[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 142 (Tuesday, July 24, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 43433-43467]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17402]



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Vol. 77

Tuesday,

No. 142

July 24, 2012

Part II





Department of the Interior





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Fish and Wildlife Service





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50 CFR Part 17





 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign Bird 
Species in Peru and Bolivia as Endangered Throughout Their Range; Final 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 142 / Tuesday, July 24, 2012 / Rules 
and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

[Docket No. FWS-R9-IA-2009-0059; 4500030115]
RIN 1018-AV77


Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign 
Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia as Endangered Throughout Their Range

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (We or Service), 
determine endangered status for the following six South American bird 
species (collectively referred to as species for purposes of this final 
rule) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act): Ash-
breasted tit-tyrant (Anairetes alpinus), Jun[iacute]n grebe (Podiceps 
taczanowskii), Jun[iacute]n rail (Laterallus tuerosi), Peruvian 
plantcutter (Phytotoma raimondii), royal cinclodes (Cinclodes 
aricomae), and white-browed tit-spinetail (Leptasthenura xenothorax). 
These species are in danger of extinction throughout all of their 
ranges. All six species are native to Peru. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant 
and royal cinclodes are also native to Bolivia.

DATES: This rule becomes effective August 23, 2012.

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

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Summary

    On January 5, 2010, we published a proposed rule (75 FR 606) to 
list these six foreign bird species as endangered: Ash-breasted tit-
tyrant, Jun[iacute]n grebe, Jun[iacute]n rail, Peruvian plantcutter, 
royal cinclodes, and white-browed tit-spinetail. These species are all 
native to Peru. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant and royal cinclodes are 
also native to Bolivia. Each of these six species is affected by the 
loss and degradation of habitat. In addition to severely contracted 
ranges and distributions of these species, their small, declining 
populations are an additional threat to their survival.
    This action is authorized by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
(Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), as amended. It affects part 17, 
subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
    These six foreign bird species will be listed as endangered under 
the Act.

Background

    On January 5, 2010, we published a proposed rule (75 FR 606) to 
list these six species as endangered: Ash-breasted tit-tyrant 
(Anairetes alpinus), Jun[iacute]n grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii), 
Jun[iacute]n rail (Laterallus tuerosi), Peruvian plantcutter (Phytotoma 
raimondii), royal cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae), and white-browed tit-
spinetail (Leptasthenura xenothorax). These species are all native to 
Peru. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant and royal cinclodes are also native 
to Bolivia.
    We opened the public comment period on the proposed rule for 60 
days, which ended March 8, 2010, to allow all interested parties an 
opportunity to comment on the proposed rule.
    We are addressing these six species under a single rule for 
efficiency. Each of these species is affected by similar threats. The 
major threat to these species is the loss and degradation of habitat. 
In addition to severely contracted ranges and distributions of these 
species, their small, declining populations are an additional threat. 
In this rule, we combined the evaluation of species that face similar 
threats within the same general habitat type and geographic area into 
one section to maximize our limited staff resources.

Previous Federal Actions

    On May 6, 1991, we received a petition (the 1991 petition) from the 
International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) to add 53 foreign 
bird species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 
including the six Peruvian bird species that are the subject of this 
proposed rule. In response to the 1991 petition, we published a 
substantial 90-day finding on December 16, 1991 (56 FR 65207), for all 
53 species and initiated a status review. On March 28, 1994 (59 FR 
14496), we published a 12-month finding on the 1991 petition, along 
with a proposed rule to list 30 African birds under the Act (which 
included 15 species from the 1991 petition). In that document, we 
announced our finding that listing the remaining 38 species from the 
1991 petition, including the six Peruvian bird species that are the 
subject of this proposed rule, was warranted but precluded by higher 
priority listing actions. We made a subsequent warranted-but-precluded 
finding for all outstanding foreign species from the 1991 petition, 
including the six Peruvian bird species that are the subject of this 
proposed rule, as published in our annual notice of review (ANOR) of 
foreign species on May 21, 2004 (69 FR 29354).
    Per the Service's listing priority guidelines (September 21, 1983; 
48 FR 43098), our 2007 ANOR (77 FR 20184, April 23, 2007) identified 
the listing priority numbers (LPNs) (ranging from 1 to 12) for all 
outstanding foreign species. The six Peruvian bird species that are the 
subject of this proposed rule were designated with an LPN of 2, and we 
determined that their listing continued to be warranted but precluded 
because of other listing actions. A listing priority of 2 indicates 
that the species faces imminent threats of high magnitude. With the 
exception of the listing priority ranking of 1, which addresses 
monotypic genera that face imminent threats of high magnitude, LPN 
categories 2 and 3 are among the Service's highest priorities for 
listing.
    On July 29, 2008 (73 FR 44062), we published in the Federal 
Register a notice announcing our annual petition findings for foreign 
species. In that notice, we announced listing to be warranted for 30 
foreign bird species, including the six Peruvian bird species that are 
the subject of this proposed rule, and stated that we would promptly 
publish proposals to list these 30 taxa. In selecting these six species 
from the list of warranted-but-precluded species, we took into 
consideration the magnitude and immediacy of the threats to the 
species, consistent with the Service's listing priority guidelines.
    On September 8, 2008, the Service received a 60-day notice of 
intent to sue from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Peter 
Galvin over violations of section 4 of the Act for the Service's 
failure to promptly publish listing proposals for the 30 warranted 
species identified in our 2008 ANOR. Under a settlement agreement 
approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of 
California on June 15, 2009, (CBD et al. v. Salazar, 09-CV-02578-

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CRB), we were required to submit to the Federal Register proposed 
listing rules for the ash-breasted tit-tyrant, Jun[iacute]n grebe, 
Jun[iacute]n rail, Peruvian plantcutter, royal cinclodes, and white-
browed tit-spinetail by December 29, 2009. That proposed rule published 
on January 5, 2010 (75 FR 606).

Summary of Changes From the Proposed Rule

    This final rule incorporates changes to our proposed listing based 
on new information located on these species since the proposed rule was 
published, including comments and information received from peer 
reviewers. In order to be concise and efficient, we are incorporating 
by reference background information that was published on these six 
species in the proposed rule, 75 FR 606, published January 5, 2010. 
Species descriptions, taxonomy, and habitat and life history may be 
found in the proposed rule, unless we are making technical corrections 
or incorporating new information. In this final rule, we included new 
information on recent location data for the royal cinclodes. We also 
updated the population estimates, range, and conservation status on the 
other species.
    We also changed the format of this final rule to make it more 
readable, particularly in light of the Plain Writing Act of 2010 
(Executive Order 13563). We organized it first by species descriptions 
for all six species, and then by the evaluation of factors affecting 
the species. We organized the threats evaluation for these six species 
(also known as the five-factor analysis, see Section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act), primarily by three habitat types and locations for efficiency. 
Three species occur in Polylepis forest, two species occur at Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, and the Peruvian plantcutter is evaluated on its own due 
to its unique habitat requirements and distribution. Because each 
habitat experiences similar threats, for each threat factor, we 
identified and evaluated those factors that affect these species within 
the particular habitat and that are common to all of the species within 
that habitat. For example, the degradation of habitat and habitat loss 
are threats to all six species. We also identified and evaluated 
threats that may be unique to certain species, but that may not apply 
to all of the species addressed in this final rule. For example, the 
Peruvian plantcutter is the only species addressed in this rule that is 
found in the northwestern coast of Peru, and we have addressed threats 
that are unique to that species specifically. Lastly, we included range 
maps for each species to better identify their ranges to the public.

Summary of Comments and Recommendations

    In the proposed rule that published on January 5, 2010 (75 FR 606), 
we requested that all interested parties submit information that might 
contribute to the development of a final rule. We also contacted 
appropriate scientific experts and organizations and invited them to 
comment on the proposed listings.
    We received three comments on the proposed rule from the public. 
One comment from the public expressed support for the proposed listings 
but provided no substantive information. One commenter requested that 
we take climate change into account when evaluating threats to these 
species. Although the science of climate change is still uncertain with 
respect to how it will affect the long-term viability of species and 
the ecosystems upon which they depend, the Service did consider effects 
of climate change to these species in this final rule.
    The other comment received from the public was also non-
substantive--the commenter asked why these species should be listed 
under the Act if they are not native to the United States. The Act 
provides for the listing of any species that qualifies as an endangered 
or threatened species, regardless of its native range. Protections 
under the Act apply to species not native to the United States and 
include restrictions on importation into the United States; sale or 
offer for sale in foreign commerce; and delivery, receipt, carrying, 
transport, or shipment in foreign commerce and in the course of a 
commercial activity. Listing also serves to heighten awareness of the 
importance of conserving these species among foreign governments, 
conservation organizations, and the public.

Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 
34270), we solicited expert opinions from six knowledgeable individuals 
with scientific expertise that included familiarity with one or more of 
these six species, the geographic region in which the species occur, 
and conservation biology principles. We received responses from four 
peer reviewers. The peer reviewers generally agreed that the 
description of the biology and habitat for each species was accurate 
and was based on the best available information. New location data were 
provided for the royal cinclodes, and we incorporated the information 
into the rule. Supporting data and information such as the species' 
biology, ecology, life history, population estimates, threat factors, 
and current conservation efforts were provided and also incorporated 
into this rule. In response to a comment from a peer reviewer who 
thought that the proposed rule was difficult to read, we have tried to 
reorganize our evaluation and finding in a clearer manner in this final 
rule.

Species Information

    Below is a description of each species. The species are described 
in alphabetical order, beginning with the ash-breasted tit-tyrant, 
followed by the Jun[iacute]n grebe, Jun[iacute]n rail, Peruvian 
plantcutter, royal cinclodes, and the white-browed tit-spinetail.
I. Ash-breasted tit-tyrant (Anairetes alpinus)

Species Description

    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant, locally known as ``torito 
pechicenizo,'' is a small New World tyrant flycatcher in the Tyrannidae 
family that is native to high-altitude woodlands of the Bolivian and 
Peruvian Andes (BirdLife International (BLI) 2000, p. 392; Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 753; del Hoyo et al. 2004, pp. 170, 281; Fjelds[aring] and 
Krabbe 1990, pp. 468-469; InfoNatura 2007, p. 1; Supreme Decree No. 
034-2004-AG 2004, p. 276854). The sexes are similar, with adults 
approximately 13 centimeters (cm) (5 inches (in)) in length, with dark 
gray, inconspicuously black-streaked upperparts (BLI 2009o, p. 1; del 
Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281). The two subspecies (see Taxonomy) are 
distinguished by their underbelly color, which is yellowish-white in 
the nominate subspecies and white in the other (BLI 2009o, p. 1). 
Juvenile plumage is duller in appearance, but is otherwise similar to 
the adult coloration (del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281).

Taxonomy

    When the species was first taxonomically described by Carriker 
(1933, pp. 27-29), it was placed in its own genus, Yanacea. It was not 
until the 1960s that Yanacea was merged into Anairetes (a genus long-
known as Spizitornis) by Meyer de Schauensee (1966, p. 376). Some 
contemporary researchers have suggested retaining the species within 
Yanacea (Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 468). Smith (1971, pp. 269, 
275) and Roy et al. (1999, p. 74) confirmed that the ash-breasted tit 
tyrant is a valid species based on its phylogenetic placement and 
degree of genetic divergence from other species of Anairetes, and 
recent texts continue to place it in Anairetes (e.g., del Hoyo et al. 
2004, p. 281). Therefore, we accept

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the species as Anairetes alpinus, which follows the Integrated 
Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2009, p. 1). Two subspecies are 
recognized, including, A. alpinus alpinus (the nominate subspecies) and 
A. alpinus bolivianus. These subspecies occur in two widely separated 
areas (see Current Range) (ITIS 2009, p. 1; del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 
281) and are distinguished by the color of their underbellies (see 
Taxonomy) (BLI 2009o, p. 1).

Habitat and Life History

    Density of foliage rather than size of tree seems to be an 
important factor for this species (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). 
This species forages in the terminal branches and outer foliage, 
usually in the treetops but also at ground level at the edges of dense 
forest patches. In areas where all trees have been cut, it forages in 
the dense regrowth near ground level. In general, these patches are 
found in a zone of persistent cloudiness, in places with difficult 
accessibility and few people (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.).
    In west-central Peru, the species occurs in the Cordilleras 
(mountains in Spanish) Central and Occidental (in the Peruvian 
Administrative Regions of Ancash, Hu[aacute]nuco, La Libertad, and 
Lima) (BLI 2009, p. 1; del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281). Until 1992, the 
taxon in this locality was highly localized and known only in Ancash 
Region (Collar et al. 1992, p. 753). The species was subsequently 
reported in other regions between 2003 and 2007, such as Lima, 
Hu[aacute]nuco, and Libertad (BLI 2009i, p. 1; BLI 2007, pp. 1, 5; del 
Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281). There is little remaining Polylepis habitat 
in its elevational zone in the humid east Andean slope of Puno, so 
there may be a large distribution gap there today (Purcell and 
Brelsford 2004, p. 155).
    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is restricted to remnant patches of 
semihumid Polylepis or Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands of Peru and Bolivia 
(See http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=4173 for 
a range map of the species), where the species is found at elevations 
between 3,700 and 4,600 meters (m) (12,139 and 15,092 feet (ft)) above 
sea level. It is found in severely fragmented and local populations in 
remote valleys in the Andes (Benham et al. 2011, p. 145; Association 
Armonia 2011, p. 1; InfoNatura 2007, p. 1; del Hoyo et al. 2004, pp. 
170, 281; Collar et al. 1992, p. 753; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, 
pp. 468-469). The genus Polylepis (locally referred to as 
``queu[ntilde]a'') (Aucca and Ramsay 2005, p. 1), in the Rosaceae 
family, comprises approximately 20 species of evergreen bushes and 
trees (Kessler and Schmidt-Lebuhn 2006, pp. 1-2; De la Via 2004, p. 10; 
Kessler 1998, p. 1), 19 of which occur in Peru (Chutas et al. 2008, p. 
3). In Bolivia, the ash-breasted tit-tyrant is associated only with P. 
pepei forests, but the bird is found among a greater variety of 
Polylepis species in Peru (Chutas et al. 2008, p. 16; I. G[oacute]mez, 
in litt. 2007, p. 1). The average Polylepis species are 3-10 m (10-33 
ft) tall, but may grow to a height of 36 m (118 ft) (Purcell et al. 
2004, p. 455). P. pepei is considered vulnerable by IUCN and is 
described as rare. The genus Gynoxys includes several species of 
flowering shrubs. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is known to exist in 
disjunct areas: West-central Peru and in suitable habitat stretching 
from southern Peru into northern Bolivia (Benham et al. 2011, pp. 145-
157; del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281).
    Polylepis woodlands occur as dense forests, as open-canopied stands 
with more arid understories, or as shrubland with scattered trees (De 
la Via 2004, pp. 10-11; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113; Lloyd and Marsden in press, as cited in 
Lloyd 2008, p. 532). Ash-breasted tit-tyrants prefer dense Polylepis 
forests (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 114; Smith 1971, p. 269), which often 
include a mixture of Gynoxys trees (no common name), in the Asteraceae 
family (International Plant Names Index (IPNI) 2009, p. 1; De la Via 
2004, pp. 10). Dense Polylepis woodlands are characterized by moss- or 
vine-laden vegetation, with a shaded understory and a rich diversity of 
insects, making good feeding grounds for insectivorous birds (De la Via 
2004, p. 10), such as the ash-breasted tit-tyrant (BLI 2009o, p. 1; 
Lloyd 2008, p. 535).
    There is little information about the ecology and breeding behavior 
of the ash-breasted tit-tyrant. The species' territory ranges from 1-2 
hectares (ha) (2.5-5 acres (ac)) (BLI 2009o, p. 1). The breeding season 
appears to occur during late dry season (Collar et al. 1992, p. 754)--
November and December (BLI 2009o, p. 1). Juveniles have been observed 
in March and July (del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281; Collar et al. 1992, p. 
754). Although species-specific information is not available, tit-
tyrant nests are generally finely woven, open cups, built in a bush 
(Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 468).
    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant forages alone, in family groups, and 
sometimes in mixed-species flocks. The bird takes short flights, either 
hovering or perching to consume invertebrates near the tops and outer 
edges of Polylepis shrubs and trees (BLI 2009o, p. 1; Lloyd 2008, p. 
535; del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 58; 
Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 468). In winter, when invertebrate 
populations diminish, tit-tyrants may also forage on seeds 
(Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 468).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant may once have been well-distributed 
throughout previously dense and contiguous Polylepis high-Andes 
woodlands of Peru and Bolivia. Researchers believe that these woodlands 
were historically contiguous with lower-elevation cloud forests and 
widespread above 3,000 m (9,843 ft) (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, pp. 111-112, 
115; Herzog et al. 2002, p. 94; Kessler 2002, pp. 97-101; Collar et al. 
1992, p. 753). Researchers consider the reduction in Polylepis forest 
habitat to be the result of historical human activities, including 
burning and grazing, which have prevented regeneration of the woodlands 
and resulted in the fragmented habitat distribution seen today (Herzog 
et al. 2002, p. 94; Kessler 2002, pp. 97-101; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 
1996, Kessler 1995a, Kessler 1995b, and L[aelig]gaard 1992, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 112; Kessler and Herzog 1998, pp. 50-51). 
Modeling studies by Fjelds[aring] (2002a, p. 116) indicate that this 
habitat reduction was accompanied by a loss in species richness. It is 
estimated that only 2-3 and 10 percent of the original forest cover 
still remain in Peru and Bolivia, respectively (Fjelds[aring] and 
Kessler 1996, as cited in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113). Of this amount, 
only 1 percent of the remaining Polylepis woodlands are found in humid 
areas, where denser stands occur (Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as 
cited in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113) and which are preferred by the 
ash-breasted tit-tyrant (BLI 2009o, p. 1; Lloyd 2008, p. 535; 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 114; Smith 1971, p. 269) (see Factor A).

Current Range and Distribution

    The current range of the ash-breasted tit-tyrant is estimated to be 
11,900 square kilometers (km\2\)) (4,595 square miles (mi\2\) (BirdLife 
International [BLI] 2011a, p. 1; see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=4173 for a range map). However, BLI (2000, pp. 
22, 27) defines a species' range as the extent of occurrence or the 
area contained within the shortest continuous imaginary boundary that 
can be drawn to encompass all the known, inferred, or projected sites 
of present occurrence of a species, excluding cases of vagrancy. Given 
that the species is known to occur in disjunct locations, this range 
estimate includes a large area of habitat in which the species is not 
known to occur, and its actual occupied

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habitat is much smaller than its range (Jetz et al. 2008, p. 2).

