[Federal Register: July 19, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 137)]
[Page 41886-41887]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R4-ES-2010-N021; 40120-1113-IBWP-C2]

Recovery Plan for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the Final Recovery Plan for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker 
(Campephilus principalis). This final recovery plan includes criteria 
and measures that should be taken in order to begin to effectively 
recover the species to the point where delisting is warranted under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).

ADDRESSES: Copies of the draft recovery plan are available by request 
from the Lafayette Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
646 Cajundome Boulevard, Suite 400, Lafayette, LA 70506, or by download 
from our recovery plan Web site at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Deborah Fuller, at the above address 
or telephone (337) 291-3100.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Restoring listed animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining components of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our threatened and endangered species 
program. To help guide the recovery effort, we prepare recovery plans 
for listed species native to the United States, pursuant to section 
4(f) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), unless such a plan would not 
promote the conservation of a particular species. Recovery plans 
describe actions that may be necessary for conservation of the species, 
establish criteria for reclassification from endangered to threatened 
status or removal from the list of threatened and endangered species, 
and estimate the time and cost for implementing the needed recovery 
    Prior to European settlement, the ivory-billed woodpecker appeared 
to be

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widely distributed throughout the southeastern United States. Since 
then the species has become extremely rare and was, until recently, 
commonly accepted as extirpated from its known range in the United 
States. The ivory-billed woodpecker's disappearance is closely linked 
with logging and clearing of the contiguous forest habitats which once 
covered much of the southeastern United States. Additionally, as 
habitats became fragmented and access to the birds increased, 
collecting and other direct mortality may have had a significant 
    Despite this species' having been listed since 1967, no recovery 
plan was prepared, in large part due to the lack of any clear, 
undisputed evidence (since 1944) of the species' continued existence. 
However, evidence supporting the presence of at least one bird in the 
Bayou de View area of Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in 2004, as 
well as additional supporting information, generated the need to 
complete a recovery plan. Given the limited information on the current 
number of individuals throughout the species' range and the limited 
knowledge on biology, habitat requirements, and genetic information, we 
recognize the need to generate scientific information to better address 
the threats and limiting factors to this species and to develop 
additional specific recovery criteria.
    The recovery strategy initially focuses on learning more about the 
species' status and ecology, including documenting known locations and 
characterizing these habitats. Population goals are not identified, but 
are acknowledged as key to recovery. Initial efforts include 
development of models and additional research that will generate these 
spatially explicit population goals. Neither an appropriate time to 
recovery nor cost estimate are meaningful at this time, due to the 
difficulty in reliably locating individual birds or their roosting or 
nesting cavities.

Recovery Objectives

    This recovery plan identifies many interim actions needed to 
achieve long-term viability for the ivory-billed woodpecker and to 
accomplish these goals. Recovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker focuses 
on the following objectives:
    1. Identify and delineate any existing populations.
    2. Identify and reduce risks to any existing population.
    3. Protect and enhance suitable habitat once populations are 
    4. Reduce or eliminate threats sufficient to allow successful 
restoration of multiple populations when those populations are 
    The emphasis for recovery will be on the distribution of additional 
viable populations in the historic range of the species. Discovery, 
documentation, and subsequent management of additional populations must 
meet scientifically accepted goals for the promotion of viable 
populations of listed species.
    At present, the limited knowledge on the population abundance, 
distribution, habitat requirements, and biology of the ivory-billed 
woodpecker prevents development of more specific recovery criteria. The 
following interim criteria will lead us to the development of more 
specific, quantifiable criteria that should be met before we consider 
the delisting of this species:
    1. Survey potential habitats for any occurrences of the species.
    2. Determine current habitat use and needs of any existing 
    3. Conserve and enhance habitat on public land where ivory-billed 
woodpeckers are located. Acquire additional acreage, if needed, from 
willing sellers and list in the public habitat inventory.
    4. Conserve and enhance habitat on private lands through the use of 
voluntary agreements (e.g., conservation easements, habitat 
conservation plans) and public outreach.
    5. Analyze viability of any existing populations (numbers, breeding 
success, population genetics, and ecology).
    6. Determine the number and geographic distribution of 
subpopulations needed to create conditions favorable to a self-
sustaining metapopulation and to evaluate habitat suitable for species 
    The draft recovery plan was completed and released for public 
comment on August 22, 2007 (72 FR 47064). We solicited review and 
comment from local, State, and Federal agencies and the public on the 
draft recovery plan. We considered all comments we received during the 
comment period, peer review comments, and additional recovery team 
comments prior to the decision to approve of the revised recovery plan. 
Responses to these comments are found in Appendix K of the recovery 
plan. We welcome continuing public comment on this recovery plan, and 
we will consider all substantive comments on an ongoing basis to inform 
the implementation of recovery activities and future updates to the 
recovery plan.

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

    Dated: January 15, 2010.
 Jeffrey M. Fleming,
Acting Regional Director, Southeast Region.

    Editorial Note: This document was received in the Office of the 
Federal Register on July 14, 2010.

[FR Doc. 2010-17486 Filed 7-16-10; 8:45 am]