 
criteria, and 2013 contingency plan, with instructions for commenting, 
are available on the Internet (see ADDRESSES).

Request for Public Comments

    We invite written comments on (1) The draft survey guidelines, (2) 
the acoustic identification software testing criteria, and (3) the 2013 
contingency plan. Substantive comments may or may not result in changes 
to the USFWS guidance document. Please include sufficient information 
with your comments to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial 
information you include.
    While all comments we receive will be considered in developing 
final documents, we encourage commenters to focus on those portions of 
the guidelines that have been revised, particularly those topics noted 
above that address peer-review comments.
    All comments received by the date specified in DATES will be 
considered in preparing final documents. Methods of submitting comments 

Public Availability of Comments

    Responses to individual commenters will not be provided; however, 
we will provide the comments we receive and a summary of how we 
addressed substantive comments in a frequently asked questions document 
on the Web site listed above. If you submit comments or information by 
email to indiana_bat@fws.gov, your entire submission--including any 
personal identifying information--will be posted on the Web site. If 
your submission is made by hard copy that includes personal identifying 
information, you may request at the top of your document that we 
withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hard copy and 
email submissions on the Web site listed above in ADDRESSES.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available on our Web 
site; however, individuals without internet access may request an 
appointment to inspect the comments during normal business hours at our 
office in Bloomington, Indiana (see ADDRESSES).


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: January 2, 2013.
Lynn M. Lewis,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-00213 Filed 1-8-13; 8:45 am]