Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Yellow-Billed Parrot With Special Rule, and Correcting the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Special Rule, 15624-15641 [2013-05504]

Download as PDF 15624 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 10. Section 63.21 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows: ■ § 63.21 Conditions applicable to all international Section 214 authorizations. * * * * * (d) Carriers must file annual international telecommunications traffic and revenue as required by § 43.62 of this chapter. * * * * * ■ 11. Section 63.22 is amended by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows: § 63.22 Facilities-based international common carriers. * * * * * (e) The carrier shall file annual international circuit capacity reports as required by § 43.62 of this chapter. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2013–05662 Filed 3–11–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS–R9–ES–2011–0075]; [4500030115] RIN 1018–AY28 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Yellow-Billed Parrot With Special Rule, and Correcting the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Special Rule Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule and correcting amendment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, determine threatened status for the yellow-billed parrot (Amazona collaria) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This final rule implements the Federal protections provided by the Act for this species. We are also publishing a special rule for this species. In addition, we are correcting the special rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), which published in the Federal Register on May 26, 2011. DATES: This rule becomes effective April 11, 2013. ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov and comments and materials received, as well as supporting documentation used in the preparation of this rule, will be available for public pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 400; Arlington, VA 22203. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janine Van Norman, Chief, Branch of Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone 703– 358–2171. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary Yellow-Billed Parrot I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action We are listing the yellow-billed parrot as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) because of continued threats from deforestation, the pet trade, the risk of disease transmission, predation, inadequate regulatory mechanisms, and hurricanes. The species is only found on the island of Jamaica and has a fragmented and declining population. We are also publishing a special rule that allows the import into and export from the United States of certain captive-bred yellow-billed parrots, and certain acts in interstate commerce of yellow-billed parrots, without a permit under the Act. We are also correcting the 2011 special rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo to incorporate the provision that certain acts in interstate commerce of salmon-crested cockatoos may proceed without a permit under the Act. This idea was discussed in detail in the 2009 proposed rule and 2011 final rule for this species, but the provision was inadvertently omitted from the language that we codified in the Code of Federal Regulations. This change clarifies the intent of the 2011 final special rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo. II. Major Provision of the Regulatory Action This action lists the yellow-billed parrot as threatened on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11(h), and allows the import into and export from the United States of certain captive-bred yellow-billed parrots, and allows certain acts in interstate commerce of yellow-billed parrots, without a permit under 50 CFR 17.32. This action is authorized by the Act. We are also correcting the May 26, 2011 (76 FR 30758), special rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo, as discussed in this rule. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Background The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), is a law that was passed to prevent extinction of species by providing measures to help alleviate the loss of species and their habitats. Before a plant or animal species can receive the protection provided by the Act, it must first be added to the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife or the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Plants; section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424 set forth the procedures for adding species to these lists. Sfmt 4700 Previous Federal Actions On January 31, 2008, the Service received a petition dated January 29, 2008, from Friends of Animals, as represented by the Environmental Law Clinic, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, requesting that we list 14 parrot species under the Act. The petition clearly identified itself as a petition and included the requisite information required in the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 424.14(a)). On July 14, 2009 (74 FR 33957), we published a 90-day finding in which we determined that the petition presented substantial scientific and commercial information to indicate that listing may be warranted for 12 of the 14 parrot species. In our 90-day finding on this petition, we announced the initiation of a status review to list as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), the following 12 parrot species: Blueheaded macaw (Primolius couloni), crimson shining parrot (Prosopeia splendens), great green macaw (Ara ambiguus), grey-cheeked parakeet (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera), hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), military macaw (Ara militaris), Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), red-crowned parrot (Amazona viridigenalis), scarlet macaw (Ara macao), white cockatoo (Cacatua alba), yellow-billed parrot (Amazona collaria), and yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea). We initiated this status review to determine if listing each of the 12 species is warranted, and initiated a 60-day comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to provide information on the status of these 12 species of parrots. The public comment period closed on September 14, 2009. On October 24, 2009, and December 2, 2009, the Service received a 60-day notice of intent to sue from Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians, for E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations failure to issue 12-month findings on the petition. On March 2, 2010, Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians filed suit against the Service for failure to make timely 12-month findings within the statutory deadline of the Act on the petition to list the 14 species (Friends of Animals, et al. v. Salazar, Case No. 10 CV 00357 D.D.C.). On July 21, 2010, a settlement agreement was approved by the Court (CV–10–357, D. DC), in which the Service agreed to submit to the Federal Register by July 29, 2011, September 30, 2011, and November 30, 2011, determinations as to whether the petitioned action is warranted, not warranted, or warranted but precluded by other listing actions for no fewer than four of the petitioned species on each date. On October 11, 2011, the Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule to list the yellow-billed parrot as threatened under the Act with a proposed special rule (76 FR 62740). pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Summary of Comments and Recommendations We based this action on a review of the best scientific and commercial information available, including all information received during the public comment period. In the October 11, 2011, proposed rule, we requested that all interested parties submit information that might contribute to development of a final rule. We also contacted appropriate scientific experts and organizations and invited them to comment on the proposed listing and proposed special rule. We received comments from 5 individuals, one of which was from a peer reviewer. We reviewed all comments we received from the public and peer reviewer for substantive issues and new information regarding the proposed listing of this species, and we address those comments below. Overall, the commenters and peer reviewer supported the proposed listing. Two comments included additional information for consideration; the remaining comments simply supported the proposed listing without providing scientific or commercial data. Peer Review In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we solicited expert opinions from four individuals with scientific expertise that included familiarity with the species, the geographic region in which the species occurs, and conservation biology principles. We received responses from one of the peer reviewers from whom we requested comments. The peer reviewer stated that VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 the proposed rule adequately reviewed and analyzed existing information. Some new information was provided for the species, as well as technical clarifications, as described below. Technical corrections suggested by the peer reviewer have been incorporated into this final rule. In some cases, a technical correction is indicated in the citations by ‘‘personal communication’’ (pers. comm.), which could indicate either an email or telephone conversation; in other cases, the research citation is provided. Peer Reviewer Comments (1) Comment: The peer reviewer provided comments and additional literature regarding the yellow-billed parrot’s habitat, diet, and nesting areas. Our Response: We reviewed the additional literature provided and updated the Species Description section below. (2) Comment: The peer reviewer provided some clarifying information regarding threats to the yellow-billed parrot from conversion of natural forests to pine plantations. According to the peer reviewer, conversion to pine plantations is no longer a threat given the current Forestry Department Management Plan. Our Response: The 1991 literature stating that natural forests were being converted to pine plantations and other fast-growing species was based on literature from 1953, 1971, and 1981. Since 1991, Jamaica’s Forestry Department prepared the National Forest Management and Conservation Plan (2001, p. ix), became an Executive Agency with better capabilities to meet the needs of the forestry sector, and prepared the Strategic Forest Management Plan (2008, p. 9). These actions emphasize Jamaica’s commitment to promoting and improving the conservation and sustainable use of the country’s forest resources through protection, management, and restoration of forest resources. Furthermore, clearing of natural forests for tree plantations is generally considered to be unacceptable today on grounds of conservation and risk of erosion (Camirand 2002, p. 15). Given the more recent information provided by the peer reviewer and no additional information claiming conversion to pine plantations is a threat to natural forests, we have removed this statement from our discussion of habitat modification (Factor A); however, this did not change our finding regarding the effects of habitat modification on the yellowbilled parrot or our finding that the PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15625 species meets the definition of a threatened species. (3) Comment: The peer reviewer provided clarification on the restoration of mining areas. Because the substrate is removed through open-pit mining, the area is irreversibly altered and is impossible to restore to its original state. Our Response: We have included information on the irreversible effects of mining provided by the peer reviewer in our discussion of mining, which further supports our conclusion concerning the effects of mining on the karst region. (4) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information on a conservation action plan that was developed for the Cockpit Country by The Nature Conservancy—Jamaica, the Forestry Department, and other stakeholders in 2006. Our Response: Fifteen actions were developed under the conservation action plan to mitigate threats to the Cockpit Country’s biodiversity. These actions would also benefit the yellowbilled parrot and its habitat. Many actions have at least been partially implemented. We added the information provided by the peer reviewer to the ‘‘Conservation Programs’’ section under Factor A, below, but the information did not affect our finding regarding the effects of habitat modification on the yellowbilled parrot or our finding that the species meets the definition of a threatened species. (5) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information on a major poaching event that took place in Jamaica. In April 2011, 74 parrot eggs were smuggled out of Jamaica and confiscated in Austria. Of the 45 chicks that were successfully reared, 24 were yellow-billed parrots. The peer reviewer also provided comments on subsequent impacts to the yellow-billed parrot from additional poaching, the possible use of the confiscated birds for research and captive breeding, the potential repatriation of the parrots to Jamaica, and the risk of disease transmission to yellow-billed parrots if repatriated to Jamaica. Our Response: We reviewed the information and comments provided by the peer reviewer. As a result of the information, we determined that international trade in Jamaican wildlife, including yellow-billed parrots, is on the rise. In light of this information, we reevaluated threats to the species from poaching for international trade and disease. Although we did find illegal international trade and the risk of disease transmission were threats to the yellow-billed parrot, this information did not change our finding that the E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 15626 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES species meets the definition of a threatened species. (6) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information indicating that the temporary ban on the importation of nonnative parrot species into Jamaica has been lifted and provided comments on the risk of disease transmission and hybridization to the yellow-billed parrot. Our Response: In light of the information, we reevaluated threats to the species from disease (Factor C), hybridization (Factor E), and competition with nonnative species (Factor E). We found that the risk of disease transmission to yellow-billed parrots and the risk of hybridization or competition with nonnative parrot species are elevated given the termination of the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species into Jamaica. However, this information did not change our finding that the species meets the definition of a threatened species. (7) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information indicating that Austria may develop a captive breeding program for the yellow-billed parrot in Europe using the yellow-billed parrots confiscated in 2011. The peer reviewer expressed concern over the avenue this could open for additional parrots to be poached in the wild and laundered through legal trade. Our Response: We reviewed the information provided by the peer reviewer. It is unknown whether the parrots will be used for research and captive breeding purposes or if they will be repatriated to Jamaica. We have added to Factor B, below, a discussion on trade in light of a potential captive breeding program. (8) Comment: The peer reviewer provided additional information and comments on the effects of climate change on the yellow-billed parrot. Our Response: The information and comments provided by the peer reviewer further supported our conclusion regarding climate change, increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes, and the effects to the yellow-billed parrot. The information has been added to our discussion of hurricanes under Factor E. Public Comments (9) Comment: The Jamaica National Environment and Planning Agency clarified that there is no government policy statement on mining in the Cockpit Country. Our Response: This comment is related to information we found, and included in the proposed rule, and information submitted by the peer reviewer indicating that the Jamaican Government, specifically the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, had stated that the government does not intend to allow mining in the Cockpit Country. We have added the information regarding the absence of a policy on mining in the Cockpit Country to our analysis under Factor A, below. (10) Comment: The Jamaica National Environment and Planning Agency provided information on planned conservation actions in Cockpit Country. In 2011, it was stated that the boundary of the Cockpit Country should be determined and a management plan for the area be developed. The Jamaican Government and the Jamaica Environment Action Network were asked to work together to develop the management plan. Our Response: These actions could potentially benefit the yellow-billed parrot and its habitat if implemented; however, to date, no decision has been made regarding the boundary of the Cockpit Country, nor has a management plan been put forward. We have added this information to the ‘‘Conservation Programs’’ section under Factor A, below, although the information did not influence our finding regarding the effects of habitat modification on the yellow-billed parrot or our finding that the species meets the definition of a threatened species. (11) Comment: The Jamaica National Environment and Planning Agency provided information on requirements under Jamaica’s Natural Resources Conservation (Permits and License) Regulations and requested that we include this information in our analysis. Specifically, mining, quarrying, and mineral processing require an environmental permit, but environmental permits do not automatically require an environmental impact assessment. Our Response: We have included this information in our discussion of mining under Factor A, below, to clarify the environmental requirements of mining in Jamaica. This information, however, did not alter our finding regarding the effects of mining on the habitat of the yellow-billed parrot or our finding that the species meets the definition of a threatened species. Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule We fully considered comments from the public and the peer reviewer on the proposed rule to develop this final listing of the yellow-billed parrot. This final rule incorporates changes to our proposed listing based on the comments that we received that are discussed VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 above and newly available scientific and commercial information. We made some technical corrections and reevaluated threats to the species from disease and competition with nonnative species based on new information. Although our analysis of these potential threats is different from that in our proposed rule, none of the information changed our determination that listing this species as threatened is warranted. In addition, in this final rule, we are publishing a correcting amendment to the 2011 special rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo (76 FR 30758, May 26, 2011), as described below under the heading Correction to the Salmon-crested Cockatoo Special Rule. Species Information and Factors Affecting the Species Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and implementing regulations (50 CFR Part 424) set forth procedures for adding species to, removing species from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, a species may be determined to be endangered or threatened based on any of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) Disease or predation; (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. In considering whether a species may warrant listing under any of the five factors, we look beyond the species’ exposure to a potential threat or aggregation of threats under any of the factors, and evaluate whether the species responds to those potential threats in a way that causes actual impact to the species. The identification of threats that might impact a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the species warrants listing. The information must include evidence indicating that the threats are operative and, either singly or in aggregation, affect the status of the species. Threats are significant if they drive, or contribute to, the risk of extinction of the species, such that the species warrants listing as endangered or threatened, as those terms are defined in the Act. Species Description The yellow-billed parrot belongs to the family Psittacidae and is one of only E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations two Amazona species endemic to Jamaica (Koenig 2001, p. 205; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106). It measures approximately 28 centimeters (cm) (11 inches (in)) in length. This species is generally characterized as a green parrot with white lores (between the eye and bill) and frontal bar (forehead), a blue crown, pink throat and upper breast, bluish primary feathers, and a yellow bill (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Forshaw and Knight 2010, p. 278). This species primarily occurs in midlevel (up to 1,200 meters (m) (3,937 feet (ft)), wet limestone and lower montane, mature forests of Jamaica; however, it also occurs at lower densities, perhaps seasonally, based on availability of food sources, in low elevation (20–100 m (65.6–328 ft)) mesic forests near the coastline (Koenig 2011, personal communication (pers. comm.); TEMNL 2005, p. 128). The late successional forest canopy height ranges from 15–20 m (49–66 ft), with occasional emergence of Terminalia and Cedrela tree species at 25–30 m (82–98 ft) (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust, 2009, unpaginated; Tole 2006, p. 790; Koenig 2001, pp. 205–206; Koenig 1999, p. 9; Wiley 1991, pp. 203–204). Undergrowth is thin, but mosses, vines, lianas, and epiphytes are abundant (Tole 2006, p. 790; Koenig 2001, p. 206). They may also be found near cultivated areas with trees at forest edge (World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; Tole 2006, p. 790). Compared to the other endemic Jamaican parrot species, the black-billed parrot (Amazona agilis), breeding pairs of yellow-billed parrots appear to prefer interior forests, but the species regularly feeds in edge habitat (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2001, pp. 207–208, 220). In the latter part of the 20th century, the overall range and population of the yellow-billed parrot decreased (Juniper and Parr 1998 in BLI 2011a, unpaginated). The range of the yellowbilled parrot is estimated to be 5,400 square kilometers (km2) (2,085 square miles (mi2)) (approximately half the total area of Jamaica) (BLI 2011a, unpaginated). However, this species occurs in fragments within this range. The greatest occurrences are concentrated in extant mid-level wet igneous and limestone forests in the Blue Mountains, Cockpit Country, John Crow Mountains, and Mount Diablo (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 205; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Koenig 1999, pp. 9–10; Wiley 1991, pp. 203–204). Preliminary studies estimated 5,000 individuals in Cockpit Country, John Crow Mountains, and Mount Diablo (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). Today the yellow-billed parrot population is estimated to number VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 10,000 to 20,000 mature individuals, although the data quality is poor (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust, 2009, unpaginated). Cockpit Country is considered the stronghold of the species with an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 territorial pairs, at least 80 percent of the island’s entire population (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; BLI 2011b, unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 205; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). Flocks of 50 to 60 individuals are observed year round, and this species remains common in suitable habitat (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Wiley 1991, p. 204); however, the yellow-billed parrot has declined, and is declining, in numbers and range based on habitat loss and degradation and trapping (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Koenig 1999, p. 9; Wiley 1991, pp. 187, 204). Like most parrot species, the yellowbilled parrot is a frugivore, and feeds on catkins, nuts, berries, fruits, blossoms, figs, and seeds (Jamaica Observer 2011b, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust, 2009, unpaginated). Parrots, including this species, generally fly considerable distances in search of food (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Lee 2010, p. 8). Because parrots feed primarily on fruits and flowers, they are linked to the fruiting and flowering patterns of trees; fluctuations in abundance and availability of these food sources may change diets, result in movements to areas with greater food availability, and influence local seasonal patterns of bird abundance (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Lee 2010, p. 7; Tobias and Brightsmith 2007, p. 132; Brightsmith 2006, p. 2; Renton 2002, p. 17; Cowen n.d., pp. 5, 23). The breeding season begins in March, with yellow-billed parrots looking for and defending nest sites, and ends in late July, the end of the fledgling period (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 208). Mated pairs of yellow-billed parrots appear to be monogamous (Koenig 1998, unpaginated). Yellowbilled parrots are believed to require larger, mature trees for nesting; these parrots do not excavate holes, but make use of existing ones found in old growth forests. This may explain why this species is more common, especially when nesting, in interior forests, although they have been found in other habitat types, including disturbed plantations (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Koenig 2001, p. 220). Clutch size is typically 3 eggs measuring 36.0 x 29.0 mm (1.4 x 1.1 in) (World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 212). Amazona species tend to lay one egg every other day, and the female alone incubates (Koenig PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15627 2001, p. 209). Nesting success has been low, with studies showing 70 percent of breeding pairs in Cockpit Country exploring and defending nest sites, but failing to lay eggs (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). Outside of the breeding season, yellow-billed parrots have been seen in large communal roosts (World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated). Conservation Status The yellow-billed parrot is currently classified as ‘‘vulnerable,’’ which means this species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to the small, fragmented, and declining range of this species; a decline in extent, area, and quality of suitable habitat due to logging and mining; and trapping (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106). This species is also listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II, which includes species that although not necessarily now threatened with extinction may become so unless trade is strictly regulated. The yellow-billed parrot is also listed under the Second Schedule of Jamaica’s Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) Act. A. Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of Habitat or Range Historically, 97 percent of Jamaica was a closed-forest ecosystem. After centuries of improper land use and a high rate of deforestation, the island has lost much of its original forest (Berglund and Johansson 2004, pp. 2, 5; Evelyn and Camirand 2003, p. 354; Koenig 2001, p. 206; Koenig 1999, p. 9). Some of the most important parrot habitat was protected from human activities by its inaccessibility, but today, even these areas are being encroached upon and degraded. Conversion of forest land to agriculture and pasture has accounted for a majority of deforested land and has resulted in the removal of valuable timber species as a byproduct, with natural regrowth removed as soon as it approaches marketable size (Eyre 1987, p. 342). Today, Jamaica’s forested area is estimated at 337,000 hectares (ha) (832,745 acres (ac)), or 31 percent of the total land area (FAO 2011, p. 116). Only 8 percent of Jamaica’s total land area is classified as minimally disturbed closed broadleaf forest, and this type of forest only occurs on the steepest or most remote, inaccessible parts of the island (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 262; Evelyn and E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES 15628 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations Camirand 2003, p. 359; National Forest Management and Conservation Plan 2001, pp. ix, 20; WWF 2001, unpaginated; Koenig 1991, p. 9). This loss in forested habitat has resulted in a small and fragmented range for the yellow-billed parrot; a decline in the extent, area, and quality of suitable habitat; and a decline in the yellowbilled parrot population (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; Koenig 1999, p. 9). The greatest long-term threats to Jamaica’s remaining population of the yellowbilled parrot is deforestation via logging, agriculture, mining, road construction, and encroachment of nonnative species (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Levy and Koenig 2009, pp. 263–264; World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; JEAN 2007, p. 4; John and Newman 2006, pp. 7, 15; Tole 2006, p. 799; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Koenig 1999, p. 10; Varty 1991, pp. 135, 145; Wiley 1991, p. 190; Windsor Research Center n.d., unpaginated). Cockpit Country is characterized by yellow and white limestone karst topography with rounded peaks and steep-sided, bowl-shaped depressions, known as cockpits (John and Newman 2006, p. 3; Tole 2006, p. 789). Historically, the edge forests of Cockpit Country experienced extensive clearcutting for timber, but the rugged terrain and inaccessibility of Cockpit Country have prevented extensive resource exploitation in its interior forests (Koenig 2001, pp. 206–207; Wiley 1991, p. 201). This area has retained nearly all of its primary forest and is an important remaining tract of extensive primary forest in Jamaica; 81 percent of the region is under forest (John and Newman 2006, p. 3; Tole 2006, pp. 790, 795, 798). However, gaps indicate the beginning of a decline in contiguity and connectivity, and the periphery and surrounding plains are already badly degraded (Tole 2006, pp. 790, 797; Koenig 2001, pp. 201–207). The greatest threat to the wet limestone forest habitat of Cockpit Country is deforestation due to bauxite mining. Additional threats include deforestation from road construction, conversion of forests for agriculture, poor agricultural practices, and logging (BLI 2011b, unpaginated; Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 267; JEAN 2007, p. 4; BLI 2006, unpaginated; John and Newman 2006, p. 15; Wiley 1991, p. 201; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated). The Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains are located on the eastern side of Jamaica and are separated by the Rio Grande. Almost all of the two ranges were designated forest reserves and contain important remaining tracts of VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 closed-canopy, broadleaf forest (TNC 2008b, unpaginated). In 1989, 78,200 ha (193,236 ac) were designated as the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BLI 2011d, unpaginated; BLI 2011e, unpaginated; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, p. 1). The most significant threats to the Blue and John Crow Mountains are deforestation due to subsistence farming, commercial farming, and illegal logging, and the encroachment of invasive species (BLI 2011e, unpaginated; IUCN 2011, unpaginated; Chai et al. 2009, p. 2489; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, p. 2; WWF 2001, unpaginated; TNC 2008b, unpaginated). Mount Diablo is located in the center of Jamaica and makes up part of the ‘‘spinal forest,’’ the forests along the main mountain ridges that extend along the center of the island. Conversion of forest for agriculture land, forestry plantations, expanding settlements, and bauxite mining has left the spinal forest severely fragmented (BLI 2011c, unpaginated). Logging and Agriculture In the Cockpit Country Conservation Action Plan, threats to the limestone forests from conversion of forest, incompatible agriculture practices, and timber extraction are ranked high (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). The immediate vicinity of Cockpit Country has a population of around 10,000 people who exploit the area (Day 2004, p. 34). Illegal logging and farming have extended into the forest reserve within Cockpit Country (Day 2004, p. 34; Chenoweth et al. 2001, p. 651). Loggers, legal and illegal, are removing unsustainable amounts of trees for furniture factories and other industries (TNC 2008a, unpaginated). Illegal logging opens new pathways into the forest for squatters who usually clear a patch for growing food, then move on after one season to clear additional land (Tole 2006, p. 799). Farmers remove natural forests from cockpits, glades, and other accessible areas to plant yam, corn, dasheen, banana, plantain, and sugar cane, and to graze cattle and goats (TNC 2008a, unpaginated; Day 2004, p. 35; Chenoweth et al. 2001, p. 652). One of the greatest causes of deforestation and fragmentation in Cockpit Country is the illegal removal of wood for yam crops and yam sticks (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Tole 2006, p. 790; Chenoweth et al. 2001, p. 653). Farmers clear hillsides to plant yam crops, reducing forest cover and nesting trees. Yam plants require a support stake that is typically a sapling approximately 8– 10 cm (3–4 in) in diameter. With suitable trees dwindling elsewhere, Cockpit Country is quickly becoming a PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 source of supply. Forty percent of the total demand for yam sticks is supplied by Cockpit Country; this translates to 5 to 9 million saplings harvested annually from Cockpit Country alone (Tole 2006, pp. 790, 799). Yam stick harvesting is ranked as a medium threat to the limestone forests of Cockpit Country (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). Adjacent to the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park are isolated communities that rely on the park’s resources for various economic activities; with almost unchecked access to the park, encroachment of these communities across the park boundary is cause for concern (IUCN 2011, unpaginated; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, pp. 2–3). Much of the area has been altered from its natural state and is used for forestry, coffee production, or subsistence farming (BLI 2011d, unpaginated). The adjacent communities have a tradition of small farming, and, despite the steep slopes, hillsides are cleared and used by small subsistence farmers for carrots, peas, bananas, plantains, coconuts, pineapples, apples, cabbages, and tomatoes; coffee is also grown by small and large farmers for the well-known brand Blue Mountain Coffee (Dunkley and Barrett 2001, pp. 1, 3). Farmers use slash-and-burn techniques to clear forests for agricultural land; however, because of poor agricultural practices, the soil quality begins to deteriorate after one or two seasons, and farmers abandon their plots and clear additional land for new crops (Chai et al. 2009, p. 2489; TNC 2008b, unpaginated). The human population surrounding Mount Diablo is steadily growing. Native vegetation is removed for housing, crop cultivation, and lumber. In this area, farming is the main livelihood after bauxite mining. Slashand-burn practices are used on hillsides to clear land for cash crops, such as banana, plantain, yam, cabbage, okra, pepper, and tomato. Various tree species are cut for lumber and add to the deforestation and poor condition of the soils (Global Environmental Facility, Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) 2006, unpaginated). Native forests are also removed for forestry plantations, including pine (Pinus caribaea), blue mahoe (Hibiscus elatus), bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), and cedar (Cedrela odorata). These activities have left the mountain without any native vegetation and the central spinal forest severely fragmented. Bauxite Mining Bauxite is the raw material used to make aluminum and is Jamaica’s principle export, accounting for over E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations half of Jamaica’s annual exports. Bauxite deposits occur in pockets of limestone and can be found under 25 percent of the island’s surface (BLI 2006, unpaginated). It is removed through open pit mining (soil is removed, stored, and then replaced following completion of the mine) and is considered the most significant cause of deforestation in Jamaica (Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 2). Bauxite mining is driving habitat destruction across the center of the island, including Mount Diablo, and has the potential to permanently destroy forests, including the wet limestone habitat found in Cockpit Country, resulting in irreversible effects on the yellow-billed parrot (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 267; BLI 2006, unpaginated; John and Newman 2006, p. 7; Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 6; Wiley 1991, p. 201; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated). Within the past 50 years, bauxite mining has severely fragmented the spinal forests of Jamaica (BLI 2011c, unpaginated). In the past 40 years, Mount Diablo has been subjected to bauxite mining, which has destroyed much of the area beyond repair and is presumed to have contributed to the decline of populations of forestdependent species, such as the yellowbilled parrot (BLI 2008, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 145; Varty 2007, pp. 34, 93). In 2009, several bauxite/alumina mining companies closed their refineries due to a drop in demand; however, in July 2010, an alumina plant in Ewarton, a town located at the foot of Mount Diablo, reopened due to a return in demand. Where mining has occurred, it has resulted in severe impacts to the environment. For example, mining sites within Mount Diablo that were completed 10–15 years ago typically have only herbaceous groundcover, including nonnative ferns, and no regeneration of native woody tree species (BLI 2011c, unpaginated). Bauxite mining is currently the most significant threat to Cockpit Country. It is ranked high in threats to the limestone forests in Cockpit Country (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). Bauxite deposits can be found throughout 70 percent of Cockpit Country, and mining companies have already drilled for bauxite samples (BLI 2006, unpaginated; John and Newman 2006, p. 7; Walker 2006, unpaginated; Windsor Research Centre, n.d., unpaginated). In 2006, ALCOA Minerals of Jamaica and Clarendon Alumina Production were granted a renewal on two bauxite prospecting licenses, which encompassed more than 60 percent of the Cockpit Country Conservation Area and more than 42,000 ha (103,784 ac) of VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 nearly contiguous primary forest. After public outcry, these licenses were suspended. In 2007, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, declared that the government will not allow any mining activity in the Cockpit Country (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). However, there is no official policy by the Government of Jamaica on mining in the Cockpit Country (Strong 2011, pers. comm.), and the area continues to be described by officials and ministers as an area of high-quality bauxite and limestone deposits. Thus, the area remains open to future prospecting, and mining interests are granted over other land uses, such as timber, agriculture, and conservation (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2008, pp. 135–137; TNC 2008a, unpaginated; JEAN 2007, p. 4; Walker 2006, unpaginated). Few lands are excluded from mining or prospecting under Jamaica’s Mining Act, including 22,000 ha (54,363 ac) of Cockpit Country designated as forest reserves, which could be subject to prospecting or mining if a license or lease is obtained (JEAN 2007, p. 6). Additionally, in some, if not all, mining agreements, the Jamaican Government provides mining companies with entitlements to specific amounts of bauxite and guarantees them additional land for mining if the original land does not contain sufficient levels, further contributing to deforestation (JEAN 2007, p. 8). Although bauxite extraction is not currently occurring in Cockpit Country, mining remains a significant impending threat to the area. The amount of deposits found throughout the area, and the fact that the area remains open to future prospecting and that bauxite is Jamaica’s principle export, leaves open the possibility that mining may occur in the future (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated). If mining were to occur in Cockpit Country, the impacts to the wet limestone forest habitat and wildlife would be irreversible (Varty 2007, p. 93; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated). During the prospecting phase, a company or individual is required to obtain a prospecting right from the Jamaican Government; however, this does not require an environmental permit, which requires an environmental impact assessment be conducted before being granted (Jamaica Ministry of Energy and Mining 2006a, unpaginated). Forests are cleared during this phase using heavy machinery to create roads for transporting drilling equipment. Once the area of interest has been identified and the existence of a commercially exploitable mineral exists, a mining lease must be obtained to mine PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15629 and sell the product. Mining, quarrying, and mineral processing require an environmental permit under Jamaica’s natural resources conservation (permits and license) regulations; however, an environmental impact assessment is not an automatic requirement during this phase either (Strong 2011, pers. comm.). Additionally, one of the problems with conservation in Jamaica is incomplete and improper environmental impact assessments when they are required (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). The mining phase requires a more extensive road network, and all the vegetation covering bauxite deposits are removed. Mining in a karst region can lead to altered flow regimes and changes in drainage patterns, and can reduce the soil’s water retention capability, making it impossible to restore the area to its original state (JEAN 2007, pp. 4–5; Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 6). After mining is completed, companies are required to restore lands destroyed by mining. However, a typical restored site consists of a thin layer of topsoil bulldozed over densely packed limestone gravel and planted with nonnative grasses, preventing the regeneration of native forests (Koenig 2008, p. 141; BLI 2006, unpaginated). Penalties for failing to meet the reclamation requirements are often not enforced (BLI 2006, unpaginated). Bauxite mining has been shown to significantly impact native species and their habitats. The forests of Mount Diablo have already suffered significant damage from bauxite mining, leading to the conclusion that mining cannot be allowed in Cockpit Country or it would destroy the area beyond repair (Varty 2007, p. 93). Because of the potential damage to the nesting environment, bauxite mining could drive the yellowbilled parrot population to critically low levels and potentially put it at risk of extinction (Koenig 2008, p. 147). Roads Access roads associated with bauxite mining are another significant cause of deforestation and a serious threat to the forest cover of Jamaica. Once established, either in the prospecting or mining phase, loggers use mining roads to gain access to additional forests and illegally remove trees in and around the mining area (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; JEAN 2007, pp. 4–5; Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 6). If mining were to occur in Cockpit Country, roads established to access the cockpit bottoms would fragment the habitat, isolate forested hillsides, and increase the amount of edge habitat (Koenig 2008, pp. 141, 144). Improved human