Population Estimates

    The species has experienced a population decline of between 10 and 
19 percent in the past 10 years, and this rate of decline is predicted 
to continue (BLI 2009o, pp. 1, 4). The population is considered to be 
declining in close association with continued habitat loss and 
degradation (see Factor A) (BLI 2009o, p. 5; BLI 2007, pp. 1, 4). 
Population information is presented first on a global population 
estimate, and then at the range country level. The range country 
estimates will begin with Peru, where the majority of the population 
resides.
    Global population estimate. BLI, a global organization that 
consults with and assimilates information from bird species experts, 
categorizes the ash-breasted tit-tyrant as having a population size 
between 250 and 999 individuals, with an estimated actual population 
size to be in the mid- to upper-hundreds (BLI 2009o, p. 1; BLI 2007, p. 
1). Combining the estimated number of ash-breasted tit-tyrants in Peru 
and Bolivia, the total population consists of possibly 780 individuals 
(Benham et al. 2011, p. 155; Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8; G[oacute]mez 
in litt. 2007, p. 1), consistent with the BLI category of between 250-
999 individuals.
    Peru. Peruvian population estimates are incomplete, with no 
estimates for the ash-breasted tit-tyrants in Arequipa, Hu[aacute]nuco, 
La Libertad, or Lima (BLI 2009g, p. 1; del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281). 
Aucca-Chutas (2007, p. 8) surveyed five disjunct Polylepis forest 
patches in Peru and estimated that a total of 461 ash-breasted tit-
tyrants were located in these areas. This included 30 birds in Corredor 
Conchucos (Ancash Region); 181 and 33 birds in Cordilleras Vilcanota 
and Vilcabamba, respectively (Cusco Region); 22 birds in Cordillera de 
Carabaya (Puno Region); and 195 birds in a study site called Cordillera 
del Apur[iacute]mac (Apur[iacute]mac Region) (Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 
8), referring to an area within the Runtacocha highlands. Other 
research in the Runtacocha highlands has indicated that the ash-
breasted tit-tyrant is relatively common there (BLI 2009o, p. 1), with 
an estimated 100 pairs of birds found in approximately 40 forest 
patches (Fjelds[aring] in litt. 1990, as cited in Collar et al. 1992, 
p. 753). Small numbers of birds are reported in La Libertad Region (del 
Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281).
    Bolivia. Although BLI reports an estimated population size of 150-
300 ash-breasted tit-tyrants in Bolivia (G[oacute]mez in litt., 2003 
and 2007, as cited in BLI 2009o, p. 1), recent surveys indicate that 
the population is smaller. Over a 6-year period, G[oacute]mez (in litt. 
2007, p. 1) conducted intensive searches throughout 80 percent of the 
suitable habitat in Bolivia in the Cordillera Real and the Cordillera 
Apolobamba (La Paz Department), to detect the presence of the ash-
breasted tit-tyrant. From this work, researchers inferred or observed 
the presence of 2-10 individuals in each of four forest patches, and 
estimated that approximately 180 ash-breasted tit-tyrants occur in 
Bolivia.
    Within La Paz, there may be two separate populations separated by 
the Mapiri canyon (see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=4173). The population in the Runtacocha 
highland in Apur[iacute]mac, Peru, is morphologically distinct from 
that in Cusco, although a formal subspecies description has not been 
published (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). Research on Bolivian 
localities indicates that gene flow has occurred between some 
subpopulations, but not all (G[oacute]mez 2005, p. 86). In Bolivia, the 
birds are distributed in 2 metapopulations, with at least 5 
subpopulations in one location and 14 subpopulations in the other 
(G[oacute]mez 2005, p. 86). Research in 2011 documented this species 
traveling distances greater than 30 m (98 ft) between patches (Benham 
et al. 2011, p. 153). A ``patch'' is considered to be any contiguous 
area of forest separated from other fragments by 30 m (98 ft) or more 
(Lloyd 2008, p. 166); and patch sizes are categorized generally as 
follows: small is less than 4 hectares (ha) (9.9 acres [ac]), medium is 
between 4 and 12 ha (29.6 ac), and large is greater than 12 ha (Benham 
et al. 2011, p. 148; Lloyd 2008, p. 166). Ash-breasted tit-tyrants 
occupy territories of 1-2 ha (2.5-5 ac) (BLI 2009o, p. 1).
    Because the ash-breasted tit-tyrant may exist as two subspecies 
(BLI 2009o, p. 5; ITIS 2009, p. 1), it is reasonable to conclude that 
there may be little or no gene flow between the population that is in 
Bolivia and the population that is in Peru. However, there is 
insufficient information at this time to determine the extent of gene 
flow. All populations of this species essentially face the same 
threats, are all generally in the same region and habitat type, and all 
have quite small populations. Absent peer-reviewed information to the 
contrary and based on the best available information, we recognize all 
populations of ash-breasted tit-tyrants as a single species. For the 
purpose of this rule, the ash-breasted tit-tyrant includes all 
subspecies, if they are later identified as such.
Conservation Status
    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is considered endangered by the 
Peruvian Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 
276,855). This Decree prohibits hunting, take, transport, and trade of 
protected species, except as permitted by regulation. Peru follows the 
IUCN RedList classification for its species. The IUCN considers the 
ash-breasted tit-tyrant to be endangered because it has a very small 
population that is undergoing continued decline in the number of mature 
individuals, is confined to a habitat that is severely fragmented, and 
is also undergoing a continuing decline in extent, area, and quality of 
habitat (BLI 2009o, p. 4; IUCN 2001, pp. 8-12). The ash-breasted tit-
tyrant occurs within the following Peruvian protected areas: Parque 
Nacional Huascar[aacute]n, in Ancash, and Santuario Hist[oacute]rico 
Machu Picchu, in Cusco, and Zona Reservada de la Cordillera Huayhuash, 
spanning Ancash, Hu[aacute]nuco, and Lima (BLI 2009i, p. 1; BLI 2009l, 
p. 1; BLI 2009n, p. 1; Aucca-Chutas et al. 2008, p. 16). In La Paz 
Department, Bolivia, the species is found in Parque Nacional y 
[Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Madidi, Parque Nacional y 
[Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Cotapata, and the colocated 
protected areas of Reserva Nacional de Fauna de Apolobamba, [Aacute]rea 
Natural de Manejo Integrado de Apolobamba, and Reserva de la Biosfera 
de Apolobamba (BLI 2009i, p. 1; Aucca-Chutas et al. 2008, p. 16; Auza 
and Hennessey 2005, p. 81).
II. Jun[iacute]n Grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii)

Species Description

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe is a highly social, flight-impaired water 
bird in the Podicipedidae family that is endemic to a single location 
(Lake Jun[iacute]n) in Peru. It was observed being in the air 5-10 
meters (16-33 ft) during the crossing of a mud bank (Fjelds[aring] 
2010, pers. comm.). Its underparts are white with a strong silky gloss 
rather than mottled (Fjelds[aring] 2010, pers. comm.). Common names for 
the species in English are: Jun[iacute]n flightless grebe, puna grebe, 
and Taczanowski's grebe. This species is also known by two Spanish 
names: ``zampull[iacute]n del Jun[iacute]n'' or ``zambullidor de 
Jun[iacute]n'' (del Hoyo et al. 1992, p. 195; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 
199; Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) 1996, p. 3; 
Ramsen et al. 2007, p. 18; Supreme Decree 034-2004-AG 2004, p. 276854).

[[Page 43438]]

    A slim, long-necked bird, the Jun[iacute]n grebe is about 35 cm 
(13.78 in) in length, and its weight ranges from 0.30 to 0.47 kilograms 
(0.66 to 1.04 pounds) (BLI 2009b, p. 1; UNEP-WCMC 2009, p. 1). The 
Jun[iacute]n grebe has a pointed head, with dark feathers on its back, 
a white throat, and mottled, dusky-colored underparts. This grebe is 
distinguished by its slender gray bill, red iris, and dull yellow-
orange colored feet. Immature birds are darker gray on the flanks than 
mature birds (BLI 2009b, p. 1).

Taxonomy

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe was taxonomically described by Berlepsch and 
Stolzmann in 1894 (ITIS 2009, p. 1). It is one of nine species of 
grebes in the genus Podiceps worldwide (Dickinson 2003, p. 80). The 
species' taxonomic status as Podiceps taczanowskii is valid (ITIS 2009, 
p. 1).

Habitat and Life History

    The typical feeding habitat of this species consists of shallow 
water in Lake Jun[iacute]n with calcareous sediments and extensive 
carpets of chalk-encrusted algae known as Chara (brittlewort or 
stonewort), which is its principal feeding substrate (O'Donnel and 
Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 30). Lake Jun[iacute]n Chara, is an aquatic 
plant genus (Denike and Geiger undated, p. 18). Over the last 20 years, 
the extent of Chara vegetation has decreased in Lake Jun[iacute]n 
(Tueros in litt; in Fjelds[aring] pers. comm. 2010, pp. 2-3.) As a 
result, the feeding habitat for the grebe has also changed 
dramatically. The disappearance of Chara (specifically Chara fragilis; 
ParksWatch 2006, p. 8) may be linked with zinc pollution. Higher zinc 
concentration levels are detrimental to green algae (Fjelds[aring] 
pers. comm. 2010, pp. 2-3). The concentrations of heavy metals are 
reported to be within legal limits for humans; however, copper and zinc 
concentrations may be limiting factors for the Chara vegetation. Local 
reports indicate that vegetation, particularly sedges within the 
Schoenoplectus genus family (this species' nesting habitat), has 
disappeared completely in recent years, likely due to low water levels 
and grazing cattle in the marshes and wetlands (Fjelds[aring] pers. 
comm. 2010).
    The Jun[iacute]n grebe is endemic to the open waters and marshlands 
of Lake Jun[iacute]n, located at 4,080 m (13,390 ft) above sea level in 
the Peruvian Administrative Region of Jun[iacute]n (BLI 2009b, p. 1). 
The 147-km\2\ (57-mi\2\) lake, also known as ``Chinchaycocha'' or 
``Lago de Jun[iacute]n,'' is large but fairly shallow (ParksWatch 2009, 
p. 1; Tello 2007, p. 1). Situated within ``puna'' habitat, the climate 
is seasonal and can be ``bitterly cold'' in the dry season 
(Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 240). Local vegetation is characterized by tall 
dense grasslands and scrubland with open, rocky areas, all interspersed 
with wetlands and woodlands (BLI 2003, p. 1; ParksWatch 2009, pp. 1, 
4). The dominant terrestrial plant species surrounding the lake 
includes 43 species of grass (Poaceae family), 15 species of asters 
(Asteraceae family), and 10 species of legumes (Fabaceae family) 
(ParksWatch 2009, p. 1). Aquatic vegetation includes Andean water 
milfoil (Myriophyllum quitense), several species of pondweed (including 
Elodea potamogeton, Potamogeton ferrugineus, and P. filliformis), and 
bladderwort (Utricularia spp.). Floating plants, such as duckweed 
(Lemna species (spp.)), large duckweed (Spiodela spp.), and water fern 
(Azolla filiculoides), also occur on the lake (ParksWatch 2009, p. 2). 
The Lake is surrounded by extensive marshland along the lake shore (BLI 
2009a, p. 1; BLI 2009b, p. 1) that extends into the lake up to 1-3 mi 
(2-5 km) from shore (O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29). The 
marshes are dominated by two robust species of cattails, giant bulrush 
(Schoenoplectus californicus var. Totara) and totorilla (Juncus articus 
var. Andicola) (Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 244, 246). Both cattail species 
can reach nearly 2 m (6.6 ft) in height. These plant communities, or 
``tortoras,'' grow so densely that stands are often impenetrable 
(ParksWatch 2009, p. 1). In shallow water, during low lake levels, 
tortora communities can become partially or completely dry (ParksWatch 
2009, p. 2).
    Lake Jun[iacute]n supports one of the richest and most diverse 
arrays of bird species of all Peruvian high Andean wetlands (ParksWatch 
2009, p. 3). These bird species include migratory birds, birds that 
nest at high altitudes, aquatic birds, and local endemic species such 
as the Jun[iacute]n grebe, the Jun[iacute]n rail (Laterallus tuerosi; 
also the subject of this final rule), the giant coot (Fulica 
ardesiaca), and the Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) (BLI 
2009a, pp. 2-3; ParksWatch 2009, p. 3; Tello 2007, p. 2). Mammals are 
relatively scarce in the area, although there are some predators 
(ParksWatch 2009, p. 4) (see Factor C).
    Breeding season for this species occurs annually from November to 
March (O'Donnell and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29; Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 
44, 246). The Jun[iacute]n grebe nests in the protective cover of the 
marshlands during the breeding season (Tello 2007, p. 3; Fjelds[aring] 
1981, p. 247), particularly in stands of giant bulrush (ParksWatch 
2009, p. 4). Under natural conditions, winter rains increase the lake 
water level during the breeding season, allowing the grebes to venture 
into local bays and canals, although they are never found nesting on 
the lake's shore (Tello 2007, p. 3). The species nests in the giant 
bulrush marshlands (ParksWatch 2009, p. 4). Well-hidden floating nests 
can contain up to three eggs, with an average of two eggs, laid during 
November and December (Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 245). The species is 
believed to have a deferred sexual maturation (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 
201) and exhibits low breeding potential, perhaps as a reflection to 
adaptation to a ``highly predictable, stable environment'' (del Hoyo et 
al. 1992, p. 195), laying one clutch during the breeding season 
(ParksWatch 2009, p. 4). Jun[iacute]n grebes occasionally produce a 
replacement clutch if their original nest is disturbed (Fjelds[aring] 
2004, pp. 199, 201). After the eggs hatch, the male grebe cares for the 
chicks, and does not leave the nest to feed. The female grebe is 
responsible for feeding the male and chicks until the chicks can leave 
the nest (Tello 2007, p. 3). The Jun[iacute]n grebe is likely a long-
lived species (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 201), and its breeding success 
and population size are highly influenced by the climate (BLI 2009b, p. 
2; BLI 2008, pp. 1, 3-4; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; Hirshfeld 2007, p. 
107; Elton 2000, p. 3) (see Factor A).
    The Jun[iacute]n grebe feeds in the open waters of the lake and 
around the marsh edges, moving into the open waters of the lake to feed 
where it is easier to dive for food during the winter (Tello 2007, p. 
3; Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 247-248). Fish (primarily pupfish (Orestias 
spp.)) account for over 90 percent of the grebe's diet (Fjelds[aring] 
1981, pp. 251-252). Pupfish become scarce when the marshlands dry 
during periods of reduced water levels, and the Jun[iacute]n grebe is 
then known to vary its diet with midges (Order Diptera), corixid bugs 
(Trichocorixa reticulata), amphipods (Hyalella simplex), and shore fly 
maggots and pupa (Ephydriid spp.).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe was historically known to be endemic to Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, in the Peruvian Administrative Region of Jun[iacute]n 
(Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 70; 
INRENA 1996, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 238). Experts believe that 
the species was previously distributed throughout the entire 57-mi\2\ 
(147-km\2\) lake (BLI 2009a, p. 1; BLI 2003, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 1981, 
p. 254; Gill and Storer in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200). In 1938, the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe was encountered throughout the entire lake (Morrison 
1939, p. 645). The Jun[iacute]n grebe is now

[[Page 43439]]

absent from the northwestern portion of Lake Jun[iacute]n due to mine 
waste contamination (Gill and Storer, pers. comm. As cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254).

Current Range and Distribution

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe is endemic to Lake Jun[iacute]n, located at 
4,080 m (13,390 ft) above sea level in the Peruvian high Andes (see 
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=3644 for a 
range map of the species; BLI 2009a, p. 1; BLI 2009b, p. 1). Although 
BLI (2009b, p. 1) reports the current estimated range of the species as 
143 km\2\ (55 mi\2\), BLI's definition of a species' range is the total 
area within its extent of occurrence, noting that Lake Jun[iacute]n is 
only a 147-km\2\ (57-mi\2\) lake (BLI 2009a, p. 1) and that the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe is restricted to the southern portion of the lake 
(Gill and Storer, pers. comm. As cited in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; 
Fjelds[aring] 1981a, p. 254), its current range is actually smaller 
than the figure reported by BLI. The entire population of this species 
is located only within a protected area, the Jun[iacute]n National 
Reserve (BLI 2009a, p. 1; BLI 2009b, p. 1; ParksWatch 2009, p. 4).

Population Estimate

    The current population of the Jun[iacute]n grebe is estimated to be 
100-300 individuals (BLI 2009b, p. 3), having undergone a severe 
population decline in the latter half of the 20th century, with extreme 
population fluctuations during this time (Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). 
Field studies in 1938 indicated that the Jun[iacute]n grebe was 
extremely abundant throughout Lake Jun[iacute]n (Morrison 1939, p. 
645). Between 1961 and 1979, the population fell from more than 1,000 
individuals to an estimated 250-300 birds (BLI 2009b, p. 2; Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 43; Harris 1981, as cited in O'Donnell and Fjelds[aring] 
1997, p. 30; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). Surveys during the mid-1980s 
estimated a total of 250 individuals inhabiting the southern portion of 
Lake Jun[iacute]n (BLI 2009b, p. 2; Collar et al. 1992, p. 43). In 
1992, only 100 birds were observed, and by 1993, the population had 
declined to 50 birds, of which fewer than half were breeding adults 
(BLI 2008, p. 3; BLI 2009b, p. 2). In 1995, an estimated 205 
Jun[iacute]n grebes were present on Lake Jun[iacute]n (O'Donnell and 
Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 30). Breeding and fledging were apparently 
unsuccessful from 1995 to 1997. However, there were two successful 
broods fledged during the 1997 and 1998 breeding seasons (BLI 2008, p. 
3; Valqui in litt., as cited in BLI 2009b, p. 2). In 1998, more than 
250 Jun[iacute]n grebes were counted in a 4-km\2\ (1.5-mi\2\) area in 
the southern portion of Lake Jun[iacute]n, suggesting a total 
population of 350 to 400 birds (Valqui in litt., as cited in BLI 2009b, 
p. 2). In 2001, field surveys indicated that there may have been a 
total population of 300 birds, but that estimate has been considered 
optimistic (Fjelds[aring] in litt. 2003, as cited in BLI 2009b, p. 2). 
Fjelds[aring] (in litt. 2003, as cited in BLI 2009b, p. 2) postulated 
that perhaps only half that number would have been mature individuals.
    The species has experienced a population decline of 14 percent in 
the past 10 years, and the population is expected to continue to 
decline (BLI 2009b, pp. 1, 6-7). The species' decline is associated 
with continued habitat loss and degradation (Gill and Storer, pers. 
comm. as cited in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 
254). These population fluctuations are strongly linked to 
precipitation (see Factor A).

Conservation Status

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe is considered critically endangered by the 
Peruvian Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, pp. 
276, 853). The IUCN categorizes the Jun[iacute]n grebe as critically 
endangered because it is endemic to one location and has undergone 
significant population declines, such that an extremely small number of 
adults remain (BLI 2009b, pp. 1, 3). The single known population of the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe occurs wholly within one protected area in Peru, the 
Jun[iacute]n National Reserve (BLI 2009b, pp. 1-2).
III. Jun[iacute]n rail (Laterallus tuerosi)

Species Description

    The Jun[iacute]n rail is a secretive bird of the Rallidae family 
that is endemic to a single lake (Lake Jun[iacute]n) in Peru. The 
species is also referred to as the Jun[iacute]n black rail 
(Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281) and is locally known as ``gallinetita de 
Jun[iacute]n'' (Supreme Decree 034-2004-AG 2004, p. 27684). This rail 
measures 12-13 cm (4.7-5.1 in) in length, and has a dark slate-colored 
head, throat, and underparts. Its belly and vent (anal aperture) are 
black. The characteristic feature of this rail is the heavily barred 
(black and white) entire upperparts of the body, including its wings 
and flanks (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers comm.). The under-tail coverts 
(feathers on the underside of the base of the tail) are buff in color, 
with a dull rufous-brown back. The remaining underparts are dark brown 
and boldly barred in white, and the legs are greenish-yellow (BLI 
2009b, p. 1).

