Eagle Permits; Updated Bald Eagle Population Estimates and Take Limits, 5493-5495 [2022-02040]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 21 / Tuesday, February 1, 2022 / Notices Application Process Organizations may submit one application per application period in each of the three AFG Program activities (e.g., one application for Operations and Safety, one for Vehicle Acquisition, and/or a separate application to be a Joint/Regional project host). If an organization submits more than one application for any single AFG Program activity (e.g., two applications for Operations and Safety, two for Vehicles, etc.), either intentionally or unintentionally, both applications may be disqualified. Applicants may access the grant application electronically at https:// go.fema.gov. The application is also accessible from the U.S. Fire Administration’s website at https:// www.usfa.fema.gov and the Grants.gov website at https://www.grants.gov. New applicants must register and establish a username and password for secure access to the grant application. Previous AFG Program applicants must use their previously established username and password. Applicants are expected to answer questions about their grant request that reflect the AFG Program funding priorities. In addition, each applicant must complete four separate narratives for each project or grant activity requested. Grant applicants will also provide relevant information about their organization’s characteristics, call volume, and existing organizational capabilities. tkelley on DSK125TN23PROD with NOTICE System for Award Management (SAM) Per 2 CFR 25.200, all Federal grant applicants and recipients must register at https://SAM.gov. SAM is the Federal Government’s System for Award Management, and registration is free of charge. Applicants must maintain current information in SAM that is consistent with the data provided in their AFG Program grant application and in the Dun & Bradstreet database, which currently provides the official unique entity identifier, the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Per 2 CFR 25.205, FEMA may not make a federal award or make any financial modifications to an existing award unless the applicant or grant recipient has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements. The grant applicant’s banking information, EIN, organization/ entity name, address and DUNS number must match the same information provided in SAM. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Jan 31, 2022 Jkt 256001 Criteria Development Panel Recommendations If there are any differences between the published AFG Program guidelines and the recommendations made by the CDP, FEMA must explain them and publish the information in the Federal Register prior to awarding any grant under the AFG Program. For FY 2021, FEMA accepted, and will implement, all but two of the CDP’s recommendations for the prioritization of eligible activities. Adopted Recommendations for FY 2021 The FY 2021 AFG Program NOFO contains some changes to definitions, descriptions, and priority categories. Changes to the FY 2021 AFG Program NOFO include: • Under the PPE Activity: D Inclusion of pre-scoring emphasis for this Activity to ensure replacing out of service and non-compliant PPE is of high priority. Therefore, the following PPE priorities and definitions have been updated: Æ Increase supply for new hire/ existing firefighters that do not have one set of turnout gear (PPE) or allocated seated position Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). This includes replacing out of service PPE and SCBA as High Priority. Æ Replace in-service/in-use/damaged/ unsafe/unrepairable PPE or SCBA to meet current standard as High Priority. Æ Replace in-service/in-use/expired/ noncompliant PPE or SCBA to current standard as High Priority. Æ Upgrade technology to current standard as Low Priority. D Additional considerations for PPE and SCBA: Æ The applicant’s call volume has a lesser impact on scoring and therefore the final funding decision. • Under the Equipment Activity: D The following equipment priorities and definitions have been updated: Æ Obtain equipment to achieve minimum operational and deployment standards for existing missions as High Priority. Æ Replace non-compliant equipment to current standard as High Priority. Æ Obtain equipment for new mission as Medium Priority. Æ Upgrade technology to current standard as Low Priority. • Under Supporting Definitions: Æ Paid on-call/stipend departments are added to the definition of Combination Fire Department. Æ Firefighting personnel definition is added. • Under Modifications to Facility Activity: PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5493 Æ New first-time installation of exhaust, sprinkler, carbon monoxide and/or smoke/fire detection systems are now listed as High Priority, while replacement or update/upgrade to existing systems is considered Low Priority. • Under Equipment Activity List: Æ Respirator decontamination system is added as Medium Priority. • Under Additions to the Application: Æ Question about frequency of