access via mining roads and the E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 15630 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES subsequent alteration in habitat and predator-prey dynamics (see Factor C discussion, below) are predicted to hasten the decline of the yellow-billed parrot. In addition to mining access roads, road construction and extensive trail systems have the potential to contribute to further deforestation or alter environmental conditions. Roads provide access to previously undisturbed forests. In Cockpit Country, forest clearance has occurred along the edge where roads have provided easy access (JEAN 2007, p. 4). Interior forests were once inaccessible; however, continued road construction into these areas will lead to increased deforestation and logging (WWF 2001, unpaginated). Construction of Highway 2000 along the southern boundary of Cockpit Country may threaten the area through subsequent logging and the need for limestone fill, which could be quarried from Cockpit Country (Day 2004, p. 35; Windsor Research Centre no date, unpaginated). Roads and trails are ranked high in threats to the limestone forest of Cockpit Country (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). Additionally, roads and trails create openings in the forest, exposing it to new environmental conditions that alter the high-humidity conditions in which species of wet limestone habitat are adapted and that facilitates the spread of invasive species (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre no date, unpaginated). Nonnative Species Forest clearance, whether through mining, road/trail development, logging, or agriculture, not only reduces the size of continuous forests and opens them up to further deforestation, it also alters the natural environment and facilitates the spread of harmful nonnative plants and animals (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated). Nonnative, invasive plant species have the ability to outcompete and dominate native plant communities and are ranked high in threats to the limestone forests of Cockpit Country (John and Newman, 2006, p. 15). The many years of land clearance experienced by the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park has led to the expansion of invasive species, including wild coffee (Pittosporum undulatum) and ginger lily (Hydicum spicatum), which are invading and quickly spreading in closed-canopy forests (BLI 2011d, unpaginated; TNC 2008b, unpaginated; JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre no date, unpaginated). Nonnative species prevent the regeneration of native forests so that rare, latesuccessional species typical of old VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 growth forests are replaced by common secondary species or nonnative species (Chai et al. 2009, p. 2490; Koenig 2008, p. 142; TNC 2008b, unpaginated). Impacts of Deforestation Deforestation through mining, road construction, logging, and agriculture contributes to the loss of Jamaica’s remaining primary forest, habitat for the yellow-billed parrot, and essential resources for the life functions of the yellow-billed parrot. The removal of trees reduces food sources, shelter from inclement weather, and most importantly, nesting sites, which are reported to be limited (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Tole 2006, pp. 790–791; Koenig 2001, p. 206; Koenig 1999, p. 10; Wiley 1991, p. 190). The removal of saplings for yam sticks eliminates the source of regeneration for mature trees in which nesting cavities will form. Deforestation also changes the quality of remaining resources (Koenig 2001, p. 206; Koenig 1999, p. 10) and prevents the regeneration of native forests. The agricultural practices of farmers leave the land unfertile and unstable, especially on hillsides. Cash crops do not have a sufficient root system to hold soil, and the loss of the forest canopy leaves the soil vulnerable to impacts from rainfall, resulting in massive soil erosion (GEF SGP 2006, unpaginated). This decrease in the quality of the land prevents native forests from regenerating (Dunkley and Barrett 2001, p. 2; WWF 2001, unpaginated). Furthermore, deforestation also allows human disturbance to extend farther into the interior of the forest, contributing to further deforestation, altering the habitat, and affecting the predator/prey balance (see Factor C discussion, below) (Tole 2006, pp. 790– 791; Koenig 1999, pp. 11–12). Threats to the limestone forest of Cockpit Country overall are considered very high (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). Deforestation can also change the species composition and structure of a forest, rendering it unsuitable for the yellow-billed parrot. Openings in the forest expose the forest edge to new environmental conditions, such as increased sunlight and airflow, altering the microclimate from the highly humid conditions of the interior forest, to which species such as the yellow-billed parrot are adapted (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Tole 2006, p. 798; Windsor Research Centre no date, unpaginated). The new environmental conditions facilitate the establishment of nonnative species and prevent the regeneration of native forests; rare, late-successional species typical of old growth forests are replaced by common secondary species PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 or nonnative species (Chai et al. 2009, p. 2490; Koenig 2008, p. 142; TNC 2008b, unpaginated). This resulting ‘‘edge habitat’’ can exert a strong effect on species; birds have been shown to be affected from 50 m (164 ft) to 250 m (820 ft) from the cleared edges (Chai et al. 2009, p. 2489). Studies on the blackbilled parrot found that Jamaican boa’s (Epicrates subflavus) abundance and accessibility of parrot nests to boas were higher in forest edge than in the interior (see Factor C discussion, below) (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 87). Only 26 percent of black-billed parrot nests located in regenerating edge habitat successfully fledged at least one chick, whereas 60 percent of nests in moderately disturbed interior forests successfully fledged at least one nestling (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86). Of 35 nests that failed, 50 percent experienced predation in regenerating edge, compared to none in the interior forest (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86). Fecundity was found to decline in edge habitat; it was more than 60 percent lower than that of the interior, a level inadequate for population persistence (Koenig 2008, pp. 143, 145; Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86). Conservation Programs Conservation International, Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency, the Windsor Research Centre, and Jamaica’s Forestry Department are working together to produce a long-term protection strategy for Cockpit Country. Part of the strategy involves the use of plastic yam sticks, incentive programs to encourage farmers to set aside 40 ha (99 ac) of forest as a reserve, training members of the community as enforcement officers, and restoring abandoned land with native species (Tole 2006, p. 800). We do not know the status of this program or what goals have been achieved. A conservation action plan (CAP) was developed for Cockpit Country/Martha Brae Watershed by The Nature Conservancy-Jamaica, Jamaica’s Forestry Department, and other stakeholders in 2006. The CAP is based on the Martha Brae Watershed Unit, with the southern boundary extended to include sections of the Cockpit Country Forest Reserve that fall outside of the management unit. Fifteen actions were developed to mitigate threats to the Cockpit Country’s biodiversity, which will also benefit the yellow-billed parrot and its habitat. Many actions have been at least partially implemented. Three local forest management communities have been created around Cockpit Country, and bi-monthly meetings are held for environmental outreach and to engage communities in identifying alternative E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES income-generating projects. Some forest restoration has been implemented, with a focus on using native tree species. An economic valuation of Cockpit Country was to be completed by the end of 2011. This valuation, when completed, will be widely distributed so that policymakers, communities, nongovernmental organizations, and the wider public may become aware of the fact that damaging or destroying ecosystems and cultural services has a financial cost to present and future generations (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). We did not find information indicating this action has been completed. In October 2011, the Jamaican government, along with the Jamaica Environment Action Network, were asked to work together to determine the boundary of the Cockpit Country and develop a management plan for the area. To date, no decision has been made on the boundary, nor has a management plan been put forward (Strong 2011, pers. comm.). Within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, there are programs aimed at controlling nonnative species. Parks in Peril and the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust established a nursery as a forest restoration project; timber and fruit trees are distributed to adjacent communities for planting (TNC 2008b, unpaginated). The success of this program is unknown. Summary of Factor A The yellow-billed parrot is restricted to the island of Jamaica. Past deforestation has resulted in a small and fragmented range on the island, a decline in the extent and quality of suitable habitat, and a declining yellowbilled parrot population. The remaining populations of yellow-billed parrot continue to face impacts to their habitat from deforestation. Mining, road and trail construction, logging, agriculture, and encroachment of nonnative species remove natural forests and have irreversible effects that prevent the regeneration of native vegetation so that late-successional species typical of old growth forests are replaced by common secondary species or nonnative species. Removal of these forests without adequate regeneration permanently eliminates shelter and trees vital for foraging and nesting activities. Without these essential resources, the populations of the yellow-billed parrot will likely continue to decline. Additionally, deforestation fragments the remaining habitat and can increase the amount of edge habitat, altering predator-prey dynamics (see Factor C discussion, below). Increases in edge VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 habitat can decrease the fecundity and recruitment of the yellow-billed parrot, accelerating the decline of the species. B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or Educational Purposes. Harvesting of parrot chicks for pets has seriously affected most of the parrot species in the West Indies (Wiley 1991, p. 191). In Jamaica, illegal poaching for the pet trade and farmers who shoot them to protect their crops have contributed to the decline of the yellowbilled parrot (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Sylvester 2011, unpaginated; Jamaica Observer 2011b, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 145; JEAN 2007, p. 4; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Windsor Research Center n.d., unpaginated). In 1981, the yellow-billed parrot was listed in Appendix II of CITES. CITES is an international agreement between governments to ensure that the international trade of CITES-listed plant and animal species does not threaten species’ survival in the wild. There are currently 175 CITES Parties (member countries or signatories to the Convention). Under this treaty, CITES Parties regulate the import, export, and reexport of specimens, parts, and products of CITES-listed plant and animal species (also see discussion under Factor D, below). Trade must be authorized through a system of permits and certificates that are provided by the designated CITES Scientific and Management Authorities of each CITES Party (CITES 2010a, unpaginated). For species listed in Appendix II of CITES, commercial trade is allowed. However, CITES requires that before an export of Appendix-II specimens can occur, a determination must be made that the specimens were legally obtained (in accordance with national laws) and that the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild, and a CITES export document must be issued by the designated CITES Management Authority of the country of export and must accompany the export of the specimens. According to worldwide trade data obtained from UNEP–WCMC CITES Trade Database, from 1981, when the species was listed in CITES, through 2009, 210 yellow-billed parrot specimens were reported in international trade, including 208 live birds, 1 scientific specimen, and 1 body. In analyzing these reported data, several records appear to be overcounts due to slight differences in the manner in which the importing and exporting countries reported their trade, and it is likely that the actual number of PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15631 specimens of yellow-billed parrots reported to UNEP–WCMC in international trade from 1981 through 2009 was 195, including 193 live birds, 1 scientific specimen, and 1 body. Of these specimens, 11 (5.6 percent) were reportedly exported from Jamaica (UNEP–WCMC 2011, unpaginated). With the information given in the UNEP–WCMC database, from 1981 through 2009, only 1 wild specimen of yellow-billed parrot was reported in trade, and this was a nonliving body traded for scientific purposes. One live specimen with the source recorded as unknown was also reported in trade. All other specimens reported in trade were captive-bred or captive-born specimens. The majority of the specimens of this species reported in international trade (99 percent) are captive-bred or captiveborn. Although it is possible that wild parrots could have been taken to establish parental stock for captive breeding or laundered as captive-bred or captive-born specimens, we found no information indicating this is occurring. Furthermore, because the species is listed in Appendix II of CITES, the Management Authority of the Country of Export is required to ensure that the specimens were legally obtained, the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild, and issue a CITES export document. The one wild specimen reported in trade was a scientific specimen traded for scientific purposes. Therefore, we believe that international trade controlled via valid CITES permits is not a threat to the species. Until 2011, most yellow-billed parrot nestlings were poached for the local market and were not highly desirable in the international pet trade (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2001, p. 206). They are popular on Jamaica as pets because of their colorful plumage and ability to mimic human sounds; the yellow-billed parrot appears to be in higher demand than black-billed parrots because of their brighter coloration (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Windsor Research Center n.d., unpaginated). Most poaching operations are small-scale, although larger-scale operations exist (Sylvester 2011, unpaginated). Poachers may use sticks baited with fruit and covered in glue to trap birds (Sylvester 2011, unpaginated). Additionally, poachers will cut down nesting trees to obtain nestlings (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 145). In March 2010, Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency, the government agency responsible for protecting natural resources, published a news release reminding residents that it is illegal to E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES 15632 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations buy and/or sell Jamaican parrots locally or trade in them internationally (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated). In Cockpit Country, threats to the yellow-billed parrot from collection are ranked as medium (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). However, Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency has recently admitted to receiving intelligence regarding a growth in illegal trade of Jamaican wildlife and has noticed an increase in the illegal importation of monkeys, birds, and snakes into the country (Neufville 2012, unpaginated; NEPA 2010a, p. 1). Jamaica is now believed to be a transshipment point for illegal trade in animals from Central and South America (NEPA 2010a, p. 1). As reported by several media outlets, in April 2011, 74 parrot eggs were smuggled out of Jamaica, but were detected at the Eisenstadt Airport in Vienna, Austria. The eggs were confiscated, and falsified documents claiming the parrots were of European origins were found. The seizure was the highest number of smuggled bird eggs in the history of the European Union. The ¨ eggs were taken to Vienna’s Schonbrunn Zoo, where staff successfully hatched 54 of the 74 eggs. Nine chicks died, but 45 were reared successfully. Of the 45, 24 were yellow-billed parrots. On the international black market, the price for individual parrots range from $5,300 to $20,000 U.S. dollars (Neufville 2012, unpaginated; Ferguson 2011, unpaginated; Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; ´ Stefan 2011, pp. 16–17; Vilikovska 2011, unpaginated). Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency issued a press release in 2011 stating that steps were being taken to request the return of the endemic Jamaican parrots smuggled out of Jamaica in 2011 (Jamaica Observer 2011a, unpaginated). If they are not ¨ returned to Jamaica, the Schonbrunn Zoo plans to keep some of the parrots, while giving others to scientific zoos for research purposes. They also plan to develop a captive breeding program for these birds in Europe (Ferguson 2011, unpaginated; Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). We do not know if the purpose of the captive breeding program has been clarified, but if a breeding program is established in Europe without strict controls put in place, it could open an avenue for additional illegally exported birds to be laundered through legal trade (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). If captive breeding is successful enough to produce enough birds to meet some, but not all, of the commercial demand, legal trade could mask the illegal trade. However, we do note that if a captive breeding program is highly successful VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 such that it meets all of the commercial demand, it could preclude the need for wild-caught birds. Poaching for use as caged birds places a strong pressure on the population of yellow-billed parrots and is a documented cause of nest failures and reduces the number of parrots in the wild (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106). The cutting of trees to obtain parrots destroys nest cavities and reduces the number of available nesting sites for future generations. This has a significant negative impact on the yellow-billed parrot, as this species does not excavate its own holes for nesting but relies on existing holes that often form in old-growth trees (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Sylvester 2011, unpaginated; NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Wiley 1991, p. 191). Mining access roads create accessibility to forests, and illegal timber extraction in bauxite mining areas facilitates the poaching of both nestlings and adults, and exacerbates the effects of poaching on nest failures (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 136). Although we do not have detailed information on the numbers of yellow-billed parrots taken for the pet trade, when combined with habitat loss from deforestation, the impact to the survival of this species is severe (Sylvester 2011, unpaginated). As described under Factor A, parrot habitat is threatened by the conversion of forests to agriculture. As agriculture spreads into parrot habitat, farmers and birds come into conflict over crops (Wiley 1991, p. 191). Some persecution for crop and garden damage, especially citrus, has been reported for the yellowbilled parrot (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). Summary of Factor B Since the CITES Appendix-II listing of the yellow-billed parrot, its legal international commercial trade has been very limited. However, the species appears to be popular in Jamaica’s domestic market and has recently been documented in the international black market, contributing to the decline of the species. In addition to removing individuals from the wild population, poachers cut trees to trap nestlings, removing limited essential nesting cavities and reducing the availability of nesting cavities for future generations. Ongoing deforestation in Jamaica may increase the likelihood of birds and farmers coming into conflict and yellow-billed parrots being killed to protect crops. Combined with the ongoing deforestation in Jamaica, the removal of individuals from the population and the further loss of nesting trees due to poaching activities PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 are significant concerns to the survival of this species. C. Disease or predation Disease Nonnative psittacines imported for the pet trade pose a high threat to the yellow-billed parrot through the introduction of disease, the potential for hybridization, and competitive exclusion of nesting activities (see also Factor E discussion, below) (Koenig 2009, p. 2; Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 264; Wiley 1991, p. 191). In 2006, a temporary ban on importation of nonnative parrot species was put in place based on concerns for the introduction of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza (Koenig 2009, p. 3; Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 264). At that time, threats from introduced diseases in Cockpit Country were ranked low (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). Currently, the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species is no longer in effect (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.), leaving the yellow-billed parrot vulnerable to disease transmission from escaped nonnative psittacines imported for the pet industry (Koenig 2009, p. 1). A wide variety of psittacines, including budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), and various species of lovebirds (Agapornis spp.) have been legally imported and likely smuggled illegally into Jamaica. Several species of parrots are known to have escaped their cages and have been observed in urban areas (Koenig 2009, pp. 1–2). The movement of psittacines and other bird species for the pet trade has facilitated the spread of many diseases. Asymptomatic hosts with more developed immune systems can shed viruses and bacteria that can be highly lethal for species that have not encountered those microorganisms; island species are particularly vulnerable due to their isolation (Koenig 2009, p. 2). Diseases that are of particular concern for psittacines include avian influenza, psittacine beak and feather disease, polyomavirus, Pacheco’s disease, avian tuberculosis, and proventricular dilatation disease (Koenig 2009, pp. 2– 3). Avian influenza is an infection caused by flu viruses, which occur in birds worldwide, especially waterfowl and shorebirds. Most strains of the avian influenza virus have low pathogenicity and cause few clinical signs in infected birds, but are highly contagious among birds (CDC 2010, 2005, unpaginated). Pathogenicity is the ability of a pathogen to produce an infectious E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations disease in an organism. However, strains can mutate into highly pathogenic forms, which is what happened in 1997, when the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (called H5N1) first appeared in Hong Kong (USDA et al. 2006, pp. 1–2). Signs of low pathogenic avian influenza include decreased food consumption, coughing and sneezing, and decreased egg production. Birds infected with highly pathogenic influenza may exhibit these same symptoms plus a lack of energy, soft-shelled eggs, swelling, purple discoloration, nasal discharge, lack of coordination, diarrhea, or sudden death (USDA 2007, unpaginated). Most of the information regarding avian influenza is on domesticated bird species, especially poultry. We do not have information on the extent that introduced parrot species and the spread of avian influenza have impacted the yellow-billed parrot. Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a common viral disease that has been documented in more than 60 psittacine species, but all psittacines should be regarded as potentially susceptible (Rahaus et al. 2008, p. 53; Abramson et al. 1995, p. 296). The causative agent is a virus belonging to the genus Circovirus (Koenig 2009, p. 2; Rahaus et al. 2008, p. 53). This viral disease affects both wild and captive birds, causing chronic infections resulting in either feather loss or deformities of the beak and feathers (Koenig 2009, p. 2; Rahaus et al. 2008, p. 53; Cameron 2007, p. 82). PBFD causes immunodeficiency and affects organs such as the liver and brain, and the immune system. Suppression of the immune system can result in secondary infections due to other viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The disease can be carried by psittacines, such as cockatiels, lovebirds, and budgerigars, without obvious signs (Koenig 2009, p. 2; de Kloet and de Kloet 2004, p. 2,394). Birds usually become infected in the nest by ingesting or inhaling viral particles. Infected birds develop immunity, die within a couple of weeks, or become chronically infected. No vaccine exists to immunize populations (Cameron 2007, p. 82). Avian polyomavirus (APV) is one of the most significant viral pathogens of caged birds (Pesaro et al. 2005, p. 321). This virus is lethal to juvenile parrots and can be carried asymptomatically by cockatiels and budgerigars (Koenig 2009, p. 2). The mortality peak in some Psittacine species occurs between 4 and 8 weeks of age (Pesaro et al. 2005 pp. 321, 325). Most birds infected with APV are mildly affected (Gonzalez et al. n. d., p. 2). VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 Pacheco’s parrot disease is a systemic disease caused by a psittacid herpesvirus (PsHV–1) (Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536; Abramson et al. 1995, p. 293; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, pp. 808, 811). It is an acute, rapidly fatal disease of parrots, and sudden death is sometimes the only sign of the disease; however, in some cases, birds may show symptoms and may recover to become carriers, shedding the virus in its droppings, and some may show no signs of the disease, but shed the active virus for a considerable length of time (Koenig 2009, pp. 2–3; Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536; Abramson et al. 1995, p. 293; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, p. 811). If clinical signs of Pacheco’s disease are exhibited, they may include anorexia, depression, regurgitation, diarrhea, nasal discharge, central nervous system signs, and conjunctivitis (Abramson et al. 1995, p. 293; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, pp. 809–810). Death may occur 8 hours to 6 days after the onset of signs (Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, p. 810). The outcome of the infection depends upon which of the four genotypes of PsHV–1 the individual is infected with, the species infected, and other unknown factors. For example, only genotype 4 is known to cause mortality in macaws (Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536). Outbreaks of Pacheco’s disease have resulted in massive die-offs of captive parrots, and this disease is known to have caused high mortality in endangered species of parrots in the United States (Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, p. 808). Avian tuberculosis (also known as avian mycobacteriosis) is caused by the bacillus bacteria Mycobacterium avium and is rapidly spread by fecal contaminations of perches, feed, or water sources and can remain viable in soil for years (Koenig 2009, p. 3; USGS 1999, p. 96; Butcher et al. 1990, p. 1025; Rosskopf et al. 1986, p. 219; Panigrahy et al. 1983, p. 1166). There are 20 types of M. avium. This disease causes chronic wasting characterized by weight loss, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and tumors of the skin and eyes (Butcher et al. 1990, p. 1023; USGS 1999, Chapter 8, pp. 93–97). Tumors may also affect the spleen, liver, lungs, air sacs, skin, and bone marrow. It is spread through inhalation, direct contact with infected birds, and ingestion of contaminated food or water. Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), also known as avian bornavirus (ABV) or macaw wasting disease, is a fatal disease that poses a serious threat to all domesticated and wild parrots worldwide, particularly those with very PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15633 small populations (Kistler et al. 2008, p. 1; Abramson et al. 1995, p. 288). This contagious disease causes damage to the nerves of the upper digestive tract, so that food digestion and absorption are negatively affected. The disease has a 100-percent mortality rate in affected birds, although the exact manner of transmission between birds is unclear (Kistler et al. 2008, p. 1). The extent to which these diseases occur in wild populations is unclear. However, given the resumption of importation of parrot species into Jamaica, rates of false negatives in testing of diseases, the inability to detect asymptomatic carriers when viruses are dormant and the host is not shedding live virus, known occurrences of escaped nonnative parrot species, and the vulnerability of island species to foreign microorganisms, it appears that the yellow-billed parrot may be at risk of disease transmission from nonnative parrot species imported into Jamaica (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). Additionally, in 2011, Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency issued a press release stating that steps were being taken to request the return of the endemic Jamaican parrots smuggled out of Jamaica in 2011 (Jamaica Observer 2011a, unpaginated). Since being confiscated, the parrots ¨ have been housed at the Schonbrunn Zoo; if these parrots have not been maintained under strict quarantine conditions, they also present a disease risk if repatriated to Jamaica (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). Predation The Jamaican boa, or yellow boa (Epicrates subflavus), is the only native predator to be of potential consequence for roosting parrots (Koenig 2008, p. 144). The yellow boa is also an endemic species listed as vulnerable by Jamaica. Edge habitats appear to provide an optimal habitat for the boa due to the proximity to human settlements and the subsequent increased number of pests, such as rats (Tole 2006, p. 799). Also, edge habitats are exposed to more sunlight than the interior forest; this exposure likely results in an increase in the abundance of vines, which enhance connectivity between neighboring trees and facilitate the movement of boas (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86). Habitat loss has contributed to the decline and isolation of yellow boas, although they are common in Cockpit Country, and nestling parrots represent one important prey item (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 87; Koenig 2001, p. 221). Although yellowbilled parrots appear to prefer interior forests and are less common in edge habitat than the black-billed parrot, E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 15634 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations there is direct evidence of yellow boas preying on yellow-billed parrot nestlings and predation by yellow boas has been identified as a major cause of the species’ dwindling numbers (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 82; Tole 2006, p. 799; Koenig 2001, p. 217; Koenig 1999, p. 10). As deforestation continues and more edge habitat is created (see Factor A discussion, above), the yellow-billed parrot may become more vulnerable to predation by boas. Any decline in recruitment due to predation of nestlings will have a negative impact on the ability of the yellow-billed parrot population to stabilize or increase. Red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) are another important predator of fledgling and juvenile parrots. They occur in low densities across the closed canopy of Cockpit Country; however, they are commonly observed in peripheral habitat. Mining in Cockpit Country would create additional suitable habitat for these birds and increase the risk of predation on parrots (Koenig 2008, p. 144). pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Summary of Factor C Imported, nonnative psittacines were identified as a high threat to the yellowbilled parrot, in part, due to concerns for the introduction of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza. Although we have no information that the yellow-billed parrot has been impacted by disease at a level which may affect the status of the species as a whole, the risk of disease transmission is now elevated, given the termination of the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species, past occurrences of escaped parrots, uncertainties in disease detection, the declining population of yellow-billed parrots in Jamaica, and the declining extent and quality of habitat. Because the yellow-billed parrot is an island endemic species, it may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of introduced diseases. There is direct evidence of boas preying on yellow-billed parrot nestlings. Edge habitat provides an optimal habitat for the yellow boa. As primary forests diminish and edge habitat increases, predation by boas on parrots may also increase. We do not have any information on actual predation by red-tailed hawks on the yellow-billed parrot. However, if mining occurs in Cockpit Country, habitat may be altered to conditions suitable for the hawk and increase the risk of predation. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 D. Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms National Laws The yellow-billed parrot is listed under the Second Schedule of Jamaica’s Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) Act (JESA). The Second Schedule includes those species that could become extinct or which have to be effectively controlled (JESA 2000, pp. 72, 80). It is illegal to buy and/or sell Jamaican parrots locally or trade them internationally (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; JESA 2000, p. 14; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 202). CITES permits or certificates are required to import animals under JESA (Williams-Raynor 2010, unpaginated). Offenses can result in a fine of 2,000,000 Jamaican dollars (approximately $23,500 U.S. dollars), imprisonment up to 2 years, or both. If convicted in a Circuit Court, the offender is subject to a fine, prison term up to 10 years, or both (JESA 2000, p. 39). Parrots have full protection under section six of the Jamaican Wildlife Protection Act (1974) (WPA) (Wiley 1991, p. 202). The WPA was originally passed in 1945, to regulate sport hunting and fishing, but since that time has undergone changes to address protection of animals. It does not, however, address habitat protection or the conservation of flora (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). Possession is regulated by the WPA (Koenig 1999, p. 10). Under this Act, it is illegal for any person to hunt or possess a protected bird, including the yellow-billed parrot; to take the nest or egg of any protected bird; or to have in possession the nest or egg of any protected bird (WPA 1945, pp. 4–5). Under section 20 of the legislation, anyone found in possession of a live Jamaican parrot or any of its parts can face a maximum fine of 100,000 Jamaican dollars ($1,200 U.S. dollars) or 12 months in prison (WPA 1945, p. 11). However, fines levied are often much less. For example, one offender was charged a fine of only 5,000 Jamaican dollars ($55 U.S. dollars) (Sylvester 2011, unpaginated). As described above under Factor B, the poaching of adult and nestling yellow-billed parrots for the local pet bird trade has contributed to the decline of the species and remains a threat. Additionally, the yellow-billed parrot has recently been documented in the international black market, further contributing to the decline of the species. Therefore, the JESA and WPA do not appear to adequately protect this species. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Forestry Acts of 1937 and 1973 provide certain protections to some habitat (e.g., Cockpit Country Forestry Reserve), and other areas have been established as sanctuaries (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 202). There are more than 150 forest reserves, which provide for the preservation of forests, watershed protection, and ecotourism (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). After Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, a new Forest Act (1996) was implemented. This Forest Act provides for the conservation and sustainable management of forests and covers such activities as protection of the forest for ecosystem services and biodiversity (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). The Forest Act provides for the declaration of forest reserves and forest management areas for purposes such as conservation of natural forests, development of forest resources, generation of forest products, conservation of soil and water resources, and protection of flora and fauna. The lease of any parcel of land in a forest reserve is also regulated. Management plans are required every 5 years, and they include a determination of an allowable annual cut, forest plantations to be established, a conservation and protection program, and portions of the land to be leased and for what purposes. Clearing of land for cultivation, cattle grazing, and the burning of vegetation are regulated. Permits are also required for harvesting of timber on Crown land, the processing of timber, or sale of timber; no person may cut a tree in a forest reserve without a license. As described above under Factor A, deforestation is the main threat to Jamaica’s forests. Forests originally covered 97 percent of the island; they now cover only 30 percent. The remaining forests continue to be threatened by deforestation from logging, agriculture, and mining; therefore, it appears that this regulatory mechanism does not adequately protect the forest resources of Jamaica. Under Jamaica’s Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act, an environmental permit is required for the first-time introduction of species of flora and fauna and genetic material (Williams-Raynor 2010, unpaginated). Mining is also regulated by this act. Before any physical development or construction can take place, a permit must be obtained from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). If the activity is likely to be harmful to public health or natural resources, NRCA can refuse a permit or order the immediate cessation of the activity or even closure of the plant (Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 8). E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations The Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act also addresses habitat protection by providing a framework for a system of protected areas, such as the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). We do not have information to completely analyze the adequacy of this regulatory mechanism. Due to the ongoing threats to Jamaica’s forest resources, it appears that this regulatory mechanism may not be adequate to ameliorate those threats. Under the Mining Act (1947), bauxite deposits are owned by the Jamaican Government, not by the owner of the land. The government may issue licenses to anyone to explore the land or mining leases to exploit it; therefore, in order to prospect and search for minerals, companies do not need to purchase the land. The Mining Act gives the lessee or the license holder the right to enter government land or privately owned land to search for minerals or to mine minerals. Compensation is payable to the landowner for damages to land and property. The Mining Act also stipulates that the mining companies must restore every mined area of land to the level of productivity that existed prior to the mining. Restoration must take place within 6 months following the end of mining activity. Failure to do so results in a penalty of $4,500 U.S. dollars per acre. The average cost for mined-out bauxite restoration is $4,000 U.S. dollars per acre; therefore, companies are more encouraged to restore. According to the Jamaican Bauxite Institute (the government agency responsible for monitoring the bauxite industry), it is unusual for companies to not take actions to restore (Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 7). However, there are reports that penalties for failing to meet reclamation requirements are rarely enforced. Furthermore, when restoration is done, it is often planted with nonnative grasses and is not the same habitat that existed before mining (see ‘‘Bauxite Mining’’ section under Factor A discussion, above) (BLI 2011c, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 141; BLI 2006, unpaginated). Given the resulting habitat following bauxite mining on Mount Diablo, it appears that this regulatory mechanism is not adequate to ameliorate threats to the forest resources of Jamaica. An import permit is also required from Jamaica’s Veterinary Services Division under the Animal Disease and Importation Act (Williams-Raynor 2010, unpaginated). Additionally, no caged bird may be imported into Jamaica from Trinidad and Tobago or any country of South America. However, Jamaica’s importation and quarantine regulations VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 are focused on protecting human health, agriculture, and commercial interests, rather than wildlife (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). Based on an increase in illegal importation of animals into Jamaica (see Factor E discussion, below), it appears that this law may not adequately protect the yellow-billed parrots from potential disease, hybridization, or competition with nonnative species. There are at least 34 pieces of Jamaican legislation that refer to the environment. However, there are problems with conservation in Jamaica that stem from poor communication between various government institutions, regulations insufficient at recognizing the value of biodiversity, insufficient funding, poor enforcement, and incomplete and improper environmental impact assessments (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). In fact, due to the limitations of the Forestry Department and NRCA, management of the first national park was delegated to a nongovernmental organization, Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). The Forestry Department currently manages the entire Cockpit Country region as a forest reserve; however, they lack adequate technical and enforcement staff to respond to the increasing deforestation problem (Tole 2006, p. 799). Policies have led to a greater awareness of the legal status of parrots; however, they continue to be illegally harvested for local and international trade (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). A stricter policy on poaching of nests is needed (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 202). At a meeting in February 2010, Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency, along with others, decided to take actions to cut down on trade. These actions include a public awareness program, increased monitoring of ports and territorial waters, adding pet stores in the Natural Resources Conservation Authority’s permit and license system, and publicizing information on seizures and confiscations; to date the agency has undertaken the awareness campaign (Williams-Raynor 2010, unpaginated). Protected Areas Habitat in the Blue and John Crow Mountains was declared a national park in 1989, and is managed by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust, a local nongovernmental organization (NGO) (BLI 2011d, unpaginated; BLI 2011e, unpaginated; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, p. 1; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 202). It protects one third of the approximately 30 percent of Jamaica that remains forested (TNC PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15635 2008b, unpaginated). The purpose of this national park is to ensure long-term conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and