Taxonomy

    This species was discovered by Fjelds[aring] in 1977 and described 
in 1983 (BLI 2011; Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). BirdLife 
International considers this rail a full species based on morphological 
features (BLI 2009b; p. 1). The closely related black rail, Laterallus 
jamaicensis occurs at much lower elevations (i.e., 0 to 1,350 m (0 to 
4,429 ft) above sea level) (BLI 2007, p. 1; BLI 2000, p. 170; Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 190). Based on the morphological differences and the 
species' distinct and disjunct ranges, we consider the Jun[iacute]n 
rail to be a discrete species and recognize it as L. tuerosi.
    It should be noted that it appears that only 2 specimens of the 
Jun[iacute]n rail have ever been collected (near Ondores) 
(Fjelds[aring] 1983, pp. 278-279) and that all expert accounts of this 
species rely solely on that collection and a subsequent observation of 
the species in Pari (Fjelds[aring] in litt., 1992, as cited in Collar 
et al. 1992, p. 190).

Habitat and Life History

    The Jun[iacute]n rail occurs in the dense, interior marshlands of 
Lake Jun[iacute]n where rushes (Juncus spp.) predominate or in more 
open mosaics of rushes, mosses (division Bryophyta), and low herbs 
(Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281). Lake Jun[iacute]n is located in the 
seasonally climatic ``puna'' habitat, with a variety of species of 
grasses, asters, and trees of the bean family forming tall, dense 
grasslands and open scrubland, interspersed with wetlands and woodlands 
(ParksWatch 2009, pp. 1, 4; ParksWatch 2006, p. 2). Giant bulrushes and 
totorilla dominate the extensive marshlands surrounding the lake (BLI 
2009b, p. 1; ParksWatch 2009, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281). In 
shallow water, during low lake levels, ``tortora'' communities can 
become partially or completely dry (ParksWatch 2009, p. 2). The lake 
supports a wide variety of bird species and aquatic vegetation (BLI 
2009a, pp. 2-3; ParksWatch 2009, p. 3; Tello 2007, p. 2; BLI 2003, p. 
1).
    There is little information regarding the ecology of the 
Jun[iacute]n rail. The species appears to be completely dependent on 
the wide marshlands located around the southeastern shoreline of the 
lake for nesting, foraging, and year-round residence (BLI 2009b, p. 2; 
Collar et al. 1992, p. 190; Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281) (see also 
Current Range and Distribution). Information received during the 
comment period on the proposed rule indicates that the species inhabits 
mosaic vegetation with dense Juncus (rush) beds (often areas where the 
vegetation is broken down) and open waterlogged areas with short but

[[Page 43440]]

densely matted vegetation of mosses and Lilaeopsis (grassworts) rather 
than the drier bunchgrass hills (puna habitat). The habitat provides a 
complex mosaic of niches that leads to the patchy distribution of many 
bird species throughout the region, indicating that this species has 
specialized habitat requirements that are only satisfied locally 
(Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 32). The species' distribution is 
highly localized around the lake. The Jun[iacute]n rail apparently 
prefers the dense, interior marshlands comprised primarily of rushes 
and mosaics of rushes, mosses (division Bryophyta), and low herbs in 
more open marsh areas (Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281). High habitat 
specificity is consistent with related rail species. The water depth, 
emergent vegetation used for cover, and access to upland vegetation are 
all important factors in the rail's habitat use (Flores and Eddleman 
1995, p. 362). Similar to all rails, the Jun[iacute]n rail is furtive 
and remains well-hidden in the marshes surrounding the lake (BLI 2009b, 
p. 2). The Jun[iacute]n rail reportedly nests at the end of the dry 
season, in September and October. Nests are built on the ground within 
dense vegetative cover, and the species' clutch size is two eggs (BLI 
2009b, p. 2; Collar et al. 1992, p. 190). The diet of the Jun[iacute]n 
rail has not been studied specifically, but other black rail species 
feed primarily on small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and seeds 
(Eddleman et al. 1994, p. 1).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The Jun[iacute]n rail is endemic to Lake Jun[iacute]n (BLI 2009b, 
p. 2; Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 278). The species may have been 
historically common in the rush-dominated marshlands surrounding the 
entire lake (Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281). In addition to the species' 
specific habitat preferences (see Current Range and Distribution), it 
is believed that the Jun[iacute]n rail is now restricted to the marshes 
at the southwestern corner of the lake due to the high level of water 
contamination that flows into the northwestern margins of the lake via 
the San Juan River (Martin and McNee 1999, p. 662).

Current Range and Distribution

    The Jun[iacute]n rail is restricted to the southwestern shore of 
Lake Jun[iacute]n (Lago de Jun[iacute]n), in the Andean highlands of 
central Peru (see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=2842 for a range map of the species). It is 
currently known from only two localities (near the towns of Ondores and 
Pari) (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.; BLI 2009b, p. 2; Collar et al. 
1992, p. 190; Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281). However, based on habitat 
needs, it may occur in other portions of the approximately 150 km\2\ 
(57.9 mi\2\) of marshland surrounding the lake, discussed in more 
detail below.
    The range of the species is estimated to be 160 km\2\ (62 mi\2\) 
(BLI 2011b, p. 1). However, this is likely an overestimate of the 
species' actual range for several reasons. First, BLI's definition of a 
species' range results in an overestimate of the actual range. Second, 
the species' range was calculated based on the availability of presumed 
suitable habitat for the Jun[iacute]n rail. It has long been assumed 
that the rail potentially occupies the entire marshland area 
surrounding Lake Jun[iacute]n (Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 281). The two 
localities mentioned, Ondores and Pari, are villages at the lake shore. 
Information received during the comment period on the proposed rule 
indicates that there is continuous rail habitat in the outer part of 
the marshes outside these villages, 1-2 km (0.6-1.2 mi) outside the 
firm ground (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). The rail has been 
documented along this 6-7 km (3.7-4.3 mi) section; the area of suitable 
habitat here is about 10 km\2\ (3.9 mi\2\). East and north of the lake, 
there is similar habitat, approximately 25 km\2\ (9.6 mi\2\) combined 
(Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). However, the Jun[iacute]n rail's 
actual range is very likely smaller than the approximated range 
reported by BLI since 2000 (BLI 2009b, p. 1; BLI 2008, p. 3; BLI 2007, 
p. 1; BLI 2000, p. 170).

Population Estimates

    The species has experienced a population decline of between 10 and 
19 percent in the past 10 years (BLI 2009b, p. 2). However, rigorous 
population estimates have not been conducted (Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 
281), and the species' elusiveness makes it difficult to locate (BLI 
2009b, p. 2). The population is considered to be declining in close 
association with continued habitat loss and degradation (see Factor A) 
(BLI 2008, p. 1). Local fishermen have reported serious declines in 
some years, and several individual birds have been found dead 
(Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). In 1983, the Jun[iacute]n rail was 
characterized as possibly common, based on local fishermens' sightings 
of groups of up to a dozen birds at a time (Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 
281). The species continues to be reported as fairly common (BLI 2009b, 
p. 1; BLI 2007, p. 1). BLI estimates that this species' population size 
falls within the population range category of 1,000-2,499 (BLI 2009b, 
p. 1; BLI 2007, p. 1; BLI 2000, p. 170). This estimate is an 
extrapolation that continues to be based on the assumption that the 
species may be fairly common in the entire circa 150 km\2\ (58 mi\2\) 
of available marshland around Lake Jun[iacute]n (BLI 2009b, p. 1; BLI 
2007, p. 1). The species has never been confirmed outside its two known 
localities and, therefore, it is possible that the species is locally 
common, but not widely distributed. If the Jun[iacute]n rail is not 
common throughout Lake Jun[iacute]n's marshland, the actual population 
size may be much lower.

Conservation Status

    The Jun[iacute]n rail is considered endangered by the Peruvian 
Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 276855). The 
IUCN categorizes the Jun[iacute]n rail as endangered because it is 
known only from a small area of marshland around a single lake, where 
the habitat quality is declining (BLI 2008, p. 3). The single known 
population of the Jun[iacute]n rail occurs wholly within one protected 
area in Peru, the Jun[iacute]n National Reserve (BLI 2009b, pp. 1-2; 
BLI 2008, p. 1).
IV. Peruvian Plantcutter (Phytotoma raimondii)

Species Description

    The Peruvian plantcutter, locally known as ``cortarrama Peruana,'' 
is a small finch-like bird endemic to the dry forests of coastal 
northwest Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 488; Walther 2004, p. 73; 
Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 733; Collar et al. 1992, p. 805; Goodall 
1965, p. 636; Sibley and Monroe 1990, p. 371). The Peruvian plantcutter 
is an herbivore with a predominantly leaf-eating diet (Schulenberg et 
al. 2007, p. 488; Walther 2004, p. 73; Bucher et al. 2003, p. 211).
    Plantcutters have bright yellow eyes, short wings and rather long 
tails, and their crown feathers form a slight crest (Ridgely and Tudor 
1994, p. 732; Goodall 1965, p. 635). Adult birds are 18.5 to 9 cm (7.28 
to 7.48 in) in length and weigh approximately 36 to 44 grams (g) (1.26 
to 1.55 ounces (oz)) (Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 488; Walther 2004, p. 
73). Males are pale ashy gray, except a broad cinnamon-rufous color 
band on the belly and above the bill, and white colored bands on their 
wings (BLI 2009a, p. 1; Goodall 1965, p. 636; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, 
p. 733). Females are buff-brown with broad, dark brown stripes above, 
and white with heavy black-striped underparts (BLI 2009a, p. 1; Collar 
et al. 1992, p. 805). Juvenile birds have not been described (Walther 
2004, p. 73). The Peruvian plantcutter's bill is stout, short, conical, 
and finely serrated with

[[Page 43441]]

sharp tooth-like projections that run the length of the beak on both 
sides, and which are well suited for plucking buds, leaves, shoots, and 
fruits (Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 488; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 
732; Goodall 1965, p. 635) (see Habitat and Life History).

Taxonomy

    The Peruvian plantcutter was first taxonomically described as 
Phytotoma raimondii by Taczanowski in 1883 (ITIS 2009, p. 1; Sibley and 
Monroe 1990, p. 371). The type-specimen of the Peruvian plantcutter 
(the specimen that was described by Taczanowski) was collected by the 
ornithologist Konstanty Jelski, who recorded the specimen as being 
collected in the Tumbes Department of Peru (Flanagan et al. in litt. 
2009, p. 2). However, the reported collection location may have been 
inaccurate (see Historical range and Distribution, below).
    The genus Phytotoma contains three species of plantcutters, all 
endemic to South America (Walther 2004, p. 73; Dickinson 2003, p. 346; 
Sibley and Monroe 1990, p. 371; Goodall 1965, p. 635). Ornithologists 
have long debated to which family this genus belongs. Some 
ornithologists have recommended that the genus be placed in its own 
family, Phytotomidae (Lanyon and Lanyon 1989, p. 422), while others 
placed the genus within the Tyrannidae family (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 
p. 371). Molecular research using DNA sequencing supports the inclusion 
of Phytotoma in the Cotingidae family (Ohlson et al. 2006, p. 10; et 
al. 2002, p. 993; Irestedt et al. 2001, p. 23; Johansson). Therefore, 
based on the information currently available to us, we accept that the 
Peruvian plantcutter belongs to the Cotingidae family, which follows 
the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS 2009, p. 1).

Habitat and Life History

    The Peruvian plantcutter is reportedly selective in its habitat 
preference and requires a variety of arid tree and shrub species with 
dense low-hanging branches close to the ground (Flanagan et al. in 
litt. 2009, p. 7; Williams 2005, p. 2; Flanagan and More 2003, p. 5; 
Collar et al. 1992, p. 805). The primary habitat for the Peruvian 
plantcutter is seasonally dry tropical forest, which is also referred 
to as equatorial dry tropical forest, and occurs in the semiarid 
lowlands of northwestern Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 21; Linares-
Palomino 2006, pp. 260, 263-266; Walther 2004, p. 73). The Peruvian 
plantcutter also uses arid lowland scrub (dense and open) and dense 
riparian shrub communities (BLI 2009a. p. 2; Schulenberg et al. 2007, 
pp. 21, 488; Walther 2004, p. 73; Stotz et al. 1996, p. 19; Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 805). The Peruvian plantcutter is a key indicator species 
for Equatorial Pacific Coast arid lowland scrub (Stotz et al. (1996, 
pp. 19, 428). The lowland dry tropical forest and scrub are 
characterized as small and heavily fragmented patches of plant species 
adapted to the arid conditions of the prolonged dry season of 
northwestern Peru (Bridgewater et al. 2003, pp. 132, 140; Best and 
Kessler 1995, p. 40; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 734).
    The lowland dry forest in northwestern Peru is open-canopied, with 
trees occurring in scattered clumps or individually (Flanagan and More 
2003, p. 4). The dominant tree species of the lowland dry forest is 
Prosopis pallida (common name ``kiawe;'' also locally referred to as 
``algarrobo'') in the Fabaceae family (legume family) (Lopez et al. 
2005, p. 542; More 2002, p. 39). Prosopis pallida is a wide-spreading 
tree or large shrub, 8-20 m (26-65 ft) tall, with dense branches; 
spines can be present or absent (Pasiecznik et al. 2001, p. 36). This 
deep-rooted drought-tolerant species, related to mesquite species of 
the southwestern United States and Mexico, provides an important 
ecological function by improving and stabilizing soil conditions 
(Pasiecznik et al. 2001, pp. 101-102; Brewbaker 1987, p. 1). Typical of 
legumes, P. pallida is able to ``fix'' atmospheric nitrogen for plant 
utilization and growth (Pasiecznik et al. 2001, p. 3; Brewbaker 1987, 
p. 1).
    Three of the most common tree species associated with P. pallida 
dry forest habitat used by the Peruvian plantcutter are Capparis 
scabrida (locally known as ``sapote''), in the Capparaceae (caper) 
family, and Acacia macracantha (long-spine acacia, locally known as 
``faique'') and Parkinsonia aculeata (Jerusalem thorn, locally known as 
``palo verde''), both in the Fabaceae family (More 2002, pp. 17-23). 
Associated flowering shrubs in dry forest habitat include Capparis 
avicennifolia (locally known as ``bichayo'') and C. crotonoides 
(locally known as ``guayabito de gentil''), both in the Capparaceae 
(caper) family; Cordia lutea (locally known as ``overall'') in the 
Boraginaceae (borage) family; and Maytenus octogona (locally known as 
``realengo'') in the Celastraceae (bittersweet) family. Other commonly 
occurring dry forest vegetation includes vines (e.g., Convolvulaceae 
(morning-glory) and Cucurbitaceae (gourd) families), Psittacanthus 
chanduyensis (tropical mistletoe; locally known as ``suelda con 
suelda'') in the Loranthaceae (mistletoe) family, scattered herbaceous 
species (e.g., Asteraceae (sunflower), Scrophulariaceae (figwort), and 
Solanaceae (nightshade) families), and grasses (e.g., Poaceae (grass) 
family) (Elton 2004, p. 2; Walther 2004, p. 73; More 2002, pp. 14-17; 
Ferreyera 1983, pp. 248-250). Riparian vegetation includes dense shrub 
and small trees of P. pallida, A. macracantha, Capparis spp., and Salix 
spp. (willow spp.) (Lanyon 1975, p. 443).
    The arid climate of northwestern Peru is due to the influence of 
the cold Humboldt Current that flows north, parallel to the Peruvian 
Coast (UNEP 2006, p. 16; Linares-Palomino 2006, p. 260; Rodriguez et 
al. 2005, p. 2). The Humboldt Current has a cooling influence on the 
climate of coastal Peru, as the marine air is cooled by the cold 
current and, thus, is not conducive to generating rain. To the east, 
the Andean Mountains prevent humid air from the Amazon from reaching 
the western lowlands (Linares-Palomino 2006, p. 260; Lanyon 1975, p. 
443).
    Coastal northwestern Peru experiences a short rainy season during 
the summer months (January-April) (Linares-Palomino 2006, p. 260), 
which can also include precipitation in the form of mist or fine 
drizzle along the coast (Lanyon 1975, p. 443). The mean annual 
precipitation across the range of the Peruvian plantcutter is 5.0 to 99 
mm (0.196 to 3.80 in) (hyper-arid to arid) (Galan de Mera et al. 1997, 
p. 351). The climate is warm and dry with the annual temperature range 
of 23 to 25 [deg]C (74 to 77[emsp14][deg]F) at elevations below 600 m 
(1,968 ft) (Linares-Palomino 2006, p. 260). Northwestern Peru is 
strongly influenced by the El Ni[ntilde]o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) 
cycle (Rodriguez et al. 2005, p. 1), which can have particularly 
profound and long-lasting effects on arid terrestrial ecosystems 
(Mooers et al. 2007, p. 2; Holmgren et al. 2006a, p. 87) (see Factor 
A).
    Knowledge of the breeding of most species within the Cotingidae 
family, including the Peruvian plantcutter, is not well known (Walther 
2004, p. 73). The Peruvian plantcutter is considered a resident species 
in Peru, which indicates that it breeds there (Snow 2004, p. 61; 
Walther 2004, p. 73). Nesting activity of plantcutters appears to occur 
from March to April (Walther 2004, p. 73; Collar et al. 1992, p. 805). 
Plantcutters build shallow, cup-shaped nests that are made of thin dry 
twigs and lined with root fibers and other softer material (Snow 2004, 
p. 55). Nests can be built 1 to 3 m (3.3 to 9.8 ft) above the ground 
inside a thick thorny shrub

[[Page 43442]]

or higher in the fork of a tree (Elton 2004, p. 2; Snow 2004, p. 55; 
Flanagan and More 2003, p. 3). Females lay two to four eggs, and the 
incubation period lasts about 2 weeks (Snow 2004, p. 56; Walther 2004, 
p. 73; Goodall 1965, p. 636). Males assist in rearing the chicks, which 
fledge after 17 days or so (Snow 2004, p. 56).
    Plantcutters are herbivores with a predominantly leaf-eating diet 
(Snow 2004, p. 46; Bucher et al. 2003, p. 211). As an herbivore, the 
Peruvian plantcutter is dependent on year-round availability of high-
quality food, particularly during the dry season when plant growth is 
very limited (Bucher et al. 2003, p. 216). Peruvian plantcutters eat 
buds, leaves, and shoots of P. pallida and various other trees and 
shrubs, as well as some fruits (e.g., mistletoe) (Schulenberg et al. 
2007, p. 488; Walther 2004, p. 73; Goodall 1965, p. 635). The seeds, 
green seed pods, leaves, and flowers of P. pallida provide a protein-
rich food source for animals (Lewis et al. 2006, p. 282). The Peruvian 
plantcutter appears to prefer to feed while perched in shrubs and 
trees, although individuals also have been observed foraging on the 
ground (Snow 2004, p. 50). Birds have been observed in pairs and small 
groups (Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 488; Walther 2004, p. 73; Flanagan 
and More 2003, p. 3; Collar et al. 1992, p. 804).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The Peruvian plantcutter is a restricted-range species that is 
confined to the mostly flat, narrow desert zone, which is less than 50 
km (31 mi) in width (Lanyon 1975, p. 443) and runs along the coast of 
northwestern Peru (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 734; Stattersfield et al. 
1998, p. 213; Walther 2004, p. 73). The historical range of the 
Peruvian plantcutter reportedly extended from the town of Tumbes, 
located in the extreme northwestern corner of Peru and approximately 
south to north of Lima within the Regions of Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, 
La Libertad, Ancash, and Lima (Collar et al. 1992, pp. 804-805).
    The historical distribution of the Peruvian plantcutter was most 
likely throughout the contiguous lowland P. pallida dry forest and 
riparian vegetation, below 550 m (1,804 ft) (Williams 2005, p. 1; 
Collar et al. 1992). According to Collar et al. (1992, pp. 804-805), 
the Peruvian plantcutter is known from 14 historical sites.
    The type-specimen of the Peruvian plantcutter was most likely 
collected south of the town of Tumbes (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, 
pp. 2, 15). It is unknown whether the type specimen was lost or 
destroyed, or if it was ever returned to Peru (Flanagan et al. in litt. 
2009, p. 2). Today, there is good indication that the type-specimen was 
mislabeled as being collected in Tumbes (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, 
p. 2). Although the Tumbes Region has been extensively surveyed for the 
Peruvian plantcutter, including the North-West Biosphere Reserve, there 
have never been other collections in or near the vicinity of Tumbes or 
other evidence to suggest that the Peruvian plantcutter ever occurred 
in the area (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 2). Thus, it appears 
that the Peruvian plantcutter never occurred in the Tumbes Region.
    Researchers consider the reduction in dry forest habitat to be the 
result of historical human activities, including extensive land 
clearing for agriculture, timber and firewood extraction, charcoal 
production, and overgrazing. These activities have led to the reduction 
and severe fragmentation of dry forest habitat today (Flanagan et al. 
in litt. 2009, pp. 1-9; Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 488; Lopez et al. 
2006, p. 898; Bridgewater et al. 2003, p. 132; Pasiecznik et al. 2001, 
pp. 10, 75, 78, 95; Stotz et al. 1998, p. 52; Lanyon 1975, p. 443; 
Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 734) (see Factor A).

