[Federal Register: February 23, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 35)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 8116-8119]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AH50

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the 
Mariana Mallard and the Guam Broadbill From the Federal List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: Under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(Act), as amended, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), 
remove the Mariana mallard (Anas platyrhynchos oustaleti) and Guam 
broadbill (Myiagra freycineti) from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife. All available information indicates that these 
species are extinct. The Mariana mallard was endemic to the Mariana 
Archipelago and documented to have occurred on the islands of Guam, 
Tinian, and Saipan. We listed the Mariana mallard as endangered on June 
2, 1977 (42 FR 28136), because its population was critically low due to 
excessive hunting and loss of wetland habitat. No confirmed sightings 
of the Mariana mallard have been made since 1979. The Guam broadbill 
was endemic to the island of Guam. We listed the Guam broadbill as 
endangered on August 27, 1984 (49 FR 33881), because of its critically 
low population. No confirmed sightings of the Guam broadbill have been 
made since 1984. This final rule removes the Federal protection 
provided by the Act for the Guam broadbill and Mariana mallard but does 
not alter or supersede their designation by the government of Guam as 
endangered species. The Mariana mallard is not a species protected by 
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Government (CNMI).

DATES: This rule is effective February 23, 2004.

ADDRESSES: The administrative record file for this rule is available 
for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 
Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, HI 96850.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Amidon, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above 
address (telephone: 808/792-9400; facsimile: 808/792-9580).



    The Mariana mallard was endemic to the Mariana Archipelago and 
documented to occur on the islands of Guam, Tinian, and Saipan. There 
was some speculation that Mariana mallards were once found on the 
islands of Rota and Pagan (Baker 1948; Steadman 1992; Reichel and Lemke 
    The Mariana mallard is believed to have been a subspecies that 
originated as a hybrid between the common mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 
and the grey duck (Anas superciliosa) (Reichel and Lemke 1994). The 
majority of males and all female Mariana mallards resembled the grey 
duck except their legs were orange, their bill was olive, and they 
lacked the grey duck's prominent brown streak below the eye (Yamashina 
1948). The remaining males resembled male common mallards, having green 
heads and purple-blue speculums (Yamashina 1948).
    Mariana mallards were recorded in freshwater marshes, lakes, and 
rivers, and were also observed in mangrove lagoons (Stott 1947; 
Marshall 1949; Kibler 1950). Little was known about their foraging 
habitat but they were observed foraging on green vegetation and seeds 
(Marshall 1949). Mariana mallards apparently bred from March to August 
(Kuroda 1941, cited in Reichel and Lemke 1994; Kuroda 1942, cited in 
Reichel and Lemke 1994; Marshall 1949), and were believed to have laid 
1 clutch of 7 to 12 eggs per year (Kuroda 1942, cited in Reichel and 
Lemke 1994).
    No population estimate was ever recorded for the Mariana mallard 
prior to its decline. However, it was believed that they were never 
abundant due to the limited habitat availability of freshwater marshes 
and lakes in the Mariana Archipelago (Baker 1951). The largest number 
of Mariana mallards ever recorded was of 2 flocks of 50 to 60 Mariana 
mallards at Lake Hagoi, Tinian, in 1936 (Kuroda 1942, cited in Reichel 
and Lemke 1994). However, by the 1940s, most observations of Mariana 
mallards on Tinian, Saipan, and Guam were of 12 or fewer birds (Stott 
1947; Marshall 1949; Kibler 1950). The last Mariana mallards observed 
on Guam and Tinian were observed in 1967 and 1974, respectively (Drahos 
1977; Tenorio and Associates 1979). On

[[Page 8117]]