other cultural heritage. The main conservation objective is to maintain and enhance the remaining area of closed broadleaf forest and the flora and fauna within it. The park is guided by a 5-year management plan (IUCN 2011, unpaginated). Enforcement and management of the national park are weak. Laws that prohibit forest clearance inside National Parks are largely not enforced as park rangers fear reprisals from farmers (Chai et al. 2009, pp. 2489, 2491). One study found that even after designation as a protected area, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park continued to experience forest clearance and fragmentation, resulting in an increasing number of smaller, more vulnerable fragments, species shifts, and loss in biodiversity. However, forest regrowth increased, resulting in a 63 percent decline in deforestation (Chai et al. 2009, pp. 2487–2488, 2489). Because this park is managed by an NGO, funding is a continuing problem and restricts actions (BLI 2011d, unpaginated). Fifteen important bird areas (IBAs) cover approximately 3,113 km2 (1,202 mi2), or 25 percent, of Jamaica’s land area. The yellow-billed parrot is listed as occurring in 10 of these IBAs, although population estimates are not available for most. IBAs are international site priorities for bird conservation. These areas may overlap with forest reserves or Crown lands that offer protection, but designation as an IBA itself does not afford any protection to the area. In Jamaica, 44 percent of the area covered by IBAs is under formal protection, but active management is minimal in many areas (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 265). International Laws The yellow-billed parrot is listed in Appendix II of CITES. CITES is an international treaty among 175 nations, including Jamaica and the United States, which entered into force in 1975. In the United States, CITES is implemented through the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act). The Act designates the Secretary of the Interior as lead responsibility to implement CITES on behalf of the United States, with the functions of the Management and Scientific Authorities to be carried out by the Service. Under this treaty, member countries work together to ensure that international trade in animal and plant species is not detrimental to the survival of wild E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES 15636 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations populations by regulating the import, export, and reexport of CITES-listed animal and plant species. Through Resolution Conf. 8.4 (Rev. CoP15), the Parties to CITES adopted a process, termed the National Legislation Project, to evaluate whether Parties have adequate domestic legislation to successfully implement the Treaty (CITES 2010b, pp. 1–5). In reviewing a country’s national legislation, the CITES Secretariat evaluates factors such as whether a Party’s domestic laws designate the responsible Scientific and Management Authorities, prohibit trade contrary to the requirements of the Convention, have penalty provisions in place for illegal trade, and provide for seizure of specimens that are illegally traded or possessed. The Government of Jamaica was determined to be in Category 1, which means they meet all the requirements to implement CITES (http://www.cites.org, SC59 Document 11, Annex p. 1). As discussed above under Factor B, we do not consider international trade controlled via valid CITES permits to be a threat impacting this species. Therefore, protection under this Treaty against unsustainable international trade is an adequate regulatory mechanism. The import of yellow-billed parrots into the United States is also regulated by the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) (16 U.S.C. 4901 et seq.), which was enacted on October 23, 1992. The purpose of the WBCA is to promote the conservation of exotic birds by ensuring that imports to the United States of exotic birds are biologically sustainable and not detrimental to the species. The WBCA generally restricts the importation of most CITES-listed live and dead exotic birds except for certain limited purposes such as zoological display or cooperative breeding programs. Import of dead specimens is allowed for scientific specimens and museum specimens. The Service may approve cooperative breeding programs and subsequently issue import permits under such programs. Wild-caught birds may be imported into the United States if certain standards are met and they are subject to a management plan that provides for sustainable use. At this time, the yellow-billed parrot is not part of a Service-approved cooperative breeding program and has not been approved for importation of wild-caught birds. International trade of parrots was significantly reduced during the 1990s, as a result of tighter enforcement of CITES regulations, stricter measures under European Union legislation, and adoption of the WBCA, along with VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 adoption of national legislation in various countries (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99). As discussed above under Factor B, we found that legal commercial international trade has been very limited, and we do not consider international trade controlled via valid CITES permits to be a threat impacting this species. However, yellow-billed parrots are taken for the local Jamaican market and have recently been documented in illegal international trade. We believe that regulations are not adequately enforced to ameliorate threats from poaching for Jamaica’s domestic pet bird trade or illegal international trade. Summary of Factor D Although there are laws intended to protect the forests of Jamaica and the yellow-billed parrot, these laws are not adequate to ameliorate: Impacts to the habitat of the yellow-billed parrot from deforestation via mining, logging, and agriculture, even within protected areas such as the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park; the risk of disease transmission; predation, which is exacerbated by habitat alteration; and poaching for the local and international pet bird market. E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Species’ Continued Existence Hurricanes Hurricanes are a constant threat to island populations of wildlife and are a frequent occurrence in the Caribbean (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 320). In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica and caused widespread damage to the island’s mid-level and montane forests; Cockpit Country, Blue Mountains, and John Crow Mountains all suffered severe and very extensive damage (Varty 1991, pp. 135, 138). Since 2004, Jamaica has been hit by five major storms, including two hurricanes and three tropical storms (Thompson 2011, unpaginated). Global climate change models predict increased hurricane frequency and intensity for the Caribbean (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2009, p. 1). The most vulnerable birds are frugivorous and birds that require large trees for foraging or nesting; require a closed canopy forest; have special microclimate requirements; or live in a habitat in which vegetation is slow to recover, like the yellow-billed parrot (Wiley and Wunderle 1992, pp. 319, 337). Survival of small populations within a fragmented habitat becomes more uncertain if the destructive potential of catastrophic events increases, as predicted for hurricanes PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 with increased climate change (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 319). Frequent hurricanes can have direct and indirect effects on bird populations. Direct effects include mortality from winds, rain, and storm surges, and geographic displacement of individuals by the wind. Wet plumage may cause hypothermia and death in birds, with chicks being at greater risk than adults. Additionally, birds may be killed by falling trees or flying debris, birds may be thrown against objects, or high winds may blow them out to sea where they die from exhaustion and drowning (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 319, 321–322). However, the greatest impacts to birds are the indirect effects that come after the storm has passed and stem from the destruction of vegetation. These effects include loss of food sources, loss of nests and nesting sites, increased vulnerability to predation, microclimate changes, and increased conflict with humans (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 319, 321, 326, 337; Varty 1991, p. 148). Defoliation is the most common type of damage caused by hurricanes. High winds remove flowers, fruit, and seeds, impacting frugivores, like the yellowbilled parrot, the greatest. Larger trees, which are typically the best producers, are most affected by hurricanes. Certain sections of Jamaica following Hurricane Gilbert regenerated quickly, while the destruction in some areas was so complete it was estimated to take many years to recover. The majority of trees and shrubs were reported to have been mostly or totally defoliated; trees in flower or fruit lost their blooms (Varty 1991, pp. 139, 148). In some cases, the production of flowers and fruits are less than 50 percent of pre-hurricane levels after 1 year (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 324–325). Seven months after Hurricane Gilbert, some areas had little or no apparent regrowth; although most trees showed signs of refoliation, and after 10 months, some trees began to show signs of growth (Varty 1991, pp. 140–141). For frugivores, food supplies are likely to be reduced for several years following a destructive hurricane, and with limited resources, birds may experience greater competition for food, leading to a decline in populations (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 332; Varty 1991, pp. 144, 148). Nesting sites can also be damaged by high winds, rain, or flooding. The larger, taller trees, like those needed by the yellow-billed parrot for nesting activities, are the most susceptible to snapping or uprooting (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 327). During Hurricane Gilbert, many trees were toppled or had crowns or major limbs E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations broken or snapped off. Others were damaged or knocked over by other windfall trees. In some places, landslides totally destroyed the forests (Varty 1991, p. 139). The loss of these nesting trees further reduces the already limited nesting cavities available. Damaged trees that remain standing are more likely to be lost in future storms, increasing the risk to yellow-billed parrots using them. However, trees that suffer limb breakage but remain standing may create additional cavities for nesting (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 326–328). With the loss of suitable nesting sites, reproductive responses may vary following a storm. Hurricane Gilbert severely damaged or blew over 50 percent and 44 percent of the larger trees in John Crow Mountains and Cockpit Country, respectively; however, some yellow-billed parrots were observed successfully breeding in Cockpit Country within 10 months of the storm (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 335; Varty 1991, pp. 143, 149). Defoliated habitat may increase the risk of yellow-billed parrots to predators, including humans. For example, because of competition for limited food resources, forest dwellers may be forced to forage closer to the ground or wander more widely, exposing them to predators. Birds may be weakened after a storm and serve as an easy source of protein for predators and humans in need of food. Additionally, while in search of food and cover, birds may come into conflict with humans in agricultural regions, making them more vulnerable to poaching; farmers may shoot birds to protect any remaining crops (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 330–332). Hurricanes also create additional edge habitat by increasing the number and size of forest openings; this may enable predators to invade forest tracts they would otherwise avoid (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 336). Furthermore, where trees have been blown down, subsistence farmers may move in to exploit the land. Governments may also make subsidies available for timber removal and development of the land, including the use of chainsaws and heavy equipment to clear away debris and dead trees. The equipment may not be recalled following cleanup and may be used to clear healthy forests (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 331). Following Hurricane Gilbert, chainsaws brought in for cleanup were later used to clear forests for timber (Varty 1991, p. 146). Additionally, farmers lost most or all of their cultivated land, increasing the demand for new land and, therefore, VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 resulting in additional deforestation (Varty 1991, p. 145). Hurricanes are a natural occurrence in the Caribbean, and birds have adapted to periodic storms. Parrots should be able to adapt to changes following hurricanes, and healthy, wide-ranging populations should be able to, in the long term, survive hurricanes. However, hurricanes play a more important role in extinction when a species already has a restricted and fragmented range due to habitat loss and is reduced to fewer individuals (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 340–341; Varty 1991, p. 149; Wiley 1991, p. 191). After a population has declined due to deforestation activities, they may not be able to recover from the additional loss of forests from hurricanes (Varty 1991, p. 149). The yellow-billed parrot population has survived through hurricanes, but longterm survival is a concern, given the additional impact of hurricanes on food and nesting sources, combined with the continuing habitat destruction by humans (Wiley 1991, p. 203). If the large, contiguous forests of Cockpit Country remain intact, the yellow-billed parrot is predicted to be able to adapt to predicted hurricane frequency and intensity. However, if the forests are severely fragmented and dominated by edge habitats, reproductive performance is predicted to decrease, leading to population loss, and hurricanes to hasten the species’ extinction (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2009, pp. 1– 2). Competition With Nonnative Species A temporary ban was placed on the importation of nonnative psittacines due to potential introduction of disease, hybridization, and competition with the two native parrot species. However, the ban is no longer in effect (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.), leaving the yellow-billed parrot vulnerable to hybridization and competitive exclusion with escaped nonnative psittacines imported for the pet industry (Koenig 2009, p. 1). Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency has noticed an increase in the illegal importation of monkeys, birds, and snakes into the country. Jamaica is now believed to be a trans-shipment point for illegal trade in animals from Central and South America (NEPA 2010a, p. 1). Nonnative species not only introduce diseases to native wildlife (see Factor C discussion, above), but escaped individuals also pose a threat through hybridization and competition for food and nesting sources (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 264; Wiley 1991, p. 191). In 2007, a yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) was observed PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15637 flying freely in the area of yellow-billed parrots and, more importantly, was observed forming a pair-bond with a yellow-billed parrot. It was determined that the Amazon parrot must have been a captive bird that had escaped, rather than a situation of natural colonization. As the yellow-billed parrot and the yellow-naped Amazon belong to the same genus, the potential for hybridization is high (Koenig 2009, p. 2). In the long term, should a small population of other Amazon species, like the yellow-naped Amazon, become established, hybridization could compromise the unique genetic makeup of the yellow-billed parrot. Additionally, mainland Amazon species, like the yellow-naped Amazon, are significantly larger and heavier than Jamaican parrots; it is likely that these nonnatives would dominate the yellowbilled parrot and exclude them from nest sites (Koenig 2009, p. 2). Summary of Factor E Hurricanes frequently occur in the Caribbean. Healthy, widespread populations of birds should be able to adapt to changes following a hurricane. However, species like the yellow-billed parrot, which are frugivores and rely on cavities in old growth trees, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of hurricanes on forests. Food sources may be reduced for years following a storm, and already limited nesting cavities may be further reduced; declines in these vital resources could result in competition with other species and a decline in the population. These impacts are further exacerbated due to deforestation activities that have already caused a decline in the extent and quality of yellow-billed parrot habitat and declines in the yellow-billed parrot population. Because of the ongoing loss of habitat, yellow-billed parrots may not be able to recover from the impacts of a destructive hurricane. Although we have no information that the yellow-billed parrot has been impacted by hybridization or competition with nonnative parrot species, the risk of these occurrences is elevated given the termination of the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species, past occurrences of escaped parrots, the observed increase in the illegal importation of birds, the larger size of nonnative parrots, the declining population of yellow-billed parrots in Jamaica, and the declining extent and quality of habitat. Finding As required by the Act, we conducted a review of the status of the species and considered the five factors in assessing E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES 15638 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations whether the yellow-billed parrot is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We examined the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats faced by the yellow-billed parrot. We reviewed the petition, information available in our files, and other available published and unpublished information. The yellow-billed parrot is only found on the island of Jamaica and occurs in fragments across its range; at least 80 percent of the yellow-billed parrot population occurs in one area of the island. The entire population of this species is reported as declining, and the extent and quality of habitat is also declining. This species faces immediate and significant threats, primarily from deforestation through logging, conversion of land to agriculture, road construction, and mining and the subsequent encroachment of nonnative species. Ongoing deforestation activities threaten to remove more of the limited mature trees the yellow-billed parrot needs for nesting. Cockpit Country is also threatened by potential future mining. If mining were to occur, the damage would be irreversible. Additionally, habitat alteration creates an optimal habitat for the yellow boa, which has already been reported to prey on yellow-billed parrot nestlings; continuing deforestation increases this risk of predation. Adults and nestling yellow-billed parrots are captured for the local and international pet bird trade. Poaching of birds for the pet trade removes vital individuals from the population and essential nesting cavities. The risk of disease transmission and competition with nonnative parrot species is elevated now that the temporary ban on the importation of nonnative psittacine species has been lifted. There are regulatory mechanisms in place to protect the yellow-billed parrot and its habitat, but enforcement appears to be inadequate given the threats this species is currently facing. Hurricanes also pose a threat to the yellow-billed parrot because of the already ongoing deforestation and population decline. This species, in the long term, may not be able to recover from the additional impacts of hurricanes on foraging and nesting resources given the continuing loss of food and nesting resources by logging, agriculture, road development, and mining. Section 3 of the Act defines an ‘‘endangered species’’ as ‘‘any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,’’ and a ‘‘threatened species’’ as VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 ‘‘any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.’’ The magnitude of the threats the yellowbilled parrot is facing is high. Nesting success is reported to be low for this species. Given the declining population, limited habitat and range, the ongoing and future threats to the remaining habitat, the associated increased risk of predation, and the loss of individuals from poaching, long-term survival of this species is a concern. Impacts from hurricanes are likely to be exacerbated by the ongoing deforestation and declining population. Any loss of individuals from the population or loss of vital nesting cavities from current or future threats further reduces the population and loss of already limited habitat and is likely to affect the reproductive success of this species. Because the population of this species is estimated at 10,000 to 20,000 individuals and mining is not currently occurring in Cockpit Country, we do not believe that this species is currently in danger of extinction. However, given the ongoing deforestation of remaining suitable habitat for the yellow-billed parrot in Jamaica, the loss of individuals through poaching for the pet bird trade or predation, the exacerbated impacts of hurricanes, and no information to suggest that these threats will be ameliorated, we believe the species will continue to decline and fecundity and recruitment affected such that the species is at risk of extinction in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, given the value of bauxite to Jamaica, the amount of bauxite deposits in Cockpit Country (a stronghold for the species), that mining companies have already drilled for samples in the area, and the lack of an official policy against mining in the area, we believe that mining could occur in Cockpit Country in the foreseeable future with irreversible impacts to remaining suitable habitat and the yellow-billed parrot. Based on current threats and the impacts to the yellow-billed parrot and the potential impacts of future threats, we believe the species will continue to decline and will likely become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future. Therefore on the basis of the best scientific and commercial information, we find that the yellow-billed parrot meets the definition of a ‘‘threatened’’ species under the Act, and we are listing the yellow-billed parrot as threatened throughout its range. Significant Portion of the Range Having determined that the yellowbilled parrot meets the definition of PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 threatened throughout its range, we must next consider whether the yellowbilled parrot is in danger of extinction within a significant portion of its range. The Act defines an endangered species as one ‘‘in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,’’ and a threatened species as one ‘‘likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.’’ The term ‘‘significant portion of its range’’ is not defined by the statute. For the purposes of this finding, a portion of a species’ range is ‘‘significant’’ if it is part of the current range of the species and it provides a crucial contribution to the representation, resiliency, or redundancy of the species. For the contribution to be crucial it must be at a level such that, without that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction. In determining whether a species is endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its range, we first identify any portions of the range of the species that warrant further consideration. The range of a species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite number of ways. However, there is no purpose to analyzing portions of the range that are not reasonably likely to be significant and endangered or threatened. To identify only those portions that warrant further consideration, we determine whether there is substantial information indicating that: (1) The portions may be significant, and (2) the species may be in danger of extinction there or likely to become so within the foreseeable future. In practice, a key part of this analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in some way. If the threats to the species are essentially uniform throughout its range, no portion is likely to warrant further consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats applies only to portions of the species’ range that clearly would not meet the biologically based definition of ‘‘significant’’ (i.e., the loss of that portion clearly would not reasonably be expected to increase the vulnerability to extinction of the entire species to the point that the species would then be in danger of extinction), such portions will not warrant further consideration. If we identify portions that warrant further consideration, we then determine their status (i.e., whether in fact the species is endangered or threatened in a significant portion of its range). Depending on the biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it might be more efficient for us to address either the ‘‘significant’’ E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES question first, or the status question first. Thus, if we determine that a portion of the range is not ‘‘significant,’’ we do not need to determine whether the species is endangered or threatened there; if we determine that the species is not endangered or threatened in a portion of its range, we do not need to determine if that portion is ‘‘significant.’’ Applying the process described above for determining whether this species is endangered in a significant portion of its range, we considered status first to determine if any threats or future threats acting individually or collectively endanger the species in a portion of its range. We have analyzed the threats to the degree possible, and determined they are essentially uniform throughout the species’ range and no portion is being impacted to a significant degree more than any other such that the species is currently endangered in any portion of its range. Available Conservation Measures Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened under the Act include recognition, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, and encourages and results in conservation actions by Federal and State governments, private agencies and interest groups, and individuals. The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered and threatened wildlife. These prohibitions, at 50 CFR 17.21 and 17.31, in part, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to ‘‘take’’ (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or to attempt any of these) within the United States or upon the high seas; import or export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any endangered wildlife species. It also is illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken in violation of the Act. Certain exceptions apply to agents of the Service and State conservation agencies. Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered and threatened wildlife species under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.22 for endangered species and 17.32 for threatened species. With regard to VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 endangered wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: For scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, and for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities. For threatened species, a permit may be issued for the same activities, as well as zoological exhibition, education, and special purposes consistent with the Act. Special Rule Section 4(d) of the Act states that the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) may, by regulation, extend to threatened species prohibitions provided for endangered species under section 9 of the Act. Our implementing regulations for threatened wildlife (50 CFR 17.31) incorporate the section 9 prohibitions for endangered wildlife, except when a special rule is promulgated. For threatened species, section 4(d) of the Act gives the Secretary discretion to specify the prohibitions and any exceptions to those prohibitions that are appropriate for the species, and provisions that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the species. A special rule allows us to include provisions that are tailored to the specific conservation needs of the threatened species and which may be more or less restrictive than the general provisions at 50 CFR 17.31. Under the special rule, all prohibitions and provisions of 50 CFR 17.31 and 17.32 apply to the yellowbilled parrot, except that import into and export from the United States of certain yellow-billed parrots, and certain acts in interstate commerce of yellow-billed parrots, will be allowed without a permit under the Act, as explained below. Import and Export The special rule applies to all commercial and noncommercial international shipments of live and dead yellow-billed parrots and parts and products, including the import and export of personal pets and research samples. In most instances, the special rule adopts the existing conservation regulatory requirements of CITES and the WBCA as the appropriate regulatory provisions for the import and export of certain yellow-billed parrots. The import into and export from the United States of birds taken from the wild after the date this species is listed under the Act (see DATES section, above); conducting an activity that could take or incidentally take yellow-billed parrots; and foreign commerce will need to meet the requirements of 50 CFR 17.31 and PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15639 17.32, including obtaining a permit under the Act. However, the special rule allows a person to import or export either: (1) A specimen held in captivity prior to the date this species is listed under the Act (see DATES section, above), or (2) a captive-bred specimen, without a permit issued under the Act, provided the export is authorized under CITES and the import is authorized under CITES and the WBCA. If a specimen was taken from the wild and held in captivity prior to the date this species is listed under the Act (see DATES section, above), the importer or exporter will need to provide documentation to support that status, such as a copy of the original CITES permit indicating when the bird was removed from the wild or a museum specimen report. For captive-bred birds, the importer will need to provide either a valid CITES export/reexport document issued by a foreign Management Authority that indicates that the specimen was captive-bred by using a source code on the face of the permit of either ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ or ‘‘F.’’ For exporters of captive-bred birds, a signed and dated statement from the breeder of the bird, along with documentation on the source of their breeding stock, will document the captive-bred status of U.S. birds. The special rule applies to birds captive-bred in the United States and abroad. The terms ‘‘captive-bred’’ and ‘‘captivity’’ used in the special rule are defined in the regulations at 50 CFR 17.3 and refer to wildlife produced in a controlled environment that is intensively manipulated by man from parents that mated or otherwise transferred gametes in captivity. Although the special rule requires a permit under the Act to ‘‘take’’ (including harm and harass) a yellowbilled parrot, ‘‘take’’ does not include generally accepted animal husbandry practices, breeding procedures, or provisions of veterinary care for confining, tranquilizing, or anesthetizing, when such practices, procedures, or provisions are not likely to result in injury to the wildlife when applied to captive wildlife. We assessed the conservation needs of the yellow-billed parrot in light of the broad protections provided to the species under CITES and the WBCA. The yellow-billed parrot is listed in Appendix II under CITES, a treaty which contributes to the conservation of the species by monitoring international trade and ensuring that trade in Appendix II species is not detrimental to the survival of the species (see Conservation Status, above). The purpose of the WBCA is to promote the conservation of exotic birds and to E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1 15640 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations ensure that imports of exotic birds into the United States do not harm them (see Factor D discussion, above). Data indicate that illegal international trade in Jamaican wildlife is on the rise; however, the requirements of CITES, WBCA, and the special rule will minimize illegal trade of yellow-billed parrots with the United States. Additionally, the best available commercial data indicate that poaching of the yellow-billed parrot stems mainly from illegal trade in the domestic markets of Jamaica. Thus, the general prohibitions on import and export contained in 50 CFR 17.31, which only extend within the jurisdiction of the United States, will not regulate such activities. Accordingly, we find that the import and export requirements of the special rule provide the necessary and advisable conservation measures that are needed for this species. Interstate Commerce Under the special rule, a person may deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship a yellow-billed parrot in interstate commerce in the course of a commercial activity, or sell or offer to sell in interstate commerce a yellow-billed parrot without a permit under the Act. At the same time, the prohibitions on take under 50 CFR 17.31 apply under this special rule, and any interstate commerce activities that could incidentally take yellow-billed parrots or otherwise prohibited acts in foreign commerce require a permit under 50 CFR 17.32. Although we do not have current data, we believe there are few yellowbilled parrots in the United States. Current International Species Information System (ISIS) information shows no yellow-billed parrots held in U.S. zoos (ISIS 2011, p. 1). However, some zoos do not enter data into the ISIS database. Persons in the United States have imported and exported captive-bred yellow-billed parrots for commercial purposes and one body for scientific purposes, but trade has been very limited (UNEP–WCMC 2011, unpaginated). We have no information to suggest that interstate commerce activities are associated with threats to the yellow-billed parrot or will negatively affect any efforts aimed at the recovery of wild populations of the species. Therefore, because acts in interstate commerce within the United States have not been found to threaten the yellow-billed parrot, the species is otherwise protected in the course of interstate commercial activities under the incidental take provisions and foreign commerce provisions contained in 50 CFR 17.31, and international trade of this species is regulated under CITES, we find this special rule contains all the prohibitions and authorizations necessary and advisable for the conservation of the yellow-billed parrot. Correction to the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Special Rule On May 26, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 30758) a final rule listing the salmon-crested cockatoo as threatened with a special rule under section 4(d) of the Act. In the preamble of that 4(d) rule, we explained that we were adopting a provision similar to the one we are adopting in this 4(d) rule for the yellow-billed parrot, which would allow certain acts in interstate commerce for salmon-crested cockatoos without a permit under 50 CFR 17.32. However, consistent with our intent in adopting the exceptions contained in the 4(d) rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo, we are correcting the regulations found at 50 CFR 17.41(c) for the salmon-crested cockatoo to clarify the specific acts in interstate commerce that may be conducted without a threatened species permit under 50 CFR 17.32. Required Determinations National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) We have determined that we do not need to prepare an environmental assessment, as defined under the Historic range pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES * BIRDS * Parrot, yellow-billed ...... * VerDate Mar<15>2010 Scientific name * * References Cited A list of all references cited in this document is available at http:// www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS– R9–ES–2011–0075, or upon request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program, Branch of Foreign Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section). Author The primary authors of this notice are staff members of the Branch of Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17 Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation. Regulation Promulgation Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 17—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361–1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531–1544; 16 U.S.C. 4201–4245; Pub. L. 99– 625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 17.11(h) by adding an entry for ‘‘Parrot, yellow-billed’’ in alphabetical order under BIRDS to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife to read as follows: ■ § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife. * * * (h) * * * Vertebrate population where endangered or threatened Species Common name authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, in connection with regulations adopted under section 4(a) of the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). Status * * * * * * Amazona collaria ........ Jamaica ............... Entire ....................................... * 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 * Jkt 229001 PO 00000 * Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM * When listed Critical habitat * 12MRR1 * 804 * Special rules * * T ..... * Sfmt 4700 * NA ........ 17.41(c) * Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Rules and Regulations * * * * * DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 3. Amend § 17.41 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows: ■ § 17.41 Special rules—birds. * pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration * * * * (c) The following species in the parrot family: Salmon-crested cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) and yellowbilled parrot (Amazona collaria). (1) Except as noted in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, all prohibitions and provisions of §§ 17.31 and 17.32 of this part apply to these species. (2) Import and export. You may import or export a specimen without a permit issued under § 17.32 of this part only when the provisions of parts 13, 14, 15, and 23 of this chapter have been met and you meet the following requirements: (i) Captive-bred specimens: The source code on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) document accompanying the specimen must be ‘‘F’’ (captive born), ‘‘C’’ (bred in captivity), or ‘‘D’’ (bred in captivity for commercial purposes) (see 50 CFR 23.24); or (ii) Specimens held in captivity prior to certain dates: You must provide documentation to demonstrate that the specimen was held in captivity prior to the applicable date specified in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section. Such documentation may include copies of receipts, accession or veterinary records, CITES documents, or wildlife declaration forms, which must be dated prior to the specified dates. (A) For salmon-crested cockatoos: January 18, 1990 (the date this species was transferred to CITES Appendix I). (B) For yellow-billed parrots: April 11, 2013 (the date this species was listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)). (3) Interstate commerce. Except where use after import is restricted under § 23.55 of this chapter, you may deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate commerce and in the course of a commercial activity, or sell or offer to sell, in interstate commerce the species listed in this paragraph (c) without a permit under the Act. * * * * * Dated: February 14, 2013. Rowan W. Gould, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2013–05504 Filed 3–11–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:38 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120403249–2492–02] RIN 0648–XC529 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; SnapperGrouper Resources of the South Atlantic; Golden Tilefish Trip Limit Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; trip limit adjustments. AGENCY: On February 18, 2013, NMFS reduced the commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) to 300 lb (136 kg) per trip because NMFS projected that 75 percent of the fishing year quota would be met on that day. Recent information indicates, however, that 75 percent of the fishing year quota has not been reached at this time. Therefore, through this temporary rule, NMFS reinstates the 4,000-lb (1,814-kg) commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ from March 13, 2013, through March 21, 2013, when NMFS projects that 75 percent of the fishing year quota would be met. On March 22, 2013, the commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ will go back to 300 lb (136 kg). These trip limit adjustments are necessary to achieve optimum yield and better manage the South Atlantic golden tilefish resource. DATES: The 4,000-lb (1,814-kg) commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, March 13, 2013, until 12:01 a.m., local time, March 22, 2013. The 300-lb (136-kg) commercial trip limit for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic EEZ is effective from 12:01 a.m., local time, March 22, 2013, through December 31, 2013, unless changed by subsequent notification in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hayslip, telephone: 727–824– 5305, or email: Catherine.Hayslip@noaa.gov. SUMMARY: The snapper-grouper fishery includes golden tilefish in the South Atlantic and is managed under the Fishery SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15641 Management Plan for the SnapperGrouper Resources of the South Atlantic (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. Under 50 CFR 622.44(c)(2), NMFS is required to reduce the trip limit in the commercial sector for golden tilefish from 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) to 300 lb (136 kg) per trip when 75 percent of the fishing year quota is met prior to September 1, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. The commercial quota for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic is 541,295 lb (245,527 kg), gutted weight, as specified in 50 CFR 622.42(e)(2). NMFS determined that 75 percent of the available commercial quota for golden tilefish would be reached on or before February 18, 2013. Accordingly, effective February 18, 2013, NMFS reduced the commercial golden tilefish trip limit to 300 lb (136 kg), gutted weight, in the South Atlantic EEZ (78 FR 10102, February 13, 2013). Recent landings information indicate that the commercial sector for golden tilefish did not reach 75 percent of the fishing year quota on February 18, 2013, nor has 75 percent of the fishing year quota been reached at this time. Therefore, through this temporary rule, NMFS removes the commercial trip limit reduction for golden tilefish in the South Atlantic to reinstate the 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) trip limit from March 13, 2013, through March 21, 2013, when NMFS projects that 75 percent of the fishing year quota would be met. Effective March 22, 2013, the trip limit will be 300 lb (136 kg) per trip. The 300 lb (136 kg) trip limit will remain in effect until the quota is reached and the commercial sector closes, or through December 31, 2013, whichever occurs first. Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of South Atlantic golden tilefish and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws. This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.44(c)(2) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment. E:\FR\FM\12MRR1.SGM 12MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 12, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15624-15641]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05504]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2011-0075]; [4500030115]
RIN 1018-AY28


