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The Service Opens Comment Period for an Incidental Take Permit for WindMar in Guayanilla Puerto Rico

 

News Release in Español

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2006

Contacts:
Lilibeth Serrano, 787-851-7297 ext. 239




The Fish and Wildlife Service has received an application for an Incidental Take Permit for the endangered Puerto Rican nightjar, the endangered brown pelican and the threatened roseate tern for Wind Mar, a commercial wind energy project in Guayanilla Puerto Rico. The Service announces availability of our Environmental Assessment along with the Application for an Incidental Take Permit and Habitat Conservation Plan.

Proposed Action : The project would erect twenty-five 1.65 Megawatts wind turbines on Punta Verraco, Cerro Toro, and Punta Ventana. Construction would require widening of 8.7 km of existing roads, construction of 1.4 km of new roads, and the use of other areas for preparation of construction and erection of the wind turbines.

Implications to protected species and habitat : The Applicant anticipates taking about 12.2 ha (30.6 acres) of Puerto Rican nightjar ( Caprimulgus noctitherus) (nightjar) habitat, one brown pelican ( Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis) every 5 years, and one roseate tern ( Sterna dougallii) every 20 years. Also, the project would require t he permanent elimination of 4.3 acres and temporary loss of 26.3 acres of nightjar habitat and the take of 12 nightjar singing territories. No mortality of nightjars is anticipated from collisions with operating wind turbines since the species feeds below the forest canopy level.

“Take" is defined in the Endangered Species Act (Act) as harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect any threatened or endangered species. Harm may include significant habitat modification where it actually kills or injures a listed species through impairment of essential behavior (e.g., nesting or reproduction).

Habitat Conservation Plan: The Applicant has developed a Habitat Conservation Plan as required for the consideration of their incidental takes permit application. The plan describes measures the applicant would take to avoid, minimize and mitigate taking at the Project site. Some of the proposed activities include : 1) Establish a conservation easement on 245 ha (612.5 acres) of the Project site; 2) Restore at least 2.6 ha (6.5 acres) of the 3.1 ha (7.8 acres) of the previous Texaco quarry at the base of Punta Verraco with dry forest vegetation; 3) Restore a 10-hectare (25 acres) mangrove area by improving drainage; 4) Support brown pelican research; 5) Establish an environmental education program.

Send your written comments by March 7 to the following addresses:

david_dell@fws.gov or carlos_diaz@fws.gov
USFWS Regional Office
1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 200
Atlanta , Georgia 30345
(Attn: Endangered Species Permits)
Field Supervisor
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Road 301 Km. 5.1 P.O. Box 491
Boquerón, Puerto Rico 00622

Need more information? Documents are available for review by appointment at our Atlanta , Georgia and Puerto Rico offices. To set up an appointment please contact David Dell in Atlanta at 404-679-7313 or Marelisa Rivera in Puerto Rico at 787-851-7297 ext 2312.

If you want a copy of the document please send a written request to David Dell to the address mentioned above.

What Happens Next? -- The Service will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to determine whether the application meets the issuance criteria requirements of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act (Act). Also, by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation the Service will also evaluate whether issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP would comply with section 7 of the Act. The results of this consultation, in combination with the above findings, will be used in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue the ITP for the Puerto Rican nightjar, the brown pelican, and the roseate tern.


Species information(links ):

Roseate Tern http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/b/sab6h.html

Brown pelican: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/b/sab2s.html

Puerto Rican nightjar: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/i/b/sab4m.html


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://southeast.fws.gov/ or http://www.fws.gov/.



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