Current Range and Distribution

    The current range of the Peruvian plantcutter is approximately 
4,900 km\2\ (1,892 mi\2\) (BLI 2009a, p. 1), at an elevation of between 
10 and 550 m (33 and 1,804 ft) above sea level. It occurs within the 
Peruvian regions of Piura, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, La Libertad, and 
Ancash (from north to south) (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 14-
15). This species occurs within two protected areas in Peru (see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=4474 for a range map 
of the species). It has been documented in the Prosopis pallida (a 
legume known as huarango, bayahonda, or carob) dry forest within the 
protected archeological sites of the P[oacute]mac Forest Historical 
Sanctuary (BLI 2009e, p. 1) and Murales Forest (Walther 2004, p. 73). 
The species' reported range is likely an overestimate (Jetz et al. 
2008, p. 2). BLI defines a species' range as the total area within its 
extent of occurrence; however, the Peruvian plantcutter's current 
distribution is severely fragmented and distributed among small, widely 
separated remnant patches of P. pallida dominated dry forest (Flanagan 
et al. 2009, pp. 1-9; BLI 2009a, pp. 2-3; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 
18), which are usually heavily disturbed fragments of forest 
(Bridgewater et al. 2003, p. 132). Therefore, the species' actual range 
is likely smaller than this figure.
    The Peruvian plantcutter is extirpated from 11 of its 14 historical 
sites due to loss of habitat or degradation of habitat (Elton 2004, p. 
1; Hinze 2004, p. 1; Flanagan and More 2003, p. 5). Depending on 
habitat quality, it is estimated that the Peruvian plantcutter requires 
approximately 1 ha (2.5 ac) of habitat for suitable food and nesting 
sites (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 7; Flanagan and More 2003, p. 
3). Although the Peruvian plantcutter has been found in patches of P. 
pallida dry forest habitat that are near agricultural lands, tracks or 
roads, and human settlement (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 2-7), 
much of the available P. pallida dry forest habitat is not occupied by 
the Peruvian plantcutter (Schulenberg et al. 2007, p. 488; Snow 2004, 
p. 69; Walther 2004, p. 73; BLI 2000, p. 401).
    Flanagan et al. (in litt. 2009, pp. 1-15) recently completed a 
comprehensive review of 53 locations where there have been documented 
sightings of the Peruvian plantcutter. Of these, the species was 
determined to be extant (still living) in 29 sites. In the Piura 
Region, 17 of the 22 documented sites of the Peruvian plantcutter were 
extant as of a 2009 report (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 2-4, 
14). In this particular region, the Talara Province contained the 
largest concentration of intact P. pallida dry forest habitat in 
northwestern Peru and the largest subpopulation of the Peruvian 
plantcutter (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 3; BLI 2009a, p. 2; 
Walther 2004, p. 73; Flanagan and More 2003, p. 5). Additionally, there 
are several other documented sites of the Peruvian plantcutter in the 
Piura Region (e.g., Manglares de San Pedro, Illescas Peninsula, and 
Cerro Illescas) (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 4, 14; BLI 2009c, 
p. 1).
    In the Lambayeque Region, Flanagan et al. (in litt. 2009, pp. 4-5, 
14) reported a total of 13 locations of the Peruvian plantcutter, of 
which 5 are considered extant. Within the Region, there are four 
important areas for the Peruvian plantcutter:

    (1) The P[oacute]mac Forest Historical Sanctuary (Santuario 
Hist[oacute]rico de Bosque de P[oacute]mac), designated as a 
protected archeological site in 2001, comprises 5,887 ha (14,547 ac) 
of P. pallida dry forest (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 4; BLI 
2009e, p. 1). The Sanctuary includes the archeological site Batan 
Grande, an area comprised of 500 ha (1,235 ac) of P. pallida dry 
forest (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 4; BLI 2009e, p. 1).
    (2) Near the small town of Rafan are remnant patches of P. 
pallida dry forest,

[[Page 43443]]

encompassing approximately 1,500 ha (3,706 ac) (BLI 2009f, p. 1). 
The Rafan area has become a popular birding site for the Peruvian 
plantcutter (BLI 2009f, p. 1; Engblom 1998, p. 1).
    (3) Murales Forest (Bosque de Murales), comprised of P. pallida 
dry forest, is a designated archeological reserved zone (BLI 2009a, 
p. 3; Stattersfield et al. 2000, p. 402).
    (4) Chaparri Ecological Reserve, comprised of 34,412 ha (85,033 
ac) with P. pallida dry forest, is a community-owned and managed 
protected area (Walther 2004, p. 73).

The remaining sites in the Lambayeque Region are small remnant patches 
of P. pallida dry forest and comprise a few acres (Flanagan et al. in 
litt. 2009, pp. 4-5; Walther 2004, p. 73). The protected areas are 
further discussed under Factors A and D.
    In the Cajamarca Region, Flanagan et al. (in litt. 2009, pp. 5, 14) 
reported one occupied site of the Peruvian plantcutter, consisting of 
approximately 6 ha (14.8 ac) of remnant P. pallida dry forest in the 
R[iacute]o Chicama Valley. Six of the 12 known sites of the Peruvian 
plantcutter in the La Libertad Region are considered extant (Flanagan 
et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 5-6, 14). Each of these sites consists of 
small patches of remnant P. pallida dry forest habitat (Flanagan et al. 
in litt. 2009, pp. 5-6; Walther 2004, p. 73). Of the three known sites 
of the Peruvian plantcutter in the Ancash Region, only one was reported 
to be extant as of 2009 (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 6, 14). 
Additionally, in the Lima Region, the authors reported that the two 
historical sites were also unoccupied in the most recent survey 
(Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 7, 15).
    This species was found recently in central coastal Peru, in the 
area of Huarmey, [Aacute]ncash (Rosina y M[oacute]nica 2010, p. 257). 
Additional surveys are needed to determine if other available P. 
pallida dry forest habitat is occupied by the Peruvian plantcutter 
(Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 7).

Population Estimates

    There have been no rigorous quantitative assessments of the 
Peruvian plantcutter's population size (Williams 2005, p. 1). The 
estimated extant population size is between 500 and 1,000 individuals 
and comprises 2 disjunct subpopulations (BLI 2009g, pp. 1-2; Walther 
2004, p. 73) and several smaller sites (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, 
pp. 2-7; Williams 2005, p. 1; Walther 2004, p. 73; Flanagan and More 
2003, pp. 5-9).
    The northern subpopulation, located in the Talara Province in Piura 
Region, reportedly has between 400 and 600 individuals, or 
approximately 60 to 80 percent of the total population of the Peruvian 
plantcutter (BLI 2009a, p. 2; Williams 2005, p. 1; Snow 2004, p. 69; 
Walther 2004, p. 73). The second subpopulation, located at P[oacute]mac 
Forest Historical Sanctuary (Lambayeque Region), reportedly has 20 to 
60 individuals (BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 2009e, p. 1; Walther 2004, p. 73). 
The smaller sites are estimated to consist of a few individuals up to 
40 individuals (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 2-7; Walther 2004, 
p. 73; Williams 2005, p. 1; Flanagan and More 2003, pp. 5-9).
    The population estimate for the Peruvian plantcutter--that is, the 
total number of mature individuals--is not the same as the effective 
population size (i.e., the number of individuals that actually 
contribute to the next generation). The subpopulation structure and the 
extent of interbreeding among the occurrences of the Peruvian 
plantcutter are unknown. Although the two large subpopulations and many 
of the smaller occurrences of the Peruvian plantcutter are widely 
separated (BLI 2009a, pp. 2-3; Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 1-9; 
Ridgely and Tudor 1994. p. 18), there is insufficient information to 
determine whether these occurrences function as genetically isolated 
subpopulations.
    The Peruvian plantcutter has experienced a population decline of 
between 1 and 9 percent in the past 10 years, and this rate of decline 
is predicted to continue (BLI 2009g, p. 1). The population is 
considered to be declining in close association with continued habitat 
loss and degradation of habitat (see Factor A) (BLI 2009a, pp. 1-3; BLI 
2009g, pp. 1-3; Snow 2004, p. 69; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 18).

Conservation Status

    The Peruvian plantcutter is considered endangered by the Peruvian 
Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 276855). The 
IUCN considers the Peruvian plantcutter to be endangered because of 
ongoing habitat destruction and degradation of its small and severely 
fragmented range (BLI 2009a, pp. 2-3; BLI 2009g, pp. 1-2). From 1996 to 
2000, the IUCN considered the Peruvian plantcutter to be critically 
endangered (BLI 2009g, p. 1), following changes to the IUCN listing 
criteria in 2001. Experts have suggested returning the species to its 
previous classification of critically endangered, due to the numerous 
and immediate threats to the species (Flanagan, in litt. 2009 p. 1; 
Snow 2004, p. 69; Walther 2004, p. 74).
V. Royal cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae)

Species Description

    The royal cinclodes, also known as ``churrete real'' and 
``remolinera real,'' is a large-billed ovenbird in the Furnaridae 
family that is native to high-altitude woodlands of the Bolivian and 
Peruvian Andes (BLI 2009i, pp. 1-2; InfoNatura 2007, p. 1; del Hoyo et 
al. 2003, p. 253; Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG 2004, p. 27685; Valqui 
2000, p. 104). The adult is nearly 20 cm (8 in) in length, with a 
darker crown and a buff-colored area above the eyes. Its underparts are 
mostly gray-brown; it has only limited whitish mottling (this and the 
more distinctive rufous-brown wingbar are the main differences from the 
closely related species, the stout-billed Cinclodes (C. excelsior); 
Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). The throat is buff-colored, and the 
remaining underparts are gray-brown to buff-white. The wings are dark 
with prominent edging that forms a distinctive wing-bar in flight. The 
large, dark bill is slightly curved at the tip (BLI 2009i, p. 1).

Taxonomy

    When the species was first taxonomically described, the royal 
cinclodes was placed in the genus Upucerthia (Carriker 1932, pp. 1-2) 
and was then transferred to Geositta as a subspecies (Geositta 
excelsior aricomae) (Vaurie 1980, p. 14). Later, it was transferred to 
the genus Cinclodes, where it was considered a race or subspecies of 
the stout-billed Cinclodes (Cinclodes excelsior) until recently (BLI 
2009i, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, pp. 337-338; Vaurie 1980, 
p. 15). The royal cinclodes is now considered a distinct species (C. 
aricomae) based on differences in its habitat, morphology, and genetic 
distance (Chesser 2004, p. 763; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253). 
Therefore, we accept the species as Cinclodes aricomae, which also 
follows ITIS (2009, p. 1).

Habitat and Life History

    In the Cordillera Vilcanota, southern Peru, the royal cinclodes 
shows distinctive preferences for areas with primary (lesser disturbed) 
woodland habitat quality in larger remnant woodland patches: 
Specifically tall, dense Polylepis vegetation cover, high density of 
large Polylepis trees, and areas with dense and extensive moss ground 
cover (Lloyd 2008b. pp. 735-745). Near Lampa, Jun[iacute]n Department, 
the royal cinclodes has recently been observed in Gynoxys dominated 
woodlands where no Polylepis species occur (Lloyd 2010, pers. comm.). 
These findings suggest that in some areas, the

[[Page 43444]]

royal cinclodes may not be dependent on Polylepis species, but can 
occur in other high-elevational woodland habitats with similar habitat 
structure and habitat quality to Polylepis (Lloyd 2010, pers. comm.; 
Witt and Lane 2009, pp. 90-94).
    In the Cordillera Vilcanota, the royal cinclodes has a very narrow 
estimated niche breadth, and it is largely intolerant of the 
surrounding disturbed non-woodland puna matrix habitat (Lloyd and 
Marsden 2008, pp. 2645-2660). Individuals here have been observed 
foraging on the ground or on boulders, concentrating foraging efforts 
on moss or bark litter substrates (Lloyd 2008). The royal cinclodes is 
restricted to elevations between 3,500 and 4,600 m (11,483 and 12,092 
ft) (BLI 2009i, p. 2; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; BLI 2000, p. 345; 
Collar et al. 1992, p. 588). The characteristics of Polylepis habitat 
were described above as part of the Habitat and Life History of the 
ash-breasted tit-tyrant. The royal cinclodes prefers dense woodlands 
(BLI 2009i, p. 2; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; BLI 2000, p. 345; 
Collar et al. 1992, p. 588), with more closed canopies that provide 
habitat for more lush moss growth (Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57). The 
moss-laden vegetation and shaded understory harbor a rich diversity of 
insects, making good feeding grounds for insectivorous birds (De la Via 
2004, p. 10) such as the royal cinclodes (del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; 
Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57). In Bolivia, the royal cinclodes has been 
observed only in P. pepei forests, but it is found amongst a greater 
variety of Polylepis species in Peru (Chutas et al. 2008, p. 16; I. 
G[oacute]mez, in litt. 2007, p. 1).
    Information on the ecology and breeding behavior of royal cinclodes 
is limited. The species' feeding territory ranges from 3 to 4 ha (7 to 
10 ac) (del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57). 
Breeding pairs may occupy smaller, 2-ha (2.5-ac) territories (Chutas 
2007, p. 7). The royal cinclodes is described as ``nervous'' and is 
easily disturbed by humans (Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57). The breeding 
season probably begins in December, but territorialism among pairs can 
be seen in austral winter (June-August) (del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; 
BLI 2000, p. 345). Cinclodes species construct burrows or use natural 
cavities, crevices, or rodent burrows for nesting (Fjelds[aring] and 
Krabbe 1990, p. 337; Vaurie 1980, pp. 30, 34). The royal cinclodes' 
clutch size may be similar to that of the closely related stout-billed 
Cinclodes (C. excelsior), which is two eggs per clutch (Graves and 
Arango (1988, p. 252).
    The royal cinclodes appears to mainly feed on beetle larvae, grubs, 
and earthworms, which they find by turning and tossing away moss and 
debris on the forest floor with their powerful bills (Fjelds[aring] 
2010 pers. comm.). It has also been observed to consume invertebrates, 
seeds, and occasionally small vertebrates (frogs) (del Hoyo et al. 
2003, p. 253). The royal cinclodes forages, solitary or in pairs, by 
probing through moss and debris on the forest floor (del Hoyo et al. 
2003, p. 253; Fjelds[aring] 2002b, p. 9; BLI 2000, p. 345; Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 589). Their feeding is done so violently that the forest 
floor looks as if pigs have been feeding there. Due to its feeding 
behavior, the moss cover rapidly dries up and dies unless the humidity 
is very high. This characteristic limits the species to areas where the 
landscape is persistently covered by clouds and mists, or where the 
canopy is dense enough to provide permanent shade (Fjelds[aring] 2010 
pers. comm.). Because this species can heavily disturb its habitat, it 
requires large feeding territories (thus, only large forest patches can 
sustain more than one pair). This ground-feeding strategy may 
facilitate interbreeding amongst groups located on adjoining mountain 
peaks when the species likely descends the mountains during periods of 
snow cover (Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57).

Historical Range and Distribution

    The royal cinclodes may once have been locally common and 
distributed across most of central to southern Peru and into the 
Bolivian highlands, in once-contiguous expanses of Polylepis forests 
above 3,000 m (9,843 ft) (BLI 2009i, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 2002a, pp. 
111-112, 115; Herzog et al. 2002, p. 94; Kessler 2002, pp. 97-101; BLI 
2000, p. 345). Polylepis woodlands are now restricted to elevations of 
3,500 to 5,000 m (11,483 to 16,404 ft) (Fjelds[aring] 1992, p. 10). As 
discussed above for the Historical Range and Distribution of the ash-
breasted tit-tyrant, researchers consider human activity to be the 
primary cause for historical habitat decline and resultant decrease in 
species richness (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 116; Herzog et al. 2002, p. 
94; Kessler 2002, pp. 97-101; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, Kessler 
1995a, b, and L[aelig]gaard 1992, as cited in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 
112; Kessler and Herzog 1998, pp. 50-51). The royal cinclodes may have 
been extirpated from its type locality (Aricoma Pass, Puno), and 
possibly throughout the entire Puno Region, where Polylepis forest no 
longer exists (Collar et al. 1992, p. 589; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57) 
(see Population Estimates). It is estimated that between 2-3 and 10 
percent of the original forest cover still remains in Peru and Bolivia, 
respectively (BLI 2009i, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited 
in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113) (see Factor A). Of this amount, less 
than 1 percent of the remaining woodlands occur in humid areas, where 
Polylepis denser stands occur (Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited 
in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113) and which are preferred by the royal 
cinclodes (del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57). 
The royal cinclodes was initially discovered in Bolivia in 1876, but 
was not observed there again until recently (BLI 2009i, p. 2; Hirshfeld 
2007, p. 198) (see Current Range and Distribution).

