Revised Agency Draft Recovery Plan for Catesbaea Melanocarpa Available for Review
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comments on a revised Agency Draft Recovery Plan to conserve the plant, Catesbaea melanocarpa which is federally listed as endangered. This plant has no common name, and the last documented sighting in Puerto Rico occurred in 1995 in the southwestern town of Cabo Rojo. The previous draft of this recovery plan was available for public review and comment from September 27 through November 26, 2005. The draft recovery plan now available for review and comment includes revised “Recovery Goal” and “Recovery Criteria” sections. The revised recovery goal of the draft recovery plan is to protect and stabilize existing populations and associated habitat of Catesbaea melanocarpa and ultimately remove the species from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The revised recovery criteria establish criteria for both downlisting and delisting. Catesbaea melanocarpa was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, on March 17, 1999.
Catesbaea melanocarpa is a small branching shrub which may reach approximately 9.8 feet (3 meters) in height with small leaves and spines. The flowers are white and funnel-like. This plant is extremely rare and is known from Puerto Rico, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), Barbuda, Antigua, and Guadeloupe. In the U.S. Caribbean, it is known from only one individual in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico and about 100 individuals in one location in St. Croix, USVI. It occurs in the subtropical dry forest life zone, the driest life zone in Puerto Rico and the USVI. Little is known of the plant’s status on the islands of Bermuda, Antigua, and Guadeloupe. All known Catesbaea melanocarpa plants in Puerto Rico and the USVI occur on privately-owned lands.
This species is threatened by habitat destruction or modification for residential and tourist development, fire, and catastrophic natural events such as hurricanes. Because the species is extremely rare, the risk of extinction is high.
Please Send Written Comments About the Revised Catesbaea Melanocarpa Recovery Plan by May 19, 2005 to:
To View the Revised Plan on the web:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which is comprised of more than 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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