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the 
Yellow-Billed Parrot With Special Rule, and Correcting the Salmon-
Crested Cockatoo Special Rule

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule and correcting amendment.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, determine threatened 
status for the yellow-billed parrot (Amazona collaria) under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). This final rule 
implements the Federal protections provided by the Act for this 
species. We are also publishing a special rule for this species. In 
addition, we are correcting the special rule for the salmon-crested 
cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis), which published in the Federal Register 
on May 26, 2011.

DATES: This rule becomes effective April 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and comments and materials received, as well as 
supporting documentation used in the preparation of this rule, will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 
400; Arlington, VA 22203.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janine Van Norman, Chief, Branch of 
Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203; 
telephone 703-358-2171. If you use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-
877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    We are listing the yellow-billed parrot as threatened under the 
Endangered Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) because of 
continued threats from deforestation, the pet trade, the risk of 
disease transmission, predation, inadequate regulatory mechanisms, and 
hurricanes. The species is only found on the island of Jamaica and has 
a fragmented and declining population. We are also publishing a special 
rule that allows the import into and export from the United States of 
certain captive-bred yellow-billed parrots, and certain acts in 
interstate commerce of yellow-billed parrots, without a permit under 
the Act.
    We are also correcting the 2011 special rule for the salmon-crested 
cockatoo to incorporate the provision that certain acts in interstate 
commerce of salmon-crested cockatoos may proceed without a permit under 
the Act. This idea was discussed in detail in the 2009 proposed rule 
and 2011 final rule for this species, but the provision was 
inadvertently omitted from the language that we codified in the Code of 
Federal Regulations. This change clarifies the intent of the 2011 final 
special rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo.

