[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 3 (Monday, January 6, 2014)]
[Pages 661-662]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31533]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2013-N275; FXES11130200000C2-112-FF02ENEH00]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final 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 final recovery plan for the Gulf Coast jaguarundi 
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We have 
developed this final recovery plan to comply with a September 16, 2010, 
Stipulated Settlement Agreement between WildEarth Guardians and the 
Secretary of the Interior. 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.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the final recovery plan, you may 
obtain a copy by any one of the following methods:
     Internet: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html;
     U.S. mail: South Texas Refuges Complex Headquarters, Attn: 
Mitch Sternberg, 3325 Green Jay Road, Alamo, TX 78516;
     Telephone: (956) 784-7500;
     Fax: (956) 787-8338; or
     Email: Mitch_Sternberg@fws.gov.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of our final 
recovery plan for the Gulf Coast jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi

[[Page 662]]

cacomitli). The recovery plan was prepared by biologists from the 
United States, with input from experts in Mexico. We made the draft 
recovery plan available via a Federal Register notice published on 
December 26, 2012 (77 FR 76066); this notice opened a comment period 
that ran through February 22, 2013, and requested comments from local, 
State, and Federal agencies; and the public. We considered information 
we received from these entities, as well as that obtained from two 
independent peer reviewers, in finalizing this revised recovery plan.


    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 Final 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 
subsequently 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 final 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.


    We developed our final recovery plan under the authority of section 
4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish this notice under 
section 4(f) Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.).

    Dated: December 20, 2013.
Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2013-31533 Filed 1-3-14; 8:45 am]