Saipan, the last wild Mariana mallards were observed in 1979 by our 
biologist Eugene Kridler (1979). At that time, Mr. Kridler also 
captured a pair of Mariana mallards for captive propagation at 
Pohakuloa, HI, which were then sent to Sea World, San Diego, CA. All 
attempts at propagation failed and the last known Mariana mallard died 
there in 1981 (Engbring and Pratt 1985). Since 1979, surveys of all the 
known wetlands on Guam, Rota, Saipan, and Tinian have produced no 
observations of Mariana mallards (Tenorio and Associates 1979; Stinson 
et al. 1991, 1997; Reichel et al. 1992; Reichel and Lemke 1994; Service 
unpublished report, 2003).
    The Mariana mallard's range reduction and eventual extinction have 
been attributed to habitat loss and hunting, especially during and 
immediately after World War II (WWII) (Baker 1948; Reichel and Lemke 
1994). Evolving without predators, the mallard was not wary of humans, 
and so was easily caught (Kuroda 1942, cited in Reichel and Lemke 1994; 
Stott 1947). Kuroda (1942, cited in Reichel and Lemke 1994) reported 
that there was a hunting season on Saipan from July through December, 
but no hunting was allowed on Tinian. However, it is unknown if these 
regulations were enforced. After WWII, islanders were allowed to own 
firearms and hunting of the birds persisted (Drahos 1977).
    Draining and fragmentation of wetlands greatly reduced the quantity 
and quality of habitat available for the Mariana mallard on Guam, 
Tinian, and Saipan (Stinson et al. 1991; Reichel et al. 1992; Reichel 
and Lemke 1994). During the Japanese occupation of Saipan and Tinian 
between 1914 and 1945, most wetlands were channelized and converted to 
rice paddies. Also during this time, sugar mill wastes were discharged 
into Lake Susupe on Saipan, the last known location of the Mariana 
mallard in the wild. Since 1945, many wetlands have been drained or 
filled in as a result of urban development on Guam, Tinian, and Saipan 
(Stinson et al. 1991; Reichel et al. 1992; Reichel and Lemke 1994). The 
Mariana mallard, never great in number, is believed to have lost most 
of its limited habitat with the decimation of wetlands, while being 
hunted with little to no enforcement of hunting restrictions.
    The Guam broadbill (Myiagra freycineti) was a member of the monarch 
flycatcher family (Monarchidae). Most of the eight or nine genera in 
this subfamily are widespread in the tropical Pacific islands, and many 
species are endemic to a single island or archipelago (Pratt et al. 
1987). The Guam broadbill was closely related to congeners (same genus) 
in Palau (M. erythrops), Chuuk (M. oceanica), and Pohnpei (M. pluto). 
The Guam broadbill weighed approximately 0.4 ounces (12 grams) and had 
a bluish head, neck, back, wings, and tail, and a white throat and 
light cinnamon breast (Baker 1951). Similar to other monarch 
flycatchers, the Guam broadbill was insectivorous and fed both by 
gleaning prey from twigs and foliage and by taking insects from the air 
(Jenkins 1983). This species nested year-round, and nests usually were 
placed in a fork of branches in understory trees or shrubs (Jenkins 
1983). Both sexes incubated eggs and brooded young (Jenkins 1983).
    Guam broadbills were once found in all forested habitats on Guam as 
well as in mangrove swamps (Stophlet 1946; Kibler 1950; Baker 1951; 
Jenkins 1983). However, by 1979 the Guam broadbill was restricted 
primarily to mature limestone forests of the relatively undisturbed 
northern cliff-line of Guam (Jenkins 1983). A 1981 survey estimated a 
total population of 460 Guam broadbills in Guam, with birds occurring 
at low densities, and encountered regularly only in extreme 
northwestern Guam (Engbring and Ramsey 1984). In 1983, the population 
was primarily restricted to the Pajon Basin, a small area on the north 
coast, and was estimated at less than 100 individuals (Aguon 1983). 
That same year, a male Guam broadbill was collected for captive 
propagation (Beck 1983). This captive breeding attempt failed because 
no other individuals could be located and the captive male died of 
unknown causes in February 1984 (Beck 1984). The last sightings of this 
species took place in 1984, one in March in the Northwest Field on 
Andersen Air Force Base, and one in August adjacent to the Navy golf 
course in Barrigada (52 FR 2239). Since 1984, annual spring bird 
surveys and other ornithological activities in areas where this species 
would likely occur have yielded no observations (Wiles et al. 1995; 
Service unpublished report 2003).
    Reduction in the range of the Guam broadbill and its eventual 
extinction have been variously attributed to pesticide use during and 
after WWII, the spread of avian diseases, and predation by introduced 
animals, including rats (Rattus spp.), monitor lizards (Varanus 
indicus), and brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis). However, studies 
have determined that predation by the brown tree snake was likely the 
single most important factor in the decline of the Guam broadbill and 
other native forest birds of Guam (Savidge 1986, 1987; Conry 1988; 
Wiles et al. 1995; Rodda et al. 1997).