II. Major Provision of the Regulatory Action

    This action lists the yellow-billed parrot as threatened on the 
List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11(h), and 
allows the import into and export from the United States of certain 
captive-bred yellow-billed parrots, and allows certain acts in 
interstate commerce of yellow-billed parrots, without a permit under 50 
CFR 17.32. This action is authorized by the Act.
    We are also correcting the May 26, 2011 (76 FR 30758), special rule 
for the salmon-crested cockatoo, as discussed in this rule.
Background
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), is a law that was passed to prevent extinction of 
species by providing measures to help alleviate the loss of species and 
their habitats. Before a plant or animal species can receive the 
protection provided by the Act, it must first be added to the Federal 
List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife or the Federal List of 
Threatened and Endangered Plants; section 4 of the Act and its 
implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424 set forth the procedures 
for adding species to these lists.
Yellow-Billed Parrot
Previous Federal Actions
    On January 31, 2008, the Service received a petition dated January 
29, 2008, from Friends of Animals, as represented by the Environmental 
Law Clinic, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, requesting that 
we list 14 parrot species under the Act. The petition clearly 
identified itself as a petition and included the requisite information 
required in the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 424.14(a)). On July 
14, 2009 (74 FR 33957), we published a 90-day finding in which we 
determined that the petition presented substantial scientific and 
commercial information to indicate that listing may be warranted for 12 
of the 14 parrot species. In our 90-day finding on this petition, we 
announced the initiation of a status review to list as endangered or 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 
the following 12 parrot species: Blue-headed macaw (Primolius couloni), 
crimson shining parrot (Prosopeia splendens), great green macaw (Ara 
ambiguus), grey-cheeked parakeet (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera), hyacinth 
macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), military macaw (Ara militaris), 
Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), red-crowned parrot 
(Amazona viridigenalis), scarlet macaw (Ara macao), white cockatoo 
(Cacatua alba), yellow-billed parrot (Amazona collaria), and yellow-
crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea). We initiated this status review 
to determine if listing each of the 12 species is warranted, and 
initiated a 60-day comment period to allow all interested parties an 
opportunity to provide information on the status of these 12 species of 
parrots. The public comment period closed on September 14, 2009.
    On October 24, 2009, and December 2, 2009, the Service received a 
60-day notice of intent to sue from Friends of Animals and WildEarth 
Guardians, for

[[Page 15625]]

failure to issue 12-month findings on the petition. On March 2, 2010, 
Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians filed suit against the 
Service for failure to make timely 12-month findings within the 
statutory deadline of the Act on the petition to list the 14 species 
(Friends of Animals, et al. v. Salazar, Case No. 10 CV 00357 D.D.C.).
    On July 21, 2010, a settlement agreement was approved by the Court 
(CV-10-357, D. DC), in which the Service agreed to submit to the 
Federal Register by July 29, 2011, September 30, 2011, and November 30, 
2011, determinations as to whether the petitioned action is warranted, 
not warranted, or warranted but precluded by other listing actions for 
no fewer than four of the petitioned species on each date. On October 
11, 2011, the Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule 
to list the yellow-billed parrot as threatened under the Act with a 
proposed special rule (76 FR 62740).
Summary of Comments and Recommendations
    We based this action on a review of the best scientific and 
commercial information available, including all information received 
during the public comment period. In the October 11, 2011, proposed 
rule, we requested that all interested parties submit information that 
might contribute to development of a final rule. We also contacted 
appropriate scientific experts and organizations and invited them to 
comment on the proposed listing and proposed special rule. We received 
comments from 5 individuals, one of which was from a peer reviewer.
    We reviewed all comments we received from the public and peer 
reviewer for substantive issues and new information regarding the 
proposed listing of this species, and we address those comments below. 
Overall, the commenters and peer reviewer supported the proposed 
listing. Two comments included additional information for 
consideration; the remaining comments simply supported the proposed 
listing without providing scientific or commercial data.
Peer Review
    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we solicited expert opinions from four individuals with 
scientific expertise that included familiarity with the species, the 
geographic region in which the species occurs, and conservation biology 
principles. We received responses from one of the peer reviewers from 
whom we requested comments. The peer reviewer stated that the proposed 
rule adequately reviewed and analyzed existing information. Some new 
information was provided for the species, as well as technical 
clarifications, as described below. Technical corrections suggested by 
the peer reviewer have been incorporated into this final rule. In some 
cases, a technical correction is indicated in the citations by 
``personal communication'' (pers. comm.), which could indicate either 
an email or telephone conversation; in other cases, the research 
citation is provided.
Peer Reviewer Comments
    (1) Comment: The peer reviewer provided comments and additional 
literature regarding the yellow-billed parrot's habitat, diet, and 
nesting areas.
    Our Response: We reviewed the additional literature provided and 
updated the Species Description section below.
    (2) Comment: The peer reviewer provided some clarifying information 
regarding threats to the yellow-billed parrot from conversion of 
natural forests to pine plantations. According to the peer reviewer, 
conversion to pine plantations is no longer a threat given the current 
Forestry Department Management Plan.
    Our Response: The 1991 literature stating that natural forests were 
being converted to pine plantations and other fast-growing species was 
based on literature from 1953, 1971, and 1981. Since 1991, Jamaica's 
Forestry Department prepared the National Forest Management and 
Conservation Plan (2001, p. ix), became an Executive Agency with better 
capabilities to meet the needs of the forestry sector, and prepared the 
Strategic Forest Management Plan (2008, p. 9). These actions emphasize 
Jamaica's commitment to promoting and improving the conservation and 
sustainable use of the country's forest resources through protection, 
management, and restoration of forest resources. Furthermore, clearing 
of natural forests for tree plantations is generally considered to be 
unacceptable today on grounds of conservation and risk of erosion 
(Camirand 2002, p. 15). Given the more recent information provided by 
the peer reviewer and no additional information claiming conversion to 
pine plantations is a threat to natural forests, we have removed this 
statement from our discussion of habitat modification (Factor A); 
however, this did not change our finding regarding the effects of 
habitat modification on the yellow-billed parrot or our finding that 
the species meets the definition of a threatened species.
    (3) Comment: The peer reviewer provided clarification on the 
restoration of mining areas. Because the substrate is removed through 
open-pit mining, the area is irreversibly altered and is impossible to 
restore to its original state.
    Our Response: We have included information on the irreversible 
effects of mining provided by the peer reviewer in our discussion of 
mining, which further supports our conclusion concerning the effects of 
mining on the karst region.
    (4) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information on a 
conservation action plan that was developed for the Cockpit Country by 
The Nature Conservancy--Jamaica, the Forestry Department, and other 
stakeholders in 2006.
    Our Response: Fifteen actions were developed under the conservation 
action plan to mitigate threats to the Cockpit Country's biodiversity. 
These actions would also benefit the yellow-billed parrot and its 
habitat. Many actions have at least been partially implemented. We 
added the information provided by the peer reviewer to the 
``Conservation Programs'' section under Factor A, below, but the 
information did not affect our finding regarding the effects of habitat 
modification on the yellow-billed parrot or our finding that the 
species meets the definition of a threatened species.
    (5) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information on a major 
poaching event that took place in Jamaica. In April 2011, 74 parrot 
eggs were smuggled out of Jamaica and confiscated in Austria. Of the 45 
chicks that were successfully reared, 24 were yellow-billed parrots. 
The peer reviewer also provided comments on subsequent impacts to the 
yellow-billed parrot from additional poaching, the possible use of the 
confiscated birds for research and captive breeding, the potential 
repatriation of the parrots to Jamaica, and the risk of disease 
transmission to yellow-billed parrots if repatriated to Jamaica.
    Our Response: We reviewed the information and comments provided by 
the peer reviewer. As a result of the information, we determined that 
international trade in Jamaican wildlife, including yellow-billed 
parrots, is on the rise. In light of this information, we reevaluated 
threats to the species from poaching for international trade and 
disease. Although we did find illegal international trade and the risk 
of disease transmission were threats to the yellow-billed parrot, this 
information did not change our finding that the

[[Page 15626]]

species meets the definition of a threatened species.
    (6) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information indicating that 
the temporary ban on the importation of nonnative parrot species into 
Jamaica has been lifted and provided comments on the risk of disease 
transmission and hybridization to the yellow-billed parrot.
    Our Response: In light of the information, we reevaluated threats 
to the species from disease (Factor C), hybridization (Factor E), and 
competition with nonnative species (Factor E). We found that the risk 
of disease transmission to yellow-billed parrots and the risk of 
hybridization or competition with nonnative parrot species are elevated 
given the termination of the ban on importation of nonnative parrot 
species into Jamaica. However, this information did not change our 
finding that the species meets the definition of a threatened species.
    (7) Comment: The peer reviewer provided information indicating that 
Austria may develop a captive breeding program for the yellow-billed 
parrot in Europe using the yellow-billed parrots confiscated in 2011. 
The peer reviewer expressed concern over the avenue this could open for 
additional parrots to be poached in the wild and laundered through 
legal trade.
    Our Response: We reviewed the information provided by the peer 
reviewer. It is unknown whether the parrots will be used for research 
and captive breeding purposes or if they will be repatriated to 
Jamaica. We have added to Factor B, below, a discussion on trade in 
light of a potential captive breeding program.
    (8) Comment: The peer reviewer provided additional information and 
comments on the effects of climate change on the yellow-billed parrot.
    Our Response: The information and comments provided by the peer 
reviewer further supported our conclusion regarding climate change, 
increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes, and the effects to the 
yellow-billed parrot. The information has been added to our discussion 
of hurricanes under Factor E.
Public Comments
    (9) Comment: The Jamaica National Environment and Planning Agency 
clarified that there is no government policy statement on mining in the 
Cockpit Country.
    Our Response: This comment is related to information we found, and 
included in the proposed rule, and information submitted by the peer 
reviewer indicating that the Jamaican Government, specifically the 
former Prime Minister of Jamaica, had stated that the government does 
not intend to allow mining in the Cockpit Country. We have added the 
information regarding the absence of a policy on mining in the Cockpit 
Country to our analysis under Factor A, below.
    (10) Comment: The Jamaica National Environment and Planning Agency 
provided information on planned conservation actions in Cockpit 
Country. In 2011, it was stated that the boundary of the Cockpit 
Country should be determined and a management plan for the area be 
developed. The Jamaican Government and the Jamaica Environment Action 
Network were asked to work together to develop the management plan.
    Our Response: These actions could potentially benefit the yellow-
billed parrot and its habitat if implemented; however, to date, no 
decision has been made regarding the boundary of the Cockpit Country, 
nor has a management plan been put forward. We have added this 
information to the ``Conservation Programs'' section under Factor A, 
below, although the information did not influence our finding regarding 
the effects of habitat modification on the yellow-billed parrot or our 
finding that the species meets the definition of a threatened species.
    (11) Comment: The Jamaica National Environment and Planning Agency 
provided information on requirements under Jamaica's Natural Resources 
Conservation (Permits and License) Regulations and requested that we 
include this information in our analysis. Specifically, mining, 
quarrying, and mineral processing require an environmental permit, but 
environmental permits do not automatically require an environmental 
impact assessment.
    Our Response: We have included this information in our discussion 
of mining under Factor A, below, to clarify the environmental 
requirements of mining in Jamaica. This information, however, did not 
alter our finding regarding the effects of mining on the habitat of the 
yellow-billed parrot or our finding that the species meets the 
definition of a threatened species.
Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule
    We fully considered comments from the public and the peer reviewer 
on the proposed rule to develop this final listing of the yellow-billed 
parrot. This final rule incorporates changes to our proposed listing 
based on the comments that we received that are discussed above and 
newly available scientific and commercial information. We made some 
technical corrections and reevaluated threats to the species from 
disease and competition with nonnative species based on new 
information. Although our analysis of these potential threats is 
different from that in our proposed rule, none of the information 
changed our determination that listing this species as threatened is 
warranted. In addition, in this final rule, we are publishing a 
correcting amendment to the 2011 special rule for the salmon-crested 
cockatoo (76 FR 30758, May 26, 2011), as described below under the 
heading Correction to the Salmon-crested Cockatoo Special Rule.
Species Information and Factors Affecting the Species
    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533) and implementing regulations 
(50 CFR Part 424) set forth procedures for adding species to, removing 
species from, or reclassifying species on the Federal Lists of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(a)(1) of 
the Act, a species may be determined to be endangered or threatened 
based on any of the following five factors:
    (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or 
curtailment of its habitat or range;
    (B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes;
    (C) Disease or predation;
    (D) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
    (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued 
existence.
    In considering whether a species may warrant listing under any of 
the five factors, we look beyond the species' exposure to a potential 
threat or aggregation of threats under any of the factors, and evaluate 
whether the species responds to those potential threats in a way that 
causes actual impact to the species. The identification of threats that 
might impact a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a 
finding that the species warrants listing. The information must include 
evidence indicating that the threats are operative and, either singly 
or in aggregation, affect the status of the species. Threats are 
significant if they drive, or contribute to, the risk of extinction of 
the species, such that the species warrants listing as endangered or 
threatened, as those terms are defined in the Act.
Species Description
    The yellow-billed parrot belongs to the family Psittacidae and is 
one of only

[[Page 15627]]

two Amazona species endemic to Jamaica (Koenig 2001, p. 205; Snyder et 
al. 2000, p. 106). It measures approximately 28 centimeters (cm) (11 
inches (in)) in length. This species is generally characterized as a 
green parrot with white lores (between the eye and bill) and frontal 
bar (forehead), a blue crown, pink throat and upper breast, bluish 
primary feathers, and a yellow bill (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Forshaw 
and Knight 2010, p. 278).
    This species primarily occurs in mid-level (up to 1,200 meters (m) 
(3,937 feet (ft)), wet limestone and lower montane, mature forests of 
Jamaica; however, it also occurs at lower densities, perhaps 
seasonally, based on availability of food sources, in low elevation 
(20-100 m (65.6-328 ft)) mesic forests near the coastline (Koenig 2011, 
personal communication (pers. comm.); TEMNL 2005, p. 128). The late 
successional forest canopy height ranges from 15-20 m (49-66 ft), with 
occasional emergence of Terminalia and Cedrela tree species at 25-30 m 
(82-98 ft) (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust, 2009, 
unpaginated; Tole 2006, p. 790; Koenig 2001, pp. 205-206; Koenig 1999, 
p. 9; Wiley 1991, pp. 203-204). Undergrowth is thin, but mosses, vines, 
lianas, and epiphytes are abundant (Tole 2006, p. 790; Koenig 2001, p. 
206). They may also be found near cultivated areas with trees at forest 
edge (World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; Tole 2006, p. 790). 
Compared to the other endemic Jamaican parrot species, the black-billed 
parrot (Amazona agilis), breeding pairs of yellow-billed parrots appear 
to prefer interior forests, but the species regularly feeds in edge 
habitat (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2001, pp. 207-208, 220).
    In the latter part of the 20th century, the overall range and 
population of the yellow-billed parrot decreased (Juniper and Parr 1998 
in BLI 2011a, unpaginated). The range of the yellow-billed parrot is 
estimated to be 5,400 square kilometers (km\2\) (2,085 square miles 
(mi\2\)) (approximately half the total area of Jamaica) (BLI 2011a, 
unpaginated). However, this species occurs in fragments within this 
range. The greatest occurrences are concentrated in extant mid-level 
wet igneous and limestone forests in the Blue Mountains, Cockpit 
Country, John Crow Mountains, and Mount Diablo (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; 
Koenig 2001, p. 205; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Koenig 1999, pp. 9-10; 
Wiley 1991, pp. 203-204). Preliminary studies estimated 5,000 
individuals in Cockpit Country, John Crow Mountains, and Mount Diablo 
(Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). Today the yellow-billed parrot population 
is estimated to number 10,000 to 20,000 mature individuals, although 
the data quality is poor (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust, 
2009, unpaginated). Cockpit Country is considered the stronghold of the 
species with an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 territorial pairs, at least 80 
percent of the island's entire population (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; BLI 
2011b, unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 205; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). 
Flocks of 50 to 60 individuals are observed year round, and this 
species remains common in suitable habitat (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; 
Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Wiley 1991, p. 204); however, the yellow-
billed parrot has declined, and is declining, in numbers and range 
based on habitat loss and degradation and trapping (BLI 2011a, 
unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106; Koenig 1999, p. 9; Wiley 1991, 
pp. 187, 204).
    Like most parrot species, the yellow-billed parrot is a frugivore, 
and feeds on catkins, nuts, berries, fruits, blossoms, figs, and seeds 
(Jamaica Observer 2011b, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust, 2009, 
unpaginated). Parrots, including this species, generally fly 
considerable distances in search of food (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; BLI 
2011a, unpaginated; Lee 2010, p. 8). Because parrots feed primarily on 
fruits and flowers, they are linked to the fruiting and flowering 
patterns of trees; fluctuations in abundance and availability of these 
food sources may change diets, result in movements to areas with 
greater food availability, and influence local seasonal patterns of 
bird abundance (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Lee 2010, p. 7; Tobias and 
Brightsmith 2007, p. 132; Brightsmith 2006, p. 2; Renton 2002, p. 17; 
Cowen n.d., pp. 5, 23).
    The breeding season begins in March, with yellow-billed parrots 
looking for and defending nest sites, and ends in late July, the end of 
the fledgling period (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 208). 
Mated pairs of yellow-billed parrots appear to be monogamous (Koenig 
1998, unpaginated). Yellow-billed parrots are believed to require 
larger, mature trees for nesting; these parrots do not excavate holes, 
but make use of existing ones found in old growth forests. This may 
explain why this species is more common, especially when nesting, in 
interior forests, although they have been found in other habitat types, 
including disturbed plantations (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 
2000, p. 107; Koenig 2001, p. 220). Clutch size is typically 3 eggs 
measuring 36.0 x 29.0 mm (1.4 x 1.1 in) (World Parrot Trust 2009, 
unpaginated; Koenig 2001, p. 212). Amazona species tend to lay one egg 
every other day, and the female alone incubates (Koenig 2001, p. 209). 
Nesting success has been low, with studies showing 70 percent of 
breeding pairs in Cockpit Country exploring and defending nest sites, 
but failing to lay eggs (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). Outside of the 
breeding season, yellow-billed parrots have been seen in large communal 
roosts (World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated).
Conservation Status
    The yellow-billed parrot is currently classified as ``vulnerable,'' 
which means this species is facing a high risk of extinction in the 
wild, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to the 
small, fragmented, and declining range of this species; a decline in 
extent, area, and quality of suitable habitat due to logging and 
mining; and trapping (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 
106). This species is also listed in Convention on International Trade 
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II, 
which includes species that although not necessarily now threatened 
with extinction may become so unless trade is strictly regulated. The 
yellow-billed parrot is also listed under the Second Schedule of 
Jamaica's Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation 
of Trade) Act.
A. Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or Curtailment of 
Habitat or Range
    Historically, 97 percent of Jamaica was a closed-forest ecosystem. 
After centuries of improper land use and a high rate of deforestation, 
the island has lost much of its original forest (Berglund and Johansson 
2004, pp. 2, 5; Evelyn and Camirand 2003, p. 354; Koenig 2001, p. 206; 
Koenig 1999, p. 9). Some of the most important parrot habitat was 
protected from human activities by its inaccessibility, but today, even 
these areas are being encroached upon and degraded. Conversion of 
forest land to agriculture and pasture has accounted for a majority of 
deforested land and has resulted in the removal of valuable timber 
species as a byproduct, with natural regrowth removed as soon as it 
approaches marketable size (Eyre 1987, p. 342).
    Today, Jamaica's forested area is estimated at 337,000 hectares 
(ha) (832,745 acres (ac)), or 31 percent of the total land area (FAO 
2011, p. 116). Only 8 percent of Jamaica's total land area is 
classified as minimally disturbed closed broadleaf forest, and this 
type of forest only occurs on the steepest or most remote, inaccessible 
parts of the island (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 
262; Evelyn and

[[Page 15628]]

Camirand 2003, p. 359; National Forest Management and Conservation Plan 
2001, pp. ix, 20; WWF 2001, unpaginated; Koenig 1991, p. 9). This loss 
in forested habitat has resulted in a small and fragmented range for 
the yellow-billed parrot; a decline in the extent, area, and quality of 
suitable habitat; and a decline in the yellow-billed parrot population 
(BLI 2011a, unpaginated; World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; Koenig 
1999, p. 9). The greatest long-term threats to Jamaica's remaining 
population of the yellow-billed parrot is deforestation via logging, 
agriculture, mining, road construction, and encroachment of nonnative 
species (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Levy and 
Koenig 2009, pp. 263-264; World Parrot Trust 2009, unpaginated; JEAN 
2007, p. 4; John and Newman 2006, pp. 7, 15; Tole 2006, p. 799; Snyder 
et al. 2000, p. 106; Koenig 1999, p. 10; Varty 1991, pp. 135, 145; 
Wiley 1991, p. 190; Windsor Research Center n.d., unpaginated).
    Cockpit Country is characterized by yellow and white limestone 
karst topography with rounded peaks and steep-sided, bowl-shaped 
depressions, known as cockpits (John and Newman 2006, p. 3; Tole 2006, 
p. 789). Historically, the edge forests of Cockpit Country experienced 
extensive clear-cutting for timber, but the rugged terrain and 
inaccessibility of Cockpit Country have prevented extensive resource 
exploitation in its interior forests (Koenig 2001, pp. 206-207; Wiley 
1991, p. 201). This area has retained nearly all of its primary forest 
and is an important remaining tract of extensive primary forest in 
Jamaica; 81 percent of the region is under forest (John and Newman 
2006, p. 3; Tole 2006, pp. 790, 795, 798). However, gaps indicate the 
beginning of a decline in contiguity and connectivity, and the 
periphery and surrounding plains are already badly degraded (Tole 2006, 
pp. 790, 797; Koenig 2001, pp. 201-207). The greatest threat to the wet 
limestone forest habitat of Cockpit Country is deforestation due to 
bauxite mining. Additional threats include deforestation from road 
construction, conversion of forests for agriculture, poor agricultural 
practices, and logging (BLI 2011b, unpaginated; Levy and Koenig 2009, 
p. 267; JEAN 2007, p. 4; BLI 2006, unpaginated; John and Newman 2006, 
p. 15; Wiley 1991, p. 201; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated).
    The Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains are located on the 
eastern side of Jamaica and are separated by the Rio Grande. Almost all 
of the two ranges were designated forest reserves and contain important 
remaining tracts of closed-canopy, broadleaf forest (TNC 2008b, 
unpaginated). In 1989, 78,200 ha (193,236 ac) were designated as the 
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BLI 2011d, unpaginated; BLI 
2011e, unpaginated; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, p. 1). The most 
significant threats to the Blue and John Crow Mountains are 
deforestation due to subsistence farming, commercial farming, and 
illegal logging, and the encroachment of invasive species (BLI 2011e, 
unpaginated; IUCN 2011, unpaginated; Chai et al. 2009, p. 2489; Dunkley 
and Barrett 2001, p. 2; WWF 2001, unpaginated; TNC 2008b, unpaginated).
    Mount Diablo is located in the center of Jamaica and makes up part 
of the ``spinal forest,'' the forests along the main mountain ridges 
that extend along the center of the island. Conversion of forest for 
agriculture land, forestry plantations, expanding settlements, and 
bauxite mining has left the spinal forest severely fragmented (BLI 
2011c, unpaginated).
Logging and Agriculture
    In the Cockpit Country Conservation Action Plan, threats to the 
limestone forests from conversion of forest, incompatible agriculture 
practices, and timber extraction are ranked high (John and Newman 2006, 
p. 15). The immediate vicinity of Cockpit Country has a population of 
around 10,000 people who exploit the area (Day 2004, p. 34). Illegal 
logging and farming have extended into the forest reserve within 
Cockpit Country (Day 2004, p. 34; Chenoweth et al. 2001, p. 651). 
Loggers, legal and illegal, are removing unsustainable amounts of trees 
for furniture factories and other industries (TNC 2008a, unpaginated). 
Illegal logging opens new pathways into the forest for squatters who 
usually clear a patch for growing food, then move on after one season 
to clear additional land (Tole 2006, p. 799). Farmers remove natural 
forests from cockpits, glades, and other accessible areas to plant yam, 
corn, dasheen, banana, plantain, and sugar cane, and to graze cattle 
and goats (TNC 2008a, unpaginated; Day 2004, p. 35; Chenoweth et al. 
2001, p. 652).
    One of the greatest causes of deforestation and fragmentation in 
Cockpit Country is the illegal removal of wood for yam crops and yam 
sticks (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Tole 2006, p. 790; Chenoweth et al. 2001, p. 
653). Farmers clear hillsides to plant yam crops, reducing forest cover 
and nesting trees. Yam plants require a support stake that is typically 
a sapling approximately 8-10 cm (3-4 in) in diameter. With suitable 
trees dwindling elsewhere, Cockpit Country is quickly becoming a source 
of supply. Forty percent of the total demand for yam sticks is supplied 
by Cockpit Country; this translates to 5 to 9 million saplings 
harvested annually from Cockpit Country alone (Tole 2006, pp. 790, 
799). Yam stick harvesting is ranked as a medium threat to the 
limestone forests of Cockpit Country (John and Newman 2006, p. 15).
    Adjacent to the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park are 
isolated communities that rely on the park's resources for various 
economic activities; with almost unchecked access to the park, 
encroachment of these communities across the park boundary is cause for 
concern (IUCN 2011, unpaginated; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, pp. 2-3). 
Much of the area has been altered from its natural state and is used 
for forestry, coffee production, or subsistence farming (BLI 2011d, 
unpaginated). The adjacent communities have a tradition of small 
farming, and, despite the steep slopes, hillsides are cleared and used 
by small subsistence farmers for carrots, peas, bananas, plantains, 
coconuts, pineapples, apples, cabbages, and tomatoes; coffee is also 
grown by small and large farmers for the well-known brand Blue Mountain 
Coffee (Dunkley and Barrett 2001, pp. 1, 3). Farmers use slash-and-burn 
techniques to clear forests for agricultural land; however, because of 
poor agricultural practices, the soil quality begins to deteriorate 
after one or two seasons, and farmers abandon their plots and clear 
additional land for new crops (Chai et al. 2009, p. 2489; TNC 2008b, 
unpaginated).
    The human population surrounding Mount Diablo is steadily growing. 
Native vegetation is removed for housing, crop cultivation, and lumber. 
In this area, farming is the main livelihood after bauxite mining. 
Slash-and-burn practices are used on hillsides to clear land for cash 
crops, such as banana, plantain, yam, cabbage, okra, pepper, and 
tomato. Various tree species are cut for lumber and add to the 
deforestation and poor condition of the soils (Global Environmental 
Facility, Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) 2006, unpaginated). Native 
forests are also removed for forestry plantations, including pine 
(Pinus caribaea), blue mahoe (Hibiscus elatus), bigleaf mahogany 
(Swietenia macrophylla), and cedar (Cedrela odorata). These activities 
have left the mountain without any native vegetation and the central 
spinal forest severely fragmented.
Bauxite Mining
    Bauxite is the raw material used to make aluminum and is Jamaica's 
principle export, accounting for over

