[Federal Register: September 24, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 185)]


[Page 57357-57358]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




Fish and Wildlife Service


Notice of Availability of a Final Recovery Plan for the 

Threatened Guaj[oacute]n (Eleutherodactylus cooki)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 

of the final recovery plan for the guaj[oacute]n (also referred to as 

the Puerto Rican demon). The guaj[oacute]n is one of sixteen species of 

frogs from the genus Eleutherodactylus (commonly known as 

``coqu[iacute]es'') that inhabit the island of Puerto Rico, and is also 

the second largest species found on the island. The guaj[oacute]n is 

extremely limited in its geographic distribution. The species inhabits 

localities in the ``Sierra de Panduras'' mountain range, and the 

municipalities of Yabucoa, San Lorenzo, Humacao, Las Piedras, and west 

to Patillas-San Lorenzo. The guaj[oacute]n, named after the habitat it 

occupies, occurs at low and intermediate elevations, from 18 to 1,183 

feet (5.5 to 360.6 meters) above sea level where it inhabits caves 

formed by large boulders of granite rock known as ``guajonales'' or 

streams with patches of rock without cave systems. The technical agency 

draft recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria 

to be met in order to delist the guaj[oacute]n under the Endangered 

Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We solicit review and comment on 

this technical agency draft recovery plan from local, State, and 

Federal agencies, and the public.

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the recovery plan by contacting the 

Boquer[oacute]n Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 

491, Boquer[oacute]n, Puerto Rico 00622 (telephone 787/851-7297), or by 

visiting our recovery plan Web site at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jorge Saliva at the above address 

(Telephone 787/851-7297, ext. 24).



    We listed the guaj[oacute]n as threatened on June 11, 1997, under 

the Act (62 FR 31757). The guaj[oacute]n may be the only species of 

Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico that exhibits differences in color 

between sexes. Females have solid brown coloration, with a uniformly 

white undersurface. They have white-rimmed eyes, and large, truncate 

disks on their feet. Males have yellow coloration extending from the 

vocal sac to the abdomen and flanks. Females are larger than males, 

with a mean size (snout-vent length) of 2.01 inches (in) (5.11 

centimeters (cm)) for females and 1.71 in (4.34 cm) for males. The 

voice of the guaj[oacute]n is low and melodious.

    For this species, deforestation and earth movement for 

agricultural, urban and rural development, and highway construction are 

likely the principal causes for decline. In addition, the guaj[oacute]n 

is threatened by the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in 

adjacent areas, illegal garbage dumping, and the effects of 

catastrophic natural events such as droughts and hurricanes. Additional 

research is planned to look at these and other potential causes for 


    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 endangered species program. To help guide the 

recovery effort, we are preparing recovery plans for most listed 

species. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for 

conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 

delisting, and estimate time and cost for implementing 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 us to provide a 

public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment during 

recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 

during a public comment period prior to approval of each new or revised 

recovery plan. We and other Federal agencies will take these comments 

into account in the course of implementing approved recovery plans.

    The objective of this recovery plan is to provide a framework for 

the recovery of the guaj[oacute]n so that protection under the Act is 

no longer necessary. As

[[Page 57358]]

recovery criteria are met, the status of the species will be reviewed 

and they will be considered for removal from the Federal List of 

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR part 17).


    The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered 

Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533 (f).

    Dated: August 31, 2004.

Cynthia K. Dohner,

Deputy Regional Director, Southeast Region.

[FR Doc. 04-21475 Filed 9-23-04; 8:45 am]