Recovery Plan Addendum; Thick-Billed Parrot, 39763-39765 [2013-15945]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2013 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES RAD, PHAs may elect, in the HAP contract, to establish the initial contract rent as the rent floor. PHAs should consider their individual markets, number of families served, annual budget authority and factors that may influence funding amounts and any other local concerns prior to electing to establish the initial contract rent as the rent floor. If the PHA has elected within the HAP contract to not reduce rents below the initial rent to owner, the rent to owner shall not be reduced below the initial rent to owner for dwelling units under the initial PBV HAP contract, except: • To correct errors in calculations in accordance with HUD requirements; • If additional housing assistance has been combined with PBV assistance after the execution of the initial PBV HAP contract and a rent decrease is required pursuant to 24 CFR 983.55; or • If a decrease in rent to owner is required based on changes in the allocation of responsibility for utilities between the owner and the tenant. III. Rent Supplement and Rental Assistance Payment Project Conversions Under-occupied Units. Provision affected: HUD is waiving 24 CFR 983.259(b)(1); 24 CFR 983.259(b)(2) and 24 CFR 983.259(c). Alternative Requirements: Under-occupied Units Converting to PBV. For households of more than two individuals (or single-person households, where that individual is elderly or disabled,) occupying a unit determined by HUD regulations to be under-occupied, shall upon conversion to PBV, be allowed to remain in those units until such time as an appropriate-sized unit becomes available. When an appropriate size unit becomes available in the project, the family living in the oversized unit must move to the appropriate size unit within a reasonable time, as determined by the PHA. If the unit size required by the family does not physically exist at the project, the family shall remain in its current unit unless and until a more appropriate size unit is available. If or when a smaller size unit becomes available, the family must move to the smaller size unit. To effectuate this new alternative requirement, HUD is waiving 24 CFR 983.259(b)(1)(2) and (c). For households consisting of single individuals who are not elderly or disabled, the unit shall not be included in the PBV HAP contract. The household member shall be provided a tenant protection voucher and may choose to move with such voucher or enter into a tenant-based tenancy with the owner provided the unit is eligible under the tenant-based voucher program; or if a qualifying mortgage pre-payment would trigger the provision of enhanced vouchers, the tenant has the statutory right to remain in the project (see PIH Notice 2001–41 for enhanced voucher requirements and PIH Notice 2008–12 for guidance on enhanced voucher requirements for overhoused households). In either case, if the tenant moves with tenant-based voucher assistance, the unit is not eligible for conversion under RAD since the funding to support the converted unit is no longer available under RAD since the funding to support the converted unit is no longer available. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Jul 01, 2013 Jkt 229001 Rent Determination. Provisions affected: 24 CFR 983.301(e); 24 CFR 983.302(c); and 24 CFR 983.303(a). Alternative Requirements: Initial and Re-Determined Rents. Initial and re-determined rents for PBV contracts are determined by the PHA. Such rents generally cannot exceed the lowest of: (i) An amount determined by the PHA, not to exceed 110 percent of the applicable fair market rent (or any exception payment standard approved by the Secretary) for the unit bedroom size minus any utility allowance; (ii) the reasonable rent; or (iii) the rent requested by the owner. (See 24 CFR part 983, subpart G, for program requirements on establishing PBV rents). Re-determined rents may result in a downward adjustment in certain circumstances (e.g. rent is no longer reasonable). For purposes of RAD, PHAs may elect, in the HAP contract, to establish the initial contract rent as the rent floor. PHAs should consider their individual markets, number of families served, annual budget authority and factors that may influence funding amounts, and any other local concerns prior to electing to establish the initial contract rent as the rent floor. If the PHA has elected within the HAP contract to not reduce rents below the initial rent to owner, the rent to owner shall not be reduced below the initial rent to owner for dwelling units under the initial PBV HAP contract, except: • To correct errors in calculations in accordance with HUD requirements; • If additional housing assistance has been combined with PBV assistance after the execution of the initial PBV HAP contract and a rent decrease is required pursuant to 24 CFR 983.55; or • If a decrease in rent to owner is required based on changes in the allocation of responsibility for utilities between the owner and the tenant. 39763 Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability. currently found in Mexico but has not been detected in the United States (U.S.) since 1938; however, historically the northern edge of its range also included southern Arizona and possibly southwestern New Mexico. The recovery plan addendum includes specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order to enable us to remove this species from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the recovery plan addendum, you may obtain a copy by any one of the following methods: Internet: http://www.fws.gov/ southwest/es/arizona/T-B_Parrot.htm or http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ ElectronicLibrary_ListDocs.cfm Find Thick-billed_Parrot_Final_Recovery_ Plan_Addendum_June_2013.pdf. U.S. mail: Arizona Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Phoenix, AZ 85021–4951; or Telephone: 602–242–0210. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Sferra, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, at Arizona Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 201 N Bonita Ave., Suite 141, Tucson AZ 85745; or Telephone: (520) 670– 6150 ext 230, or by email at Susan_Sferra@fws.