live fire training is added for statistical purposes only. Æ Question about self-inflicted fatalities within the department is added for statistical purposes only. Æ Question regarding quantity of equipped Advanced Life Support Response vehicles (transport and nontransport) is added. • Under Allocations and Restrictions of Available Grant Funds by Organization Type: Æ Outline the funding available for Micro Grants applications. • Under Application Tips: Æ Recommendation to consider nonPer- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) when recipients purchase new protective gear. • Under Micro Grants: Æ Funding allocation for Micro Grants was updated. Of the 25% allocated to each of the career, combination, and volunteer departments, FEMA will aim to fund no less than 25% of the allocation for Micro Grants. Recommendations Not Adopted for FY 2021 • Proposed changes to reduce the size of the Micro Grant applications were not adopted for the FY 2021 application cycle. • Proposed change that all items that are PFAS free receiving higher funding priority was not adopted for the FY 2021 application cycle. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229. Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2022–02034 Filed 1–31–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–64–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2020–0138; FF09M27000–212–FXMB123109EAGLE] Eagle Permits; Updated Bald Eagle Population Estimates and Take Limits AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1 5494 ACTION: Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 21 / Tuesday, February 1, 2022 / Notices Notice. In December 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, or we) completed a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) wherein we evaluated biological data to establish maximum take limits for permits to take bald eagles in each of six eagle management units in the United States. In the PEIS, we committed to reevaluate biological data and reassess the take limits no less than once every 6 years. This notice is to inform the public that we have reviewed recent data and, using updated population and demographic models, are revising take limits for bald eagles effective immediately. DATES: The maximum allowable take limits set forth in this document are effective February 1, 2022. ADDRESSES: Supplementary documents for this notice may be obtained from https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2020–0138. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian A. Millsap, National Raptor Coordinator, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at 505–559–3963. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: tkelley on DSK125TN23PROD with NOTICE SUMMARY: Background Our authority to authorize take of eagles is derived from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703–712) and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (hereafter Eagle Act; 16 U.S.C. 668– 668d). The Eagle Act further specifies that take of eagles may only be authorized after a finding that the take is compatible with the preservation of the bald eagle or the golden eagle. Through regulations in part 22 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Service issues eagle take permits for several specific purposes, including scientific or Tribal religious purposes and preventing depredations on livestock and collisions with airplanes near airports. However, the majority of permits the Service issues to authorize take of eagles are for incidental take; that is, take that is associated with, but not the purpose of, a human activity (50 CFR 22.26). The definition of ‘‘take’’ under the Eagle Act includes ‘‘pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb’’ (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). In 2016, we revised the permit regulations governing eagle incidental take (81 FR 91494, December 16, 2016). As part of that rulemaking action, we completed a biological status assessment for both bald and golden VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Jan 31, 2022 Jkt 256001 eagles and a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. These documents and other supporting information for the 2016 rule are available in Docket No. FWS–R9–MB– 2011–0094 at https:// www.regulations.gov. The 2016 rulemaking action and supplementary documents implemented the following actions: (1) Established six eagle management units (EMUs) for bald eagles—the Atlantic Flyway, Mississippi Flyway, Central Flyway, Pacific Flyway north of 40° north latitude, Pacific Flyway south of 40° north latitude, and Alaska; (2) Established a bald eagle management objective of maintaining stable or increasing breeding populations in all EMUs, and the persistence of local populations throughout the geographic range; (3) Used the 20th quantiles of the bald eagle population size estimates for each EMU for permitting purposes and presented those values (use of the 20th quantile of the probability distributions for the population size estimates was a policy decision made by the Service in the 