[Federal Register: January 11, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 7)]
[Page 1766-1767]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Aga or Mariana Crow (Corvus 

AGENCY: 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 Aga or Mariana 
Crow (Corvus kubaryi) for public review and comment.

DATES: Comments on the draft revised recovery plan must be received on 
or before March 13, 2006.

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, Box 
50088, 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. The 
draft revised plan is currently available on the World Wide Web at 

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



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.) and our endangered species program. Recovery means improvement of 
the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
required 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 endangered 
or threatened species unless such a plan would not promote the 
conservation of

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the species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public notice, and 
an opportunity for public review and comment, be provided during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 
during the public comment period on each new or revised recovery plan. 
Substantive comments may result in changes to a recovery plan. Comments 
regarding recovery plan implementation may not necessarily result in 
changes to the recovery plans, but will be forwarded to the appropriate 
Federal agency 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 provided.
    The aga or Mariana crow is native to the islands of Guam and Rota 
in the Mariana Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean. The aga has been 
listed as an endangered species by the United States since 1984, and is 
also listed by the governments of the Territory of Guam and the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The last of the aga on 
Guam disappeared sometime in 2002 or 2003. Currently, northern Guam has 
a small population of 10 aga, all individuals translocated from Rota. 
Estimates for the island of Rota indicate that approximately 85 pairs 
of aga persist there, but this population is apparently in decline.
    Aga utilize a wide variety of forested habitats including 
limestone, strand, ravine, agricultural forest, and secondary forests. 
However, available evidence suggests that aga are most abundant in 
native limestone forests. On both Guam and Rota, aga nests have been 
found exclusively in native species of trees, which also serve as the 
primary foraging sources for these birds.
    The introduction of the exotic brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) 
to the island of Guam in the late 1940's is believed to have been the 
primary cause of the extirpation of aga from that island. Brown 
treesnakes are not established on Rota. The cause of the observed 
decline in the aga population on Rota, as well as parallel declines in 
other forest birds on the island, is not well understood, but may be 
due to a combination of habitat loss, human persecution, and possibly 
introduced rats or other exotic predators.
    Captive propagation of the aga in mainland zoos was attempted in 
the 1990's, but was largely unsuccessful. Most of the captive 
individuals have since been released back on Guam. The translocation of 
individuals from Rota to Guam has proven a more viable option, and in 
recent years some of these birds have paired and successfully nested on 
Guam. Since the native aga on Guam have been extirpated, recovery of 
the species is now entirely dependent upon the remaining population of 
aga on the island of Rota.
    This draft revised recovery plan replaces the original recovery 
plan for the aga, which was published in 1990 and addressed multiple 
species of native forest birds of Guam and Rota. The draft revised 
recovery plan was developed by the Mariana Crow Recovery Team, which 
includes representatives from various Federal agencies, the Guam 
Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands' Division of Fish and Wildlife, Andersen Air 
Force Base, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Washington. 
The primary objective of this draft revised recovery plan is to 
establish a total of at least three viable, self-sustaining 
subpopulations of aga in the wild, two on Guam and one on Rota. The 
recovery program described in this draft revised recovery plan includes 
active research, habitat management, predator control, translocation, 
population monitoring, and community involvement. The recovery actions 
are designed to address threats to the aga in order to achieve the 
recovery goal of downlisting to threatened status and then eventually 
delisting (removing from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants).

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 prior to approval of this plan.


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

    Dated: September 28, 2005.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the 
Federal Register on January 6, 2006.

[FR Doc. E6-143 Filed 1-10-06; 8:45 am]