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of our final recovery plan addendum for the thickbilled parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha). The recovery plan addendum was prepared by biologists from the United States with participation by experts in Mexico. We made the draft recovery plan addendum available via a Federal Register notice published on June 19, 2012 (77 FR 36569); this notice opened a comment period that ran through August 20, 2012, and requested comments from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public. We considered information we received from these entities, as well as that obtained from fourteen independent peer reviewers, in finalizing this revised recovery plan. We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our final recovery plan addendum for the Thick-billed Parrot, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). We have developed this final recovery plan addendum to comply with a December 14, 2010, Stipulated Settlement Agreement between WildEarth Guardians and the Secretary of the Interior. This species is Background Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. The Act requires the [FR Doc. 2013–15900 Filed 7–1–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R2–ES–2012–N128; FXES11130200000C2–112–FF02ENEH00] Recovery Plan Addendum; Thick-Billed Parrot AGENCY: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 39764 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2013 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES development of recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Species’ History Historically the thick-billed parrot’s range extended from Mexico into southern Arizona and possibly southwestern New Mexico in the United States. There are no formal historical nesting records for the United States; however, thick-billed parrots visited southeastern Arizona, and in some years large flocks were observed (Snyder et al. 1999). The last confirmed report of a thick-billed parrot flock in United States was from the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona in 1938 (Monson and Phillips 1981 in Snyder et al. 1999). Loss of thick-billed parrots in the U.S. was likely caused by excessive, unregulated shooting (Snyder et al. 1999). In Mexico, this species occurs in the States of Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango, Jalisco, Colima, and ´ Michoacan, spanning the Sierra Madre Occidental. The thick-billed parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) was listed as an endangered species on June 2, 1970 (35 FR 8491), pursuant to the Endangered Species Conservation Act (ESCA), the precursor of the Endangered Species Act. Based on the different listing procedures for foreign and domestic species under the ESCA, the thick-billed parrot was listed as a ‘‘foreign’’ species. When the Endangered Species Act replaced the ESCA, the thick-billed parrot was not carried forward onto the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List) for the United States due to an oversight, although the thickbilled parrot remained listed in Mexico. Subsequently, the parrot was proposed to be listed in the United States on July 25, 1980, wherein the proposed listing rule acknowledged that it was always the intention of the Service to list the thick-billed parrot as endangered in the United States (see 45 FR 49844, page 49845). In 2009, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Assistant Solicitor for Fish and Wildlife provided an explanation stating that the species has always been listed as endangered throughout its entire range (see 74 FR 33957). Today, the thick-billed parrot is listed throughout its range, including Mexico and the United States. Critical habitat has not been proposed for the thickbilled parrot. Although thick-billed parrots no longer occur in the United States, the Service has developed this recovery plan addendum to comply with the December 14, 2010, Stipulated VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Jul 01, 2013 Jkt 229001 Settlement Agreement between WildEarth Guardians and the Secretary of the Interior. The Thick-billed Parrot Recovery Plan Addendum was created by adopting the 2009 thick-billed parrot recovery plan for Mexico, ‘‘Programa de ´ ´ Accion para la Conservacion de las Especies: Cotorras Serranas (PACE),’’ and adding contents required by the Act (such as Recovery Criteria, Management Actions in the United States, and an Implementation Table) as an Addendum. In addition to statutory requirements of the Act, this addendum to the PACE addresses the species’ historical occurrence in the United States, summarizes information from scientific literature and U.S. and Mexican biologists regarding the status and threats to the thick-billed parrot, and presents additional information required by U.S. recovery planning policy. We support the strategy for recovering the thick-billed parrot set forth in the PACE (2009) and note that this is the first time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is adopting a Mexican recovery plan for a species to serve as the best available science to inform a U.S. recovery plan. The PACE was initiated by the Mexican National Commission of ´ Protected Natural Areas (Comision ´ Nacional de Areas Protegidas, CONANP) under the 2007 Federal ‘‘Commitment to Conservation’’ programs in Mexico. Experts and public officials were brought together to prevent the deterioration of Mexican ecosystems and biodiversity. Thirty-five priority and endangered species were selected, including the thick-billed parrot, with the objective of creating the framework for, coordinating, and promoting the Federal government’s efforts to recover these species within the Conservation Program for Species at Risk (PROCER). The focus of the PACE (2009) is on extant populations of the thick-billed parrot; it does not address extirpated thick-billed parrots or their historical range in the United States. As a result, our recovery actions are focused primarily on conservation within the current range of this species in Mexico and, to a lesser degree, on the potential for expansion into the historical range in the United States. Recommended actions for addressing current threats to the species and evaluating recovery may be applied or refined in the future. The parrot’s current range is limited to high elevations of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico, extending from northwestern Chihuahua and northeastern Sonora into Durango and continuing in a southeasterly direction ´ to Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacan. PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Thick-billed parrots migrate seasonally from their primary breeding (summering) grounds in Chihuahua to wintering areas farther south, possibly migrating 1,000 kilometers (km) (621 miles (mi)) or more between their summering and wintering areas (Snyder et al. 1999, PACE 2009). The northernmost breeding area is Mesa de Guacamayas, located within 80 km (50 mi) of the U.S.-Mexico border (Snyder et al. 1999). Thick-billed parrots live in gregarious flocks in old-growth mixed-conifer forests and require a diversity of food resources and the availability of sizespecific cavities for nesting. The thickbilled parrot primarily feeds on seeds of several pine species, and to a lesser extent on acorns and terminal buds of pine trees (Snyder et al. 1999). As an obligate cavity nester, the thick-billed parrot needs cavities typically found in large-diameter pines and snags. Because of their specialized habitat needs, thickbilled parrot populations have experienced significant historical declines, corresponding to a drastic loss of high-elevation mixed-conifer forests, mainly from a legacy of logging. Only 1 percent of the old-growth forests is estimated to remain, supporting small populations of thick-billed parrots concentrated in a handful of sites. Threats to the thick-billed parrot include loss of habitat, primarily driven by extensive logging of large mature pines, removal of nesting snags (Snyder et al. 1999), and, to a lesser degree, catastrophic forest fires (PACE 2009); low numbers of individuals and small remaining populations, leaving them vulnerable to stochastic events; removal of birds from the wild in Mexico for the illegal pet trade; and climate change, based on projections for the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico predicting warmer, drier, and more drought-like conditions (Hoerling and Eischeid 2007; Seager et al. 2007). Loss of the thick-billed parrot in the United States was likely caused by excessive, unregulated shooting (Snyder et al. 1999). The recovery plan addendum recommends protection of currently occupied habitat; additional research to understand relationships between habitat, migration patterns, and population dynamics; development of a standardized monitoring protocol; development of replacement nesting habitat; verification of occupied wintering habitat; development of forest management plans; and the enforcement of existing environmental and species collection laws. The plan recognizes the need to manage these forest landscapes in both the United States and Mexico to maximize resources for the species. E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2013 / Notices Recovery Plan Goals DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR The objective of an agency recovery plan is to provide a framework for the recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no longer necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the species and provides criteria and actions necessary for us to be able to reclassify the species to threatened status or remove it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (List). Recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing actions we consider necessary for the species’ conservation and by estimating time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures. To achieve its goals, this recovery plan addendum identifies the following objectives: • Support the thick-billed parrot throughout its range in perpetuity. • Maintain habitat conditions necessary to provide feeding, nesting, and wintering habitat for the thickbilled parrot through time. • Assess the potential for the United States to support naturally dispersing or actively relocated thick-billed parrots, including a review of U.S. historical habitat, current habitat management, and habitat connectivity with Mexico. The recovery plan addendum contains recovery criteria based on maintaining and increasing population numbers and habitat quality and quantity. The recovery plan addendum focuses on protecting populations, managing threats, maintaining habitat, monitoring progress, and building partnerships to facilitate recovery. As the thick-billed parrot meets recovery criteria, we will review the subspecies’ status and consider downlisting, and, ultimately, removal from the List. Bureau of Land Management References Cited A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Recovery (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Authority We developed our final recovery plan addendum under the authority of section 4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish this notice under section 4(f) Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: June 20, 2013. Joy E. Nicholopoulos, Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2013–15945 Filed 7–1–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:48 Jul 01, 2013 Jkt 229001 [LLCO923000.L14300000.FR0000] Notice of Proposed Classification of Public Lands/Minerals for State Indemnity Selection, Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Proposed Classification. AGENCY: The Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners (State) has filed a petition for classification and application to obtain public lands and mineral estate in lieu of lands to which the State was entitled but did not receive under its Statehood Act. The State did not receive title because the lands had previously been appropriated in an Indian Reservation or National Forests. Under Section 7 of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to classify sufficient public lands/minerals in Colorado for title transfer to the State to satisfy this obligation to the State. DATES: Comments must be received by September 3, 2013. The BLM will not consider or include comments received after the close of the comment period or comments delivered to an address other than that listed below. Persons asserting a claim to or interest in the lands or mineral estate described in this notice will find the requirements for filing such claims in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. ADDRESSES: The public may submit comments by mail or hand delivery to: State Director, Colorado State Office, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, CO 80215–7093. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John D. Beck, Chief, Branch of Lands and Realty, at (303) 239–3882. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339, to contact the above individual. FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Sections 2275 and 2276 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (43 U.S.C. 851 and 852), provide authority for Colorado to receive title to public lands in lieu of lands to which it was entitled under Section 7 of its statehood act of March SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39765 3, 1875, where it did not receive title because the land had previously been appropriated for an Indian reservation or National Forests. Section 7 of the Taylor Grazing Act of June 8, 1934 requires that such public lands/minerals identified for proposed transfers out of Federal ownership must first be classified. The BLM is proposing to classify these lands/minerals pursuant to 43 CFR Part 2400 and Section 7 of the Act of June 8, 1934 (48 Stat. 1272, as amended), 43 U.S.C. 315(f). For a period until September 3, 2013, all persons who wish to submit comments, suggestions, or objections in connection with this proposed classification may present their views by any means shown under the ADDRESSES section above. Any adverse comments will be evaluated by the BLM Colorado State Director, who will issue a notice of determination to proceed with, modify, or cancel the proposed action. In the absence of any action by the BLM State Director, this proposed classification action will become the final determination of the Department of the Interior. Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents and records relating to this proposed classification will be available for public review at the BLM Colorado State Office at the address cited in the ADDRESSES section above during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request confidentiality. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. As provided by 43 CFR 2450.4(c), a public hearing may be scheduled by the BLM Colorado State Director if it is determined that sufficient public interest exists to warrant a hearing. The lands/minerals included within this proposed classification are in Chaffee, Custer, Dolores, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Huerfano, Jackson, Kiowa, La Plata, Moffat, Montezuma, Ouray, Park, Pueblo, Routt and San Miguel counties, Colorado, and are described as follows: New Mexico Principal Meridian, Colorado T. 44 N., R. 8 W., Sec. 11, lots 12, thru 14; Sec. 13, lots 17, 28, 30 and 31; E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 127 (Tuesday, July 2, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39763-39765]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15945]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2012-N128; FXES11130200000C2-112-FF02ENEH00]


