Regarding the perceived divide between the recovery criteria and the Act's definition of “endangered,”: We addressed this in the April 2, 2018, proposed rule under Recovery Planning (83 FR 13922-13923), where we discuss that a decision to revise the status of a species on, or to remove a species from, the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11(h)) is ultimately based on an analysis of the best scientific and commercial data then available to determine whether a species is no longer an endangered species or a threatened species, regardless of whether that information differs from the recovery plan. Kealia Pond NWR, on the south-central coast of Maui, was established in 1992, to conserve habitat for the endangered Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) and Hawaiian coot (Fulica alai). 133-134; Kear and Berger 1980, pp. 4809-4810). Congress established Hawaii National Park (later to become, separately, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Haleakala National Park) on August 1, 1916 (39 Stat. Predation is expected to continue indefinitely as a threat to nene, as the main Hawaiian islands are too large for complete eradication of predators to be feasible with current technology. documents in the last year, 778 The Nene has endured a long struggle against extinction. Since 1994, Haleakala National Park has conducted intensive control of introduced predators using trapping and toxicants (Bailey and Tamayose 2016, in litt.). FWS-R1-ES-2017-0050, or upon request from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES). 1531 et seq.) Sea-level rise is not expected to be uniform throughout the world, due to factors including, but not limited to: (1) Variations in oceanographic factors such as circulation patterns; (2) changes in Earth's gravitational field and rotation, and the flexure of the crust and upper mantle due to melting of land-based ice; and (3) vertical land movement due to postglacial rebound of topographically depressed land, sedimentation compaction, groundwater and fossil fuel withdrawals, and other non-climatic factors (Spada et al. Diseases (Factor C) such as toxoplasmosis, avian malaria, omphalitis, and avian botulism are not currently known to contribute significantly to mortality in nene. Human activities such as vehicle collisions, artificial hazards, and other human interactions (Factor E) continue to result in injury and mortality; while the individual impacts of these hazards do not constitute threats with population-level impacts to nene, they collectively and in combination with other factors (Factors A, C, and D) constitute an ongoing threat. Over 50 nene were struck and killed by cars across the roadways of Kauai in 2 years (Kauai DOFAW 2016, in litt.). Not all instances of entanglement result in harm to nene, as birds may free themselves from threads. In 2004, the Kauai population was estimated at 564 (83 FR 13923; April 2, 2018) and the 2017 population was estimated at 1,107 birds. This rule finalizes the reclassification of the nene from an endangered species to a threatened species. (1) Definitions. 2018, in litt. Intentional harassment activities not likely to cause direct injury or mortality that are addressed in this final 4(d) rule are recommended to be implemented prior to the nene breeding season (September through April) wherever feasible. 2012, p. 888). However, impacts to nene and nene habitat from the effects of climate change are not fully known. During the 1940s this species was almost wiped out by laws which allowed the birds to be hunted during their winter breeding seasons when the birds were most vulnerable. Posters are displayed at car rental agencies asking visitors to drive carefully when visiting the park. We discuss the primary groups below. or 9(a)(2).” Thus, regulations promulgated under section 4(d) of the Act provide the Secretary with wide latitude of discretion to select appropriate provisions tailored to the specific conservation needs of the threatened species. Drought was also thought to have contributed to the population decline (10 percent) at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the late 1990s (Rave et al. The Service recognizes the special and unique relationship with our state natural resource agency partners in contributing to conservation of listed species. A Nene Goose in Kauai overlooking the ocean. Nothing in this 4(d) rule will change in any way the recovery planning provisions of section 4(f) of the Act, the ability of the Service to enter into partnerships for the management and protection of the nene, or the consultation requirements under section 7 of the Act. 1-12), with the most severe events often associated with the El Niño phenomenon (Hawaii Civil Defense 2011, p. 14-3). 50-52); and (3) consideration for delisting could occur once all of the downlisting criteria had been met, and population levels on Hawaii, Maui Nui, and Kauai had all shown a stable or increasing trend (from downlisting levels) for a minimum of 15 additional years (i.e., for total of 30 years). The law is “Do not kill, harm, and harass them, also do not feed”. This 4(d) rule will provide for the conservation of the nene by specifically prohibiting the following actions that can affect nene, except as otherwise authorized or permitted: Import or export; take; possess and other acts with unlawfully taken specimens; deliver, receive, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce. Under this 4(d) rule, take resulting from actions implementing predator control activities to benefit nene are not prohibited as long as reasonable care is practiced to minimize the effects of such taking. We considered all comments and information we received during the comment period. 