[Federal Register: September 22, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 183)]
[Page 55060-55061]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Approved Recovery Plan for the Tumbling Creek Cavesnail (Antrobia 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the 
availability of the approved recovery plan for the Tumbling Creek 
cavesnail (Antrobia culveri), a species that is

[[Page 55061]]

federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). This species is restricted 
to a single cave stream in Tumbling Creek Cave in Taney County, 
southwestern Missouri. Actions identified for recovery of the Tumbling 
Creek cavesnail include stabilizing and augmenting the existing 
population, properly managing and protecting surface habitat in the 
cave's recharge area, and ensuring long-term good water quality in 
Tumbling Creek.

ADDRESSES: This approved recovery plan is available from the following 
    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).
    2. Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological 
Services Field Office, 608 E. Cherry St., Room 200, Columbia, Missouri 
    3. The World Wide Web at http://endangered.fws.gov/RECOVERY/index.html#plans

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Paul McKenzie, Columbia, Missouri, 
Ecological Services Field Office (see ADDRESSES section No. 2 above), 
telephone (573) 876-1911, ext. 107. The Fish and Wildlife Reference 
Service may be reached at (301) 492-6403 or (800) 582-3421. TTY users 
may contact Dr. McKenzie 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 
threats to the species are removed so that self-sustaining and self-
regulating populations of the species can be supported as persistent 
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.
    The Tumbling Creek cavesnail was listed as endangered on August 14, 
2002. The number of cavesnails has significantly decreased over the 
past few decades, to the point where only one individual was found 
within survey areas between January 11, 2001, and April 22, 2003. A 
population containing approximately 40 individuals exists in a small 
area upstream of the area that is regularly surveyed. This species 
lives on the underside of rocks in areas of Tumbling Creek that have 
little or no silt. Little is known about the species and its life 
history, but it is believed to feed on microscopic animals in the 
stream. Although the exact reason for this species' precipitous decline 
is unknown, it is believed to be linked to diminished water quality due 
to habitat degradation in upstream locations within the cave's 
delineated recharge zone.
    The objective of this plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of the Tumbling Creek cavesnail 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 (50 CFR part 17). The 
Tumbling Creek cavesnail will be considered for reclassification from 
endangered to threatened when the following criteria have been met: (1) 
The population is stable or increasing for 10 consecutive years with at 
least 1,500 individuals; (2) a minimum of 80% of the surface habitat 
within the recharge area of Tumbling Creek Cave, including a minimum of 
75% of all riparian corridors, sinkholes and losing streams, is 
appropriately managed; and (3) water quality monitoring fails to detect 
levels of any water pollutant that exceed U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency recommended water quality or exceed known toxicity thresholds 
for the species for 10 consecutive years. The Tumbling Creek cavesnail 
will be considered for delisting when the above reclassification 
criteria have been met and the following additional criteria have been 
achieved: (1) The population is stable or increasing for 10 consecutive 
years with at least 5,000 individuals; (2) a minimum of 90% of the 
surface habitat within the recharge area of Tumbling Creek Cave, 
including a minimum of 85% of all riparian corridors, sinkholes and 
losing streams, is appropriately managed; and (3) water quality 
monitoring fails to detect levels of any water pollutant that exceed 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended water quality or 
exceed known toxicity thresholds for this species for 10 consecutive 

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

    Dated: August 21, 2003.
Charles M. Wooley,
Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Region 3, Fort 
Snelling, Minnesota.
[FR Doc. 03-24073 Filed 9-18-03; 12:01 pm]