Previous Federal Action

    Federal action on the Mariana mallard began on May 22, 1975, when 
the Fund for Animals, Inc., petitioned us to list 216 taxa of plants 
and animals as endangered species pursuant to the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.). These species appeared in Appendix I of the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES), but did not appear on the U.S. List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants. We published in the Federal Register a 
proposed rule to list 216 species as endangered, including the Mariana 
mallard, on September 26, 1975 (40 FR 44329). In a final rule, 
published on June 14, 1976 (41 FR 24062), we determined 159 of the 216 
taxa were endangered species. However, the Mariana mallard was not 
included in this rule because the Governors of Guam and the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands inadvertently were not 
notified of the proposal as required by the Act. These Governors were 
later notified and allowed 90 days for comment. A final rule listing 
the Mariana mallard as endangered was published on June 2, 1977 (42 FR 
28136), without critical habitat. On January 25, 2002 (67 FR 3675), we 
published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to delist the Mariana 
mallard due to extinction.
    Federal action on the Guam broadbill began on February 27, 1979, 
when the Acting Governor of Guam petitioned us to list the Guam 
broadbill and five other forest bird species as endangered. We issued a 
notice of review for 12 petitioned animals, including the Guam 
broadbill, on May 18, 1979 (44 FR 29128). In our December 30, 1982 (47 
FR 58454), Review of Vertebrate Wildlife, the Guam broadbill was 
considered a category 1 candidate for Federal listing. Category 1 
species were those for which we had substantial information on 
biological vulnerability and threats to support preparation of a 
listing proposal, but for which a listing proposal had not yet been 
published because it was precluded by other listing activities. We 
published a proposed rule to list the Guam broadbill as endangered on 
November 29, 1983 (48 FR 53729). The final rule determining the Guam 
broadbill to be an endangered species was published on August 27, 1984 
(49 FR 33881), and a recovery plan for the Guam broadbill and four 
other listed bird species on Guam and Rota was published in 1990 
(Service 1990).
    A proposed rule to designate critical habitat for the Guam 
broadbill and five other endangered species on Guam was

[[Page 8118]]