[[Page 15629]]

half of Jamaica's annual exports. Bauxite deposits occur in pockets of 
limestone and can be found under 25 percent of the island's surface 
(BLI 2006, unpaginated). It is removed through open pit mining (soil is 
removed, stored, and then replaced following completion of the mine) 
and is considered the most significant cause of deforestation in 
Jamaica (Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 2). Bauxite mining is driving 
habitat destruction across the center of the island, including Mount 
Diablo, and has the potential to permanently destroy forests, including 
the wet limestone habitat found in Cockpit Country, resulting in 
irreversible effects on the yellow-billed parrot (Levy and Koenig 2009, 
p. 267; BLI 2006, unpaginated; John and Newman 2006, p. 7; Berglund and 
Johansson 2004, p. 6; Wiley 1991, p. 201; Windsor Research Centre n.d., 
unpaginated).
    Within the past 50 years, bauxite mining has severely fragmented 
the spinal forests of Jamaica (BLI 2011c, unpaginated). In the past 40 
years, Mount Diablo has been subjected to bauxite mining, which has 
destroyed much of the area beyond repair and is presumed to have 
contributed to the decline of populations of forest-dependent species, 
such as the yellow-billed parrot (BLI 2008, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, 
p. 145; Varty 2007, pp. 34, 93). In 2009, several bauxite/alumina 
mining companies closed their refineries due to a drop in demand; 
however, in July 2010, an alumina plant in Ewarton, a town located at 
the foot of Mount Diablo, reopened due to a return in demand. Where 
mining has occurred, it has resulted in severe impacts to the 
environment. For example, mining sites within Mount Diablo that were 
completed 10-15 years ago typically have only herbaceous groundcover, 
including nonnative ferns, and no regeneration of native woody tree 
species (BLI 2011c, unpaginated).
    Bauxite mining is currently the most significant threat to Cockpit 
Country. It is ranked high in threats to the limestone forests in 
Cockpit Country (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). Bauxite deposits can be 
found throughout 70 percent of Cockpit Country, and mining companies 
have already drilled for bauxite samples (BLI 2006, unpaginated; John 
and Newman 2006, p. 7; Walker 2006, unpaginated; Windsor Research 
Centre, n.d., unpaginated). In 2006, ALCOA Minerals of Jamaica and 
Clarendon Alumina Production were granted a renewal on two bauxite 
prospecting licenses, which encompassed more than 60 percent of the 
Cockpit Country Conservation Area and more than 42,000 ha (103,784 ac) 
of nearly contiguous primary forest. After public outcry, these 
licenses were suspended. In 2007, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, 
Bruce Golding, declared that the government will not allow any mining 
activity in the Cockpit Country (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). However, 
there is no official policy by the Government of Jamaica on mining in 
the Cockpit Country (Strong 2011, pers. comm.), and the area continues 
to be described by officials and ministers as an area of high-quality 
bauxite and limestone deposits. Thus, the area remains open to future 
prospecting, and mining interests are granted over other land uses, 
such as timber, agriculture, and conservation (Koenig 2011, pers. 
comm.; Koenig 2008, pp. 135-137; TNC 2008a, unpaginated; JEAN 2007, p. 
4; Walker 2006, unpaginated).
    Few lands are excluded from mining or prospecting under Jamaica's 
Mining Act, including 22,000 ha (54,363 ac) of Cockpit Country 
designated as forest reserves, which could be subject to prospecting or 
mining if a license or lease is obtained (JEAN 2007, p. 6). 
Additionally, in some, if not all, mining agreements, the Jamaican 
Government provides mining companies with entitlements to specific 
amounts of bauxite and guarantees them additional land for mining if 
the original land does not contain sufficient levels, further 
contributing to deforestation (JEAN 2007, p. 8). Although bauxite 
extraction is not currently occurring in Cockpit Country, mining 
remains a significant impending threat to the area. The amount of 
deposits found throughout the area, and the fact that the area remains 
open to future prospecting and that bauxite is Jamaica's principle 
export, leaves open the possibility that mining may occur in the future 
(JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated).
    If mining were to occur in Cockpit Country, the impacts to the wet 
limestone forest habitat and wildlife would be irreversible (Varty 
2007, p. 93; Windsor Research Centre n.d., unpaginated). During the 
prospecting phase, a company or individual is required to obtain a 
prospecting right from the Jamaican Government; however, this does not 
require an environmental permit, which requires an environmental impact 
assessment be conducted before being granted (Jamaica Ministry of 
Energy and Mining 2006a, unpaginated). Forests are cleared during this 
phase using heavy machinery to create roads for transporting drilling 
equipment. Once the area of interest has been identified and the 
existence of a commercially exploitable mineral exists, a mining lease 
must be obtained to mine and sell the product. Mining, quarrying, and 
mineral processing require an environmental permit under Jamaica's 
natural resources conservation (permits and license) regulations; 
however, an environmental impact assessment is not an automatic 
requirement during this phase either (Strong 2011, pers. comm.). 
Additionally, one of the problems with conservation in Jamaica is 
incomplete and improper environmental impact assessments when they are 
required (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). The mining phase requires a 
more extensive road network, and all the vegetation covering bauxite 
deposits are removed. Mining in a karst region can lead to altered flow 
regimes and changes in drainage patterns, and can reduce the soil's 
water retention capability, making it impossible to restore the area to 
its original state (JEAN 2007, pp. 4-5; Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 
6). After mining is completed, companies are required to restore lands 
destroyed by mining. However, a typical restored site consists of a 
thin layer of topsoil bulldozed over densely packed limestone gravel 
and planted with nonnative grasses, preventing the regeneration of 
native forests (Koenig 2008, p. 141; BLI 2006, unpaginated). Penalties 
for failing to meet the reclamation requirements are often not enforced 
(BLI 2006, unpaginated).
    Bauxite mining has been shown to significantly impact native 
species and their habitats. The forests of Mount Diablo have already 
suffered significant damage from bauxite mining, leading to the 
conclusion that mining cannot be allowed in Cockpit Country or it would 
destroy the area beyond repair (Varty 2007, p. 93). Because of the 
potential damage to the nesting environment, bauxite mining could drive 
the yellow-billed parrot population to critically low levels and 
potentially put it at risk of extinction (Koenig 2008, p. 147).
Roads
    Access roads associated with bauxite mining are another significant 
cause of deforestation and a serious threat to the forest cover of 
Jamaica. Once established, either in the prospecting or mining phase, 
loggers use mining roads to gain access to additional forests and 
illegally remove trees in and around the mining area (BLI 2011a, 
unpaginated; JEAN 2007, pp. 4-5; Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 6). If 
mining were to occur in Cockpit Country, roads established to access 
the cockpit bottoms would fragment the habitat, isolate forested 
hillsides, and increase the amount of edge habitat (Koenig 2008, pp. 
141, 144). Improved human access via mining roads and the

[[Page 15630]]

subsequent alteration in habitat and predator-prey dynamics (see Factor 
C discussion, below) are predicted to hasten the decline of the yellow-
billed parrot.
    In addition to mining access roads, road construction and extensive 
trail systems have the potential to contribute to further deforestation 
or alter environmental conditions. Roads provide access to previously 
undisturbed forests. In Cockpit Country, forest clearance has occurred 
along the edge where roads have provided easy access (JEAN 2007, p. 4). 
Interior forests were once inaccessible; however, continued road 
construction into these areas will lead to increased deforestation and 
logging (WWF 2001, unpaginated). Construction of Highway 2000 along the 
southern boundary of Cockpit Country may threaten the area through 
subsequent logging and the need for limestone fill, which could be 
quarried from Cockpit Country (Day 2004, p. 35; Windsor Research Centre 
no date, unpaginated). Roads and trails are ranked high in threats to 
the limestone forest of Cockpit Country (John and Newman 2006, p. 15). 
Additionally, roads and trails create openings in the forest, exposing 
it to new environmental conditions that alter the high-humidity 
conditions in which species of wet limestone habitat are adapted and 
that facilitates the spread of invasive species (JEAN 2007, p. 4; 
Windsor Research Centre no date, unpaginated).
Nonnative Species
    Forest clearance, whether through mining, road/trail development, 
logging, or agriculture, not only reduces the size of continuous 
forests and opens them up to further deforestation, it also alters the 
natural environment and facilitates the spread of harmful nonnative 
plants and animals (JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre n.d., 
unpaginated). Nonnative, invasive plant species have the ability to 
outcompete and dominate native plant communities and are ranked high in 
threats to the limestone forests of Cockpit Country (John and Newman, 
2006, p. 15). The many years of land clearance experienced by the Blue 
and John Crow Mountains National Park has led to the expansion of 
invasive species, including wild coffee (Pittosporum undulatum) and 
ginger lily (Hydicum spicatum), which are invading and quickly 
spreading in closed-canopy forests (BLI 2011d, unpaginated; TNC 2008b, 
unpaginated; JEAN 2007, p. 4; Windsor Research Centre no date, 
unpaginated). Nonnative species prevent the regeneration of native 
forests so that rare, late-successional species typical of old growth 
forests are replaced by common secondary species or nonnative species 
(Chai et al. 2009, p. 2490; Koenig 2008, p. 142; TNC 2008b, 
unpaginated).
Impacts of Deforestation
    Deforestation through mining, road construction, logging, and 
agriculture contributes to the loss of Jamaica's remaining primary 
forest, habitat for the yellow-billed parrot, and essential resources 
for the life functions of the yellow-billed parrot. The removal of 
trees reduces food sources, shelter from inclement weather, and most 
importantly, nesting sites, which are reported to be limited (NEPA 
2010b, unpaginated; Tole 2006, pp. 790-791; Koenig 2001, p. 206; Koenig 
1999, p. 10; Wiley 1991, p. 190). The removal of saplings for yam 
sticks eliminates the source of regeneration for mature trees in which 
nesting cavities will form. Deforestation also changes the quality of 
remaining resources (Koenig 2001, p. 206; Koenig 1999, p. 10) and 
prevents the regeneration of native forests. The agricultural practices 
of farmers leave the land unfertile and unstable, especially on 
hillsides. Cash crops do not have a sufficient root system to hold 
soil, and the loss of the forest canopy leaves the soil vulnerable to 
impacts from rainfall, resulting in massive soil erosion (GEF SGP 2006, 
unpaginated). This decrease in the quality of the land prevents native 
forests from regenerating (Dunkley and Barrett 2001, p. 2; WWF 2001, 
unpaginated). Furthermore, deforestation also allows human disturbance 
to extend farther into the interior of the forest, contributing to 
further deforestation, altering the habitat, and affecting the 
predator/prey balance (see Factor C discussion, below) (Tole 2006, pp. 
790-791; Koenig 1999, pp. 11-12). Threats to the limestone forest of 
Cockpit Country overall are considered very high (John and Newman 2006, 
p. 15).
    Deforestation can also change the species composition and structure 
of a forest, rendering it unsuitable for the yellow-billed parrot. 
Openings in the forest expose the forest edge to new environmental 
conditions, such as increased sunlight and airflow, altering the 
microclimate from the highly humid conditions of the interior forest, 
to which species such as the yellow-billed parrot are adapted (JEAN 
2007, p. 4; Tole 2006, p. 798; Windsor Research Centre no date, 
unpaginated). The new environmental conditions facilitate the 
establishment of nonnative species and prevent the regeneration of 
native forests; rare, late-successional species typical of old growth 
forests are replaced by common secondary species or nonnative species 
(Chai et al. 2009, p. 2490; Koenig 2008, p. 142; TNC 2008b, 
unpaginated). This resulting ``edge habitat'' can exert a strong effect 
on species; birds have been shown to be affected from 50 m (164 ft) to 
250 m (820 ft) from the cleared edges (Chai et al. 2009, p. 2489). 
Studies on the black-billed parrot found that Jamaican boa's (Epicrates 
subflavus) abundance and accessibility of parrot nests to boas were 
higher in forest edge than in the interior (see Factor C discussion, 
below) (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 87). Only 26 percent of black-billed 
parrot nests located in regenerating edge habitat successfully fledged 
at least one chick, whereas 60 percent of nests in moderately disturbed 
interior forests successfully fledged at least one nestling (Koenig et 
al. 2007, p. 86). Of 35 nests that failed, 50 percent experienced 
predation in regenerating edge, compared to none in the interior forest 
(Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86). Fecundity was found to decline in edge 
habitat; it was more than 60 percent lower than that of the interior, a 
level inadequate for population persistence (Koenig 2008, pp. 143, 145; 
Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86).
Conservation Programs
    Conservation International, Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency, 
the Windsor Research Centre, and Jamaica's Forestry Department are 
working together to produce a long-term protection strategy for Cockpit 
Country. Part of the strategy involves the use of plastic yam sticks, 
incentive programs to encourage farmers to set aside 40 ha (99 ac) of 
forest as a reserve, training members of the community as enforcement 
officers, and restoring abandoned land with native species (Tole 2006, 
p. 800). We do not know the status of this program or what goals have 
been achieved.
    A conservation action plan (CAP) was developed for Cockpit Country/
Martha Brae Watershed by The Nature Conservancy-Jamaica, Jamaica's 
Forestry Department, and other stakeholders in 2006. The CAP is based 
on the Martha Brae Watershed Unit, with the southern boundary extended 
to include sections of the Cockpit Country Forest Reserve that fall 
outside of the management unit. Fifteen actions were developed to 
mitigate threats to the Cockpit Country's biodiversity, which will also 
benefit the yellow-billed parrot and its habitat. Many actions have 
been at least partially implemented. Three local forest management 
communities have been created around Cockpit Country, and bi-monthly 
meetings are held for environmental outreach and to engage communities 
in identifying alternative

[[Page 15631]]

income-generating projects. Some forest restoration has been 
implemented, with a focus on using native tree species. An economic 
valuation of Cockpit Country was to be completed by the end of 2011. 
This valuation, when completed, will be widely distributed so that 
policy-makers, communities, nongovernmental organizations, and the 
wider public may become aware of the fact that damaging or destroying 
ecosystems and cultural services has a financial cost to present and 
future generations (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). We did not find 
information indicating this action has been completed.
    In October 2011, the Jamaican government, along with the Jamaica 
Environment Action Network, were asked to work together to determine 
the boundary of the Cockpit Country and develop a management plan for 
the area. To date, no decision has been made on the boundary, nor has a 
management plan been put forward (Strong 2011, pers. comm.).
    Within the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, there are 
programs aimed at controlling nonnative species. Parks in Peril and the 
Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust established a nursery as a 
forest restoration project; timber and fruit trees are distributed to 
adjacent communities for planting (TNC 2008b, unpaginated). The success 
of this program is unknown.
Summary of Factor A
    The yellow-billed parrot is restricted to the island of Jamaica. 
Past deforestation has resulted in a small and fragmented range on the 
island, a decline in the extent and quality of suitable habitat, and a 
declining yellow-billed parrot population. The remaining populations of 
yellow-billed parrot continue to face impacts to their habitat from 
deforestation. Mining, road and trail construction, logging, 
agriculture, and encroachment of nonnative species remove natural 
forests and have irreversible effects that prevent the regeneration of 
native vegetation so that late-successional species typical of old 
growth forests are replaced by common secondary species or nonnative 
species. Removal of these forests without adequate regeneration 
permanently eliminates shelter and trees vital for foraging and nesting 
activities. Without these essential resources, the populations of the 
yellow-billed parrot will likely continue to decline. Additionally, 
deforestation fragments the remaining habitat and can increase the 
amount of edge habitat, altering predator-prey dynamics (see Factor C 
discussion, below). Increases in edge habitat can decrease the 
fecundity and recruitment of the yellow-billed parrot, accelerating the 
decline of the species.
B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes.
    Harvesting of parrot chicks for pets has seriously affected most of 
the parrot species in the West Indies (Wiley 1991, p. 191). In Jamaica, 
illegal poaching for the pet trade and farmers who shoot them to 
protect their crops have contributed to the decline of the yellow-
billed parrot (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Sylvester 2011, unpaginated; 
Jamaica Observer 2011b, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 145; JEAN 2007, p. 
4; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Windsor Research Center n.d., 
unpaginated).
    In 1981, the yellow-billed parrot was listed in Appendix II of 
CITES. CITES is an international agreement between governments to 
ensure that the international trade of CITES-listed plant and animal 
species does not threaten species' survival in the wild. There are 
currently 175 CITES Parties (member countries or signatories to the 
Convention). Under this treaty, CITES Parties regulate the import, 
export, and reexport of specimens, parts, and products of CITES-listed 
plant and animal species (also see discussion under Factor D, below). 
Trade must be authorized through a system of permits and certificates 
that are provided by the designated CITES Scientific and Management 
Authorities of each CITES Party (CITES 2010a, unpaginated).
    For species listed in Appendix II of CITES, commercial trade is 
allowed. However, CITES requires that before an export of Appendix-II 
specimens can occur, a determination must be made that the specimens 
were legally obtained (in accordance with national laws) and that the 
export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the 
wild, and a CITES export document must be issued by the designated 
CITES Management Authority of the country of export and must accompany 
the export of the specimens.
    According to worldwide trade data obtained from UNEP-WCMC CITES 
Trade Database, from 1981, when the species was listed in CITES, 
through 2009, 210 yellow-billed parrot specimens were reported in 
international trade, including 208 live birds, 1 scientific specimen, 
and 1 body. In analyzing these reported data, several records appear to 
be overcounts due to slight differences in the manner in which the 
importing and exporting countries reported their trade, and it is 
likely that the actual number of specimens of yellow-billed parrots 
reported to UNEP-WCMC in international trade from 1981 through 2009 was 
195, including 193 live birds, 1 scientific specimen, and 1 body. Of 
these specimens, 11 (5.6 percent) were reportedly exported from Jamaica 
(UNEP-WCMC 2011, unpaginated). With the information given in the UNEP-
WCMC database, from 1981 through 2009, only 1 wild specimen of yellow-
billed parrot was reported in trade, and this was a nonliving body 
traded for scientific purposes. One live specimen with the source 
recorded as unknown was also reported in trade. All other specimens 
reported in trade were captive-bred or captive-born specimens.
    The majority of the specimens of this species reported in 
international trade (99 percent) are captive-bred or captive-born. 
Although it is possible that wild parrots could have been taken to 
establish parental stock for captive breeding or laundered as captive-
bred or captive-born specimens, we found no information indicating this 
is occurring. Furthermore, because the species is listed in Appendix II 
of CITES, the Management Authority of the Country of Export is required 
to ensure that the specimens were legally obtained, the export will not 
be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild, and issue a 
CITES export document. The one wild specimen reported in trade was a 
scientific specimen traded for scientific purposes. Therefore, we 
believe that international trade controlled via valid CITES permits is 
not a threat to the species.
    Until 2011, most yellow-billed parrot nestlings were poached for 
the local market and were not highly desirable in the international pet 
trade (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2001, p. 206). They are popular 
on Jamaica as pets because of their colorful plumage and ability to 
mimic human sounds; the yellow-billed parrot appears to be in higher 
demand than black-billed parrots because of their brighter coloration 
(Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Windsor Research Center n.d., 
unpaginated). Most poaching operations are small-scale, although 
larger-scale operations exist (Sylvester 2011, unpaginated). Poachers 
may use sticks baited with fruit and covered in glue to trap birds 
(Sylvester 2011, unpaginated). Additionally, poachers will cut down 
nesting trees to obtain nestlings (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; NEPA 2010b, 
unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 145). In March 2010, Jamaica's National 
Environment and Planning Agency, the government agency responsible for 
protecting natural resources, published a news release reminding 
residents that it is illegal to

[[Page 15632]]

buy and/or sell Jamaican parrots locally or trade in them 
internationally (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated). In Cockpit Country, threats 
to the yellow-billed parrot from collection are ranked as medium (John 
and Newman 2006, p. 15). However, Jamaica's National Environment and 
Planning Agency has recently admitted to receiving intelligence 
regarding a growth in illegal trade of Jamaican wildlife and has 
noticed an increase in the illegal importation of monkeys, birds, and 
snakes into the country (Neufville 2012, unpaginated; NEPA 2010a, p. 
1). Jamaica is now believed to be a trans-shipment point for illegal 
trade in animals from Central and South America (NEPA 2010a, p. 1).
    As reported by several media outlets, in April 2011, 74 parrot eggs 
were smuggled out of Jamaica, but were detected at the Eisenstadt 
Airport in Vienna, Austria. The eggs were confiscated, and falsified 
documents claiming the parrots were of European origins were found. The 
seizure was the highest number of smuggled bird eggs in the history of 
the European Union. The eggs were taken to Vienna's Sch[ouml]nbrunn 
Zoo, where staff successfully hatched 54 of the 74 eggs. Nine chicks 
died, but 45 were reared successfully. Of the 45, 24 were yellow-billed 
parrots. On the international black market, the price for individual 
parrots range from $5,300 to $20,000 U.S. dollars (Neufville 2012, 
unpaginated; Ferguson 2011, unpaginated; Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; 
Stefan 2011, pp. 16-17; Vilikovsk[aacute] 2011, unpaginated).
    Jamaica's National Environment and Planning Agency issued a press 
release in 2011 stating that steps were being taken to request the 
return of the endemic Jamaican parrots smuggled out of Jamaica in 2011 
(Jamaica Observer 2011a, unpaginated). If they are not returned to 
Jamaica, the Sch[ouml]nbrunn Zoo plans to keep some of the parrots, 
while giving others to scientific zoos for research purposes. They also 
plan to develop a captive breeding program for these birds in Europe 
(Ferguson 2011, unpaginated; Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). We do not know 
if the purpose of the captive breeding program has been clarified, but 
if a breeding program is established in Europe without strict controls 
put in place, it could open an avenue for additional illegally exported 
birds to be laundered through legal trade (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). 
If captive breeding is successful enough to produce enough birds to 
meet some, but not all, of the commercial demand, legal trade could 
mask the illegal trade. However, we do note that if a captive breeding 
program is highly successful such that it meets all of the commercial 
demand, it could preclude the need for wild-caught birds.
    Poaching for use as caged birds places a strong pressure on the 
population of yellow-billed parrots and is a documented cause of nest 
failures and reduces the number of parrots in the wild (BLI 2011a, 
unpaginated; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 106). The cutting of trees to 
obtain parrots destroys nest cavities and reduces the number of 
available nesting sites for future generations. This has a significant 
negative impact on the yellow-billed parrot, as this species does not 
excavate its own holes for nesting but relies on existing holes that 
often form in old-growth trees (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Sylvester 2011, 
unpaginated; NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; Wiley 1991, p. 191). Mining 
access roads create accessibility to forests, and illegal timber 
extraction in bauxite mining areas facilitates the poaching of both 
nestlings and adults, and exacerbates the effects of poaching on nest 
failures (BLI 2011a, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, p. 136). Although we do 
not have detailed information on the numbers of yellow-billed parrots 
taken for the pet trade, when combined with habitat loss from 
deforestation, the impact to the survival of this species is severe 
(Sylvester 2011, unpaginated).
    As described under Factor A, parrot habitat is threatened by the 
conversion of forests to agriculture. As agriculture spreads into 
parrot habitat, farmers and birds come into conflict over crops (Wiley 
1991, p. 191). Some persecution for crop and garden damage, especially 
citrus, has been reported for the yellow-billed parrot (Snyder et al. 
2000, p. 107).
Summary of Factor B
    Since the CITES Appendix-II listing of the yellow-billed parrot, 
its legal international commercial trade has been very limited. 
However, the species appears to be popular in Jamaica's domestic market 
and has recently been documented in the international black market, 
contributing to the decline of the species. In addition to removing 
individuals from the wild population, poachers cut trees to trap 
nestlings, removing limited essential nesting cavities and reducing the 
availability of nesting cavities for future generations. Ongoing 
deforestation in Jamaica may increase the likelihood of birds and 
farmers coming into conflict and yellow-billed parrots being killed to 
protect crops. Combined with the ongoing deforestation in Jamaica, the 
removal of individuals from the population and the further loss of 
nesting trees due to poaching activities are significant concerns to 
the survival of this species.
C. Disease or predation
Disease
    Nonnative psittacines imported for the pet trade pose a high threat 
to the yellow-billed parrot through the introduction of disease, the 
potential for hybridization, and competitive exclusion of nesting 
activities (see also Factor E discussion, below) (Koenig 2009, p. 2; 
Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 264; Wiley 1991, p. 191). In 2006, a temporary 
ban on importation of nonnative parrot species was put in place based 
on concerns for the introduction of highly pathogenic strains of avian 
influenza (Koenig 2009, p. 3; Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 264). At that 
time, threats from introduced diseases in Cockpit Country were ranked 
low (John and Newman 2006, p. 15).
    Currently, the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species is no 
longer in effect (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.), leaving the yellow-billed 
parrot vulnerable to disease transmission from escaped nonnative 
psittacines imported for the pet industry (Koenig 2009, p. 1). A wide 
variety of psittacines, including budgerigars (Melopsittacus 
undulatus), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), and various species of 
lovebirds (Agapornis spp.) have been legally imported and likely 
smuggled illegally into Jamaica. Several species of parrots are known 
to have escaped their cages and have been observed in urban areas 
(Koenig 2009, pp. 1-2). The movement of psittacines and other bird 
species for the pet trade has facilitated the spread of many diseases. 
Asymptomatic hosts with more developed immune systems can shed viruses 
and bacteria that can be highly lethal for species that have not 
encountered those microorganisms; island species are particularly 
vulnerable due to their isolation (Koenig 2009, p. 2).
    Diseases that are of particular concern for psittacines include 
avian influenza, psittacine beak and feather disease, polyomavirus, 
Pacheco's disease, avian tuberculosis, and proventricular dilatation 
disease (Koenig 2009, pp. 2-3).
    Avian influenza is an infection caused by flu viruses, which occur 
in birds worldwide, especially waterfowl and shorebirds. Most strains 
of the avian influenza virus have low pathogenicity and cause few 
clinical signs in infected birds, but are highly contagious among birds 
(CDC 2010, 2005, unpaginated). Pathogenicity is the ability of a 
pathogen to produce an infectious