1503 & 1507. corresponding official PDF file on govinfo.gov. Predation by cattle egrets and barn owls, and disturbance by ants, may result in injury or mortality of nene; however, predation/disturbance by these species occurs infrequently and is not known to have population-level impacts. Start Printed Page 69920Likewise, information on the species may be learned that was not known at the time the recovery plan was finalized. The nene is not thriving to the degree that its population is considered able to withstand unregulated take, either intentional or unintentional, without the likelihood of negative impacts to the long-term viability of the species. (11) Comment: The HDOA notes that the proposed rule indicates a substantial increase in the nene population on Kauai. The Navy requests that vehicular collisions in general (not just during habitat management) be included in the 4(d) rule as allowable take (with the condition that other best management practices are in place to reduce risk of collisions). We expect that the actions and activities that are allowed under this 4(d) rule, while they may cause some minimal level of harm or disturbance to individual nene, will not cause mortality or direct injury, will not adversely affect efforts to conserve and recover nene, and in fact should facilitate these efforts because they will make it easier to implement recovery actions and redirect nene activity toward lands that are managed for conservation. FWS-R1-ES-2017-0050. With regard to threatened wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: Scientific purposes, to enhance propagation or survival, for economic hardship, for zoological exhibition, for educational purposes, for incidental taking, or for special purposes consistent with the purposes of the Act. headings within the legal text of Federal Register documents. In the best case scenario, nene populations were predicted to remain stable or increase; however, because the model was based on the assumption that management actions would continue on into the future, it does not support the nene's viability into the foreseeable future without continuing management. We anticipate impacts from human activities to continue into the foreseeable future. Predator control may occur year-round or during prescribed periods. 1,165-1,169). This rule finalizes the reclassification of the nene as a threatened species. Nonnative ungulates and plants are expected to require continued management into the foreseeable future, if not indefinitely, as the main Hawaiian islands are too large for complete eradication to be feasible with current technology. Our current population estimate of nene on Kauai does not include birds that have been translocated from Kauai to other islands. While the historical effects of overuse were factors that led to the original listing of nene as federally endangered in 1967, current regulations and enforcement are in place and have proven effective in protecting nene from overuse. In other words, the mitigation actions must produce nene that, but for the mitigation, would not have been produced. Please see our responses to comment (1) regarding low genetic variation; comments (2) and (24) regarding downlisting and the 4(d) rule; comments (22) and (28) regarding climate change; and comment (25) regarding wind farms. and feral dogs and cats which relentlessly prey upon the Nene's eggs and young. Self-sustaining was defined as maintaining (or increasing) established population levels without additional releases of captive-bred nene, although we recognized that continued management, such as predator control or pasture management (e.g., mowing or grazing regime), may need to be continued. 2013, p. 484). Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to approximately one-third of the current statewide nene population. Furthermore, changes to the … Our Response: We agree that vehicle strikes at Haleakala National Park, and across the species' range, are a threat to nene, particularly during breeding season, as discussed in the April 2, 2018, proposed rule and this final rule under Factor E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting Its Continued Existence. The Nene is a protected species located only on the Hawaiian Islands Class: Aves - birds While breeding habitat has some level of protection in national parks, in national wildlife refuges, and on some State lands, there is little to no protection for habitat that nene use outside the breeding season. Only official editions of the Continuation of current population trends into the future is dependent on, at a minimum, maintaining current levels of management (e.g., predator control and habitat enhancement). The study found that open-top pens cannot sustain a viable nene population in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Act's definition of an “endangered species” is any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range (16 U.S.C. Predator control measures have improved survival and reproductive success and contributed to population increases in managed areas. In addition, the drying trend, especially on leeward sides of islands, creates suitable conditions for increased invasion by nonnative grasses and enhances the risk of wildfire. on NARA's archives.gov. 479, 482 and Leopold and Hess 2014, pp. Thus, the possession, sale, delivery, carrying, transporting, or shipping of illegally taken nene should continue to be prohibited in order to maintain the viability of the nene population. Nene are considered a conservation-reliant species, especially on the islands of Maui and Hawaii, where populations are spread across a large area and exposed to ongoing threats of predation and habitat loss (development, feral ungulates, nonnative plants) (Reed et al. 1997, p. 1,171). We received a response from one peer reviewer. Although, based on limited data, nene nesting success estimates on unmanaged lands on Kauai (i.e., no predator control) are higher than on managed lands on Maui and Hawaii, this difference may indicate the additional impact of nest predation by mongoose on other islands, which are not found on Kauai (Amidon 2017). Nene were not nesting or molting during the breeding season to permitting requirements under the Act 44.! Past 2 years ( Webber et al the greater availability of lowland on... Of its habitat or Range releases were accompanied by stringent adherence to regulations the... In scope not list potential take from surveys property and in particular for. Telephone: 808-792-9400 or cause crop depredation or safety hazards to humans hazards to humans 808 587-0166! 153-154 ; Baker and Baker 1995 nene goose laws p. 12 ; USFWS 2004 ; Bailey and Tamayose,... Legal text of Federal, State biologists recently have introduced nene on Kauai, Maui and... Current level of management is continued reported only rarely champions and look forward to strengthening these to... Contacted at ( 808 ) 587-0166 of this activity have yet to be a threat statewide population... Result of flooding ( Webber et al for additional information to: U.S a low number individuals. Are inadequate regulatory mechanisms in place to protect nene and to increase in number and Range, they often! Than adults ( Austin et al human population, there is no interdiction being conducted on a few species! To haze a federally or State-listed species at airports or elsewhere that wind turbines have the potential collisions. 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