2016 PEIS to conservatively addresses the uncertainty in the population size estimates to ensure the take limits are compatible with the management objective for bald eagles); (4) Established a specific take rate for bald eagles in the Pacific Flyway South EMU and a general take rate across the other EMUs that was consistent with the management objective; (5) Set take limits in each EMU based on the appropriate take rate and the 20th quantile of the EMU population size estimate; and (6) Established a schedule for conducting eagle surveys and committed to updating population size estimates and, if warranted, take rates and take limits no less than once every 6 years. The 2016 status report and PEIS used bald eagle count data from 2009 to arrive at a U.S. population estimate of 143,000 bald eagles (20th quantile = 126,000). The schedule established in the PEIS called for the Service to update bald-eagle-population size and take limits in 2022. However, as part of the 2019 settlement agreement for Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition v. Department of the Interior et al. (a case challenging aspects of our authority to issue eagle permits), the Service agreed to expedite the next update of the baldeagle-population size and appropriate take rate. We completed one new survey of occupied bald eagle nesting territories in the coterminous United States (excluding the Pacific Flyway South EMU, for reasons explained below) in PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2019 and have since completed the necessary scientific analyses for the expedited update. Updated Data and Take Limits Through this document, we are providing public notice of the updated bald eagle population size, take rate, and take limits used to guide issuance of bald eagle take permits for all but the Alaska and Pacific Flyway South bald eagle EMUs. We did not implement surveys in Alaska because we did not have the financial or logistical resources. In the Pacific Flyway South EMU bald eagles are relatively scarce and patchily distributed, making aerial surveys impractical. Take limits for these two EMUs will remain as reported in the 2016 PEIS until we are able to acquire and conduct separate analyses of new information from these populations. For this update, we implemented several improvements to the data and models we use to generate the relevant demographic, population size, and take rate estimates. These changes are discussed in detail in a technical report that can be obtained from https:// www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2020–0138. In brief, we: (1) Collaborated with the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology to use eBird citizen-science information to improve our estimates of the number of occupied bald eagle nesting territories. The Service’s aerial bald eagle nesting territory survey covers areas of the coterminous United States that have high densities of nesting bald eagles, but these surveys are not efficient in, and thus are not conducted in, areas where nests are sparse. However, eBird bald eagle relative abundance estimates are available for nearly all areas in the coterminous United States. For the 2009 bald eagle population size estimate, we used counts of known bald eagle nests provided by State fish and wildlife agencies as a conservative estimate of the number of occupied bald eagle nesting territories outside of the areas covered by the aerial survey. Many States no longer track bald eagle nests, however, so this process was not a viable option for this update. Instead, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Service scientists used aerial survey and eBird relative abundance data from areas where both data types were available to develop a model that accurately predicted bald eagle nest density from eBird relative abundance values. We then used this model to estimate the number of occupied bald eagle nesting territories in 2019 in the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway North EMUs. E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 21 / Tuesday, February 1, 2022 / Notices (2) Developed an integrated population model (IPM) to improve the precision of our estimates of demographic rates. IPMs integrate count data (our estimates of the number of occupied nesting territories) and data on survival rates and reproductive rates to produce more precise estimates of population size, survival, and fecundity than would otherwise be possible. These rates are used to estimate the take rate consistent with our management objective and to translate the estimate of the number of occupied nesting territories into a total population size estimate. IPMs also allow for the estimation of demographic parameters for which no explicit data are available in some cases. For bald eagles, one such parameter is the proportion of adults that breed, and we were able to obtain credible estimates of this parameter from our IPM. This change is important because it allowed us to account for adult ‘‘floaters’’ (i.e., adults not settled on a nesting territory) and thus accurately