[Federal Register: December 5, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 234)]
[Page 68102-68103]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability of a Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the 
Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces 
availability for public review of a draft revised recovery plan for the 
Chittenango ovate amber snail (Novisuccinea chittenangoensis). This 
species is federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The Service 
solicits review and comment from the public on this draft plan.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan received on or before 
January 5, 2004, will be considered by the Service.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to review the draft recovery plan may obtain 
a copy through the following means:

1. Through a written request to the Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, New 
York 13045.
2. By telephone: 607-753-9334 or fax 607-753-9699.3. By e-mail to Robyn_Niver@fws.gov.
4. By accessing the Field Office Web site: http://nyfo.fws.gov.

    Copies of the draft recovery plan may also be viewed at two public 
libraries: Moon Library, State University of New York College of 
Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, New 
York 13210 (Telephone: 315-470-6726).
    Sullivan Free Library, 519 McDonald Street (Back side of Genesee 
Street), Chittenango, New York 13037 (Telephone: 615-687-6331).

Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luker Road, Cortland, New 
York 13045.



    Restoring an endangered or threatened animal or plant to the point 
where it is again a secure, self-sustaining member of its ecosystem is 
a primary goal of the Service's endangered species program. To help 
guide the recovery effort, the Service is working to prepare recovery 
plans for most of the federally listed species native to the United 
States. Recovery plans describe actions necessary for the conservation 
of the species, establish criteria which, when met, would result in a 
determination that the species no longer needs the protection of the 
Act, and provide estimates of the time and cost for implementing the 
needed recovery measures.
    The Act requires recovery plans 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 public 
notice and opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. The Service will consider all information 
received during a public comment period when preparing each new or 
revised recovery plan for approval. The Service and other Federal 
agencies will also take these comments into consideration in the course 
of implementing approved recovery plans.
    The Chittenango ovate amber snail (Novisuccinea chittenangoensis) 
was listed as a threatened species in July 1978, and the initial 
recovery plan for the species was completed in March 1983. Since its 
discovery in 1905, only one extant N. chittenangoensis colony has been 
verified, from a site within the Chittenango Falls State Park in 
Madison County, New York. The Chittenango ovate amber snail was listed 
due to its rarity and population decline. Since listing, habitat 
protection and captive propagation measures have been implemented, but 
the species' status has become exceedingly precarious. The primary 
threats to the snail are its small population size and limited 
distribution as well as an undefined negative interaction with an 
introduced snail, Succinea sp. B. Additionally, potential threats 
persist from habitat changes and inadvertent human disturbance.
    The Chittenango ovate amber snail is a terrestrial species that 
requires the cool, mild-temperature, moist conditions provided by the 
waterfalls and mist in its environment. Its habitat lies within a 
ravine at the base of a 167-foot waterfall, and the ledges where it is 
found comprise an early successional sere that is periodically 
rejuvenated to a bare substrate by floodwaters. The species requires a 
substrate rich in calcium carbonate and appears to prefer green 
vegetation such as the various mosses, liverworts, and other low 
herbaceous vegetation found within the spray zone adjacent to the 
falls. Clean water may be necessary to maintain essential habitat, 
although water quality may have only an indirect effect on the snail.
    The recovery goal for the Chittenango ovate amber snail is to 
achieve long-term viability of the species in the wild, thereby 
allowing it to be taken off the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife. The first phase of recovery for N. 
chittenangoensis will involve stabilizing the extant population at 
Chittenango Falls. To accomplish this, a habitat management/protection 
plan for Chittenango Falls is needed, along with research into the 
species' biological requirements and genetic status as well as possible 
means of controlling the competing Succinea sp. B and abating any 
additional threats to the snail and its habitat. Given the grave 
uncertainty about the in situ survival prospects of this snail, captive 
propagation is also viewed as essential for the species' stabilization.
    Once the N. chittenangoensis population at Chittenango Falls is 
stabilized or increased, the second recovery phase for the species will 
involve establishing additional Chittenango ovate amber snail 
subpopulations at the Falls. In conjunction with long-term abatement

[[Page 68103]]

of threats to the species, this should safeguard the species from 
extinction caused by highly localized events. Long-term maintenance of 
ex situ populations will also help ensure the species' survival.

Public Information Solicited

    The Service solicits public comments on the recovery plan 
described. All comments received by the date specified will be 
considered prior to approval of the plan. Written comments and 
materials regarding the plan should be addressed to the Field 
Supervisor (see ADDRESSES section). Comments and materials received 
will be available, by appointment, for public inspection during normal 
business hours at the above address.

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

    Dated: November 7, 2003.
Richard O. Bennett,
Acting Regional Director, Region 5, Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Department of the Interior.
[FR Doc. 03-30254 Filed 12-4-03; 8:45 am]