Current Range and Distribution

    The royal cinclodes is generally restricted to moist and mossy 
habitat on steep rocky slopes of semihumid Polylepis or Polylepis-
Gynoxys woodlands, where the species is found at elevations between 
3,500 and 4,600 m (11,483 and 12,092 ft) (Benham et al. 2011, p. 151; 
BLI 2009i, p. 2; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; Collar et al. 1992, p. 
588). The current potential range of the species is approximately 2,700 
km\2\ (1,042 mi\2\) (BLI 2009i, p. 1), which is an overestimate of the 
actual range, given the fragmented nature of the species' remaining 
habitat (BLI 20091, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113). The royal cinclodes was rediscovered in 
Bolivia within the last decade, after more than 100 years of not being 
observed there (Mobley 2010 in litt.; Hirshfeld 2007, p. 198). It 
occurs in the Andes of southeastern Peru (Cusco, Apur[iacute]mac, Puno 
and Jun[iacute]n) and adjacent Bolivia (La Paz) (Gomez 2010, p. 1; see 
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=9773 for a 
range map of the species).
    Within the last 15 years, royal cinclodes has been observed in 
Peru's Runtacocha highlands and in the Laguna Anantay Valley (both in 
Apur[iacute]mac), Pariahuanca Valley (Jun[iacute]n), and Cordillera 
Vilcanota (Cusco), and in Bolivia, Department of La Paz: Cordillera 
Apolobamba and the Cordillera Real (including Ilampu Valley, Sanja 
Pampa, and Cordillera de La Paz) (Benham et al. 2011, p. 151; Hirshfeld 
2007, p. 198; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57; 
Valqui 2000, p. 104). It was also recently discovered in central Peru, 
approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) from Lampa, Jun[iacute]n Department, at 
3700 m (12,139 ft). This represents a 300 km (186 mi) northward range 
extension for the species (Witt and Lane 2009, pp. 90-94).

[[Page 43445]]

Population Estimate

    Population information is presented first by range country and then 
in terms of a global population estimate. The range country estimates 
begin with Peru, where the majority of the population resides. The 
royal cinclodes is believed to be a naturally low-density species 
(Lloyd 2008, pp. 164-180).
    Peru. In the Puno Region of Peru, it is unclear whether a viable 
population of royal cinclodes remains. The royal cinclodes was first 
observed in Puno in 1930 (Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 338) and 
has continued to be reported there (BLI 2009i, pp. 1-2; BLI 2007, pp. 
1-2; del Hoyo 2003, p. 253; Collar et al. 1992, p. 588). However, based 
on habitat availability, InfoNatura (2007, p. 1) predicted that the 
royal cinclodes does not occur in Puno because suitable habitat no 
longer exists there. Only two royal cinclodes individuals have been 
reported in the Puno Region (Cordillera de Carabaya) in recent decades 
(Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8).
    Bolivia. The species' current range is more widespread in Bolivia 
than previously understood. The royal cinclodes had not been observed 
in Bolivia for more than a century, when it was rediscovered there in 
1997 (BLI 2009i, p. 2; Hirshfeld 2007, p. 198). Recent surveys in La 
Paz Department found it in at least 13 localities (8 in Cordillera 
Apolobamba and 5 in Cordillera La Paz) (BLI 2009i, p. 1).
    BLI reports an estimated population size of 50-70 royal cinclodes 
in Bolivia (G[oacute]mez in litt. 2003, 2008, as cited in BLI 2009i, p. 
2). Studies in Bolivia reported in 2007 found a density of 1-8 royal 
cinclodes in each of 30 forest patches (G[oacute]mez in litt. 2007, p. 
1). Thus, they estimated that the royal cinclodes population in Bolivia 
is approximately 30 birds. Researchers added that, because the royal 
cinclodes does not always respond to tape-playbacks, these numbers may 
underestimate the actual population size (G[oacute]mez in litt. 2007, 
p. 1).

Global Population Estimate

    In 1990, the global population of the royal cinclodes was estimated 
to be 100-150 individuals (Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 338). This 
number represented only the estimated Peruvian population because the 
royal cinclodes was thought to exist only in Peru at the time of this 
estimate (BLI 2009i, p. 2; Hirshfeld 2007, p. 198). In 2007, Aucca-
Chutas (2007, p. 8) reported an estimated 189 birds located within four 
separate Polylepis forest patches in Peru, with a combined area of 629 
ha (1,554 ac). This estimate included 116 birds and 30 birds in 
Cordilleras Vilcanota and Vilcabamba, respectively (Cusco); 2 birds in 
Cordillera de Carabaya (Puno); and 41 birds in Cordillera del 
Apur[iacute]mac (Runtacocha highlands in Apur[iacute]mac) (Aucca-Chutas 
2007, pp. 4, 8). Subpopulations at the four locations in the Cordillera 
Vilcanota may contain as few as 1-4 individuals (BLI 2008, p. 2).
    In 2002, Engblom et al. (p. 57) estimated a total population size 
of up to 250 pairs of birds. In 2003, the global population was once 
again reported to include only a few hundred individuals (del Hoyo et 
al. 2003, p. 253). Based on recent observations in both countries, 
there are likely approximately 270 birds in Peru and 50-70 in Bolivia, 
totaling 239-340 individuals (this includes the 2011 observations in 
Laguna Anantay, Apur[iacute]mac Department (Benham et al. 2011). While 
the BLI estimate of the population is between 50 and 249 individuals 
(BLI 2011d), recent research has found new habitat and birds in newly 
identified locations (Benham et al. 2011, pp. 145-157).
    Population estimates are incomplete, and the population structure 
and the extent of interbreeding among the various localities are 
unknown. The species' territory ranges from 3 to 4 ha (7 to 10 ac), and 
its habitat is fragmented, dispersed, and sparse (del Hoyo et al. 2003, 
p. 253; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57). Fjelds[aring] (2010, pers. comm.) 
indicated that because of the range disjunction, the species may not be 
breeding as a single population. In the proposed rule, we indicated 
that there was no information to indicate the distance that this 
species is capable of or likely to travel between localities. However, 
research in 2011 found that this species was making flights greater 
than 100 m (328 ft) between Polylepis patches in Apur[iacute]mac, and 
was also observed at forest edges (Benham et al. 2011, pp. 152).
    Engblom et al. (2002, p. 57) noted that gene flow between 
localities likely occurs when the species descends the mountains to 
forage in the valleys during periods of snow cover at the higher 
altitudes such that interbreeding may occur at least among localities 
with shared valleys. Although the information available suggests that 
the species does not breed as a single population, we have insufficient 
information to determine if they are genetically isolated. The species 
has experienced a population decline of approximately 30 and 49 percent 
in the past 10 years, and this rate of decline is predicted to continue 
(BLI 2009i, pp. 1, 5). The population is considered to be declining in 
close association with continued habitat loss and degradation (BLI 
2009i, p. 6).

Conservation Status

    The royal cinclodes is considered critically endangered by the 
Peruvian Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 
276854). The IUCN considers the royal cinclodes to be critically 
endangered due to its extremely small population, which consists of 
small subpopulations that are severely fragmented and dependent upon a 
rapidly deteriorating habitat (BLI 2009i, p. 1; BLI 2007, p. 1). The 
royal cinclodes occurs within the Peruvian protected area of Santuario 
Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu, in Cusco (BLI 2009h, p. 1; BLI 2009i, p. 
6; Aucca-Chutas et al. 2008, p. 16). In La Paz Department, Bolivia, the 
species is found in Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo 
Integrado Madidi, Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo 
Integrado Cotapata, and the colocated protected areas of Reserva 
Nacional de Fauna de Apolobamba, [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo 
Integrado de Apolobamba, and Reserva de la Biosfera de Apolobamba (BLI 
2009a, p. 1; BLI 2009b, p. 1; Aucca-Chutas et al. 2008, p. 16). At Abra 
M[aacute]laga Thastayoc, Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru, a new visitor's 
center was completed in the Royal Cinclodes Private Conservation Area 
in February 2011 (ECOAN 2012).
VI. White-browed tit-spinetail (Leptasthenura xenothorax)

Species Description

    The white-browed tit-spinetail, or ``tijeral cejiblanco,'' is a 
small dark ovenbird in the Furnaridaii family that is native to high-
altitude woodlands of the Peruvian Andes (del Hoyo et al. 2003, pp. 
266-267; BLI 2000, p. 347; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 348; 
Parker and O'Neill 1980, p. 169; Chapman 1921, pp. 8-9). The sexes are 
similar in size (approximately 18 cm (7 in) in length). The most 
distinct feature of this species is its checkered (black-and-white) 
throat and dark grey body underparts, which distinguishes it from the 
rusty-crowned tit-spinetail (Leptasthenura pileata) (Fjelds[aring] 2010 
pers. comm., p. 4). The species is characterized by its bright rufous 
crown and prominent white supercilium (eyebrow) (Lloyd 2009, p. 2; del 
Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267), which gives the species its name. The 
species is highly vocal, ``often singing while acrobatically foraging 
from the outermost branches of Polylepis trees'' (Lloyd 2009, p. 2).

[[Page 43446]]

Taxonomy

    The white-browed tit-spinetail was first described by Chapman in 
1921 (del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267). The species was synonymized with 
the nominate subspecies of the rusty-crowned tit-spinetail 
(Leptasthenura pileata pileata) by Vaurie (1980, p. 66), but 
examination of additional specimens in combination with field 
observations strongly suggests that L. xenothorax is a valid species 
(Collar et al. 1992, p. 596; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 348; 
Parker and O'Neill 1980, p. 169). Therefore, we accept the species as 
Leptasthenura xenothorax, which follows the Integrated Taxonomic 
Information System (ITIS 2009, p. 1).

Habitat and Life History

    The white-browed tit-spinetail is restricted to high-elevation, 
semihumid Polylepis and Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands, where the species 
is found between 3,700 and 4,550 m (12,139 and 14,928 ft) above sea 
level (Lloyd 2009, pp. 5-6; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267; BLI 2000, p. 
347; Collar et al. 1992, p. 595; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 
348). Dense stands of Polylepis woodlands are characterized by moss-
laden vegetation and a shaded understory, and provide for a rich 
diversity of insects, making these areas good feeding grounds for 
insectivorous birds (De la Via 2004, p. 10), such as the white-browed 
tit-spinetail (BLI 2009d, p. 2). The characteristics of Polylepis 
habitat are described above in more detail as part of the Habitat and 
Life History of the ash-breasted tit-tyrant.
    This species appears to prefer primary (lesser disturbed) woodland 
habitat in larger remnant patches at the lower to mid-elevation range 
of its known elevational range distribution (Lloyd 2008b, pp. 735-745). 
It prefers areas of high density of tall, large Polylepis trees. These 
usually correspond with areas containing dense and extensive moss 
ground cover (Lloyd 2008b, pp. 735-745). This species generally forages 
on vertical trunks and on thicker, epiphyte-clad branches of Polylepis 
trees covered with moss and lichens, unlike other Leptasthenura 
species, which generally forage on the thin terminal branches of the 
outer canopy (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm., p. 4). The species is 
different from other Polylepis-dependent insectivorous bird species, in 
particular L. yanacensis, in that it uses different foraging perch 
types, substrates, and a different niche position (Lloyd 2010 pers. 
comm.). The white-browed tit-spinetail has been observed to regularly 
use woodland patches smaller than 0.1 ha (0.25 ac) for foraging in 
Cordillera Vilcabamba (Lloyd 2008, p. 531; Engblom et al. (2002, pp. 
57-58).
    It is classified as an ``infrequent flyer'' across gaps between 
woodland patches. At one site in the Cordillera Vilcanota, the species 
was observed avoiding flying across gaps to the most distant small 
woodland patches if these patches were separated by more than 73 m (239 
ft) from larger woodland patches (Benham et al. 2011, p. 153; Lloyd and 
Marsden 2010, in press). Based on these observations, Engblom et al. 
(2002, p. 58) suggest that the species is able to persist in very small 
forest fragments, especially if a number of these patches are in close 
proximity. The lower elevation of this species' range changes to a 
mixed Polylepis-Escallonia (no common name) woodland, and the white-
browed tit-spinetail has been observed there on occasion, such as 
during a snowstorm (del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267; Collar et al. 1992, 
p. 595; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 348). It may not be entirely 
as dependent on Polylepis forests; rather this species may be more 
dependent on the density of the forest which creates the moss-lichen-
insect environment (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.)
    There is limited information on the ecology and breeding behavior 
of the white-browed tit-spinetail. Lloyd (2006, as cited in Lloyd 2009, 
p. 8) reports that the species breeds in October in Cordillera 
Vilcanota in southern Peru. In the same area, one adult was seen 
attending a nesting hole in a Polylepis tree in November 1997 (del Hoyo 
et al. 2003, p. 267; Bushell in litt. (1999), as cited in BLI 2009d, p. 
2). Only one nest of the white-browed tit-spinetail has ever been 
described. According to Lloyd (2006, as cited in Lloyd 2009, p. 8), the 
nest was located within a natural cavity of a Polylepis racemosa tree's 
main trunk, approximately 2 m (7 ft) above the ground. To construct 
their nest, the white-browed tit-spinetail pair uses moss, lichen, and 
bark fibers they stripped from Polylepis tree trunks, large branches, 
and large boulders while foraging. The nest was cup-shaped and 
contained two pale-colored eggs (Lloyd 2006, as cited in Lloyd 2009, p. 
8).
    The white-browed tit-spinetail is insectivorous, with a diet 
consisting primarily of arthropods (Lloyd 2009, p. 7; del Hoyo et al. 
2003, p. 267). The species forages in pairs or small family groups of 
three to five, and often in mixed-species flocks, gleaning insects from 
bark crevices, moss, and lichens on twigs, branches, and trunks (BLI 
2009d, pp. 2-3; Engblom et al. 2002, pp. 57-58; Parker and O'Neill 
1980, p. 169). The white-browed tit-spinetail is highly arboreal, 
typically foraging acrobatically from the outer branches of Polylepis 
trees while hanging upside-down (Lloyd 2008b, as cited in Lloyd 2009, 
p. 7; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267).

Historical Range and Distribution

    In our 2008 Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions for 
Foreign Species (73 FR 44062; July 29, 2008), we stated that, 
historically, the white-browed tit-spinetail may have occupied the 
Polylepis forests of the high-Andes of Peru and Bolivia. We included 
both countries in the historical range of the species because the 
species' primary habitat, the Polylepis forest, was historically large 
and contiguous throughout the high-Andes of both Peru and Bolivia 
(Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 115). However, based on further research, we 
have determined that historically, the species was known from only two 
Regions in south-central Peru, Cusco and Apur[iacute]mac (del Hoyo et 
al. 2003, p. 267; Collar et al. 1992, p. 594), and not in Bolivia.
    The white-browed tit-spinetail may once have been distributed 
throughout south-central Peru, in previously contiguous Polylepis 
forests above 3,000 m (9,843 ft) (BLI 2009d, pp. 1-2; Fjelds[aring] 
2002a, pp. 111-112, 115; Herzog et al. 2002, p. 94; Kessler 2002, pp. 
97-101; BLI 2000, p. 347). However, Polylepis woodlands are now 
restricted to elevations of 3,500 to 5,000 m (11,483 to 16,404 ft) 
(Fjelds[aring] 1992, p. 10). As discussed above for the Historical 
Range and Distribution of the ash-breasted tit-tyrant, researchers 
consider human activity to be the primary cause for historical habitat 
decline and resultant decrease in species richness (Fjelds[aring] 
2002a, p. 116; Herzog et al. 2002, p. 94; Kessler 2002, pp. 97-101; 
Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, Kessler 1995a, b, and L[aelig]gaard 
1992, as cited in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 112; Kessler and Herzog 1998, 
pp. 50-51). It is estimated that only 2-3 percent of the original 
forest cover still remains in Peru (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, pp. 111, 113). 
Less than 1 percent of the remaining woodlands occur in humid areas, 
where denser stands are found (Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited 
in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113), and which are preferred by the white-
browed tit-spinetail (BLI 2009d, p. 2; Lloyd 2008a, as cited in Lloyd 
2009, p. 6).

Current Range and Distribution

    The white-browed tit-spinetail occurs in high-elevation, semihumid 
patches of Polylepis and Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands in the Andes 
Mountains of south-central Peru (see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=4824 for a range map of the species). The 
species

[[Page 43447]]

has a highly restricted and severely fragmented range, and is currently 
known from only a small number of sites in the Apur[iacute]mac 
Department in these areas: The Runtacocha highlands; Nevado Sacsarayoc 
massif (mountain range); Cordillera Vilcanota and in the Laguna Anantay 
Valley in Apur[iacute]mac. It is also known to occur in Vilcabamba in 
Cusco Department (within the Peruvian protected area of Santuario 
Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu) (Benham et al. 2011, p. 153; 
Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm., p. 4; Lloyd 2010; BLI 2009c, pp. 1, 3; 
BLI 2009d, p. 6; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267). The species occurs at 
an altitude of 3,700-4,550 m (12,139-14,928 ft) (Lloyd 2009, pp. 1, 5-
6; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 267; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 
348). It is more commonly encountered in the lower elevations within 
this range. Subpopulations of white-browed tit-spinetail in the 
Cordillera Vilcanota have a very narrow estimated niche (Benham et al. 
2011, p. 153; Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.; Lloyd 2009, p. 5; Lloyd 
and Marsden 2008, pp. 2645-2660). The estimated potential range of the 
species is approximately 2,500 km\2\ (965 mi\2\) (BLI 2011f, p. 1).

Population Estimates

    Peru. An estimated 305 birds were located within 3 disjunct 
Polylepis forest patches in Peru (Aucca-Chutas 2007, p. 8). This 
included 205 birds and 36 birds in Cordilleras Vilcanota and 
Vilcabamba, respectively (Cusco), and 64 birds in Cordillera del 
Apur[iacute]mac (Runtacocha highlands of Apur[iacute]mac) (Aucca-Chutas 
2007, p. 8). The species may occur at higher densities in other areas 
of Polylepis forests (Lloyd 2008c, as cited in Lloyd 2009, p. 9). 
Despite the low population estimates of this species, the quantitative 
data from Cordillera Vilcanota indicates that the white-browed tit-
spinetail is one of the most abundant Polylepis specialists in southern 
Peru (Lloyd 2009, p. 9). This species was documented in Laguna Anantay, 
Apur[iacute]mac in 2010, and its estimated population size in this 
location was 229 individuals (Benham et al. 2011, p. 153).
    Global population estimate: BLI categorizes the white-browed tit-
spinetail as having a population size between 500 and 1,500 mature 
individuals (BLI 2011f, p. 1). However, the estimate is based on 
Engblom et al. 2002 (p. 58). In 2002, Fjelds[aring] (2002b, p. 9) also 
estimated a total population size of between 250 and 1,000 pairs of 
birds. More recently it was described as having one of the highest 
densities of all the threatened Polylepis bird species in this area 
(Benham et al. 2011, p. 153; Lloyd 2010, pers. comm.). It is described 
as being common in a rare and patchy (fragmented) habitat (Lloyd 2008). 
Some species have always been rare (Donald et al. 2010, p. 10); 
particularly those associated with habitat such as Polylepis-dominated 
forest. However, as of 2009, the species was described as experiencing 
a population decline between 10 and 19 percent in the past 10 years, 
and this rate of decline was predicted to continue (BLI 2009d, p. 5). 
The species' population decline is correlated with the rate of habitat 
loss and degradation (see Factor A) (BLI 2009d, p. 6). Based on the 
best available information, we consider the population estimate to be 
between 500 and 1,500 mature individuals.