estimate the total number of adult bald eagles in the population. The IPM provided information on the proportion of the bald eagle population that was in each age class, and so knowing the number of adults allowed us to estimate numbers for the other age classes and thus total population size. In our 2016 eagle status assessment we independently modeled each relevant demographic rate, and thus did not take advantage of the ability to leverage the information that comes with IPMs. (3) We updated the bald eagle banding data used to estimate survival rates in the IPM to include band recoveries through 2018. (4) We updated our model for determining take rates and limits for bald eagles based on the new estimates of relevant demographic parameters from the IPM. We also added flexibility to the model to accommodate the type of density dependence that likely regulates bald eagle population size. Our 2019 estimate of bald eagle population size in the four EMUs is 316,708. However, consistent with the 5495 Service’s decision in the 2016 PEIS, we use the 20th quantile of the probability distribution as the relevant value for management purposes, which is 273,327 bald eagles. Although some of the increase in the estimates of population size from 2009 to 2019 can be attributed to improvements in methods, the majority of the increase is likely due to population growth, estimated to be around 10 percent per year. In the 2016 PEIS, we determined that a take rate of 0.06 was consistent with our management objective for bald eagles. Based on updated demographic information and using a more appropriate form of the take-limit model, we have updated our estimate of the appropriate take rate to 0.09. The changes in population size and the take rate result in an annual maximum take limit in the four EMUs of 15,832 bald eagles (see table below). Actual permitted bald eagle take was 490 in 2020, and the higher updated take limits will not in themselves lead to increased take. TABLE—FORMER AND NEW BALD EAGLE POPULATION SIZE AND TAKE LIMITS BY BALD EAGLE MANAGEMENT UNIT 2009 Population size (20th quantile) tkelley on DSK125TN23PROD with NOTICE Bald eagle management unit 2009 Take limit 2019 Population size (20th quantile) New take limits Atlantic Flyway ................................................. Mississippi Flyway ........................................... Central Flyway ................................................. Pacific Flyway North ........................................ 20,387 27,334 1,163 13,296 1,223 1,640 70 798 72,990 137,917 26,253 36,302 4,223 7,986 1,521 2,102 Total .......................................................... 62,180 3,731 273,327 15,832 Despite the improvements we made in our models and approach, we have not altered the analytical framework of the 2016 PEIS. Additionally, our update does not alter any of the policy decisions made in the PEIS, and there are no regulatory changes necessary to implement these new take limits. In the 2016 PEIS we specifically anticipated these kinds of periodic updates to the technical information underlying our analytical framework to account for changes in population size and demographic rates that might occur over time. Thus, these updates represent a recalibration of the take limits by applying the same concepts and policy decisions in the 2016 PEIS to updated information on the size and demographic rates of bald eagles in the relevant EMUs. Because this new information constitutes only a technical update of the scientific information in our 2016 PEIS, we have determined that the PEIS itself does not need to be updated or supplemented, nor are any regulatory changes required to implement the update. Consequently, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Jan 31, 2022 Jkt 256001 these updated maximum allowable take limits are effective upon publication of this notice. Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2022–02040 Filed 1–31–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [L19900000.PO0000.LLWO320.20X; OMB Control No. 1004–0025] Agency Information Collection Activities; Mineral Surveys, Mineral Patent Applications, Adverse Claims, Protests, and Contests AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. Notice of information collection; request for comment. ACTION: PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to renew an information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before March 3, 2022. ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for this information collection request (ICR) should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/ PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Elaine Guenaga by email at eguenaga@blm.gov, or by telephone at 775–276–0287. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1– 800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. You may also view the ICR at https:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 21 (Tuesday, February 1, 2022)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5493-5495]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-02040]


