[Federal Register: April 28, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 82)]
[Page 23210-23211]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Sihek or Guam Micronesian 
Kingfisher (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina)

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (``we''), announces the 
availability of the Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Sihek or Guam 
Micronesian Kingfisher (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) for public 
review and comment.

DATES: Comments on the draft revised recovery plan must be received on 
or before June 28, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft revised recovery plan are available for 
inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the 
following location: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands 
Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, 
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850 (phone: (808) 792-9400). Requests for copies of 
the draft revised recovery plan and written comments and materials 
regarding this plan should be addressed to the Field Supervisor, 
Ecological Services, at the above Honolulu address. An electronic copy 
of the draft revised recovery plan is also available at: http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Amidon, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above Honolulu address.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of our endangered species program and the Endangered 
Species Act (Act) 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement 
of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no 
longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for the 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting listed species, and estimate time and cost for implementing 
the measures needed for 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 that public notice 
and an opportunity for

[[Page 23211]]

public review and comment be provided during recovery plan development. 
We will consider all information presented during the public comment 
period prior to approval of each new or revised recovery plan. 
Substantive technical comments may result in changes to the recovery 
plan. Substantive comments regarding recovery plan implementation may 
not necessarily result in changes to the recovery plan, but will be 
forwarded to appropriate Federal or other entities so that they can 
take these comments into account during the course of implementing 
recovery actions. Individual responses to comments will not be 
    The sihek is federally listed as endangered (49 FR 33881) and is 
also listed as endangered by the Territory of Guam. Sihek are forest 
kingfishers endemic to the island of Guam in the Mariana Archipelago. 
Sihek were last observed on Guam in 1988 and are now believed to be 
extirpated from the wild. Currently, sihek are represented by a captive 
population of 60 individuals in 11 zoological institutions. Prior to 
their extirpation from the island, sihek utilized a wide variety of 
forest habitats. Mature, closed canopy forests with large, standing 
dead trees that provide appropriate nest sites for the cavity-nesting 
sihek are important for reproductive activities. Diverse vegetative 
structure that provides a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate prey 
as well as an open understory or edge with exposed perches for foraging 
is also an important component of sihek habitat.
    Habitat degradation and loss, human persecution, contaminants, and 
introduced species such as disease organisms, cats (Felis cattus), rats 
(Rattus spp.), black drongos (Dicrurus macrocercus), monitor lizards 
(Varanus indicus), and brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) have all 
been suggested as factors in the population decline of this subspecies. 
However, predation by the brown treesnake is believed to have been the 
overriding factor in the extirpation of sihek. Factors that continue to 
prevent the recovery of the sihek include poor reproductive success, 
high mortality in the captive population, and the continued presence of 
brown treesnakes on Guam. Recovery actions in this draft revised plan 
are designed to address threats to the sihek in order to achieve the 
recovery objectives of downlisting to threatened status and eventual 
    To prevent the extinction of the sihek, the highest priority 
recovery tasks are to increase the size of the captive population, 
control brown treesnakes on Guam, and reestablish sihek in the wild on 
Guam. Increasing the captive population will be accomplished by 
establishing a captive propagation program for sihek on Guam, 
increasing reproductive success, and decreasing juvenile and adult 
mortality. Reintroduction to Guam requires a thorough reintroduction 
program and extensive predator control efforts, especially brown 
treesnake control. Once sihek have been reestablished in the wild, 
expanding predator control efforts to additional areas, habitat 
protection and restoration, and monitoring for additional threats to 
the subspecies would receive increased focus.
    The goal of this plan is to reestablish sihek in at least 2 stable 
or increasing subpopulations of 1,000 adults each, 1 in northern Guam 
and 1 in southern Guam, in conjunction with habitat protection and 
predator control measures, as well as long-term monitoring to ensure 
the effectiveness of management actions.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the draft revised recovery plan 
described. All comments received by the date specified above will be 
considered in developing a final revised recovery plan.

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

    Dated: March 5, 2004.
David J. Wesley,
Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-9585 Filed 4-27-04; 8:45 am]