[Federal Register: June 17, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 117)]
[Page 34313-34314]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2008-N0111]; [40120-1113-0000-C2]

Notice of Availability of a Technical Agency Draft Recovery Plan 
for the Puerto Rican Parrot for Review and Comment

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability and opening of public comment 


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of the technical agency draft revised recovery plan for the Puerto 
Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata). The technical agency draft revised 
recovery plan includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be 
met in order to reclassify this species to threatened status and delist 
it 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.

DATES: In order to be considered, we must receive comments on the 
technical agency draft recovery plan on or before August 18, 2008.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review this technical agency revised draft 
recovery plan, you may obtain a copy by contacting the Caribbean Field 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 491, Boquer[oacute]n, 
Puerto Rico 00622 (telephone (787) 851-7297 Ext. 231) or by visiting 
our Web site at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans. If 
you wish to comment, you may submit your comments by the following 
    1. You may submit written comments and materials to the Project 
Leader, at the above address.
    2. You may hand-deliver written comments to our Caribbean Field 
Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 491, Boquer[oacute]n, 
Puerto Rico 00622, or fax your comments to (787) 851-7440.
    3. You may send comments by e-mail to Marelisa Rivera at marelisa_
rivera@fws.gov. For directions on how to submit electronic filing of 
comments, see the ``Public Comments Solicited'' section.

    Comments and materials received are available for public inspection 
on request, by appointment, during normal business hours at the above 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marelisa Rivera at the above address 
(Telephone 787-851-7297, ext. 231).



    Once abundant and widespread on the Puerto Rican archipelago, the 
Puerto Rican parrot is considered one of the ten most endangered birds 
in the world. Largely green with a red forehead and blue flight 
feathers, the parrot is one of nine Amazona parrots occurring in the 
West Indies. The species is one of the smallest in its genus, measuring 
about 29 centimeters (11 inches) in length and weighing about 270 grams 
(10 ounces). Presently, a minimum of 25 individuals survive in the wild 
in the El Yunque National Forest (YNF) in eastern Puerto Rico and 10 in 
the R[iacute]o Abajo Forest (RAF) in north central Puerto Rico. Two 
captive population facilities hold more than 225 individuals: the 
Iguaca Aviary and the Jos[eacute] L. Vivaldi Aviary in eastern and 
west-central Puerto Rico, respectively.
    The Puerto Rican parrot is a fruit-eating cavity nester seldom seen 
far from forests. The decline of the parrot and its restricted 
distribution are due to many factors, but mostly due to widespread 
habitat loss (e.g., deforestation.) Due to its nesting requirements, it 
depends on mature forests with large cavity-forming trees.
    At present, in addition to low numbers and a limited distribution, 
major threats to this species are nest competition and predation of 
eggs and chicks by pearly-eyed thrashers (Margarops fuscatus), 
predation of fledglings and adults by red-tailed hawks (Buteo 
jamaicensis), predation by rats (Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus), 
parasitism by warble flies (Philornis pici), and the impact of 
hurricanes. Other threats include competition for cavities with 
European and Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera). Many of the 
threats are being controlled through management strategies.
    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 (16 U.S.C. 1533 et seq.) 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 technical agency draft revised plan is to 
provide a framework for the recovery of the Puerto Rican parrot, so 
that protection under the Act is no longer necessary. As 
reclassification and recovery criteria are met, the status of the 
species will be reviewed and it will be considered for reclassification 
or removal from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on the recovery plan described. We will 
consider all comments received by the date specified above prior to 
final approval of the revised recovery plan.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment, including your

[[Page 34314]]

personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any 
time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so.

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

    Dated: April 24, 2008.
Cynthia K. Dohner,
Acting Regional Director.
[FR Doc. E8-13580 Filed 6-16-08; 8:45 am]