Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for the Alaska-Breeding Population of Steller's Eider, First Revision, 32968-32969 [2021-13153]

Download as PDF 32968 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 23, 2021 / Notices Scientific name/ common name Contact person, email, phone Thelypteris inabonensis, T. verecunda, T. yaucoensis (no common names). Maritza Vargas, caribbean_ es@fws.gov, 787–851–7297. Status (endangered or threatened) States where the species is known to occur Final listing rule (Federal Register citation and publication date) Contact’s mailing address Non-Flowering Plants What information do we consider in our 5-year reviews? A 5-year review considers all new information available at the time of the review. In conducting the review, we consider the best scientific and commercial data that have become available since the most recent status review. We are seeking new information specifically regarding: (1) Species biology, including but not limited to life history and habitat requirements and impact tolerance thresholds; (2) Historical and current population conditions, including but not limited to population abundance, trends, distribution, demographics, and genetics; (3) Historical and current habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, distribution, and suitability; (4) Historical and current threats, threat trends, and threat projections in relation to the five listing factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of the ESA); (5) Conservation measures for the species that have been implemented or are planned; and (6) Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not limited to taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the List, and improved analytical methods. Any new information received will be considered during the 5-year review and ongoing recovery programs for the species. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Request for New Information To ensure that 5-year reviews are based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request new information from all sources. Please use the contact information listed in the table above that is associated with the species for which you are submitting information. If you submit information, please support it with documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods used to gather and analyze the data, and/or copies of any pertinent publications, reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jun 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 Endangered ..... Puerto Rico .............................. How do I ask questions or provide information? If you wish to provide information for any species listed above, please submit your comments and materials to the appropriate contact in the table above. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, electronic mail address, or other personal identifying information in your submission, you should be aware that your entire submission— including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Although you can request that personal information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Authority This document is published under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Leopoldo Miranda-Castro, Regional Director, South Atlantic-Gulf and Mississippi Basin Regions. [FR Doc. 2021–13170 Filed 6–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R7–ES–2020–N109; FXES11140700000–201–FF07CAFB00] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for the Alaska-Breeding Population of Steller’s Eider, First Revision Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability and request for public comment. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft first revision of the recovery plan for the threatened Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 58 FR 35887; 7/2/ 1993. USFWS, Road 301, Km 5.1, P.O. Box 491, Boquero´n, PR 00622. eiders (Polysticta stelleri). We request review and comment on the revised plan from local, State and Federal agencies, Tribes, and the public. We will also accept any new information on the status of the Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s eiders throughout its range to assist in finalizing the recovery plan. DATES: Comment submission: To ensure consideration, we must receive written comments on or before August 23, 2021. However, we will accept information about the species at any time. ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain a copy of the draft recovery plan by one of the following methods: • Internet: Download the document at https://www.fws.gov/alaska/pages/ endangered-species/stellers-eider. • U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Attention: Neesha Stellrecht, Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Field Office; 101 12th Ave.; Fairbanks, AK 99701. • Telephone: Neesha Stellrecht, 907– 456–0297. Comment submission: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: • Mail or hand delivery: Submit written comments to the above U.S. mail address. • Email: neesha_stellrecht@fws.gov. Please include ‘‘Steller’s eider recovery plan’’ in the subject line. For additional information about submitting comments, see Availability of Public Comments in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Neesha Stellrecht, by one of the methods in ADDRESSES. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of the draft recovery plan, first revision (draft plan), for the threatened Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s eiders for public review and comment. The original recovery plan for this population was approved in 2002. The draft revised plan, when finalized, would replace the E:\FR\FM\23JNN1.SGM 23JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 23, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 2002 version. The draft plan includes objective, measurable criteria and recovery actions as may be necessary for removal of the species from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We request review and comment on the draft plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. Recovery Planning Section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular species. Also pursuant to section 4(f) of the Act, a recovery plan must, to the maximum extent practicable, include (1) a description of site-specific