[[Page 15633]]

disease in an organism. However, strains can mutate into highly 
pathogenic forms, which is what happened in 1997, when the highly 
pathogenic avian influenza virus (called H5N1) first appeared in Hong 
Kong (USDA et al. 2006, pp. 1-2). Signs of low pathogenic avian 
influenza include decreased food consumption, coughing and sneezing, 
and decreased egg production. Birds infected with highly pathogenic 
influenza may exhibit these same symptoms plus a lack of energy, soft-
shelled eggs, swelling, purple discoloration, nasal discharge, lack of 
coordination, diarrhea, or sudden death (USDA 2007, unpaginated). Most 
of the information regarding avian influenza is on domesticated bird 
species, especially poultry. We do not have information on the extent 
that introduced parrot species and the spread of avian influenza have 
impacted the yellow-billed parrot.
    Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is a common viral 
disease that has been documented in more than 60 psittacine species, 
but all psittacines should be regarded as potentially susceptible 
(Rahaus et al. 2008, p. 53; Abramson et al. 1995, p. 296). The 
causative agent is a virus belonging to the genus Circovirus (Koenig 
2009, p. 2; Rahaus et al. 2008, p. 53). This viral disease affects both 
wild and captive birds, causing chronic infections resulting in either 
feather loss or deformities of the beak and feathers (Koenig 2009, p. 
2; Rahaus et al. 2008, p. 53; Cameron 2007, p. 82). PBFD causes 
immunodeficiency and affects organs such as the liver and brain, and 
the immune system. Suppression of the immune system can result in 
secondary infections due to other viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The 
disease can be carried by psittacines, such as cockatiels, lovebirds, 
and budgerigars, without obvious signs (Koenig 2009, p. 2; de Kloet and 
de Kloet 2004, p. 2,394). Birds usually become infected in the nest by 
ingesting or inhaling viral particles. Infected birds develop immunity, 
die within a couple of weeks, or become chronically infected. No 
vaccine exists to immunize populations (Cameron 2007, p. 82).
    Avian polyomavirus (APV) is one of the most significant viral 
pathogens of caged birds (Pesaro et al. 2005, p. 321). This virus is 
lethal to juvenile parrots and can be carried asymptomatically by 
cockatiels and budgerigars (Koenig 2009, p. 2). The mortality peak in 
some Psittacine species occurs between 4 and 8 weeks of age (Pesaro et 
al. 2005 pp. 321, 325). Most birds infected with APV are mildly 
affected (Gonzalez et al. n. d., p. 2).
    Pacheco's parrot disease is a systemic disease caused by a 
psittacid herpesvirus (PsHV-1) (Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536; 
Abramson et al. 1995, p. 293; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, pp. 808, 
811). It is an acute, rapidly fatal disease of parrots, and sudden 
death is sometimes the only sign of the disease; however, in some 
cases, birds may show symptoms and may recover to become carriers, 
shedding the virus in its droppings, and some may show no signs of the 
disease, but shed the active virus for a considerable length of time 
(Koenig 2009, pp. 2-3; Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536; Abramson et al. 
1995, p. 293; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, p. 811). If clinical signs 
of Pacheco's disease are exhibited, they may include anorexia, 
depression, regurgitation, diarrhea, nasal discharge, central nervous 
system signs, and conjunctivitis (Abramson et al. 1995, p. 293; 
Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, pp. 809-810). Death may occur 8 hours to 6 
days after the onset of signs (Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, p. 810). 
The outcome of the infection depends upon which of the four genotypes 
of PsHV-1 the individual is infected with, the species infected, and 
other unknown factors. For example, only genotype 4 is known to cause 
mortality in macaws (Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 536). Outbreaks of 
Pacheco's disease have resulted in massive die-offs of captive parrots, 
and this disease is known to have caused high mortality in endangered 
species of parrots in the United States (Tomaszewski et al. 2006, p. 
536; Panigrahy and Grumbles 1984, p. 808).
    Avian tuberculosis (also known as avian mycobacteriosis) is caused 
by the bacillus bacteria Mycobacterium avium and is rapidly spread by 
fecal contaminations of perches, feed, or water sources and can remain 
viable in soil for years (Koenig 2009, p. 3; USGS 1999, p. 96; Butcher 
et al. 1990, p. 1025; Rosskopf et al. 1986, p. 219; Panigrahy et al. 
1983, p. 1166). There are 20 types of M. avium. This disease causes 
chronic wasting characterized by weight loss, diarrhea, difficulty 
breathing, and tumors of the skin and eyes (Butcher et al. 1990, p. 
1023; USGS 1999, Chapter 8, pp. 93-97). Tumors may also affect the 
spleen, liver, lungs, air sacs, skin, and bone marrow. It is spread 
through inhalation, direct contact with infected birds, and ingestion 
of contaminated food or water.
    Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), also known as avian 
bornavirus (ABV) or macaw wasting disease, is a fatal disease that 
poses a serious threat to all domesticated and wild parrots worldwide, 
particularly those with very small populations (Kistler et al. 2008, p. 
1; Abramson et al. 1995, p. 288). This contagious disease causes damage 
to the nerves of the upper digestive tract, so that food digestion and 
absorption are negatively affected. The disease has a 100-percent 
mortality rate in affected birds, although the exact manner of 
transmission between birds is unclear (Kistler et al. 2008, p. 1).
    The extent to which these diseases occur in wild populations is 
unclear. However, given the resumption of importation of parrot species 
into Jamaica, rates of false negatives in testing of diseases, the 
inability to detect asymptomatic carriers when viruses are dormant and 
the host is not shedding live virus, known occurrences of escaped 
nonnative parrot species, and the vulnerability of island species to 
foreign microorganisms, it appears that the yellow-billed parrot may be 
at risk of disease transmission from nonnative parrot species imported 
into Jamaica (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). Additionally, in 2011, 
Jamaica's National Environment and Planning Agency issued a press 
release stating that steps were being taken to request the return of 
the endemic Jamaican parrots smuggled out of Jamaica in 2011 (Jamaica 
Observer 2011a, unpaginated). Since being confiscated, the parrots have 
been housed at the Sch[ouml]nbrunn Zoo; if these parrots have not been 
maintained under strict quarantine conditions, they also present a 
disease risk if repatriated to Jamaica (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.).
Predation
    The Jamaican boa, or yellow boa (Epicrates subflavus), is the only 
native predator to be of potential consequence for roosting parrots 
(Koenig 2008, p. 144). The yellow boa is also an endemic species listed 
as vulnerable by Jamaica. Edge habitats appear to provide an optimal 
habitat for the boa due to the proximity to human settlements and the 
subsequent increased number of pests, such as rats (Tole 2006, p. 799). 
Also, edge habitats are exposed to more sunlight than the interior 
forest; this exposure likely results in an increase in the abundance of 
vines, which enhance connectivity between neighboring trees and 
facilitate the movement of boas (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 86). Habitat 
loss has contributed to the decline and isolation of yellow boas, 
although they are common in Cockpit Country, and nestling parrots 
represent one important prey item (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 87; Koenig 
2001, p. 221). Although yellow-billed parrots appear to prefer interior 
forests and are less common in edge habitat than the black-billed 
parrot,

[[Page 15634]]

there is direct evidence of yellow boas preying on yellow-billed parrot 
nestlings and predation by yellow boas has been identified as a major 
cause of the species' dwindling numbers (Koenig et al. 2007, p. 82; 
Tole 2006, p. 799; Koenig 2001, p. 217; Koenig 1999, p. 10). As 
deforestation continues and more edge habitat is created (see Factor A 
discussion, above), the yellow-billed parrot may become more vulnerable 
to predation by boas. Any decline in recruitment due to predation of 
nestlings will have a negative impact on the ability of the yellow-
billed parrot population to stabilize or increase.
    Red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) are another important predator 
of fledgling and juvenile parrots. They occur in low densities across 
the closed canopy of Cockpit Country; however, they are commonly 
observed in peripheral habitat. Mining in Cockpit Country would create 
additional suitable habitat for these birds and increase the risk of 
predation on parrots (Koenig 2008, p. 144).
Summary of Factor C
    Imported, nonnative psittacines were identified as a high threat to 
the yellow-billed parrot, in part, due to concerns for the introduction 
of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza. Although we have no 
information that the yellow-billed parrot has been impacted by disease 
at a level which may affect the status of the species as a whole, the 
risk of disease transmission is now elevated, given the termination of 
the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species, past occurrences of 
escaped parrots, uncertainties in disease detection, the declining 
population of yellow-billed parrots in Jamaica, and the declining 
extent and quality of habitat. Because the yellow-billed parrot is an 
island endemic species, it may be particularly vulnerable to the 
effects of introduced diseases.
    There is direct evidence of boas preying on yellow-billed parrot 
nestlings. Edge habitat provides an optimal habitat for the yellow boa. 
As primary forests diminish and edge habitat increases, predation by 
boas on parrots may also increase. We do not have any information on 
actual predation by red-tailed hawks on the yellow-billed parrot. 
However, if mining occurs in Cockpit Country, habitat may be altered to 
conditions suitable for the hawk and increase the risk of predation.
D. Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms
National Laws
    The yellow-billed parrot is listed under the Second Schedule of 
Jamaica's Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation 
of Trade) Act (JESA). The Second Schedule includes those species that 
could become extinct or which have to be effectively controlled (JESA 
2000, pp. 72, 80). It is illegal to buy and/or sell Jamaican parrots 
locally or trade them internationally (NEPA 2010b, unpaginated; JESA 
2000, p. 14; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 202). CITES 
permits or certificates are required to import animals under JESA 
(Williams-Raynor 2010, unpaginated). Offenses can result in a fine of 
2,000,000 Jamaican dollars (approximately $23,500 U.S. dollars), 
imprisonment up to 2 years, or both. If convicted in a Circuit Court, 
the offender is subject to a fine, prison term up to 10 years, or both 
(JESA 2000, p. 39).
    Parrots have full protection under section six of the Jamaican 
Wildlife Protection Act (1974) (WPA) (Wiley 1991, p. 202). The WPA was 
originally passed in 1945, to regulate sport hunting and fishing, but 
since that time has undergone changes to address protection of animals. 
It does not, however, address habitat protection or the conservation of 
flora (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). Possession is regulated by the 
WPA (Koenig 1999, p. 10). Under this Act, it is illegal for any person 
to hunt or possess a protected bird, including the yellow-billed 
parrot; to take the nest or egg of any protected bird; or to have in 
possession the nest or egg of any protected bird (WPA 1945, pp. 4-5). 
Under section 20 of the legislation, anyone found in possession of a 
live Jamaican parrot or any of its parts can face a maximum fine of 
100,000 Jamaican dollars ($1,200 U.S. dollars) or 12 months in prison 
(WPA 1945, p. 11). However, fines levied are often much less. For 
example, one offender was charged a fine of only 5,000 Jamaican dollars 
($55 U.S. dollars) (Sylvester 2011, unpaginated).
    As described above under Factor B, the poaching of adult and 
nestling yellow-billed parrots for the local pet bird trade has 
contributed to the decline of the species and remains a threat. 
Additionally, the yellow-billed parrot has recently been documented in 
the international black market, further contributing to the decline of 
the species. Therefore, the JESA and WPA do not appear to adequately 
protect this species.
    Forestry Acts of 1937 and 1973 provide certain protections to some 
habitat (e.g., Cockpit Country Forestry Reserve), and other areas have 
been established as sanctuaries (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 
1991, p. 202). There are more than 150 forest reserves, which provide 
for the preservation of forests, watershed protection, and ecotourism 
(Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). After Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, a new 
Forest Act (1996) was implemented. This Forest Act provides for the 
conservation and sustainable management of forests and covers such 
activities as protection of the forest for ecosystem services and 
biodiversity (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). The Forest Act provides 
for the declaration of forest reserves and forest management areas for 
purposes such as conservation of natural forests, development of forest 
resources, generation of forest products, conservation of soil and 
water resources, and protection of flora and fauna. The lease of any 
parcel of land in a forest reserve is also regulated. Management plans 
are required every 5 years, and they include a determination of an 
allowable annual cut, forest plantations to be established, a 
conservation and protection program, and portions of the land to be 
leased and for what purposes. Clearing of land for cultivation, cattle 
grazing, and the burning of vegetation are regulated. Permits are also 
required for harvesting of timber on Crown land, the processing of 
timber, or sale of timber; no person may cut a tree in a forest reserve 
without a license. As described above under Factor A, deforestation is 
the main threat to Jamaica's forests. Forests originally covered 97 
percent of the island; they now cover only 30 percent. The remaining 
forests continue to be threatened by deforestation from logging, 
agriculture, and mining; therefore, it appears that this regulatory 
mechanism does not adequately protect the forest resources of Jamaica.
    Under Jamaica's Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act, an 
environmental permit is required for the first-time introduction of 
species of flora and fauna and genetic material (Williams-Raynor 2010, 
unpaginated). Mining is also regulated by this act. Before any physical 
development or construction can take place, a permit must be obtained 
from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). If the 
activity is likely to be harmful to public health or natural resources, 
NRCA can refuse a permit or order the immediate cessation of the 
activity or even closure of the plant (Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 
8).

[[Page 15635]]

The Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act also addresses habitat 
protection by providing a framework for a system of protected areas, 
such as the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (Levy and Koenig 
2009, p. 263). We do not have information to completely analyze the 
adequacy of this regulatory mechanism. Due to the ongoing threats to 
Jamaica's forest resources, it appears that this regulatory mechanism 
may not be adequate to ameliorate those threats.
    Under the Mining Act (1947), bauxite deposits are owned by the 
Jamaican Government, not by the owner of the land. The government may 
issue licenses to anyone to explore the land or mining leases to 
exploit it; therefore, in order to prospect and search for minerals, 
companies do not need to purchase the land. The Mining Act gives the 
lessee or the license holder the right to enter government land or 
privately owned land to search for minerals or to mine minerals. 
Compensation is payable to the landowner for damages to land and 
property. The Mining Act also stipulates that the mining companies must 
restore every mined area of land to the level of productivity that 
existed prior to the mining. Restoration must take place within 6 
months following the end of mining activity. Failure to do so results 
in a penalty of $4,500 U.S. dollars per acre. The average cost for 
mined-out bauxite restoration is $4,000 U.S. dollars per acre; 
therefore, companies are more encouraged to restore. According to the 
Jamaican Bauxite Institute (the government agency responsible for 
monitoring the bauxite industry), it is unusual for companies to not 
take actions to restore (Berglund and Johansson 2004, p. 7). However, 
there are reports that penalties for failing to meet reclamation 
requirements are rarely enforced. Furthermore, when restoration is 
done, it is often planted with nonnative grasses and is not the same 
habitat that existed before mining (see ``Bauxite Mining'' section 
under Factor A discussion, above) (BLI 2011c, unpaginated; Koenig 2008, 
p. 141; BLI 2006, unpaginated). Given the resulting habitat following 
bauxite mining on Mount Diablo, it appears that this regulatory 
mechanism is not adequate to ameliorate threats to the forest resources 
of Jamaica.
    An import permit is also required from Jamaica's Veterinary 
Services Division under the Animal Disease and Importation Act 
(Williams-Raynor 2010, unpaginated). Additionally, no caged bird may be 
imported into Jamaica from Trinidad and Tobago or any country of South 
America. However, Jamaica's importation and quarantine regulations are 
focused on protecting human health, agriculture, and commercial 
interests, rather than wildlife (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.). Based on an 
increase in illegal importation of animals into Jamaica (see Factor E 
discussion, below), it appears that this law may not adequately protect 
the yellow-billed parrots from potential disease, hybridization, or 
competition with nonnative species.
    There are at least 34 pieces of Jamaican legislation that refer to 
the environment. However, there are problems with conservation in 
Jamaica that stem from poor communication between various government 
institutions, regulations insufficient at recognizing the value of 
biodiversity, insufficient funding, poor enforcement, and incomplete 
and improper environmental impact assessments (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 
263). In fact, due to the limitations of the Forestry Department and 
NRCA, management of the first national park was delegated to a 
nongovernmental organization, Jamaica Conservation and Development 
Trust (JCDT) (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 263). The Forestry Department 
currently manages the entire Cockpit Country region as a forest 
reserve; however, they lack adequate technical and enforcement staff to 
respond to the increasing deforestation problem (Tole 2006, p. 799).
    Policies have led to a greater awareness of the legal status of 
parrots; however, they continue to be illegally harvested for local and 
international trade (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107). A stricter policy on 
poaching of nests is needed (Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 
202). At a meeting in February 2010, Jamaica's National Environment and 
Planning Agency, along with others, decided to take actions to cut down 
on trade. These actions include a public awareness program, increased 
monitoring of ports and territorial waters, adding pet stores in the 
Natural Resources Conservation Authority's permit and license system, 
and publicizing information on seizures and confiscations; to date the 
agency has undertaken the awareness campaign (Williams-Raynor 2010, 
unpaginated).
Protected Areas
    Habitat in the Blue and John Crow Mountains was declared a national 
park in 1989, and is managed by the Jamaica Conservation and 
Development Trust, a local nongovernmental organization (NGO) (BLI 
2011d, unpaginated; BLI 2011e, unpaginated; Dunkley and Barrett 2001, 
p. 1; Snyder et al. 2000, p. 107; Wiley 1991, p. 202). It protects one 
third of the approximately 30 percent of Jamaica that remains forested 
(TNC 2008b, unpaginated). The purpose of this national park is to 
ensure long-term conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and 
other cultural heritage. The main conservation objective is to maintain 
and enhance the remaining area of closed broadleaf forest and the flora 
and fauna within it. The park is guided by a 5-year management plan 
(IUCN 2011, unpaginated).
    Enforcement and management of the national park are weak. Laws that 
prohibit forest clearance inside National Parks are largely not 
enforced as park rangers fear reprisals from farmers (Chai et al. 2009, 
pp. 2489, 2491). One study found that even after designation as a 
protected area, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park 
continued to experience forest clearance and fragmentation, resulting 
in an increasing number of smaller, more vulnerable fragments, species 
shifts, and loss in biodiversity. However, forest regrowth increased, 
resulting in a 63 percent decline in deforestation (Chai et al. 2009, 
pp. 2487-2488, 2489). Because this park is managed by an NGO, funding 
is a continuing problem and restricts actions (BLI 2011d, unpaginated).
    Fifteen important bird areas (IBAs) cover approximately 3,113 km\2\ 
(1,202 mi\2\), or 25 percent, of Jamaica's land area. The yellow-billed 
parrot is listed as occurring in 10 of these IBAs, although population 
estimates are not available for most. IBAs are international site 
priorities for bird conservation. These areas may overlap with forest 
reserves or Crown lands that offer protection, but designation as an 
IBA itself does not afford any protection to the area. In Jamaica, 44 
percent of the area covered by IBAs is under formal protection, but 
active management is minimal in many areas (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 
265).
International Laws
    The yellow-billed parrot is listed in Appendix II of CITES. CITES 
is an international treaty among 175 nations, including Jamaica and the 
United States, which entered into force in 1975. In the United States, 
CITES is implemented through the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act). The Act designates the 
Secretary of the Interior as lead responsibility to implement CITES on 
behalf of the United States, with the functions of the Management and 
Scientific Authorities to be carried out by the Service. Under this 
treaty, member countries work together to ensure that international 
trade in animal and plant species is not detrimental to the survival of 
wild

[[Page 15636]]

populations by regulating the import, export, and reexport of CITES-
listed animal and plant species.
    Through Resolution Conf. 8.4 (Rev. CoP15), the Parties to CITES 
adopted a process, termed the National Legislation Project, to evaluate 
whether Parties have adequate domestic legislation to successfully 
implement the Treaty (CITES 2010b, pp. 1-5). In reviewing a country's 
national legislation, the CITES Secretariat evaluates factors such as 
whether a Party's domestic laws designate the responsible Scientific 
and Management Authorities, prohibit trade contrary to the requirements 
of the Convention, have penalty provisions in place for illegal trade, 
and provide for seizure of specimens that are illegally traded or 
possessed. The Government of Jamaica was determined to be in Category 
1, which means they meet all the requirements to implement CITES 
(http://www.cites.org, SC59 Document 11, Annex p. 1).
    As discussed above under Factor B, we do not consider international 
trade controlled via valid CITES permits to be a threat impacting this 
species. Therefore, protection under this Treaty against unsustainable 
international trade is an adequate regulatory mechanism.
    The import of yellow-billed parrots into the United States is also 
regulated by the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) (16 U.S.C. 4901 et 
seq.), which was enacted on October 23, 1992. The purpose of the WBCA 
is to promote the conservation of exotic birds by ensuring that imports 
to the United States of exotic birds are biologically sustainable and 
not detrimental to the species. The WBCA generally restricts the 
importation of most CITES-listed live and dead exotic birds except for 
certain limited purposes such as zoological display or cooperative 
breeding programs. Import of dead specimens is allowed for scientific 
specimens and museum specimens. The Service may approve cooperative 
breeding programs and subsequently issue import permits under such 
programs. Wild-caught birds may be imported into the United States if 
certain standards are met and they are subject to a management plan 
that provides for sustainable use. At this time, the yellow-billed 
parrot is not part of a Service-approved cooperative breeding program 
and has not been approved for importation of wild-caught birds.
    International trade of parrots was significantly reduced during the 
1990s, as a result of tighter enforcement of CITES regulations, 
stricter measures under European Union legislation, and adoption of the 
WBCA, along with adoption of national legislation in various countries 
(Snyder et al. 2000, p. 99). As discussed above under Factor B, we 
found that legal commercial international trade has been very limited, 
and we do not consider international trade controlled via valid CITES 
permits to be a threat impacting this species. However, yellow-billed 
parrots are taken for the local Jamaican market and have recently been 
documented in illegal international trade. We believe that regulations 
are not adequately enforced to ameliorate threats from poaching for 
Jamaica's domestic pet bird trade or illegal international trade.
Summary of Factor D
    Although there are laws intended to protect the forests of Jamaica 
and the yellow-billed parrot, these laws are not adequate to 
ameliorate: Impacts to the habitat of the yellow-billed parrot from 
deforestation via mining, logging, and agriculture, even within 
protected areas such as the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park; 
the risk of disease transmission; predation, which is exacerbated by 
habitat alteration; and poaching for the local and international pet 
bird market.
E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Species' Continued 
Existence
Hurricanes
    Hurricanes are a constant threat to island populations of wildlife 
and are a frequent occurrence in the Caribbean (Wiley and Wunderle 
1993, p. 320). In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica and caused 
widespread damage to the island's mid-level and montane forests; 
Cockpit Country, Blue Mountains, and John Crow Mountains all suffered 
severe and very extensive damage (Varty 1991, pp. 135, 138). Since 
2004, Jamaica has been hit by five major storms, including two 
hurricanes and three tropical storms (Thompson 2011, unpaginated). 
Global climate change models predict increased hurricane frequency and 
intensity for the Caribbean (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2009, p. 
1). The most vulnerable birds are frugivorous and birds that require 
large trees for foraging or nesting; require a closed canopy forest; 
have special microclimate requirements; or live in a habitat in which 
vegetation is slow to recover, like the yellow-billed parrot (Wiley and 
Wunderle 1992, pp. 319, 337). Survival of small populations within a 
fragmented habitat becomes more uncertain if the destructive potential 
of catastrophic events increases, as predicted for hurricanes with 
increased climate change (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 319).
    Frequent hurricanes can have direct and indirect effects on bird 
populations. Direct effects include mortality from winds, rain, and 
storm surges, and geographic displacement of individuals by the wind. 
Wet plumage may cause hypothermia and death in birds, with chicks being 
at greater risk than adults. Additionally, birds may be killed by 
falling trees or flying debris, birds may be thrown against objects, or 
high winds may blow them out to sea where they die from exhaustion and 
drowning (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 319, 321-322). However, the 
greatest impacts to birds are the indirect effects that come after the 
storm has passed and stem from the destruction of vegetation. These 
effects include loss of food sources, loss of nests and nesting sites, 
increased vulnerability to predation, microclimate changes, and 
increased conflict with humans (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 319, 321, 
326, 337; Varty 1991, p. 148).
    Defoliation is the most common type of damage caused by hurricanes. 
High winds remove flowers, fruit, and seeds, impacting frugivores, like 
the yellow-billed parrot, the greatest. Larger trees, which are 
typically the best producers, are most affected by hurricanes. Certain 
sections of Jamaica following Hurricane Gilbert regenerated quickly, 
while the destruction in some areas was so complete it was estimated to 
take many years to recover. The majority of trees and shrubs were 
reported to have been mostly or totally defoliated; trees in flower or 
fruit lost their blooms (Varty 1991, pp. 139, 148). In some cases, the 
production of flowers and fruits are less than 50 percent of pre-
hurricane levels after 1 year (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 324-325). 
Seven months after Hurricane Gilbert, some areas had little or no 
apparent regrowth; although most trees showed signs of refoliation, and 
after 10 months, some trees began to show signs of growth (Varty 1991, 
pp. 140-141). For frugivores, food supplies are likely to be reduced 
for several years following a destructive hurricane, and with limited 
resources, birds may experience greater competition for food, leading 
to a decline in populations (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 332; Varty 
1991, pp. 144, 148).
    Nesting sites can also be damaged by high winds, rain, or flooding. 
The larger, taller trees, like those needed by the yellow-billed parrot 
for nesting activities, are the most susceptible to snapping or 
uprooting (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 327). During Hurricane Gilbert, 
many trees were toppled or had crowns or major limbs

