[Federal Register: April 26, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 79)]
[Page 21649-21650]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2010-N064; 20124-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's 
Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) Recovery Plan, Second 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability: revised recovery plan.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido 
attwateri) Recovery Plan, Second Revision. A recovery plan was 
originally completed for the Attwater's prairie-chicken in 1983 and 
revised in 1993.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the recovery plan can be obtained from 
our website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/Library/. Copies of the 
recovery plan are also available by request. To obtain a copy, contact 
Terry Rossignol by U.S. mail at Attwater Prairie Chicken National 
Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 519, Eagle Lake, TX 77434; by phone at (979) 
234-3021; or by e-mail at Terry_Rossignol@fws.gov.




    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Recovery plans help guide the recovery effort by 
describing actions considered necessary for the conservation of the 
species, and estimating time and costs for implementing the measures 

[[Page 21650]]

for recovery. A recovery plan was originally completed for the 
Attwater's prairie-chicken in 1983 and revised in 1993, but the 
recommendations contained in those plans are outdated.
    Section 4(f) of the Act requires that we provide public notice and 
an opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. In fulfillment of this requirement, we made the draft 
second revision of the recovery plan for Attwater's prairie-chicken 
available for public comment from November 19, 2007, through January 
18, 2008 (November 19, 2007; 72 FR 65058). We also conducted peer 
review at this time. Based on this input, we revised and finalized the 
recovery plan, and summarized public comments in an appendix.
    The Attwater's prairie-chicken was listed as endangered with risk 
of extinction in 1967 (March 11, 1967; 32 FR 4001). This listing was 
``grandfathered'' into the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The 
Attwater's prairie-chicken represents the southernmost subspecies of 
Tympanuchus cupido and currently occurs in the wild at only three 
locations: The Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge 
(Colorado County, Texas), the Texas City Prairie Preserve (Galveston 
County, Texas), and a private ranch in Goliad County, Texas. Annual 
counts are conducted every spring on the prairie-chicken's booming 
grounds, and approximately 90 birds remained in these 3 populations as 
of March 2009. Counts for 2010 will be conducted in April. In addition, 
approximately 157 individuals were held in captivity at the Abilene Zoo 
(Abilene, Texas), Caldwell Zoo (Tyler, Texas), Fossil Rim Wildlife 
Center (Glen Rose, Texas), Houston Zoo (Houston, Texas), San Antonio 
Zoo (San Antonio, Texas), Sea World of Texas (San Antonio, Texas), and 
Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas) as of December 31, 2009.
    Habitat destruction and degradation are the primary factors 
contributing to historic population declines. Current threats include 
extremely small populations, habitat and population fragmentation 
resulting in genetic isolation, diseases and parasites in both wild and 
captive settings, inability of captive breeding facilities to produce 
large numbers of captive-reared birds that are capable of survival and 
reproduction in wild habitats, and poor brood survival in wild 
populations. Attwater's prairie-chicken recovery must be focused on 
three primary areas: (1) Habitat management, (2) captive and wild 
population management, and (3) public outreach.

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

    Dated: March 17, 2010.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. 2010-9605 Filed 4-23-10; 8:45 am]