management actions as may be necessary to achieve the plan’s goals for the conservation and survival of the species; (2) objective, measurable criteria that, when met, would support a determination under section 4(a)(1) that the species should be removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species; and (3) estimates of the time and costs required to carry out those measures needed to achieve the plan’s goal and to achieve intermediate steps toward that goal. The Service has revised its approach to recovery planning. The revised process is intended to reduce the time needed to develop and implement recovery plans, increase recovery plan relevancy over a longer timeframe, and add flexibility to recovery plans so they can be adjusted to new information or circumstances. A recovery plan will include statutorily required elements (objective, measurable criteria; sitespecific management actions; and, estimates of time and costs), along with a concise introduction and our strategy for how we plan to achieve species recovery. The recovery plan is supported by a separate Species Status Assessment. The essential component to flexible implementation under this recovery process is producing a separate working document called the Recovery Implementation Strategy (implementation strategy). The implementation strategy steps down from the more general description of actions in the recovery plan to detail the specific, near-term activities needed to implement the recovery plan. The implementation strategy will be adaptable by being able to incorporate new information without having to concurrently revise the recovery plan, unless changes to statutory elements are required. The implementation strategy will be developed following publication VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jun 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 of the final recovery plan and will be made available on the Service’s website at that time. Species Background The Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri), a small sea duck, was listed as a threatened distinct population segment under the Act in 1997 (62 FR 31748) due to the contraction of its breeding range in Alaska. Steller’s eiders spend the majority of their lives in the marine environment, occupying terrestrial habitats only during the nesting season, which occurs from approximately early June to early September. Nesting in Alaska is concentrated in tundra wetland habitat near Utqiag˙vik, and occurs at lower densities elsewhere on Alaska’s Arctic Coastal Plain. Alaskabreeding Steller’s eiders molt and winter in the southern Bering Sea and northern Pacific Ocean, where they intermix with Russia-breeding Steller’s eiders. Combined, these two breeding populations comprise the Pacificwintering population of Steller’s eiders. Considerable uncertainty about the drivers of population growth and the factors inhibiting recovery of the Alaska-breeding population exists; however, known threats include ingestion of lead ammunition, shooting, collisions with human-built structures, human disturbance in nesting areas, nest predation, and changes to the ecological community in the nesting area (e.g., less extreme cycles of lemming abundance). Refer to the Species Status Assessment Report (USFWS 2019) for a full discussion of the population’s biology and threats. 32969 2. If the trend of the Pacific-wintering population is unknown or decreasing, over 20 years the number of Steller’s eiders breeding in Alaska must be ≥75, 300, and 150, near Utqiag˙vik, in the Utqiag˙vik triangle, and in the Arctic Coastal Plain study areas, respectively, or the total number of Steller’s eiders breeding in Alaska must be ≥525, with a wide enough distribution to ensure adequate redundancy and representation. Additionally, threats including (but not limited to) ingestion of lead ammunition, mortality from shooting, collisions with structures, human disturbance in the breeding area, nest predation, and changes to the ecological community must be found to not affect the ability of the population to meet and maintain the demographic criteria above. Recovery Strategy To achieve the recovery criteria, the recovery strategy for Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders includes working with Federal agencies and other partners to improve survival and reproductive rates by eliminating known threats such as lead contamination, shooting, collisions, and disturbance, and protect both breeding and non-breeding habitats. Considerable uncertainty about the ecology, population dynamics, and constraints to population growth remains; therefore, a number of recovery actions are focused on monitoring population size and continuing research to improve our understanding of Steller’s eider ecology, threats, and efficacy of management actions. Draft Recovery Plan Availability of Public Comments Recovery Criteria 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 us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. The ultimate recovery goal is to remove the Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s eiders from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (delist) by ensuring the long-term viability of the population in the wild. In the draft plan, we have identified the following two recovery criteria alternatives, based on the best available information about the species. 1. If the abundance of the Pacificwintering population is known to be increasing or stable, over 20 years the number of Steller’s eiders must be ≥50, 200, and 100, near Utqiag˙vik, in the Utqiag˙vik Triangle, and in the Arctic Coastal Plain study areas, respectively, or the total number of Steller’s eiders breeding in Alaska must be ≥350, with a wide enough distribution to ensure adequate redundancy and representation; or PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Authority The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Gregory Siekaniec, Regional Director, Alaska Region. [FR Doc. 2021–13153 Filed 6–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\23JNN1.SGM 23JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 23, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32968-32969]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-13153]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-ES-2020-N109; FXES11140700000-201-FF07CAFB00]