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

Fish and Wildlife Service

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2020-0138; FF09M27000-212-FXMB123109EAGLE]


Eagle Permits; Updated Bald Eagle Population Estimates and Take 
Limits

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 5494]]


ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: In December 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, 
or we) completed a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) 
wherein we evaluated biological data to establish maximum take limits 
for permits to take bald eagles in each of six eagle management units 
in the United States. In the PEIS, we committed to reevaluate 
biological data and reassess the take limits no less than once every 6 
years. This notice is to inform the public that we have reviewed recent 
data and, using updated population and demographic models, are revising 
take limits for bald eagles effective immediately.

DATES: The maximum allowable take limits set forth in this document are 
effective February 1, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Supplementary documents for this notice may be obtained from 
https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2020-0138.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian A. Millsap, National Raptor 
Coordinator, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, at 505-559-3963.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Our authority to authorize take of eagles is derived from the 
Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712) and the Bald and Golden 
Eagle Protection Act (hereafter Eagle Act; 16 U.S.C. 668-668d). The 
Eagle Act further specifies that take of eagles may only be authorized 
after a finding that the take is compatible with the preservation of 
the bald eagle or the golden eagle. Through regulations in part 22 of 
title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Service issues 
eagle take permits for several specific purposes, including scientific 
or Tribal religious purposes and preventing depredations on livestock 
and collisions with airplanes near airports. However, the majority of 
permits the Service issues to authorize take of eagles are for 
incidental take; that is, take that is associated with, but not the 
purpose of, a human activity (50 CFR 22.26). The definition of ``take'' 
under the Eagle Act includes ``pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, 
kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb'' (16 U.S.C. 
668c; 50 CFR 22.3).
    In 2016, we revised the permit regulations governing eagle 
incidental take (81 FR 91494, December 16, 2016). As part of that 
rulemaking action, we completed a biological status assessment for both 
bald and golden eagles and a Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement. These documents and other supporting information for the 
2016 rule are available in Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2011-0094 at https://www.regulations.gov. The 2016 rulemaking action and supplementary 
documents implemented the following actions:
    (1) Established six eagle management units (EMUs) for bald eagles--
the Atlantic Flyway, Mississippi Flyway, Central Flyway, Pacific Flyway 
north of 40[deg] north latitude, Pacific Flyway south of 40[deg] north 
latitude, and Alaska;
    (2) Established a bald eagle management objective of maintaining 
stable or increasing breeding populations in all EMUs, and the 
persistence of local populations throughout the geographic range;
    (3) Used the 20th quantiles of the bald eagle population size 
estimates for each EMU for permitting purposes and presented those 
values (use of the 20th quantile of the probability distributions for 
the population size estimates was a policy decision made by the Service 
in the 2016 PEIS to conservatively addresses the uncertainty in the 
population size estimates to ensure the take limits are compatible with 
the management objective for bald eagles);
    (4) Established a specific take rate for bald eagles in the Pacific 
Flyway South EMU and a general take rate across the other EMUs that was 
consistent with the management objective;
    (5) Set take limits in each EMU based on the appropriate take rate 
and the 20th quantile of the EMU population size estimate; and
    (6) Established a schedule for conducting eagle surveys and 
committed to updating population size estimates and, if warranted, take 
rates and take limits no less than once every 6 years.
    The 2016 status report and PEIS used bald eagle count data from 
2009 to arrive at a U.S. population estimate of 143,000 bald eagles 
(20th quantile = 126,000). The schedule established in the PEIS called 
for the Service to update bald-eagle-population size and take limits in 
2022. However, as part of the 2019 settlement agreement for Energy and 
Wildlife Action Coalition v. Department of the Interior et al. (a case 
challenging aspects of our authority to issue eagle permits), the 
Service agreed to expedite the next update of the bald-eagle-population 
size and appropriate take rate. We completed one new survey of occupied 
bald eagle nesting territories in the coterminous United States 
(excluding the Pacific Flyway South EMU, for reasons explained below) 
in 2019 and have since completed the necessary scientific analyses for 
the expedited update.

Updated Data and Take Limits

    Through this document, we are providing public notice of the 
updated bald eagle population size, take rate, and take limits used to 
guide issuance of bald eagle take permits for all but the Alaska and 
Pacific Flyway South bald eagle EMUs. We did not implement surveys in 
Alaska because we did not have the financial or logistical resources. 
In the Pacific Flyway South EMU bald eagles are relatively scarce and 
patchily distributed, making aerial surveys impractical. Take limits 
for these two EMUs will remain as reported in the 2016 PEIS until we 
are able to acquire and conduct separate analyses of new information 
from these populations.
    For this update, we implemented several improvements to the data 
and models we use to generate the relevant demographic, population 
size, and take rate estimates. These changes are discussed in detail in 
a technical report that can be obtained from https://www.regulations.gov 
in Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2020-0138. In brief, we:
    (1) Collaborated with the Cornell University Laboratory of 
Ornithology to use eBird citizen-science information to improve our 
estimates of the number of occupied bald eagle nesting territories. The 
Service's aerial bald eagle nesting territory survey covers areas of 
the coterminous United States that have high densities of nesting bald 
eagles, but these surveys are not efficient in, and thus are not 
conducted in, areas where nests are sparse. However, eBird bald eagle 
relative abundance estimates are available for nearly all areas in the 
coterminous United States. For the 2009 bald eagle population size 
estimate, we used counts of known bald eagle nests provided by State 
fish and wildlife agencies as a conservative estimate of the number of 
occupied bald eagle nesting territories outside of the areas covered by 
the aerial survey. Many States no longer track bald eagle nests, 
however, so this process was not a viable option for this update. 
Instead, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Service scientists used 
aerial survey and eBird relative abundance data from areas where both 
data types were available to develop a model that accurately predicted 
bald eagle nest density from eBird relative abundance values. We then 
used this model to estimate the number of occupied bald eagle nesting 
territories in 2019 in the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific 
Flyway North EMUs.

