[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 106 (Thursday, June 2, 2011)]
[Pages 31973-31975]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-13637]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R1-ES-2011-N009; 10120-1112-0000-XX]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of 
Availability of Draft Recovery Plan for Phyllostegia hispida; Addendum 
to the Molokai Plant Cluster Recovery Plan

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and public comment.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of our draft recovery plan

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for Phyllostegia hispida under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended (Act). This draft plan is an addendum to the recovery plan for 
the Molokai Plant Cluster published in September of 1996. This plant 
species is endemic to the island of Molokai, Hawaii. We request review 
and comment on our plan from local, State, and Federal agencies and the 
public. We will also accept any new information on the species' status 
throughout its range.

DATES: We must receive written comments on or before August 1, 2011. 
However, we will accept information about any species at any time.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the draft recovery plan is available 
at our Web site at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans. 
Alternatively, copies of the recovery plan are available from the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Box 50088, Honolulu, HI 96850 
(phone: 808-792-9400). If you wish to comment on the plan, you may 
submit your comments in writing by any one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, at the above address;
     Hand-delivery: Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office at 
the above address; or
     Fax: (808)-792-9580
    For additional information about submitting comments, see the 
``Request for Public Comments'' section below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Newman, Deputy Field Supervisor, 
at the above Honolulu address.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the 
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. 
The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, 
unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular 

Species History

    We listed Phyllostegia hispida as an endangered species without 
critical habitat under the Act on March 17, 2009 (74 FR 11319).
    Phyllostegia hispida is found only on the island of Molokai. 
Currently there are 20 wild, mature plants and an unknown number of 
seedlings nearby, and fewer than 300 outplanted individuals. In 
addition, there are four small naturally occurring populations--
containing one to six seedlings each--that are not located next to 
mature, parent plants. No known population is entirely protected from 
the numerous factors threatening the species' recovery, and the species 
is endangered throughout its range. P. hispida is typically found in 
wet Metrosideros polymorpha (ohia)--dominated forest, occurring between 
1,112 and 1,280 meters (3,650 and 4,200 feet) elevation.
    The greatest threats to all known populations are habitat 
degradation and predation by feral pigs (Sus scrofa); competition with 
invasive introduced plants; and the negative demographic and genetic 
consequences of extremely small population size, as well as the 
consequent vulnerability to extinction through deterministic or 
stochastic (chance) events. Unidentified caterpillar species may also 
be a threat to this species.

Recovery Plan Goals

    The objective of a recovery plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no longer 
necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the 
species and provides criteria and actions necessary for us to be able 
to downlist or delist the species. Recovery plans help guide our 
recovery efforts by describing actions we consider necessary for the 
species' conservation, and by estimating time and costs for 
implementing needed recovery measures.
    Needed conservation and recovery activities for Phyllostigia 
hispida include protection, management, and increasing the size of all 
known wild populations. Continuing survey efforts will focus on 
identifying any additional populations that may exist but are currently 
unknown. In order to reduce the potential for extinction due to the 
catastrophic loss of the small population on a single island, recovery 
actions will likely require increasing the area occupied by the 
existing population where space and habitat allow, as well as 
establishing new populations within the estimated historical range of 
the species. Threats such as habitat degradation and predation by feral 
pigs and competition with invasive introduced plants must be 
sufficiently controlled to allow for this population expansion. The 
effective management and reintroduction of P. hispida will require 
gaining further knowledge about the life history of the species and the 
functioning of the ecosystem on which it depends. Therefore, research 
and monitoring are key components of the recovery strategy. The habitat 
must be managed for the long-term recovery of P. hispida in 
sufficiently large and self-sustaining populations.
    The overall objective of this draft addendum to the Molokai 
recovery plan is to ensure Phyllostegia hispida's long-term 
conservation and to conduct research necessary to refine recovery 
criteria so that the species can be downlisted and eventually delisted. 
Current recovery criteria include: (1) A total of at least 8 
populations should be documented on Molokai. Each of these populations 
must be naturally reproducing, and stable or increasing in number, and 
threats must be managed so that a minimum of 300 mature individuals are 
maintained per population. Each population should persist at this level 
for a minimum of 5 consecutive years. (2) Management plans for each 
site will be evaluated on a regular basis, and updated to include 
monitoring to detect demographic or new environmental threats to P. 
hispida. (3) All of the populations that meet criterion 1 above shall 
be fenced and protected from ungulates, with agreements from 
conservation partners to maintain those protections in perpetuity. The 
agreements will also include provisions for invasive introduced plant 
removal, as appropriate, and adaptive management plans to address 
herbivory and habitat degradation by feral pigs and caterpillars and 
other unforeseeable threats. In addition, the agreements will include 
provisions for maximizing native plant biodiversity in these areas.
    As the species meets reclassification and recovery criteria, we 
will review the species' status and consider the species for 
reclassification or removal from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

Request for Public Comments

    Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. It is also our policy to request peer review of recovery 
plans (July 1, 1994; 59 FR 34270). In an appendix to the approved 
recovery plan, we will summarize and respond to the issues raised by 
the public and peer reviewers. Substantive comments may or may not 
result in changes to the recovery plan; comments regarding recovery 
plan implementation will be forwarded as appropriate to Federal or 
other entities so that they can be taken into account during the course 

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implementing recovery actions. Responses to individual commenters will 
not be provided, but we will provide a summary of how we addressed 
substantive comments in an appendix to the approved recovery plan.
    Before we approve the plan, we will consider all comments we 
receive by the date specified in DATES. Methods of submitting comments 

Public Availability of Comments

    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 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.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at our 
office (see ADDRESSES).

    Authority: We developed our draft recovery plan under the 
authority of section 4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish 
this notice under section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: January 28, 2011.
Theresa E. Rabot,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-13637 Filed 6-1-11; 8:45 am]