[[Page 15637]]

broken or snapped off. Others were damaged or knocked over by other 
windfall trees. In some places, landslides totally destroyed the 
forests (Varty 1991, p. 139). The loss of these nesting trees further 
reduces the already limited nesting cavities available. Damaged trees 
that remain standing are more likely to be lost in future storms, 
increasing the risk to yellow-billed parrots using them. However, trees 
that suffer limb breakage but remain standing may create additional 
cavities for nesting (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 326-328). With the 
loss of suitable nesting sites, reproductive responses may vary 
following a storm. Hurricane Gilbert severely damaged or blew over 50 
percent and 44 percent of the larger trees in John Crow Mountains and 
Cockpit Country, respectively; however, some yellow-billed parrots were 
observed successfully breeding in Cockpit Country within 10 months of 
the storm (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 335; Varty 1991, pp. 143, 149).
    Defoliated habitat may increase the risk of yellow-billed parrots 
to predators, including humans. For example, because of competition for 
limited food resources, forest dwellers may be forced to forage closer 
to the ground or wander more widely, exposing them to predators. Birds 
may be weakened after a storm and serve as an easy source of protein 
for predators and humans in need of food. Additionally, while in search 
of food and cover, birds may come into conflict with humans in 
agricultural regions, making them more vulnerable to poaching; farmers 
may shoot birds to protect any remaining crops (Wiley and Wunderle 
1993, pp. 330-332). Hurricanes also create additional edge habitat by 
increasing the number and size of forest openings; this may enable 
predators to invade forest tracts they would otherwise avoid (Wiley and 
Wunderle 1993, p. 336).
    Furthermore, where trees have been blown down, subsistence farmers 
may move in to exploit the land. Governments may also make subsidies 
available for timber removal and development of the land, including the 
use of chainsaws and heavy equipment to clear away debris and dead 
trees. The equipment may not be recalled following cleanup and may be 
used to clear healthy forests (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, p. 331). 
Following Hurricane Gilbert, chainsaws brought in for cleanup were 
later used to clear forests for timber (Varty 1991, p. 146). 
Additionally, farmers lost most or all of their cultivated land, 
increasing the demand for new land and, therefore, resulting in 
additional deforestation (Varty 1991, p. 145).
    Hurricanes are a natural occurrence in the Caribbean, and birds 
have adapted to periodic storms. Parrots should be able to adapt to 
changes following hurricanes, and healthy, wide-ranging populations 
should be able to, in the long term, survive hurricanes. However, 
hurricanes play a more important role in extinction when a species 
already has a restricted and fragmented range due to habitat loss and 
is reduced to fewer individuals (Wiley and Wunderle 1993, pp. 340-341; 
Varty 1991, p. 149; Wiley 1991, p. 191). After a population has 
declined due to deforestation activities, they may not be able to 
recover from the additional loss of forests from hurricanes (Varty 
1991, p. 149). The yellow-billed parrot population has survived through 
hurricanes, but long-term survival is a concern, given the additional 
impact of hurricanes on food and nesting sources, combined with the 
continuing habitat destruction by humans (Wiley 1991, p. 203). If the 
large, contiguous forests of Cockpit Country remain intact, the yellow-
billed parrot is predicted to be able to adapt to predicted hurricane 
frequency and intensity. However, if the forests are severely 
fragmented and dominated by edge habitats, reproductive performance is 
predicted to decrease, leading to population loss, and hurricanes to 
hasten the species' extinction (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.; Koenig 2009, 
pp. 1-2).
Competition With Nonnative Species
    A temporary ban was placed on the importation of nonnative 
psittacines due to potential introduction of disease, hybridization, 
and competition with the two native parrot species. However, the ban is 
no longer in effect (Koenig 2011, pers. comm.), leaving the yellow-
billed parrot vulnerable to hybridization and competitive exclusion 
with escaped nonnative psittacines imported for the pet industry 
(Koenig 2009, p. 1). Jamaica's National Environment and Planning Agency 
has noticed an increase in the illegal importation of monkeys, birds, 
and snakes into the country. Jamaica is now believed to be a trans-
shipment point for illegal trade in animals from Central and South 
America (NEPA 2010a, p. 1). Nonnative species not only introduce 
diseases to native wildlife (see Factor C discussion, above), but 
escaped individuals also pose a threat through hybridization and 
competition for food and nesting sources (Levy and Koenig 2009, p. 264; 
Wiley 1991, p. 191).
    In 2007, a yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) was observed 
flying freely in the area of yellow-billed parrots and, more 
importantly, was observed forming a pair-bond with a yellow-billed 
parrot. It was determined that the Amazon parrot must have been a 
captive bird that had escaped, rather than a situation of natural 
colonization. As the yellow-billed parrot and the yellow-naped Amazon 
belong to the same genus, the potential for hybridization is high 
(Koenig 2009, p. 2). In the long term, should a small population of 
other Amazon species, like the yellow-naped Amazon, become established, 
hybridization could compromise the unique genetic makeup of the yellow-
billed parrot. Additionally, mainland Amazon species, like the yellow-
naped Amazon, are significantly larger and heavier than Jamaican 
parrots; it is likely that these nonnatives would dominate the yellow-
billed parrot and exclude them from nest sites (Koenig 2009, p. 2).
Summary of Factor E
    Hurricanes frequently occur in the Caribbean. Healthy, widespread 
populations of birds should be able to adapt to changes following a 
hurricane. However, species like the yellow-billed parrot, which are 
frugivores and rely on cavities in old growth trees, are particularly 
vulnerable to the impacts of hurricanes on forests. Food sources may be 
reduced for years following a storm, and already limited nesting 
cavities may be further reduced; declines in these vital resources 
could result in competition with other species and a decline in the 
population. These impacts are further exacerbated due to deforestation 
activities that have already caused a decline in the extent and quality 
of yellow-billed parrot habitat and declines in the yellow-billed 
parrot population. Because of the ongoing loss of habitat, yellow-
billed parrots may not be able to recover from the impacts of a 
destructive hurricane.
    Although we have no information that the yellow-billed parrot has 
been impacted by hybridization or competition with nonnative parrot 
species, the risk of these occurrences is elevated given the 
termination of the ban on importation of nonnative parrot species, past 
occurrences of escaped parrots, the observed increase in the illegal 
importation of birds, the larger size of nonnative parrots, the 
declining population of yellow-billed parrots in Jamaica, and the 
declining extent and quality of habitat.
Finding
    As required by the Act, we conducted a review of the status of the 
species and considered the five factors in assessing

[[Page 15638]]

whether the yellow-billed parrot is endangered or threatened throughout 
all or a significant portion of its range. We examined the best 
scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, 
present, and future threats faced by the yellow-billed parrot. We 
reviewed the petition, information available in our files, and other 
available published and unpublished information.
    The yellow-billed parrot is only found on the island of Jamaica and 
occurs in fragments across its range; at least 80 percent of the 
yellow-billed parrot population occurs in one area of the island. The 
entire population of this species is reported as declining, and the 
extent and quality of habitat is also declining. This species faces 
immediate and significant threats, primarily from deforestation through 
logging, conversion of land to agriculture, road construction, and 
mining and the subsequent encroachment of nonnative species. Ongoing 
deforestation activities threaten to remove more of the limited mature 
trees the yellow-billed parrot needs for nesting. Cockpit Country is 
also threatened by potential future mining. If mining were to occur, 
the damage would be irreversible. Additionally, habitat alteration 
creates an optimal habitat for the yellow boa, which has already been 
reported to prey on yellow-billed parrot nestlings; continuing 
deforestation increases this risk of predation. Adults and nestling 
yellow-billed parrots are captured for the local and international pet 
bird trade. Poaching of birds for the pet trade removes vital 
individuals from the population and essential nesting cavities. The 
risk of disease transmission and competition with nonnative parrot 
species is elevated now that the temporary ban on the importation of 
nonnative psittacine species has been lifted. There are regulatory 
mechanisms in place to protect the yellow-billed parrot and its 
habitat, but enforcement appears to be inadequate given the threats 
this species is currently facing. Hurricanes also pose a threat to the 
yellow-billed parrot because of the already ongoing deforestation and 
population decline. This species, in the long term, may not be able to 
recover from the additional impacts of hurricanes on foraging and 
nesting resources given the continuing loss of food and nesting 
resources by logging, agriculture, road development, and mining.
    Section 3 of the Act defines an ``endangered species'' as ``any 
species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range,'' and a ``threatened species'' as 
``any species which is likely to become an endangered species within 
the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its 
range.'' The magnitude of the threats the yellow-billed parrot is 
facing is high. Nesting success is reported to be low for this species. 
Given the declining population, limited habitat and range, the ongoing 
and future threats to the remaining habitat, the associated increased 
risk of predation, and the loss of individuals from poaching, long-term 
survival of this species is a concern. Impacts from hurricanes are 
likely to be exacerbated by the ongoing deforestation and declining 
population. Any loss of individuals from the population or loss of 
vital nesting cavities from current or future threats further reduces 
the population and loss of already limited habitat and is likely to 
affect the reproductive success of this species. Because the population 
of this species is estimated at 10,000 to 20,000 individuals and mining 
is not currently occurring in Cockpit Country, we do not believe that 
this species is currently in danger of extinction. However, given the 
ongoing deforestation of remaining suitable habitat for the yellow-
billed parrot in Jamaica, the loss of individuals through poaching for 
the pet bird trade or predation, the exacerbated impacts of hurricanes, 
and no information to suggest that these threats will be ameliorated, 
we believe the species will continue to decline and fecundity and 
recruitment affected such that the species is at risk of extinction in 
the foreseeable future. Furthermore, given the value of bauxite to 
Jamaica, the amount of bauxite deposits in Cockpit Country (a 
stronghold for the species), that mining companies have already drilled 
for samples in the area, and the lack of an official policy against 
mining in the area, we believe that mining could occur in Cockpit 
Country in the foreseeable future with irreversible impacts to 
remaining suitable habitat and the yellow-billed parrot. Based on 
current threats and the impacts to the yellow-billed parrot and the 
potential impacts of future threats, we believe the species will 
continue to decline and will likely become in danger of extinction in 
the foreseeable future. Therefore on the basis of the best scientific 
and commercial information, we find that the yellow-billed parrot meets 
the definition of a ``threatened'' species under the Act, and we are 
listing the yellow-billed parrot as threatened throughout its range.
Significant Portion of the Range
    Having determined that the yellow-billed parrot meets the 
definition of threatened throughout its range, we must next consider 
whether the yellow-billed parrot is in danger of extinction within a 
significant portion of its range.
    The Act defines an endangered species as one ``in danger of 
extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range,'' and 
a threatened species as one ``likely to become an endangered species 
within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion 
of its range.'' The term ``significant portion of its range'' is not 
defined by the statute. For the purposes of this finding, a portion of 
a species' range is ``significant'' if it is part of the current range 
of the species and it provides a crucial contribution to the 
representation, resiliency, or redundancy of the species. For the 
contribution to be crucial it must be at a level such that, without 
that portion, the species would be in danger of extinction.
    In determining whether a species is endangered or threatened in a 
significant portion of its range, we first identify any portions of the 
range of the species that warrant further consideration. The range of a 
species can theoretically be divided into portions in an infinite 
number of ways. However, there is no purpose to analyzing portions of 
the range that are not reasonably likely to be significant and 
endangered or threatened. To identify only those portions that warrant 
further consideration, we determine whether there is substantial 
information indicating that: (1) The portions may be significant, and 
(2) the species may be in danger of extinction there or likely to 
become so within the foreseeable future. In practice, a key part of 
this analysis is whether the threats are geographically concentrated in 
some way. If the threats to the species are essentially uniform 
throughout its range, no portion is likely to warrant further 
consideration. Moreover, if any concentration of threats applies only 
to portions of the species' range that clearly would not meet the 
biologically based definition of ``significant'' (i.e., the loss of 
that portion clearly would not reasonably be expected to increase the 
vulnerability to extinction of the entire species to the point that the 
species would then be in danger of extinction), such portions will not 
warrant further consideration.
    If we identify portions that warrant further consideration, we then 
determine their status (i.e., whether in fact the species is endangered 
or threatened in a significant portion of its range). Depending on the 
biology of the species, its range, and the threats it faces, it might 
be more efficient for us to address either the ``significant''

[[Page 15639]]

question first, or the status question first. Thus, if we determine 
that a portion of the range is not ``significant,'' we do not need to 
determine whether the species is endangered or threatened there; if we 
determine that the species is not endangered or threatened in a portion 
of its range, we do not need to determine if that portion is 
``significant.''
    Applying the process described above for determining whether this 
species is endangered in a significant portion of its range, we 
considered status first to determine if any threats or future threats 
acting individually or collectively endanger the species in a portion 
of its range. We have analyzed the threats to the degree possible, and 
determined they are essentially uniform throughout the species' range 
and no portion is being impacted to a significant degree more than any 
other such that the species is currently endangered in any portion of 
its range.
Available Conservation Measures
    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, requirements for Federal 
protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition 
through listing results in public awareness, and encourages and results 
in conservation actions by Federal and State governments, private 
agencies and interest groups, and individuals.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered and 
threatened wildlife. These prohibitions, at 50 CFR 17.21 and 17.31, in 
part, make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the 
United States to ``take'' (includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, 
wound, kill, trap, capture, or to attempt any of these) within the 
United States or upon the high seas; import or export; deliver, 
receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in 
the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in 
interstate or foreign commerce any endangered wildlife species. It also 
is illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any 
such wildlife that has been taken in violation of the Act. Certain 
exceptions apply to agents of the Service and State conservation 
agencies.
    Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered and threatened wildlife species under certain 
circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 
17.22 for endangered species and 17.32 for threatened species. With 
regard to endangered wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following 
purposes: For scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or 
survival of the species, and for incidental take in connection with 
otherwise lawful activities. For threatened species, a permit may be 
issued for the same activities, as well as zoological exhibition, 
education, and special purposes consistent with the Act.
Special Rule
    Section 4(d) of the Act states that the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) may, by regulation, extend to threatened species 
prohibitions provided for endangered species under section 9 of the 
Act. Our implementing regulations for threatened wildlife (50 CFR 
17.31) incorporate the section 9 prohibitions for endangered wildlife, 
except when a special rule is promulgated. For threatened species, 
section 4(d) of the Act gives the Secretary discretion to specify the 
prohibitions and any exceptions to those prohibitions that are 
appropriate for the species, and provisions that are necessary and 
advisable to provide for the conservation of the species. A special 
rule allows us to include provisions that are tailored to the specific 
conservation needs of the threatened species and which may be more or 
less restrictive than the general provisions at 50 CFR 17.31.
    Under the special rule, all prohibitions and provisions of 50 CFR 
17.31 and 17.32 apply to the yellow-billed parrot, except that import 
into and export from the United States of certain yellow-billed 
parrots, and certain acts in interstate commerce of yellow-billed 
parrots, will be allowed without a permit under the Act, as explained 
below.
Import and Export
    The special rule applies to all commercial and noncommercial 
international shipments of live and dead yellow-billed parrots and 
parts and products, including the import and export of personal pets 
and research samples. In most instances, the special rule adopts the 
existing conservation regulatory requirements of CITES and the WBCA as 
the appropriate regulatory provisions for the import and export of 
certain yellow-billed parrots. The import into and export from the 
United States of birds taken from the wild after the date this species 
is listed under the Act (see DATES section, above); conducting an 
activity that could take or incidentally take yellow-billed parrots; 
and foreign commerce will need to meet the requirements of 50 CFR 17.31 
and 17.32, including obtaining a permit under the Act. However, the 
special rule allows a person to import or export either: (1) A specimen 
held in captivity prior to the date this species is listed under the 
Act (see DATES section, above), or (2) a captive-bred specimen, without 
a permit issued under the Act, provided the export is authorized under 
CITES and the import is authorized under CITES and the WBCA. If a 
specimen was taken from the wild and held in captivity prior to the 
date this species is listed under the Act (see DATES section, above), 
the importer or exporter will need to provide documentation to support 
that status, such as a copy of the original CITES permit indicating 
when the bird was removed from the wild or a museum specimen report. 
For captive-bred birds, the importer will need to provide either a 
valid CITES export/reexport document issued by a foreign Management 
Authority that indicates that the specimen was captive-bred by using a 
source code on the face of the permit of either ``C,'' ``D,'' or ``F.'' 
For exporters of captive-bred birds, a signed and dated statement from 
the breeder of the bird, along with documentation on the source of 
their breeding stock, will document the captive-bred status of U.S. 
birds.
    The special rule applies to birds captive-bred in the United States 
and abroad. The terms ``captive-bred'' and ``captivity'' used in the 
special rule are defined in the regulations at 50 CFR 17.3 and refer to 
wildlife produced in a controlled environment that is intensively 
manipulated by man from parents that mated or otherwise transferred 
gametes in captivity. Although the special rule requires a permit under 
the Act to ``take'' (including harm and harass) a yellow-billed parrot, 
``take'' does not include generally accepted animal husbandry 
practices, breeding procedures, or provisions of veterinary care for 
confining, tranquilizing, or anesthetizing, when such practices, 
procedures, or provisions are not likely to result in injury to the 
wildlife when applied to captive wildlife.
    We assessed the conservation needs of the yellow-billed parrot in 
light of the broad protections provided to the species under CITES and 
the WBCA. The yellow-billed parrot is listed in Appendix II under 
CITES, a treaty which contributes to the conservation of the species by 
monitoring international trade and ensuring that trade in Appendix II 
species is not detrimental to the survival of the species (see 
Conservation Status, above). The purpose of the WBCA is to promote the 
conservation of exotic birds and to

[[Page 15640]]

ensure that imports of exotic birds into the United States do not harm 
them (see Factor D discussion, above). Data indicate that illegal 
international trade in Jamaican wildlife is on the rise; however, the 
requirements of CITES, WBCA, and the special rule will minimize illegal 
trade of yellow-billed parrots with the United States. Additionally, 
the best available commercial data indicate that poaching of the 
yellow-billed parrot stems mainly from illegal trade in the domestic 
markets of Jamaica. Thus, the general prohibitions on import and export 
contained in 50 CFR 17.31, which only extend within the jurisdiction of 
the United States, will not regulate such activities. Accordingly, we 
find that the import and export requirements of the special rule 
provide the necessary and advisable conservation measures that are 
needed for this species.
Interstate Commerce
    Under the special rule, a person may deliver, receive, carry, 
transport, or ship a yellow-billed parrot in interstate commerce in the 
course of a commercial activity, or sell or offer to sell in interstate 
commerce a yellow-billed parrot without a permit under the Act. At the 
same time, the prohibitions on take under 50 CFR 17.31 apply under this 
special rule, and any interstate commerce activities that could 
incidentally take yellow-billed parrots or otherwise prohibited acts in 
foreign commerce require a permit under 50 CFR 17.32.
    Although we do not have current data, we believe there are few 
yellow-billed parrots in the United States. Current International 
Species Information System (ISIS) information shows no yellow-billed 
parrots held in U.S. zoos (ISIS 2011, p. 1). However, some zoos do not 
enter data into the ISIS database. Persons in the United States have 
imported and exported captive-bred yellow-billed parrots for commercial 
purposes and one body for scientific purposes, but trade has been very 
limited (UNEP-WCMC 2011, unpaginated). We have no information to 
suggest that interstate commerce activities are associated with threats 
to the yellow-billed parrot or will negatively affect any efforts aimed 
at the recovery of wild populations of the species. Therefore, because 
acts in interstate commerce within the United States have not been 
found to threaten the yellow-billed parrot, the species is otherwise 
protected in the course of interstate commercial activities under the 
incidental take provisions and foreign commerce provisions contained in 
50 CFR 17.31, and international trade of this species is regulated 
under CITES, we find this special rule contains all the prohibitions 
and authorizations necessary and advisable for the conservation of the 
yellow-billed parrot.

Correction to the Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Special Rule

    On May 26, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 30758) 
a final rule listing the salmon-crested cockatoo as threatened with a 
special rule under section 4(d) of the Act. In the preamble of that 
4(d) rule, we explained that we were adopting a provision similar to 
the one we are adopting in this 4(d) rule for the yellow-billed parrot, 
which would allow certain acts in interstate commerce for salmon-
crested cockatoos without a permit under 50 CFR 17.32. However, 
consistent with our intent in adopting the exceptions contained in the 
4(d) rule for the salmon-crested cockatoo, we are correcting the 
regulations found at 50 CFR 17.41(c) for the salmon-crested cockatoo to 
clarify the specific acts in interstate commerce that may be conducted 
without a threatened species permit under 50 CFR 17.32.

Required Determinations

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that we do not need to prepare an environmental 
assessment, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, in connection with regulations 
adopted under section 4(a) of the Act. We published a notice outlining 
our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 
25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

References Cited

    A list of all references cited in this document is available at 
http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. FWS-R9-ES-2011-0075, or upon 
request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species 
Program, Branch of Foreign Species (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section).

Author

    The primary authors of this notice are staff members of the Branch 
of Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 
of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 17--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1544; 16 U.S.C. 
4201-4245; Pub. L. 99-625, 100 Stat. 3500; unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) by adding an entry for ``Parrot, yellow-
billed'' in alphabetical order under BIRDS to the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife to read as follows:


Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Species                                                Vertebrate population
------------------------------------------------------    Historic range       where endangered or      Status      When      Critical        Special
           Common name              Scientific name                                threatened                      listed      habitat         rules
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
              BIRDS
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Parrot, yellow-billed...........  Amazona collaria...  Jamaica............  Entire..................  T.........      804  NA............  17.41(c)
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 15641]]

* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  17.41 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  17.41  Special rules--birds.

* * * * *
    (c) The following species in the parrot family: Salmon-crested 
cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) and yellow-billed parrot (Amazona 
collaria).
    (1) Except as noted in paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, 
all prohibitions and provisions of Sec. Sec.  17.31 and 17.32 of this 
part apply to these species.
    (2) Import and export. You may import or export a specimen without 
a permit issued under Sec.  17.32 of this part only when the provisions 
of parts 13, 14, 15, and 23 of this chapter have been met and you meet 
the following requirements:
    (i) Captive-bred specimens: The source code on the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES) document accompanying the specimen must be ``F'' (captive 
born), ``C'' (bred in captivity), or ``D'' (bred in captivity for 
commercial purposes) (see 50 CFR 23.24); or
    (ii) Specimens held in captivity prior to certain dates: You must 
provide documentation to demonstrate that the specimen was held in 
captivity prior to the applicable date specified in paragraph 
(c)(2)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section. Such documentation may include 
copies of receipts, accession or veterinary records, CITES documents, 
or wildlife declaration forms, which must be dated prior to the 
specified dates.
    (A) For salmon-crested cockatoos: January 18, 1990 (the date this 
species was transferred to CITES Appendix I).
    (B) For yellow-billed parrots: April 11, 2013 (the date this 
species was listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)).
    (3) Interstate commerce. Except where use after import is 
restricted under Sec.  23.55 of this chapter, you may deliver, receive, 
carry, transport, or ship in interstate commerce and in the course of a 
commercial activity, or sell or offer to sell, in interstate commerce 
the species listed in this paragraph (c) without a permit under the 
Act.
* * * * *

    Dated: February 14, 2013.
Rowan W. Gould,
Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-05504 Filed 3-11-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P