[[Page 5495]]

    (2) Developed an integrated population model (IPM) to improve the 
precision of our estimates of demographic rates. IPMs integrate count 
data (our estimates of the number of occupied nesting territories) and 
data on survival rates and reproductive rates to produce more precise 
estimates of population size, survival, and fecundity than would 
otherwise be possible. These rates are used to estimate the take rate 
consistent with our management objective and to translate the estimate 
of the number of occupied nesting territories into a total population 
size estimate. IPMs also allow for the estimation of demographic 
parameters for which no explicit data are available in some cases. For 
bald eagles, one such parameter is the proportion of adults that breed, 
and we were able to obtain credible estimates of this parameter from 
our IPM. This change is important because it allowed us to account for 
adult ``floaters'' (i.e., adults not settled on a nesting territory) 
and thus accurately estimate the total number of adult bald eagles in 
the population. The IPM provided information on the proportion of the 
bald eagle population that was in each age class, and so knowing the 
number of adults allowed us to estimate numbers for the other age 
classes and thus total population size. In our 2016 eagle status 
assessment we independently modeled each relevant demographic rate, and 
thus did not take advantage of the ability to leverage the information 
that comes with IPMs.
    (3) We updated the bald eagle banding data used to estimate 
survival rates in the IPM to include band recoveries through 2018.
    (4) We updated our model for determining take rates and limits for 
bald eagles based on the new estimates of relevant demographic 
parameters from the IPM. We also added flexibility to the model to 
accommodate the type of density dependence that likely regulates bald 
eagle population size.
    Our 2019 estimate of bald eagle population size in the four EMUs is 
316,708. However, consistent with the Service's decision in the 2016 
PEIS, we use the 20th quantile of the probability distribution as the 
relevant value for management purposes, which is 273,327 bald eagles. 
Although some of the increase in the estimates of population size from 
2009 to 2019 can be attributed to improvements in methods, the majority 
of the increase is likely due to population growth, estimated to be 
around 10 percent per year. In the 2016 PEIS, we determined that a take 
rate of 0.06 was consistent with our management objective for bald 
eagles. Based on updated demographic information and using a more 
appropriate form of the take-limit model, we have updated our estimate 
of the appropriate take rate to 0.09. The changes in population size 
and the take rate result in an annual maximum take limit in the four 
EMUs of 15,832 bald eagles (see table below). Actual permitted bald 
eagle take was 490 in 2020, and the higher updated take limits will not 
in themselves lead to increased take.

                             Table--Former and New Bald Eagle Population Size and Take Limits by Bald Eagle Management Unit
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  2009 Population size                        2019 Population size
                   Bald eagle management unit                        (20th quantile)       2009 Take limit       (20th quantile)       New take limits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic Flyway.................................................                20,387                 1,223                72,990                 4,223
Mississippi Flyway..............................................                27,334                 1,640               137,917                 7,986
Central Flyway..................................................                 1,163                    70                26,253                 1,521
Pacific Flyway North............................................                13,296                   798                36,302                 2,102
                                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................................                62,180                 3,731               273,327                15,832
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Despite the improvements we made in our models and approach, we 
have not altered the analytical framework of the 2016 PEIS. 
Additionally, our update does not alter any of the policy decisions 
made in the PEIS, and there are no regulatory changes necessary to 
implement these new take limits. In the 2016 PEIS we specifically 
anticipated these kinds of periodic updates to the technical 
information underlying our analytical framework to account for changes 
in population size and demographic rates that might occur over time. 
Thus, these updates represent a recalibration of the take limits by 
applying the same concepts and policy decisions in the 2016 PEIS to 
updated information on the size and demographic rates of bald eagles in 
the relevant EMUs. Because this new information constitutes only a 
technical update of the scientific information in our 2016 PEIS, we 
have determined that the PEIS itself does not need to be updated or 
supplemented, nor are any regulatory changes required to implement the 
update. Consequently, these updated maximum allowable take limits are 
effective upon publication of this notice.

Martha Williams,
Principal Deputy Director, Exercising the Delegated Authority of the 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-02040 Filed 1-31-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P