Recovery Plan Addendum; Thick-Billed Parrot

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of our final recovery plan addendum for the Thick-billed 
Parrot, which is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act 
of 1973, as amended (Act). We have developed this final recovery plan 
addendum to comply with a December 14, 2010, Stipulated Settlement 
Agreement between WildEarth Guardians and the Secretary of the 
Interior. This species is currently found in Mexico but has not been 
detected in the United States (U.S.) since 1938; however, historically 
the northern edge of its range also included southern Arizona and 
possibly southwestern New Mexico. The recovery plan addendum includes 
specific recovery objectives and criteria to be met in order to enable 
us to remove this species from the list of endangered and threatened 
wildlife and plants.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the recovery plan addendum, you may 
obtain a copy by any one of the following methods:
    Internet: http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/T-B_Parrot.htm 
or http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/ElectronicLibrary_ListDocs.cfm Find 
Thick-billed_Parrot_Final_Recovery_Plan_Addendum_June_2013.pdf.
    U.S. mail: Arizona Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2321 West Royal Palm Road, Phoenix, AZ 85021-4951; or
    Telephone: 602-242-0210.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Sferra, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at Arizona Ecological Services Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 201 N Bonita Ave., Suite 141, Tucson AZ 85745; or 
Telephone: (520) 670-6150 ext 230, or by email at Susan_Sferra@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce the availability of our final 
recovery plan addendum for the thick-billed parrot (Rhynchopsitta 
pachyrhyncha). The recovery plan addendum was prepared by biologists 
from the United States with participation by experts in Mexico. We made 
the draft recovery plan addendum available via a Federal Register 
notice published on June 19, 2012 (77 FR 36569); this notice opened a 
comment period that ran through August 20, 2012, and requested comments 
from local, State, and Federal agencies; Tribes; and the public. We 
considered information we received from these entities, as well as that 
obtained from fourteen independent peer reviewers, in finalizing this 
revised recovery plan.

