[Federal Register: September 17, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 180)]
[Page 54485]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Recovery Plan for the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (``we'') announces the 
availability of the final Recovery Plan for the Quino Checkerspot 
Butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino). The Quino checkerspot butterfly is 
a subspecies that is currently restricted primarily to clay and 
granitic soils at lower elevation slopes typically below 1,400 meters 
(4,600 feet) in open scrub, chaparral, and woodland communities. The 
populations addressed in this recovery plan are found in western 
Riverside and southern San Diego Counties proximal to the Mexico 
international border.

ADDRESSES: Copies of this final recovery plan are available by written 
request to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, 6010 Hidden Valley Road, Carlsbad, 
California 92009, or by calling 760-431-9440. An electronic copy of 
this recovery plan is also available at: http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alison Anderson, at the above Carlsbad 
address and telephone number.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of our endangered species program and the Endangered 
Species Act (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. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for the 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting listed species, and estimate time and cost for implementing 
the measures needed for recovery.
    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 that public 
notice, and an opportunity for public review and comment, be provided 
during recovery plan development. Information presented during the 
public comment period has been considered in the preparation of this 
final recovery plan, and is summarized in the appendix to the recovery 
plan. We will forward substantive comments regarding recovery plan 
implementation to appropriate Federal or other entities so that they 
can take these comments into account during the course of implementing 
recovery actions.
    The Quino checkerspot butterfly is found in association with 
topographically diverse open woody canopy landscapes that contain low 
to moderate levels of non-native vegetation compared to disturbed 
habitat. Vegetation types that support the Quino checkerspot are 
coastal sage scrub, open chaparral, juniper woodland, forblands, and 
native grassland. Soil and climatic conditions, as well as ecological 
and physical factors, affect the suitability of habitat within the 
species' range. Urban and agricultural development, invasion of non-
native species, habitat fragmentation and degradation, increased fire 
frequency, and other human-caused disturbances have resulted in 
substantial losses of habitat throughout the species' historic range. 
Conservation needs include: (1) Protection and management of suitable 
and restorable habitat; (2) habitat restoration and enhancement; and 
(3) establishment of a Quino checkerspot captive breeding program. This 
plan identifies six recovery units. Recovery units are geographically 
bounded areas containing extant Quino checkerspot populations that are 
the focus of recovery actions.
    The overall objective of this recovery plan is to reduce the 
threats to the Quino checkerspot butterfly to the point where it can be 
reclassified (downlisted) to threatened and ensure the species' long-
term conservation. Interim goals include: (1) Protect and manage 
habitat supporting known current population distributions (occurrence 
complexes); (2) maintain or create resilient populations; and (3) 
conduct research necessary to refine recovery criteria.
    Downlisting of the Quino checkerspot butterfly is contingent upon 
the following criteria: (1) Permanently protect habitat within 
occurrence complexes in a configuration designed to support resilient 
populations; (2) conduct research on population distribution and 
dynamics; (3) permanently provide for and implement management of 
occurrence complexes to restore habitat quality and population 
resilience; (4) demonstrate evidence of population resilience in core 
occurrence complexes; (5) document or introduce an additional 
population in the Lake Matthews site, and demonstrate population 
resilience for at least one population outside current recovery units; 
(6) establish and maintain a captive propagation program for purposes 
of re-introduction and augmentation of wild populations, maintenance of 
refugia populations, and research; and (7) initiate and implement a 
cooperative outreach program targeting areas where Quino checkerspot 
populations are most threatened.


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

    Dated: August 11, 2003.
Steve Thompson,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Region 1, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-23684 Filed 9-16-03; 8:45 am]