published in the Federal Register on June 14, 1991 (56 FR 27485). This 
proposed rule was withdrawn on April 4, 1994 (59 FR 15696) because most 
of the lands proposed as critical habitat had by this time been 
incorporated into the Guam National Wildlife Refuge overlay lands. We 
determined that critical habitat designation was not prudent because it 
would not provide the Guam broadbill with any benefit beyond that 
already provided by the refuge overlay lands. On April 3, 2000, the 
Marianas Audubon Society and the Center for Biological Diversity filed 
a suit to challenge our withdrawal of critical habitat for these 
species. On September 7, 2000, we filed a motion to voluntarily remand 
the nonprudency decision based on subsequent court decisions on 
critical habitat. This motion set a deadline of June 1, 2003, for us to 
redetermine prudency and designate final critical habitat, if prudent, 
for the Guam broadbill and five other listed species. We published a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register to delist the Guam broadbill due 
to extinction on January 25, 2002 (67 FR 3675). On April 16, 2002, the 
Guam District Court issued a ruling that ordered us to comply with 
terms of the critical habitat settlement agreement by June 1, 2003.
    On October 15, 2002, we published a proposed rule to designate 
critical habitat for the Mariana fruit bat (Pteropus mariannus 
mariannus), the Mariana crow (Corvus kubaryi), and the Guam Micronesian 
kingfisher (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) (67 FR 63738). In this 
proposed rule, we also found that designation of critical habitat for 
the Guam broadbill would not be prudent because the species was 
extinct. On May 30, 2003, the Government of Guam filed a motion to 
extend the deadline for publication of the final rule to allow time to 
develop an alternative to critical habitat designation on Guam. The 
Government of Guam stated that they did not have adequate time to 
develop these alternatives due to a recent change in administration and 
hardships encountered as a result of the Typhoon Chataan and the 
Supertyphoon Pongsona. On June 13, 2003, the Guam District Court 
extended the deadline for publication of a final rule indefinitely.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule to delist the Mariana mallard and Guam 
broadbill published on January 25, 2002 (67 FR 3675), we requested that 
all interested parties submit comments on the proposal. We also 
contacted all appropriate State and Federal agencies, county 
governments, landowners, and other interested parties and invited them 
to comment. The comment period closed on March 26, 2002 (67 FR 3675).
    Only one comment was received during the comment period. The 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Division of Fish and 
Wildlife stated that they concurred with our conclusion that the 
Mariana mallard is extinct and should be removed from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
    We also requested and received peer review from three experts on 
the waterbirds and forest birds of the Mariana Islands. All three peer 
reviewers concurred with our conclusion that the Mariana mallard and 
the Guam broadbill are extinct and should be removed from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act and regulations promulgated to implement the 
listing provisions of the Act (50 CFR part 424) set forth the 
procedures for listing, reclassifying, or removing species from listed 
status. We may determine a species to be an endangered or threatened 
species because of one or more of the five factors described in section 
4(a)(1) of the Act; we must consider these same five factors in 
delisting species. We may delist a species according to section 
424.11(d) if the best available scientific and commercial data indicate 
that the species is neither endangered nor threatened for the following 
reasons: (1) The species is extinct; (2) The species has recovered and 
is no longer endangered or threatened; and/or (3) The original 
scientific data used at the time the species was classified were in 
    After a thorough review and consideration of all information 
available, we have determined that the Mariana mallard and Guam 
broadbill are extinct and should be removed from the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife. We determined that none of the five factors 
addressed in section 4(a)(1) of the Act now affects these species.
    No confirmed sightings or vocalizations of the Mariana mallard have 
been reported since 1979, despite surveys, and the last captive bird 
died in 1981. No confirmed sightings or vocalizations of the Guam 
broadbill have been reported since August 1984, despite surveys, and 
the last captive bird died in February 1984. Therefore, we believe 
enough evidence exists to declare the Mariana mallard and Guam 
broadbill extinct and to remove them from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d), we have determined that this 
rule relieves an existing restriction and good cause exists to make the 
effective date of this rule immediate. Delay in implementation of this 
delisting could cost government agencies staff time and monies in 
conducting formal section 7 consultation on actions that may affect a 
species no longer in need of protection under the Act. Relieving the 
existing restrictions associated with this listed species will enable 
Federal agencies to minimize any delays in any ongoing or future 
project planning and implementation actions that may have affected the 
Mariana mallard and Guam broadbill.

Effects of This Rule

    This final rule revises Sec.  17.11(h) to remove the Mariana 
mallard and the Guam broadbill from the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife due to extinction. The prohibitions and 
conservation measures provided by the Act, particularly sections 7 and 
9, will no longer apply to these species. There is no designated 
critical habitat for these species.
    The Mariana mallard and the Guam broadbill are protected by the 
government of Guam (Pub. L. 15-36). Removal of these species from the 
List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife does not alter or supersede 
their designation by the government of Guam as endangered species.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not 
impose record keeping or reporting requirements on State or local 
governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may 
not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a 
collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number. Information collections associated with threatened and 
endangered species permits are covered by an existing OMB approval and 
are assigned control number 1018-0093, which expires March 31, 2004.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that Environmental Assessments and Environmental 
Impact Statements, as defined under the authority of the

[[Page 8119]]

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in 
connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. We published a notice 
outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on 
October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see 
ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this final rule is Fred Amidon, Ecological 
Services, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES section).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
record keeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:


1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.

2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) by removing the entries for ``Mallard, 
Mariana'' and ``Broadbill, Guam'' under ``BIRDS'' from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Dated: February 10, 2004.
Steve Williams,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-3784 Filed 2-20-04; 8:45 am]