Background

    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program and the 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of the status 
of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. 
The Act requires the

[[Page 39764]]

development of recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan 
would not promote the conservation of a particular species.

Species' History

    Historically the thick-billed parrot's range extended from Mexico 
into southern Arizona and possibly southwestern New Mexico in the 
United States. There are no formal historical nesting records for the 
United States; however, thick-billed parrots visited southeastern 
Arizona, and in some years large flocks were observed (Snyder et al. 
1999). The last confirmed report of a thick-billed parrot flock in 
United States was from the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona 
in 1938 (Monson and Phillips 1981 in Snyder et al. 1999). Loss of 
thick-billed parrots in the U.S. was likely caused by excessive, 
unregulated shooting (Snyder et al. 1999). In Mexico, this species 
occurs in the States of Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango, Jalisco, Colima, 
and Michoac[aacute]n, spanning the Sierra Madre Occidental.
    The thick-billed parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) was listed as 
an endangered species on June 2, 1970 (35 FR 8491), pursuant to the 
Endangered Species Conservation Act (ESCA), the precursor of the 
Endangered Species Act. Based on the different listing procedures for 
foreign and domestic species under the ESCA, the thick-billed parrot 
was listed as a ``foreign'' species. When the Endangered Species Act 
replaced the ESCA, the thick-billed parrot was not carried forward onto 
the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants 
(List) for the United States due to an oversight, although the thick-
billed parrot remained listed in Mexico. Subsequently, the parrot was 
proposed to be listed in the United States on July 25, 1980, wherein 
the proposed listing rule acknowledged that it was always the intention 
of the Service to list the thick-billed parrot as endangered in the 
United States (see 45 FR 49844, page 49845). In 2009, the U.S. 
Department of the Interior's Assistant Solicitor for Fish and Wildlife 
provided an explanation stating that the species has always been listed 
as endangered throughout its entire range (see 74 FR 33957). Today, the 
thick-billed parrot is listed throughout its range, including Mexico 
and the United States. Critical habitat has not been proposed for the 
thick-billed parrot.
    Although thick-billed parrots no longer occur in the United States, 
the Service has developed this recovery plan addendum to comply with 
the December 14, 2010, Stipulated Settlement Agreement between 
WildEarth Guardians and the Secretary of the Interior. The Thick-billed 
Parrot Recovery Plan Addendum was created by adopting the 2009 thick-
billed parrot recovery plan for Mexico, ``Programa de Acci[oacute]n 
para la Conservaci[oacute]n de las Especies: Cotorras Serranas 
(PACE),'' and adding contents required by the Act (such as Recovery 
Criteria, Management Actions in the United States, and an 
Implementation Table) as an Addendum. In addition to statutory 
requirements of the Act, this addendum to the PACE addresses the 
species' historical occurrence in the United States, summarizes 
information from scientific literature and U.S. and Mexican biologists 
regarding the status and threats to the thick-billed parrot, and 
presents additional information required by U.S. recovery planning 
policy. We support the strategy for recovering the thick-billed parrot 
set forth in the PACE (2009) and note that this is the first time the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is adopting a Mexican recovery 
plan for a species to serve as the best available science to inform a 
U.S. recovery plan.
    The PACE was initiated by the Mexican National Commission of 
Protected Natural Areas (Comisi[oacute]n Nacional de [Aacute]reas 
Protegidas, CONANP) under the 2007 Federal ``Commitment to 
Conservation'' programs in Mexico. Experts and public officials were 
brought together to prevent the deterioration of Mexican ecosystems and 
biodiversity. Thirty-five priority and endangered species were 
selected, including the thick-billed parrot, with the objective of 
creating the framework for, coordinating, and promoting the Federal 
government's efforts to recover these species within the Conservation 
Program for Species at Risk (PROCER). The focus of the PACE (2009) is 
on extant populations of the thick-billed parrot; it does not address 
extirpated thick-billed parrots or their historical range in the United 
States. As a result, our recovery actions are focused primarily on 
conservation within the current range of this species in Mexico and, to 
a lesser degree, on the potential for expansion into the historical 
range in the United States. Recommended actions for addressing current 
threats to the species and evaluating recovery may be applied or 
refined in the future.
    The parrot's current range is limited to high elevations of the 
Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico, extending from northwestern 
Chihuahua and northeastern Sonora into Durango and continuing in a 
southeasterly direction to Jalisco, Colima, and Michoac[aacute]n. 
Thick-billed parrots migrate seasonally from their primary breeding 
(summering) grounds in Chihuahua to wintering areas farther south, 
possibly migrating 1,000 kilometers (km) (621 miles (mi)) or more 
between their summering and wintering areas (Snyder et al. 1999, PACE 
2009). The northernmost breeding area is Mesa de Guacamayas, located 
within 80 km (50 mi) of the U.S.-Mexico border (Snyder et al. 1999).
    Thick-billed parrots live in gregarious flocks in old-growth mixed-
conifer forests and require a diversity of food resources and the 
availability of size-specific cavities for nesting. The thick-billed 
parrot primarily feeds on seeds of several pine species, and to a 
lesser extent on acorns and terminal buds of pine trees (Snyder et al. 
1999). As an obligate cavity nester, the thick-billed parrot needs 
cavities typically found in large-diameter pines and snags. Because of 
their specialized habitat needs, thick-billed parrot populations have 
experienced significant historical declines, corresponding to a drastic 
loss of high-elevation mixed-conifer forests, mainly from a legacy of 
logging. Only 1 percent of the old-growth forests is estimated to 
remain, supporting small populations of thick-billed parrots 
concentrated in a handful of sites.
    Threats to the thick-billed parrot include loss of habitat, 
primarily driven by extensive logging of large mature pines, removal of 
nesting snags (Snyder et al. 1999), and, to a lesser degree, 
catastrophic forest fires (PACE 2009); low numbers of individuals and 
small remaining populations, leaving them vulnerable to stochastic 
events; removal of birds from the wild in Mexico for the illegal pet 
trade; and climate change, based on projections for the Southwestern 
United States and northern Mexico predicting warmer, drier, and more 
drought-like conditions (Hoerling and Eischeid 2007; Seager et al. 
2007). Loss of the thick-billed parrot in the United States was likely 
caused by excessive, unregulated shooting (Snyder et al. 1999). The 
recovery plan addendum recommends protection of currently occupied 
habitat; additional research to understand relationships between 
habitat, migration patterns, and population dynamics; development of a 
standardized monitoring protocol; development of replacement nesting 
habitat; verification of occupied wintering habitat; development of 
forest management plans; and the enforcement of existing environmental 
and species collection laws. The plan recognizes the need to manage 
these forest landscapes in both the United States and Mexico to 
maximize resources for the species.

