[Federal Register: September 19, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 182)]
[Page 54913-54914]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of the Approved Recovery Plan for the 
Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announce the 
availability of the approved recovery plan for the Karner blue 
butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), a species that is federally-
listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). This species occurs or may occur on 
public and private land in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, 
New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Actions identified for recovery of the 
Karner blue butterfly seek to restore and protect an adequate number of 
populations throughout its range to ensure long-term viability of the 
species in the wild.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's approved recovery plans are 
available from:
    1. Fish and Wildlife Reference Service, 5430 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 
110, Bethesda, Maryland 20814 (the fee for the plan varies depending on 
the number of pages of the plan).
    2. Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Green Bay, 
Wisconsin, Ecological Services Field Office, 2661 Scott Tower Drive, 
New Franken, Wisconsin 54229.
    3. The World Wide Web at: http://endangered.fws.gov/RECOVERY/RECPLANS/Index.htm

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Catherine Carnes, Green Bay, 
Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES section No. 2 above); 
telephone (920) 866-1732. The Fish and Wildlife Reference Service may 
be reached at (301) 492-6403 or (800) 582-3421. TTY users may contact 
Ms. Carnes and the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service through the 
Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals or plants is a primary 
goal of the Service's endangered species program. A species is 
considered recovered when the species' ecosystem is restored and/or 
threats to the species are removed so that self-sustaining and self-
regulating populations of the species can be supported as persistent

[[Page 54914]]

members of native biotic communities. Recovery plans describe actions 
considered necessary for the conservation of the species, establish 
criteria for reclassification to threatened status or delisting listed 
species, and estimate time and cost for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, requires that 
recovery plans be developed for listed species unless such a plan would 
not promote the conservation of a particular species. Section 4(f) of 
the Act, as amended in 1988, requires that during recovery plan 
development, we provide public notice and an opportunity for public 
review and comment. Information presented during the comment period has 
been considered in the preparation of the approved recovery plan, and 
is summarized in an appendix to the recovery plan. We will forward 
substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation to 
appropriate Federal agencies and other entities so they can take these 
comments into account during the course of implementing recovery 
    The Karner blue butterfly was listed as endangered on January 21, 
1992. The butterfly depends on savanna and barrens habitats that 
support wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), the only plant on which Karner 
blue butterfly larvae (or caterpillars) are known to feed. Continued 
loss and alteration to habitat due to commercial, residential, and 
agricultural development, fragmentation, and habitat degradation 
through succession have been identified as the primary reasons for this 
species' endangered status and continue to be the primary threats to 
its recovery. Today, the butterfly inhabits remnant savanna and barrens 
habitats, as well as other more disturbed habitat sites including 
forest stands, military bases, utility and road rights-of-way, and 
airports. Wisconsin and Michigan support the majority of populations 
throughout the range.
    The objective of this plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of the Karner blue butterfly so that protection by the Act is 
no longer necessary. As recovery criteria are met, the status of the 
species will be reviewed and it will be considered for removal from the 
list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR part 17). 
The Karner blue butterfly will be considered for reclassification to 
threatened when a minimum of 27 metapopulations [19 viable 
metapopulations (supporting 3,000 butterflies each), and 8 large viable 
metapopulations (supporting 6,000 butterflies each)] are established 
within at least 13 recovery units across the butterfly's range and are 
being managed consistent with the recovery objectives outlined in this 
plan. Delisting will be considered when a minimum of 29 metapopulations 
(13 viable and 16 large viable metapopulations) have been established 
within at least 13 recovery units and are being managed consistent with 
the plan.

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

    Dated: May 9, 2003.
Charles M. Wooley,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Region 3, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
[FR Doc. 03-23930 Filed 9-18-03; 8:45 am]