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery 
Plan for the Alaska-Breeding Population of Steller's Eider, First 
Revision

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for public comment.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of the draft first revision of the recovery plan for the 
threatened Alaska-breeding population of Steller's eiders (Polysticta 
stelleri). We request review and comment on the revised plan from 
local, State and Federal agencies, Tribes, and the public. We will also 
accept any new information on the status of the Alaska-breeding 
population of Steller's eiders throughout its range to assist in 
finalizing the recovery plan.

DATES: Comment submission: To ensure consideration, we must receive 
written comments on or before August 23, 2021. However, we will accept 
information about the species at any time.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain a copy of the draft 
recovery plan by one of the following methods:
     Internet: Download the document at https://www.fws.gov/alaska/pages/endangered-species/stellers-eider.
     U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Attention: 
Neesha Stellrecht, Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Field Office; 101 12th 
Ave.; Fairbanks, AK 99701.
     Telephone: Neesha Stellrecht, 907-456-0297.
    Comment submission: You may submit comments by one of the following 
methods:
     Mail or hand delivery: Submit written comments to the 
above U.S. mail address.
     Email: [email protected]. Please include 
``Steller's eider recovery plan'' in the subject line.
    For additional information about submitting comments, see 
Availability of Public Comments in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Neesha Stellrecht, by one of the 
methods in ADDRESSES. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech 
impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 for TTY 
assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service), announce the availability of the draft recovery plan, first 
revision (draft plan), for the threatened Alaska-breeding population of 
Steller's eiders for public review and comment. The original recovery 
plan for this population was approved in 2002. The draft revised plan, 
when finalized, would replace the

[[Page 32969]]

2002 version. The draft plan includes objective, measurable criteria 
and recovery actions as may be necessary for removal of the species 
from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. We request 
review and comment on the draft plan from local, State, and Federal 
agencies, and the public.

Recovery Planning

    Section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act (Act) of 1973, as 
amended (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires the development of 
recovery plans for listed species, unless such a plan would not promote 
the conservation of a particular species. Also pursuant to section 4(f) 
of the Act, a recovery plan must, to the maximum extent practicable, 
include (1) a description of site-specific management actions as may be 
necessary to achieve the plan's goals for the conservation and survival 
of the species; (2) objective, measurable criteria that, when met, 
would support a determination under section 4(a)(1) that the species 
should be removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Species; 
and (3) estimates of the time and costs required to carry out those 
measures needed to achieve the plan's goal and to achieve intermediate 
steps toward that goal.
    The Service has revised its approach to recovery planning. The 
revised process is intended to reduce the time needed to develop and 
implement recovery plans, increase recovery plan relevancy over a 
longer timeframe, and add flexibility to recovery plans so they can be 
adjusted to new information or circumstances. A recovery plan will 
include statutorily required elements (objective, measurable criteria; 
site-specific management actions; and, estimates of time and costs), 
along with a concise introduction and our strategy for how we plan to 
achieve species recovery. The recovery plan is supported by a separate 
Species Status Assessment. The essential component to flexible 
implementation under this recovery process is producing a separate 
working document called the Recovery Implementation Strategy 
(implementation strategy). The implementation strategy steps down from 
the more general description of actions in the recovery plan to detail 
the specific, near-term activities needed to implement the recovery 
plan. The implementation strategy will be adaptable by being able to 
incorporate new information without having to concurrently revise the 
recovery plan, unless changes to statutory elements are required. The 
implementation strategy will be developed following publication of the 
final recovery plan and will be made available on the Service's website 
at that time.