Conservation Status

    The white-browed tit-spinetail is considered endangered by the 
Peruvian Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 
276854). The IUCN considers the white-browed tit-spinetail to be 
endangered due to its very small and severely fragmented range and 
population, which continue to decline with ongoing habitat loss and a 
lack of habitat regeneration (BLI 2009d, p. 1). Additional protections 
that are likely to benefit this species include three new recently 
approved community-owned, private conservation areas (3,415 ha or 8,438 
ac) to protect Polylepis forest in the Vilcanota Mountains of 
southeastern Peru, near Cusco, which will subsequently provide 
protection for bird species such as the white-browed tit-spinetail 
(American Bird Conservancy 2011, unpaginated; Salem News 2010, p. 1).

Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing 
regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding 
species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and 
Plants. A species may be determined to be an endangered or threatened 
species due to one or more of the five factors described in section 
4(a)(1) of the Act. The five factors are: (A) The present or threatened 
destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) 
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of 
existing regulatory mechanisms; and (E) other natural or manmade 
factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may be 
warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in 
combination. In considering what factors might constitute threats, we 
look beyond the exposure of the species to determine whether the 
species responds to the factor in a way that causes actual impacts to 
the species, and we look at the magnitude of the effect. If there is 
exposure to a factor, but no response, or only a beneficial response, 
that factor is not a threat. If there is exposure and the species 
responds negatively, the factor may be a threat and we then attempt to 
determine how significant the factor is. If the factor is significant 
and, therefore, a threat, it may drive or contribute to the risk of 
extinction of the species such that the species warrants listing as 
threatened or endangered as those terms are defined by the Act. In 
making this final listing determination, we evaluated threats to each 
of these six species. Our evaluation of this information is discussed 
below.
    There are three habitat types in which these six species exist. All 
six species occur in Peru; two of them occur in Bolivia. The Peruvian 
plantcutter occurs in coastal northern Peru, the Jun[iacute]n grebe and 
Jun[iacute]n rail occur in and around Lake Jun[iacute]n, and three (the 
white-browed tit-spinetail, royal cinclodes, and ash breasted tit-
tyrant) occur in forest habitat dominated by Polylepis species. Within 
each of these three habitats, these three species depend on similar 
physical and biological features and on the successful functioning of 
their ecosystems to survive. They also face the same or very similar 
threats within each habitat type. One peer reviewer thought that the 
proposed rule was difficult to follow, so we hope that the way we have 
organized our evaluation and finding in this final rule is more clear.
    Although the listing determination for each species is analyzed 
separately, to avoid redundancy we have organized the specific analysis 
for each species within the context of the broader scale and threat 
factor in which it occurs. Since within each habitat, these species 
face a suite of common or mostly overlapping threats, similar 
management actions would reduce or eliminate those threats. Effective 
management of these threat factors often requires implementation of 
conservation actions at a broader scale to enhance or restore critical 
ecological processes and provide for long-term viability of those 
species in their native environment. Thus, by taking this broader 
approach, we hope this final rule is effectively organized.

Summary of Factors

    A. The Present or Threatened Destruction, Modification, or 
Curtailment of the Species' Habitat or Range

[[Page 43448]]

Ash-breasted tit-tyrant, royal cinclodes, and white-browed tit-
spinetail (Polylepis habitat)

    1. Ash-breasted tit-tyrant. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is 
dependent upon high-elevation semihumid Polylepis or Polylepis-Gynoxys 
woodlands (del Hoyo et al. 2004, pp. 281; Collar et al. 1992, p. 753; 
Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, pp. 468-469). Researchers believe that 
this habitat was historically contiguous with lower-elevation cloud 
forests and widespread above 3,000 m (9,843 ft) (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, 
pp. 111, 115; Collar et al. 1992, p. 753), but Polylepis woodlands 
occur today only between 3,500 and 5,000 m (11,483-16,404 ft) 
(Fjelds[aring] 1992, p. 10). The species prefers dense woodlands 
(Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 114; Smith 1971, p. 269), where the best 
foraging habitat exists (De la Via 2004, p. 10).
    Within La Paz, there may be two separate populations that are 
separated by the Mapiri canyon (see www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=4173 for a range map of the species). The 
population in the Runtacocha highland in Apur[iacute]mac, Peru, is 
morphologically distinct from that in Cusco, although a formal 
subspecies description has not been published (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. 
comm.). Several other areas with similar dense Polylepis stands exist 
further south in Apur[iacute]mac, east of the Chalhuanca valley (a zone 
with fairly high precipitation) and could hold other populations. These 
could act as links or corridors to other suitable habitat such as a 
small Polylepis patch that exists near Nevado Solimana in western 
Arequipa. However, this patch is isolated and could only accommodate a 
few pairs of ash-breasted tit-tyrants (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.).
    Although there is currently no evidence to suggest that populations 
in Cusco and in La Paz are connected, they may have been connected in 
the past. In 2007, the ash-breasted tit-tyrant was observed in the 
Ancash Region, Corredor Conchucos (Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8). Here, 
a Polylepis reforestation project is under way to connect two protected 
areas where ash-breasted tit-tyrants were known to occur: In Parque 
Nacional Huascar[aacute]n and Zona Reservada de la Cordillera Huayhuash 
(MacLennan 2009, p. 1; Antamina Mine 2006, p. 5).
    The second location spans the Peruvian-Bolivian border--in the 
Peruvian Administrative Regions of Apur[iacute]mac, Cusco, Puno, and 
Arequipa (from north to south) and in the Bolivian Department of La 
Paz. Here it occurs in Cordillera Oriental (Apur[iacute]mac and Cusco), 
Cordilleras Vilcanota and Vilcabamba (Cusco), and Cordillera de 
Carabaya (Puno)--in Peru--and ranges into Bolivia, where it is found in 
the Cordillera Real and the Cordillera Apolobamba (La Paz) (BLI 2009e, 
p. 1; Aucca-Chutas 2007, p. 8; del Hoyo et al. 2004, p. 281; Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 753; Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, pp. 468-469). The ash-
breasted tit-tyrant was only recently (in 2008) reported in Arequipa 
Region, Peru (BLI 2009j, p. 1).
    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is highly localized (Collar et al. 
1992, p. 753) and has been described as very rare, with usually only 1-
2 pairs per occupied woodland (Fjelds[aring] and Krabbe 1990, p. 469). 
It exists at such low densities in some places that it may go 
undetected (Collar et al. 1992, p. 753). The species appears to be 
unable to persist in forest remnants smaller than 1 ha (2.5 ac) (BLI 
2009o, p. 1).
    2. Royal cinclodes. The royal cinclodes is restricted to high-
elevation (3,500-4,600 m or 11,483-12,092 ft), moist, moss-laden areas 
of semihumid Polylepis or Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands (BLI 2009i, p. 2; 
del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; BLI 2000, p. 345; Collar et al. 1992, p. 
588). Polylepis woodlands are dispersed and sparse, with an estimated 
remaining area of 1,000 km\2\ (386 mi\2\) in Peru and 5,000 km\2\ 
(1,931 mi\2\) in Bolivia (Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113). Within the remaining Polylepis woodlands, 
the royal cinclodes' range is approximately 2,700 km\2\ (1,042 mi\2\) 
(BLI 2011e, p. 1) (See http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=9773 for a range map of the species). Less than 
1 percent of the remaining woodlands occur in humid areas, where denser 
stands occur (Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in Fjelds[aring] 
2002a, p. 113). The optimal habitat for the royal cinclodes is large 
areas of dense woodlands in the high Andes, with a closed canopy that 
supports its preferred foraging habitat of shady, moss-laden vegetation 
(Lloyd 2008, p. 735; De la Via 2004, p. 10; del Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 
253; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57).
    3. White-browed tit-spinetail. The species is known from only a 
small number of sites at four locations: The Runtacocha highlands (in 
Apur[iacute]mac Region), and the Nevado Sacsarayoc massif, Cordillera 
Vilcabamba, and Cordillera Vilcanota (in Cusco Region); however, new 
Polylepis habitat has been located (Benham et al. 2011, p. 145). In the 
Cordillera de Vilcanota (Cusco, Peru), where a large portion of the 
known white-browed tit-spinetail population occurs (205 birds were 
recently observed there, of 305 total birds observed in 3 study sites 
in Peru) (Aucca-Chutas 2007, p. 8), Polylepis woodland habitat is 
highly fragmented and degraded. According to Engblom et al. (2002, pp. 
57-58), the species has been recorded in patches of woodland as small 
as 0.25 ha (0.6 ac) in Cordillera Vilcabamba, but the species' 
persistence in small patches appears to be dependent on the patches 
being in close proximity to each other.

Polylepis habitat

    High-Andean Polylepis woodlands are considered by experts to be the 
most threatened habitat in Peru and Bolivia (Purcell et al. 2004, p. 
457), throughout the Andean region (BLI 2009a, p. 2), and are one of 
the most threatened woodland ecosystem types in the world (Renison et 
al. 2005, as cited in Lloyd 2009, p. 10). The IUCN has listed several 
Polylepis species as vulnerable, including two species, Polylepis 
incana and P. pepei that occur within the range of these three species 
(Ramsay and Aucca 2003, pp. 3-4; WCMC 1998a, p. 1; WCMC 1998b, p. 1). 
Peruvian and Bolivian Polylepis woodlands today are highly fragmented. 
In the late 1990s, Fjelds[aring] and Kessler (1996, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113) conducted comprehensive ground surveys and 
analyzed maps and satellite images of the area. They estimated that the 
current range of Polylepis woodlands had been reduced from historical 
levels by 97-98 percent in Peru and 90 percent in Bolivia. Contemporary 
Polylepis woodlands are dispersed and sparse, covering an estimated 
area of 1,000 km\2\ (386 mi\2\) and 5,000 km\2\ (1,931 mi\2\) in Peru 
and Bolivia, respectively (Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113). Of the remaining Polylepis woodlands, 
only 1 percent is found in humid areas, where the denser Polylepis 
forests preferred by the ash-breasted tit-tyrant tend to occur 
(Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 
113).
    Habitat loss, conversion, and degradation throughout these three 
species' range have been and continue to occur as a result of ongoing 
human activity, including:
    (1) Clear cutting and burning;
    (2) Extractive activities;
    (3) Human encroachment; and
    (4) Climate fluctuations that may exacerbate the effects of habitat 
fragmentation.
    Clearcutting and burning. Clear cutting and burning are among the 
most destructive activities and are a leading cause for Polylepis 
habitat loss (WCMC 1998a, p. 1; WCMC 1998b, p. 1). Forested areas are 
cleared for agriculture and to create pasture for cattle, sheep,

[[Page 43449]]

and camels (BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 2009c, pp. 1-2; BLI 2009d, pp. 1-2; 
BLI 2009e, pp. 1, 5; BLI 2009h, p. 1; BLI 2009m, p. 1; BLI 2009n, p. 
4). Grazing lands situated among remaining forest patches are regularly 
burned in order to maintain the grassland vegetation (locally known as 
chaqueo). Regular burning prevents regeneration of native forests and 
is considered the key factor limiting the distribution of Polylepis 
forests (BLI 2009f, p. 1; BLI 2009n, p. 4; Fjelds[aring] 2002b, p. 8; 
WCMC 1998a, p. 1). In some areas, the burns escape control, causing 
further habitat destruction (BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 2009e, pp. 1, 5). 
Burning and clear cutting occur throughout the ash-breasted tit-
tyrant's range, including Ancash, Apur[iacute]mac, and Cusco in Peru; 
and in La Paz, Bolivia (BLI 2009a, p. 2). These activities are also 
ongoing within protected areas, including Parque Nacional 
Huascar[aacute]n, Santuario Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu, and Zona 
Reservada de la Cordillera Huayhuash (BLI 2009l, p. 4; BLI 2009n, p. 2; 
Barrio 2005, p. 564).
    With years of extremely high rainfall followed by years of 
extremely dry weather, the risk of fire is increased from the 
accumulated biomass during the wet period that dries and adds to the 
fuel load in the dry season (Block and Richter 2007, p. 1; Power et al. 
2007, p. 898). Evidence suggests that the fire cycle in Peru has 
shortened, particularly in coastal Peru and west of the Andes (Power et 
al. 2007, pp. 897-898). Changes in the fire-regime can have broad 
ecological consequences (Block and Richter 2007, p. 1; Power et al. 
2007, p. 898). Research in Ecuadorian Polylepis-Gynoxys mixed woodlands 
indicated a strong reduction in P. incana adult and seedling survival 
following a single fire. This indicates that Polylepis species do not 
recover well from even a single fire event (Cierjacks et al. 2007, p. 
176). Because burning has been considered to be a key factor preventing 
Polylepis regeneration (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 112, 120; Fjelds[aring] 
2002b, p. 8), an accelerated fire cycle would exacerbate this 
situation.
    As a result of the intensity of burning and grazing, Polylepis 
species are generally restricted to areas where fires cannot spread and 
where cattle and sheep do not normally roam--in stream ravines and on 
boulders, rock ledges, and sandy ridges (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 112; 
Fjelds[aring] 2002b, p. 8). Grazing and trampling by domesticated 
animals further limit forest regeneration (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 120) 
and contribute to the degradation of remaining forest patches. Sheep 
and cattle have solid, sharp hooves that churn up the earth, damaging 
vegetation and triggering erosion (Purcell et al. 2004, p. 458; Engblom 
et al. 2002, p. 56). The loss of nutrient-rich soils leads to habitat 
degradation, which reduces the ability of the habitat to support dense 
stands of Polylepis woodlands (Jameson and Ramsay 2007, p. 42; Purcell 
et al. 2004, p. 458; Fjelds[aring] 2002b, p. 8).
    Polylepis habitat is also subject to conversion, degradation, or 
destruction caused by extractive activities such as firewood 
collection, timber harvest, and mining. Cutting wood for fuel has a 
consistent and ongoing impact throughout these three species' ranges 
(BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 2009b, pp. 1-2; BLI 2009c, pp. 1-2; BLI 2009d, 
pp. 1-2; BLI 2009f, p. 1; BLI 2009l, p. 1; WCMC 1998a, p. 1). The high-
altitude zones where Polylepis occurs have long been inhabited by 
subsistence farmers who rely on Polylepis wood for firewood and 
charcoal production (Aucca-Chutas and Ramsay 2005, p. 287). Habitat 
degradation is occurring in the Santuario Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu 
in Peru (BLI 2009h, p. 4), and Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de 
Manejo Integrado Madidi, Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de 
Manejo Integrado Cotapata, and the colocated protected areas of Reserva 
Nacional de Fauna de Apolobamba, [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo 
Integrado de Apolobamba, and Reserva de la Biosfera de Apolobamba in 
Bolivia (BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 2009b, p. 2; BLI 2009c, p. 2; BLI 2009d, 
p. 5).
    Community-based Polylepis conservation programs fostered by the 
Peruvian nongovernmental organization Asociaci[oacute]n Ecosistemas 
Andinos (ECOAN) have been under way in Peru and Bolivia since 2004, 
encompassing Cordilleras Vilcanota and Vilcabamba (Cusco Region), 
highlands of the Apur[iacute]mac Region (Lloyd 2009, p. 10; Aucca-
Chutas and Ramsey 2005, p. 287; ECOAN no date (n.d.), p. 1) and in the 
Ancash Region (MacLennan 2009, p. 2). These are known as the Vilcanota 
Project or ECOAN Projects (Aucca-Chutas and Ramsey 2005, p. 287; ECOAN 
n.d., p. 1). Local communities enter into and enforce management 
agreements aimed at mitigating the primary causes for Polylepis 
deforestation: burning, grazing, and wood-cutting. These projects 
foster local, sustainable use of resources (Aucca-Chutas and Ramsay 
2005, p. 287; ECOAN n.d., p. 1; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 56), such as 
the use of more fuel-efficient wood-burning stoves that require half 
the amount of wood fuel (MacLennan 2009, p. 2).
    Polylepis wood is also harvested for local commercial use, 
including within protected areas (BLI 2009a, p. 2; WCMC 1998a, p. 1). 
At one site, near Abra M[aacute]laga (Cusco Region), wood has been 
harvested for sale to local hotels in the towns of Urubamba and 
Ollantaytambo to support tourism activity (Engblom 2000, p. 1). Engblom 
(2000, p. 1) documented felling for firewood at this site in Cusco over 
a 2-day period that significantly reduced the size and quality of the 
forest patch. Purcell et al. (2004, p. 458) noted a positive 
correlation between habitat destruction and increased demand for (and 
the concomitant rise in the price of) fuel. Polylepis is also harvested 
for construction, fencing, and tool-making (Aucca-Chutas and Ramsey 
2005, p. 287; BLI 2009a, p. 2). Commercial-scale activities such as 
clear cutting, logging, tourism, and infrastructure development are 
ongoing throughout these species' ranges, and alter otherwise 
sustainable resource use practices (MacLennan 2009, p. 2; Aucca-Chutas 
and Ramsay 2005, p. 287; Purcell and Brelsford 2004, pp. 156-157; 
Purcell et al. 2004, pp. 458-459; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 56; Engblom 
2000, p. 2; WCMC 1998a, p. 1).
    Human encroachment. Human encroachment and concomitant increasing 
human population pressures exacerbate the destructive effects of 
ongoing human activities throughout Polylepis habitat. Habitat 
destruction is often caused by a combination of human activities that 
contribute to habitat degradation. In the Cordillera de Vilcanota 
(Cusco, Peru), where an estimated 181 ash-breasted tit-tyrants were 
reported in 2007 (Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8), the rate of habitat 
loss was studied by comparing forest cover between 1956 and 2005. This 
study revealed a rate of habitat loss averaging only 1 percent. 
However, remaining patches of Polylepis woodland were small, with a 
mean patch size of 3 ha (7.4 ac). Four forest patches had disappeared 
completely; and no new patches were located within the study area 
(Jameson and Ramsay 2007, p. 42). Lloyd (2008, p. 532) studied bird 
foraging habits at three Polylepis woodland sites in the Cordillera 
Vilcanota during 2003-2005. The sites were described as highly 
fragmented, consisting of many small remnant patches (less than 1 ha 
(2.5 ac)) and scattered trees separated from larger woodland tracts 
(greater than 10 ha (25 ac)) by distances of 30-1,500 m (98-4,921 ft) 
(Lloyd and Marsden in press, as cited in Lloyd 2008, p. 532). ECOAN is 
working with local communities in this area to address habitat 
degradation and is working on Polylepis reforestation projects, which 
are discussed below in this document (ABC undated, pp. 1-3).