[[Page 39765]]

Recovery Plan Goals

    The objective of an agency recovery plan is to provide a framework 
for the recovery of a species so that protection under the Act is no 
longer necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about 
the species and provides criteria and actions necessary for us to be 
able to reclassify the species to threatened status or remove it from 
the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants 
(List). Recovery plans help guide our recovery efforts by describing 
actions we consider necessary for the species' conservation and by 
estimating time and costs for implementing needed recovery measures. To 
achieve its goals, this recovery plan addendum identifies the following 
objectives:
     Support the thick-billed parrot throughout its range in 
perpetuity.
     Maintain habitat conditions necessary to provide feeding, 
nesting, and wintering habitat for the thick-billed parrot through 
time.
     Assess the potential for the United States to support 
naturally dispersing or actively relocated thick-billed parrots, 
including a review of U.S. historical habitat, current habitat 
management, and habitat connectivity with Mexico.
    The recovery plan addendum contains recovery criteria based on 
maintaining and increasing population numbers and habitat quality and 
quantity. The recovery plan addendum focuses on protecting populations, 
managing threats, maintaining habitat, monitoring progress, and 
building partnerships to facilitate recovery.
    As the thick-billed parrot meets recovery criteria, we will review 
the subspecies' status and consider downlisting, and, ultimately, 
removal from the List.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available upon 
request from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Recovery 
(see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section).

Authority

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

    Dated: June 20, 2013.
Joy E. Nicholopoulos,
Acting Regional Director, Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-15945 Filed 7-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P