Species Background

    The Alaska-breeding population of Steller's eider (Polysticta 
stelleri), a small sea duck, was listed as a threatened distinct 
population segment under the Act in 1997 (62 FR 31748) due to the 
contraction of its breeding range in Alaska. Steller's eiders spend the 
majority of their lives in the marine environment, occupying 
terrestrial habitats only during the nesting season, which occurs from 
approximately early June to early September. Nesting in Alaska is 
concentrated in tundra wetland habitat near Utqia[gdot]vik, and occurs 
at lower densities elsewhere on Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain. Alaska-
breeding Steller's eiders molt and winter in the southern Bering Sea 
and northern Pacific Ocean, where they intermix with Russia-breeding 
Steller's eiders. Combined, these two breeding populations comprise the 
Pacific-wintering population of Steller's eiders. Considerable 
uncertainty about the drivers of population growth and the factors 
inhibiting recovery of the Alaska-breeding population exists; however, 
known threats include ingestion of lead ammunition, shooting, 
collisions with human-built structures, human disturbance in nesting 
areas, nest predation, and changes to the ecological community in the 
nesting area (e.g., less extreme cycles of lemming abundance). Refer to 
the Species Status Assessment Report (USFWS 2019) for a full discussion 
of the population's biology and threats.

Draft Recovery Plan

Recovery Criteria

    The ultimate recovery goal is to remove the Alaska-breeding 
population of Steller's eiders from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife (delist) by ensuring the long-term viability of the 
population in the wild. In the draft plan, we have identified the 
following two recovery criteria alternatives, based on the best 
available information about the species.
    1. If the abundance of the Pacific-wintering population is known to 
be increasing or stable, over 20 years the number of Steller's eiders 
must be >=50, 200, and 100, near Utqia[gdot]vik, in the Utqia[gdot]vik 
Triangle, and in the Arctic Coastal Plain study areas, respectively, or 
the total number of Steller's eiders breeding in Alaska must be >=350, 
with a wide enough distribution to ensure adequate redundancy and 
representation; or
    2. If the trend of the Pacific-wintering population is unknown or 
decreasing, over 20 years the number of Steller's eiders breeding in 
Alaska must be >=75, 300, and 150, near Utqia[gdot]vik, in the 
Utqia[gdot]vik triangle, and in the Arctic Coastal Plain study areas, 
respectively, or the total number of Steller's eiders breeding in 
Alaska must be >=525, with a wide enough distribution to ensure 
adequate redundancy and representation.
    Additionally, threats including (but not limited to) ingestion of 
lead ammunition, mortality from shooting, collisions with structures, 
human disturbance in the breeding area, nest predation, and changes to 
the ecological community must be found to not affect the ability of the 
population to meet and maintain the demographic criteria above.

Recovery Strategy

    To achieve the recovery criteria, the recovery strategy for Alaska-
breeding Steller's eiders includes working with Federal agencies and 
other partners to improve survival and reproductive rates by 
eliminating known threats such as lead contamination, shooting, 
collisions, and disturbance, and protect both breeding and non-breeding 
habitats. Considerable uncertainty about the ecology, population 
dynamics, and constraints to population growth remains; therefore, a 
number of recovery actions are focused on monitoring population size 
and continuing research to improve our understanding of Steller's eider 
ecology, threats, and efficacy of management actions.

Availability of Public Comments

    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 us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Authority

    The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

Gregory Siekaniec,
Regional Director, Alaska Region.
[FR Doc. 2021-13153 Filed 6-22-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P