[[Page 43450]]

    Extractive activities. Mining in Polylepis habitat occurs in the 
Peruvian regions of Ancash and Hu[aacute]naco and in the Bolivian 
Department of La Paz (BLI 2009b, p. 1; BLI 2009d, p. 1; BLI 2009g, p. 
1). As of 2006, Ancash was home to the largest zinc and copper mine in 
the world, with a monthly average production rate of 105,000 metric 
tons (231,485 pounds) of minerals per day and a 300-kilometer (km) 
(186-mile (mi)) underground pipeline that stretches from the mine to 
the port of Punta Lobitos along the coast (Antamina Mine 2006, pp. 4, 
9; www.antamina.com/02_operacion/En_puerto.html). A mixture of water 
and minerals are transported by the pipeline (Biodiversity Neutral 
Initiative [BNI] 2006, p. 2). The actual mining footprint was estimated 
to be 2,221 hectares (5,488 acres) (BNI 2006, p. 2). As a result of 
mining activities, the habitat is affected by effluent containing 
metals such as copper, zinc, iron, and molybdenum) (BNI 2006, p. 7). 
Mining also occurs in ash-breasted tit-tyrant habitat in La Paz, 
Bolivia, where there are active gold, tin, silver, and tungsten mines, 
in addition to gravel excavation for cement production (USGS Minerals 
Yearbook 2005, pp. 4-7).
    Recently, an accelerated rate of Polylepis forest destruction has 
been attributed to clear cutting for road building and 
industrialization projects, such as mining and construction of 
hydroelectric power stations (Purcell and Brelsford 2004, pp. 156-157). 
Between 1991 and 2003, approximately 200 ha (494 ac) of Polylepis 
habitat was destroyed. Thus, nearly two-thirds of the forest cover that 
existed in the 1990s no longer existed in 2003 (Purcell and Brelsford 
2004, p. 155). Only 520 ha (1,285 ac) of Polylepis forest was estimated 
to remain in the Bolivian Department of La Paz, representing 
approximately a 40 percent rate of habitat loss in just over one 
decade. The researchers inferred that this rate of destruction could 
result in extirpation of the remaining Polylepis forest in La Paz 
within the next 30 years if no mitigation is implemented (Purcell and 
Brelsford 2004, pp. 157).
    Since 2003, Antamina Mine has undertaken Polylepis habitat 
conservation programs within the areas affected by mineral extraction 
in partnership with ECOAN and other NGOs. Antamina Mine has committed 
to investing a million dollars in programs ranging from education and 
tourism, to organic agriculture and sustainable development, and 
reforestation of areas using Polylepis species. The Antamina Mining 
Company conservation program supports the planned reforestation within 
a 50,000-ha (123,552-ac) area. Planting of Polylepis species will 
assist in connecting habitat between two protected areas, Parque 
Nacional Huascar[aacute]n and Zona Reservada de la Cordillera Huayhuash 
(Antamina Mine 2006, p. 5). As of 2009, the project had succeeded in 
restoring 150 ha (371 ac) of forest, with a 95 percent survival rate 
(MacLennan 2009, p. 1). Known as Corredor Conchucos, at least 30 ash-
breasted tit-tyrants have recently been observed there (Aucca-Chutas 
2007, p. 8).
    Mining and hydroelectric projects open previously undisturbed areas 
to exploitation and attract people seeking employment (Purcell et al. 
2004, p. 458). Increased urbanization and mining have led to increased 
infrastructure development. Road building and mining projects further 
facilitate human access to remaining Polylepis forest fragments, 
throughout these three species' ranges (Purcell et al. 2004, pp. 458-
459; Purcell and Brelsford 2004, pp. 156-157), including protected 
areas. In the Bolivian Department of La Paz, one of the most transited 
highways in the country is located a short distance from the Parque 
Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Cotapata (BLI 2009b, 
p. 2). Road building, mining, and other large-scale resource 
exploitations have major impacts on the habitat (Purcell and Brelsford 
2004, p. 157).
    Tourism. Ecotourism is considered a growing problem within 
protected areas where these three species occur such as in the Zona 
Reservada de la Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru, and in the Apolobamba 
protected areas in Bolivia (BLI 2009e, p. 5; Barrio 2005, p. 564). For 
example, in Huascar[aacute]n National Park, irresponsible tourism is 
affecting habitat (TNC 2011, p. 6). Visitors form base camps at the 
foot of mountains and make expeditions to the summits. Tourists camp 
and hike for several days (TNC 2011, p. 6). Tourism along the climbing 
routes and circuits is causing progressive loss of vegetative coverage 
and is disturbing wildlife in the surrounding areas (TNC 2011, pp. 6-
8). Poorly managed tourism results in contamination by unmanaged 
garbage and waste, unauthorized trail and road openings, soil erosion, 
and vegetation loss (TNC 2011, p. 6). Burying garbage can damage soil 
because it causes erosion as well as contamination. Garbage and waste 
left behind contaminates water (originating from glaciers), lakes, 
rivers, and streams.
    Lack of Polylepis forest regeneration during nearly 50 years 
underscores the ramifications of continued burning and clearing to 
maintain pastures and farmland, which are prevalent activities 
throughout the ranges of these three species (BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 
2009b, p. 2; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 56; Fjelds[aring] 2002a, pp. 112, 
120; Fjelds[aring] 2002b, p. 8; Purcell et al. 2004, p. 458; WCMC 
1998a, p. 1). These habitat-altering activities are considered to be 
key factors preventing regeneration of Polylepis woodlands 
(Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 112, 120) and are factors in the historical 
decline of Polylepis-dependent bird species, including these three 
species (BLI 2009i, p. 6; Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 116; Herzog et al. 
2002, p. 94; Kessler 2002, pp. 97-101; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996).
    The royal cinclodes' population size is considered to be declining 
in close association with continued habitat loss and degradation (BLI 
2009i, p. 6). The royal cinclodes may once have been locally common and 
distributed across most of central to southern Peru and into the 
Bolivian highlands, in once-contiguous expanses of Polylepis forests 
(BLI 2009i, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 2002a, pp. 111-112, 115; BLI 2000, p. 
345). In the Cordillera de Vilcanota (Cusco, Peru), where a large 
portion of the known royal cinclodes population occurs (116 birds were 
observed there, out of 189 total birds observed in 4 study sites in 
Peru) (Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8), Polylepis woodland habitat is 
highly fragmented and degraded. The species may have been extirpated 
from its type locality (Aricoma Pass, Puno), where Polylepis forest no 
longer occurs. A search for the species in 1987 resulted in no 
observations of the royal cinclodes (Engblom 2002, p. 57; Collar et al. 
1992, p. 589). The royal cinclodes is not predicted to occur in Puno 
because habitat no longer exists there (InfoNatura 2007, p. 1), and 
only two birds have been observed at that location in recent years 
(Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8). Therefore, further habitat loss will 
continue to impact the species' already small population size (see 
Factor E).
    Polylepis habitat throughout the range of the white-browed tit-
spinetail has been and continues to be altered and destroyed as a 
result of human activities, including clear cutting and burning for 
agriculture and grazing lands and extractive activities including 
harvest for timber, firewood, and charcoal. It is estimated that only 
2-3 percent of the dense Polylepis woodlands preferred by the species 
remain. Observations suggest that the white-browed tit-spinetail is 
able to persist in very small forest fragments (e.g., areas as small as 
0.25 ha (0.6 ac) in Cordillera Vilcabamba); however, this depends on 
whether or not adequate

[[Page 43451]]

patches are near one another. Continued loss, degradation, and 
fragmentation of remaining Polylepis woodlands increase the degree of 
isolation (distance) between populations and subpopulations (and 
neighboring woodland fragments within the same site). Since individuals 
tend not to cross the larger gaps between neighboring woodland patches, 
increasing isolation (at whatever scale) is likely to affect the 
dispersal and other movement patterns between populations, and, 
therefore, impact the species' population persistence within the 
landscape.
    The white-browed tit-spinetail prefers areas of high density of 
tall, large Polylepis trees, which usually correspond with areas 
containing dense and extensive moss ground cover. When habitat is 
degraded, there is often a lag time before the species losses are 
evident (Brooks et al. 1999, p. 1140), so the white-browed tit-
spinetail may still be present, despite the low quality of its habitat. 
This species is not likely able to persist in forest remnants smaller 
than 1 ha (2.5 ac) (Gomez in litt. 2003, 2007 in BLI 2009o, p. 1), and 
the remaining Polylepis forest patch sizes have met or are approaching 
the lower threshold of this species' ecological requirements.
    Larger concentrations of people put greater demand on the natural 
resources in the area (Donald et al. 2010, p. 26). Increasing demand 
for firewood upsets informal and otherwise sustainable community-based 
forest management traditions (Purcell and Brelsford, 2004, p. 157). 
Increasing human populations in the high-Andes of Bolivia and Peru have 
also resulted in a scarcity of arable land. This has led many farmers 
to burn additional patches of Polylepis forests to plant crops, even on 
steep hillsides that are not suitable for cultivation (BLI 2009b, p. 2; 
BLI 2009h, p. 1; Hensen 2002, p. 199). These ongoing farming practices 
result in the rapid loss of Polylepis forests stretching from Bolivia 
to Peru.
    Thus, habitat degradation has serious impacts in Polylepis 
woodlands (Jameson and Ramsay 2007, p. 42), especially given these 
species' preference for dense woodlands (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 114; 
Smith 1971, p. 269). The fact that no new Polylepis forest patches had 
become established between 1956 and 2005 underscores the long-term 
ramifications of ongoing burning, clearing, grazing, and other habitat-
altering human activities that are pervasive throughout these three 
species' ranges (BLI 2009f, p. 1; BLI 2009n, p. 4; Fjelds[aring] 2002b, 
p. 8; WCMC 1998a, p. 1; WCMC 1998b, p. 1). These activities are 
considered to be key factors both in preventing regeneration of 
Polylepis woodlands and in the historical decline of Polylepis-
dependent bird species, including these three species (Fjelds[aring] 
2002a, p. 116). Therefore, further habitat loss will continue to impact 
these species' already small population sizes (see Factor E).

Climate Fluctuations

    Peru is subject to climate fluctuations that may exacerbate the 
effects of habitat fragmentation, such as those that are related to the 
El Ni[ntilde]o Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The term ENSO refers to a 
range of variability associated with the southern trade winds in the 
eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Ni[ntilde]o events are 
characterized by unusual warming of the ocean, while La Ni[ntilde]a 
events bring cooler ocean temperatures (Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) 
Project no date (n.d.), p. 1). Generally speaking, extreme ENSO events 
alter weather patterns, so that precipitation increases in normally dry 
areas, and decreases in normally wet areas. During an El Ni[ntilde]o 
event, rainfall dramatically increases, whereas a La Ni[ntilde]a event 
brings near-drought conditions (Holmgren et al. 2001, p. 89).
    Climate change is characterized by variations in the earth's 
temperature and precipitation, causing changes in atmospheric, oceanic, 
and terrestrial conditions (Parmesan and Mathews 2005, p. 334). In 
addition to substrates (vegetation, soil, water), habitat is also 
defined by atmospheric conditions; changes in air temperature and 
moisture can effectively change a species' habitat. Periodic climatic 
patterns such as El Ni[ntilde]o and La Ni[ntilde]a can cause or 
exacerbate such negative impacts on a broad range of terrestrial 
ecosystems and Neotropical bird populations (Gosling et al. 2009, pp. 
1-9; Plumart 2007, pp. 1-2; Holmgren et al. 2001, p. 89; England 2000, 
p. 86; Timmermann 1999, p. 694).
    Over the past decade, there have been four El Ni[ntilde]o events 
(1997-1998, 2002-2003, 2004-2005, and 2006-2007) and three La 
Ni[ntilde]a events (1998-2000, 2000-2001, and 2007-2008) (National 
Weather Service (NWS) 2009, p. 2). Some research suggests the Andean 
highlands, and Polylepis species in particular, are strongly influenced 
by ENSO events (Christie et al. 2008, p. 1; Richter 2005, pp. 24-25). 
Christie et al. (2008, p. 1) found that tree growth in P. tarapacana is 
highly influenced by ENSO events because ENSO cycles on the Peruvian 
Coast are strongest during the growing season (December-February). 
ENSO-related droughts can increase tree mortality and dramatically 
alter age structure within tree populations, especially in cases where 
woodlands have undergone disturbance such as fire and grazing (Villalba 
and Veblen 1998, pp. 2624, 2637; Villalba and Veblen 1997, pp. 121-
123).
    Some changes in the physical environment include changes in 
precipitation and temperature and the frequency and severity of events 
(Huber and Gulledge 2011, p. 3; Solman 2011, p. 20; Laurance and Useche 
2009, p. 1432; Margeno 2008, p. 1; Nu[ntilde]ez et al. 2008, p. 1). 
Climate change has also resulted in a variety of alterations in 
ecosystem processes, species distributions, and the timing of seasonal 
events such as bird migrations and the onset of flowering (GCCIUS 2009, 
pp. 79-88). Forecasts of the rate and consequences of future climate 
change are based on the results of extensive modeling efforts conducted 
by scientists around the world (Solman 2011, p. 20; Laurance and Useche 
2009, p. 1432; Nu[ntilde]ez et al. 2008, p. 1; Margeno 2008, p. 1; 
Meehl et al. 2007, p. 753). While projections from global climate model 
simulations are informative and various methods exist to downscale 
global and national projections to the regional or local area in which 
the species lives, in many cases, downscaled projections are still 
being developed (Solman 2011, p. 20; Insel et al. 2009; Nu[ntilde]ez et 
al. 2008, p. 1; Marengo 2008, p. 1), and the local effect of climate 
change on Polylepis is unclear.
    Jetz et al. (2007, p. 1,211) investigated the effects of climate 
change on 8,750 land bird species that are exposed to ongoing manmade 
land cover changes (i.e., habitat loss). They determined that narrow 
endemics such as these three species are likely to suffer greater 
impacts from climate change combined with habitat loss (Jetz et al. 
2007, p. 1213). This is due to the species' already small population 
size, specialized habitat requirements, and heightened risk of 
extinction from stochastic demographic processes (see also Factor E). 
According to this study, by 2050, up to 18 percent of the ash-breasted 
tit-tyrant's current remaining range is likely to be unsuitable for 
this species due to climate change. By 2100, one estimate predicted 
that about 18 to 42 percent of the species' range is likely to be lost 
as a result of climate change (Jetz et al. 2007, Supplementary Table 2, 
p. 73). With respect to the royal cinclodes, researchers predicted 
that, by 2050, approximately 3 to 15 percent of its current remaining 
range is likely to be unsuitable for this species due to climate change 
and, by 2100, it is predicted that about 8 to 18 percent of the 
species' range is likely to be lost as a direct result of global 
climate change

[[Page 43452]]

(p. 89). With respect to the white-browed tit-spinetail, the 
researchers predicted that, by 2050, another one percent of its current 
remaining range is likely to be unsuitable for this species due to 
changes in the local climate. By 2100, it is predicted that about 43 
percent of the species' range is likely to be lost as a direct result 
of global climate change (p. 89).
    There is conflicting information about how changes in climate might 
affect these species' habitat, which is associated with cloud mist-
zones. Fossil records indicate that these species' habitat, Polylepis 
forest in the central Andes, was at a maximum during warm, wet 
conditions approximately 1,000 years ago, but might be at a minimum 
during the warmer and drier-than-modern conditions predicted for later 
this century (Gosling et al. 2009, pp. 2, 10). The maximum abundance of 
Polylepis is coincident with times of warmer, wetter conditions, while 
warmer, drier conditions minimize optimum habitat (Gosling 2009, p. 
18). This suggests that Polylepis forests may become scarcer. If these 
three bird species are unable to adapt to other habitat, the lack of 
mature Polylepis forests may affect these species. However, this same 
paper and other research indicate that Polylepis habitat may experience 
more moisture (Gosling et al. 2009, p. 11; Insel et al. 2009, 
unpaginated; Marengo 2008, p. 4). The effects of climate change are 
still uncertain, in part due to the localized effects of the Andes 
(Insel et al. 2009, pp. 1-2). Other recent regional models project both 
an increase in wet-season precipitation and a decrease in dry-season 
precipitation over most of South America (Kitoh et al. 2011, p. 1; 
Nu[ntilde]ez et al. 2008, p. 1081). In the future, for almost the 
entire South American continent, precipitation intensity is expected to 
increase (Kitoh et al. 2011, p. 2; Avalos-Rold[aacute]n 2007, p. 76).
    Other new information suggests that climate change may not be a 
significant factor affecting species in Polylepis forests 
(Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. comm.). Although stronger ENSO impacts may 
cause drier conditions in Peru's western cordillera, the effect further 
east would likely be opposite. The areas where the ash-breasted tit-
tyrant occurs, for example, correspond with peaks of endemism in the 
humid Peruvian Andes. These areas have been found to correlate with 
stable local environments, likely due to interactions between 
atmospheric flows and local topography (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. 
comm.). The Polylepis forests generally occur at the transition between 
deep Andean valleys and cold highlands, where the mist-zone is 
determined more by topography rather than by regional or global climate 
(Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. Comm; Fjelds[aring] et al. 1999). This 
characteristic is demonstrated by the persistence of relict endemic 
species in these places. Therefore, preferred Polylepis habitat may be 
less susceptible to larger scales of climate change.
    Unpredictable climate fluctuations may exacerbate the effects of 
habitat fragmentation (Jetz et al. 2007, pp. 1,211, 1,213; Mora et al. 
2007, p. 1,027). In the face of an unpredictable climate, the risk of 
population decline due to habitat fragmentation is heightened. 
Researchers have found that the combined effects of habitat 
fragmentation and climate change (in this case, warming) had a 
synergistic effect, rather than additive (Laurance and Useche 2009, p. 
1427; Mora et al. 2007, p. 1,027). In other words, the interactive 
effects of both climate fluctuation and habitat fragmentation led to a 
greater population decline than if either climate change or habitat 
fragmentation were acting alone on populations. However, the effect of 
a changing climate on these species' habitat is still unclear.

Summary of Factor A--Ash-breasted tit-tyrant, royal cinclodes, and 
white-browed tit-spinetail (Polylepis habitat)

    These three species are dependent on Polylepis habitat, with a 
preference for dense, shady woodlands. Although the white-browed tit-
spinetail has been recorded in patches of woodland as small as 0.25 ha 
(0.6 ac), the ash-breasted tit-tyrant and the royal cinclodes both 
require larger ranges than the white-browed tit-spinetail: 1-2 ha (2.5-
5 ac) and 3-4 ha (7-10 ac) respectively. In the Department of La Paz, 
Bolivia, which encompasses Bolivia's largest urban area, most of the 
Polylepis forest had been eliminated prior to the late 1990s (Purcell 
and Brelsford 2004, p. 157). In Cordillera Vilcanota (Cusco, Peru), 
where a large concentration of the royal cinclodes individuals was 
observed in 2007, the average size of forest fragments just meets the 
lower threshold of the species' ecological requirements.
    Polylepis habitat throughout their range has been and continues to 
be altered and destroyed as a result of human activities, including 
clear cutting and burning for agriculture and grazing lands; tourism; 
extractive activities including firewood, timber, and minerals; human 
encroachment, and concomitant increased pressure on natural resources. 
Forest fragments in some portions of these three species' ranges are 
approaching the lower threshold of the species' ecological 
requirements. The historical decline of habitat suitable for these 
species is attributed to the same human activities that are causing 
habitat loss today. Ongoing and accelerated habitat destruction of the 
remaining Polylepis forest fragments in both Peru and Bolivia continues 
to reduce the quantity, quality, distribution, and regeneration of 
remaining patches. Some NGOs and local communities are conducting 
reforestation efforts in areas such as the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru 
(ECOAN 2012). However, the growth of Polylepis species will take some 
time, and the results of these efforts are not yet clear. Human 
activities that degrade, alter, and destroy habitat are ongoing 
throughout the species' range, including within protected areas.
    Although some climate models predict that fluctuations in 
precipitation and temperature, particularly ENSO events, could affect 
this species' habitat, other research suggests that its very local 
climate will not be significantly affected (Fjelds[aring] 2010 pers. 
comm.; Gosling et al. 2009). Climate change models, like all scientific 
models, produce projections that have some uncertainty because of the 
assumptions used, the data available, and the specific model features 
(Fernanda and Solman 2010, p. 533). The science supporting climate 
model projections as well as models assessing their impacts on species 
and habitats will continue to be refined as more information becomes 
available, but there are still uncertainties. Nevertheless, the 
species' population declines are commensurate with the declining 
habitat. Therefore, we find that destruction and modification of 
habitat threaten the continued existence of these three species 
throughout their range (primarily Polylepis-dominant habitat).

Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail (Lake Jun[iacute]n)

    1. Jun[iacute]n grebe. The Jun[iacute]n grebe is endemic to Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, where it resides year-round. The species is completely 
dependent on the open waters and marshland margins of the lake for 
feeding and on the protective cover of the marshlands during the 
breeding season (BLI 2009a, p. 1; BLI 2008, p. 1; Tello 2007, p. 3; 
Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 247). The current estimated range of the species 
is 143 km\2\ (55 mi\2\) (BLI 2009b, p. 1). However, its actual range is 
smaller (see http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=3644 for a range map of the species), because 
the species is restricted to the southern portion of the lake (BLI 
2009b, p. 1; Gill and Storer in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; 
Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). Breeding season

[[Page 43453]]

begins in November (O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29; 
Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 44, 246). Jun[iacute]n grebes build their nests 
and obtain their primary prey, pupfish, in the expansive offshore 
flooded marshlands that may extend into the lake up to 2-5 km (1-3 mi) 
from shore (BLI 2008, p. 1; Tello 2007, p. 3; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 
200; O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, pp. 29-30; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 
247).
    2. Jun[iacute]n rail. The Jun[iacute]n rail is also endemic to Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, where it also resides year-round and is restricted to two 
localities within the shallow marshlands encircling Lake Jun[iacute]n 
(BLI 2009b, p. 2; Fjelds[aring] 1983, p. 278). The current estimated 
range of the species (160 km\2\, 62 mi\2\) (BLI 2009b, p. 1) is likely 
an overestimate of this species' range (see www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=2842 for a range map of the species). The 
species is known only from two discrete locations, which are near 
Ondores and Pari, on the southwest shore of the lake.
    The quality of both Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail 
habitat and their reproductive success is highly influenced by water 
levels and the water quality of the lake. Water levels in the lake are 
affected by hydropower generation which is exacerbated by unpredictable 
climate fluctuations (such as drought or excessive rain). Water quality 
in Lake Jun[iacute]n has been compromised by contamination, in part due 
to waste from mining activities that drain into the lake (ParksWatch 
2012, pp. 2-3). Environmental Mitigation Programs (PAMA) have been 
implemented to combat pollution from mining wastes, and impacts have 
been reduced significantly because miners have begun to use drainage 
fields and residual water is being recycled (ParksWatch 2012). However, 
the PAMAs do not adequately address responsibilities for the mining 
wastes discharged into the San Juan River course and delta; sediments 
containing heavy metals in the San Juan River delta leach into Lake 
Jun[iacute]n (also see Factor D). Additionally, the Upamayo Dam, 
located at the northwestern end of the lake, has been in operation 
since 1936, and the lake water is used to power the 54-megawatt Malpaso 
hydroelectric plant (ParksWatch 2006, p. 5; Martin et al. 2001, p. 
178). Dam operations have caused seasonal water level fluctuations up 
to 2 m (6 ft) in Lake Jun[iacute]n (Martin and McNee 1999, p. 659). 
Under normal conditions, water levels are lower in the dry season (June 
to November), and the marshlands can become partially or completely dry 
(ParksWatch 2009, p. 2). The floodgates of the dam are often opened 
during the dry season (ParksWatch 2009, p. 2), and water offtake for 
hydropower generation further drains the lake, such that, by the end of 
the dry season, in November, the marshlands encircling the lake are 
more apt to become completely desiccated (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 123).
    Reduced water levels directly impact the Jun[iacute]n grebe's 
breeding success by reducing the amount of available nesting habitat 
(BLI 2008, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200). The giant bulrush 
marshlands, upon which the Jun[iacute]n grebe relies for nesting and 
foraging habitat, have virtually disappeared from some sections of the 
lake (O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29). When the marshlands are 
completely desiccated, the Jun[iacute]n grebe is reported to not breed 
at all (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 123).
    Reduced water levels impact the species by reducing the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe's primary prey, pupfish (Orestias species) 
(Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200). The perimeter of the flooded marshlands 
provides the primary recruitment habitat for fish in the lake 
particularly during extremely dry years (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; 
O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29). Submerged aquatic vegetation, 
habitat for pupfish, has become very patchy, further triggering 
declines in the prey population. Few marshlands are permanently 
inundated now due to the power generation of the Upamayo Dam, and the 
giant bulrushes that previously provided extensive cover for this 
species for breeding and feeding have virtually disappeared, reducing 
both nesting and foraging habitat for the Jun[iacute]n grebe. The 
reduction in nesting and foraging habitat is believed to contribute to 
mass mortality of Jun[iacute]n grebes during extreme drought years such 
as those that occurred during 1983-1987, 1991, and 1994-1997 (O'Donnel 
and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 30).
    Manipulation of the Lake Jun[iacute]n's water levels also results 
in competition between the white-tufted grebe (Rollandia rolland) and 
the Jun[iacute]n grebe for food resources during the Jun[iacute]n 
grebe's breeding season (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200). During the 
breeding season, in years when water levels remain high, the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe and white-tufted grebe are spatially separated. 
White-tufted grebes use the interior of the reed marsh, and 
Jun[iacute]n grebes use the remaining at the edges of the marshlands, 
closer to the center of the lake (Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 245, 255). 
Near the end of the dry season, as early as October, when water levels 
are lower in the lake and the marshlands can partially or completely 
dry out (BLI 2009b, p. 1; ParksWatch 2009, p. 2), thousands of white-
tufted grebes move from the interior of the marshlands to the edges, 
where they compete with the Jun[iacute]n grebe for food (Fjelds[aring] 
1984, pp. 413-414). Competition becomes more critical the longer the 
water level remains low at the end of the dry season, and activities 
that further reduce low water levels only exacerbate this competition 
(Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 252-253).
    Water quality affects the availability of habitat for both the 
endemic Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail. The water in Lake 
Jun[iacute]n has been contaminated from mining, agricultural activities 
and organic matter and wastewater runoff from local communities around 
the lake (Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; ParksWatch 2006, pp. 5, 19; Martin and 
McNee 1999, pp. 660-661). Heavy metal contamination throughout the lake 
has exceeded established thresholds for aquatic life throughout at 
least one-third of the lake, and has rendered the northern portion of 
the lake lifeless (BLI 2008, p. 4; Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; Fjelds[aring] 
2004, p. 124; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-662; ParksWatch 2006, pp. 
20-21). At the lake's center, lake bottom sediments are lifeless and 
anoxic (having low levels of dissolved oxygen) due to contaminants 
(Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 124; Martin et al. 2001, p. 180), and the 
lakeshore has become polluted with toxic acidic gray sediment (O'Donnel 
and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 30). Martin et al. (2001, p. 180) determined 
that sediments at the lake's center are contaminated with copper, zinc, 
and lead and are anoxic. High concentrations of dissolved copper, lead, 
and zinc have damaged an estimated one-third of the lake (ParksWatch 
2006, pp. 2, 20; Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-
661).
    There is no vegetation at the northern end of the lake (ParksWatch 
2006, pp. 20-21; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 124), and ongoing contamination 
has the potential to reduce vegetative cover in other areas of the 
lake, including the marshlands where these two species occur. These 
pollutants have severely affected animal and plant populations in the 
area, contributing to mortality of species around the lake including 
the Jun[iacute]n rail and the Jun[iacute]n grebe (ParksWatch 2006, pp. 
3, 20), and are likely to reduce the health and fitness of these two 
species (see Factor C).
    Lake Jun[iacute]n is a sink for several streams that transport 
mining wastes and other pollution downstream and into the lake 
(ParksWatch 2006, p. 19). The San Juan River is the primary source of 
water for Lake Jun[iacute]n, and feeds into the lake from the northern 
end (Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-661; 
Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 255). Tests indicate that the San Juan

[[Page 43454]]

River contains trace metals including copper, lead, mercury, and zinc 
in excess of currently accepted aquatic life thresholds (Martin and 
McNee 1999, pp. 660-661). Non-point-source pollutants from agricultural 
fertilizers such as ammonium and nitrate concentrations are also 
suspended in the water column (Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-661). 
Iron oxide contamination is prominently visible near the outflow of the 
San Juan River (iron oxide produces a reddish tinge, which colors the 
water and reed borders). Vegetation near the river's outflow is 
completely absent (ParksWatch 2006, pp. 20-21; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 
124), and this portion of the lake has been rendered lifeless by the 
precipitation of iron oxide from mining wastewaters (BLI 2008, p. 4). 
The giant bulrush marshlands, which once existed in great expanses 
around the entire perimeter of the lake, have virtually disappeared, 
and at least one species of catfish (Pygidium oroyae) may have been 
extirpated from the lake (O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29).
    Heavy metal contamination is not limited to the northern end of the 
lake (ParksWatch 2006, p. 20), but extends throughout the southern end 
(Martin and McNee 1999, p. 662), where the Jun[iacute]n grebe and 
Jun[iacute]n rail are now restricted (BLI 2009b, p. 1; Fjelds[aring] 
1981, p. 254; Gill and Storer in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200). In 2009, 
conservation organizations and civil society groups demanded action to 
reverse the deterioration of Lake Jun[iacute]n and requested an 
independent environmental audit and continuous monitoring of the lake 
(BLI 2009b p. 4). The conservation groups BLI, American Bird 
Conservancy (ABC), Asociaci[oacute]n Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN), and 
INRENA adopted the Jun[iacute]n grebe as the symbol of wetland 
conservation for the high Andes (BLI 2009c, p. 1). A translocation has 
been a consideration for the conservation of the Jun[iacute]n grebe 
since the mid-1990s; however, no suitable habitat for the species has 
been located (BLI 2009b, p. 2; O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, pp. 30, 
35). To date, none of these conservation organization's activities have 
been able to adequately curb the ongoing habitat degradation.
    The effects of habitat alteration and destruction (such as those 
caused by artificially reduced water levels and water contamination) 
are exacerbated by unpredictable climate fluctuations (such as drought 
or excessive rains) (Jetz et al. 2007, pp. 1,211, 1,213; Mora et al. 
2007, p. 1027). Peru is subject to unpredictable climate fluctuations, 
such as those that are related to the ENSO. Changes in weather 
patterns, such as ENSO cycles (El Ni[ntilde]o and La Ni[ntilde]a 
events), tend to increase precipitation in normally dry areas, and 
decrease precipitation in normally wet areas (Holmgren et al. 2001, p. 
89; TAO Project n.d., p. 1); exacerbating the effects of habitat 
reduction and alteration on the decline of a species (Jetz et al. 2007, 
pp. 1211, 1213; Mora et al. 2007, p. 1027; Plumart 2007, pp. 1-2; 
Holmgren et al. 2001, p. 89; England 2000, p. 86; Timmermann 1999, p. 
694), especially for narrow endemics such as the Jun[iacute]n grebe and 
Jun[iacute]n rail. Moreover, the Jun[iacute]n grebe's low breeding 
potential is considered to be a reflection of its adaptation to being 
in a highly predictable, stable environment (del Hoyo et al. 1992, p. 
195).
    The Jun[iacute]n grebe's breeding success and population size are 
highly influenced by the climate, with population declines occurring 
during dry years, population increases during rainy years, and 
mortality during extreme cold weather events. Several times during the 
last two decades (e.g., 1983-1987, 1991-1992, 1994-1997), the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe's population declined to 100 birds or less following 
particularly dry years (BLI 2009b, p. 2; BLI 2008, pp. 1, 3-4; 
Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; Elton 2000, p. 3). There have been short-
term population increases of 200 to 300 birds in years with higher 
rainfall amounts following El Ni[ntilde]o events (such as the 1997-1998 
and 2001-2002 breeding seasons) (Valqui pers. comm. in BLI 2009b, p. 2; 
PROFONANPE 2002, in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 133). However, excessive 
rains also can increase contamination in Lake Jun[iacute]n, which 
decreases the amount of suitable habitat for the species and has 
adverse effects on the species' health (see Factor C). Many 
Jun[iacute]n grebes died during extremely cold conditions in 1982 (BLI 
2008, p. 4). In 2007, the population declined again following another 
cold weather event (Hirshfeld 2007, p. 107). These ENSO cycles are 
ongoing, having occurred several times within the last decade (NWS 
2009, p. 2), and evidence suggests that ENSO cycles have already 
increased in periodicity and severity (Richter 2005, pp. 24-25; 
Timmermann 1999, p. 694), which can exacerbate the negative impacts of 
habitat destruction on a species.
    Habitat degradation and alteration caused by fluctuating water 
levels and environmental contamination are considered key factors in 
the Jun[iacute]n grebe's historical decline (Gill and Storer, pers. 
comm. in Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 200; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). The 
Jun[iacute]n grebe has experienced a population decline of 14 percent 
in the past 10 years, and this decline is expected to continue as a 
result of deteriorating habitat and water quality (BLI 2009b, pp. 1, 6-
7). Therefore, further habitat degradation is expected to continue 
impacting this species' already small population (see Factor E).
    The habitat in and around Lake Jun[iacute]n is subjected to manmade 
activities that have altered, destroyed, and degraded the quantity and 
quality of habitat available to the Jun[iacute]n rail. These activities 
include: (1) Artificial manipulation of water levels; (2) water 
contamination; and (3) plant harvesting in the species' breeding 
grounds. The negative impacts of these activities are accentuated by 
unpredictable climate fluctuations such as droughts or excessive rains 
(Jetz et al. 2007, pp. 1211, 1213; Mora et al. 2007, p. 1027).
    Lake drawdown has been known to cause water levels to fluctuate 
seasonally up to 2 m (6 ft) (Martin and McNee 1999, p. 659) and has at 
times caused complete desiccation of the marshlands by the end of the 
dry season (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 123). The ground-nesting 
Jun[iacute]n rail breeds near the end of the dry season, in September 
and October, and the species relies on the dense vegetative cover of 
the rushes on the lake perimeter in which to build their nests (BLI 
2009b, p. 2). Eddleman et al. (1988, p. 463) noted that water drawdown 
before nesting season disrupts nest-building initiation by rails. 
Therefore, water drawdown near the end of the dry season that results 
in complete desiccation of the shallow marshlands (BLI 2009b, p. 1; 
ParksWatch 2009, p. 2) is likely to disrupt Jun[iacute]n rail nest 
initiation.
    Experts believe that the Jun[iacute]n rail is restricted to the 
marshes at the southwestern corner of the lake because of the high 
level of contamination at the northwestern margins of the lake (Martin 
and McNee 1999, p. 662). Experts also believe that pollution and 
artificial water level fluctuations will continue to have adverse 
consequences for the vegetation surrounding the lake and, therefore, 
the Jun[iacute]n rail (BLI 2007, p. 1; J. BLI 2000, p. 170; 
Fjelds[aring] in litt., 1987, as cited in Collar et al. 1992, p. 190). 
In some places, the tall marshlands, which rely on inundated soils to 
thrive, have virtually disappeared because the reed-beds are no longer 
permanently inundated (O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 30). 
Moreover, as the marshes dry, livestock (primarily sheep (Ovis aries), 
but also cattle (Bos taurus), and some llamas (Llama glama) and alpacas 
(Llama pacos)) move into the desiccated wetlands surrounding the lake 
to graze. Overgrazing is a year-round problem around Lake Jun[iacute]n 
because the entire

[[Page 43455]]

lakeshore is zoned for grazing a large number of livestock 
(approximately 60,000-70,000 head) (ParksWatch 2006, pp. 12, 19). 
During the dry season, the livestock moves into the marshlands to 
graze, compacting the soil and trampling the vegetation (ParksWatch 
2006, p. 31). Increased access to the wetlands during the end of the 
dry season, which coincides with the inception of the Jun[iacute]n 
rail's nesting season, likely disrupts the rail's nesting activities or 
leads to nest trampling. Therefore, activities that increase lakeshore 
access, such as water drawdown, decrease the amount of available 
habitat for the Jun[iacute]n rail (for nesting and feeding) and are 
likely to negatively impact the Jun[iacute]n rail's reproduction 
(through trampling) and mating habits (through disturbance) (BLI 2009b, 
p. 1).
    Local residents also harvest and burn cattails from the marshland 
habitat, which the Jun[iacute]n rail depends upon. Cattails are 
harvested to assemble rafts, baskets, and mats and as forage for 
livestock (ParksWatch 2006, p. 23). Cattails are also burned to 
encourage shoot renewal (ParksWatch 2006, p. 23) and to facilitate 
hunting the montane guinea pig (Cavia tschudii), which seeks cover in 
the cattail marshes and is part of the local human diet. Burning 
cattail communities has a negative and long-lasting impact on species 
that use the cattails as permanent habitat (INRENA 2000, as cited in 
ParksWatch 2006, p. 22; Eddleman et al. 1988, p. 464), including the 
Jun[iacute]n rail, which relies on the dense vegetative cover of the 
marshlands for year-round residence and nesting (BLI 2009b, p. 2; BLI 
2007, p. 1; BLI 2000, p. 170).

Summary of Factor A--Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail

    The habitat in and around Lake Jun[iacute]n, where these two 
species are endemic, has been and continues to be altered and degraded 
as a result of human activities, including human-induced water level 
fluctuations to generate hydropower and water contamination caused by 
mining waste, agricultural and organic runoff from surrounding lands, 
and wastewater from local communities. Water levels in Lake 
Jun[iacute]n are manipulated to generate electricity, which leads to 
dramatic fluctuations in water levels of up to 1.8 m (6 ft). The 
Jun[iacute]n grebe is dependent on the quantity and quality of lake 
water for breeding and feeding. It is dependent on the marshland 
habitat surrounding the lake for breeding and feeding and relies on the 
protective cover of flooded marshlands for nesting. The Jun[iacute]n 
rail nests on the ground, within the protective cover of the 
marshlands. As water drawdown occurs near the end of the dry season and 
the inception of these two species' mating seasons, portions of the 
marshlands may dry out completely. Reductions in water levels decrease 
the availability of suitable breeding and foraging habitat, and 
decrease the availability of the Jun[iacute]n grebe's primary prey, the 
pupfish, forcing competition with the white-tufted grebe for food. 
Drought years have a negative impact on these two species, resulting in 
severe population fluctuations due to poor breeding success and limited 
recruitment of juveniles into the adult population. The severe dry 
conditions can cause total breeding failure.
    Although these two species may rebound during wetter years (i.e., 
following El Ni[ntilde]o events), excessive rain also decreases the 
suitable habitat for these two species, as pollution washes into the 
water from around the lake and the upstream rivers that feed the lake, 
increasing contamination levels in Lake Jun[iacute]n. This increased 
contamination affects these two species' health and has resulted in 
mortality of both species. Severe water contamination has rendered the 
northwestern portion of the lake lifeless, devoid of aquatic and 
terrestrial species. Experts believe that these two species once 
inhabited the entire lake, but they are now confined to the southern 
portion of the lake due to water contamination. Elevated levels of 
heavy metals may reduce their fitness and overall viability. Nest 
disturbance also occurs due to livestock grazing in the area. 
Therefore, we find that destruction and modification of habitat are 
threats to the continued existence of the Jun[iacute]n grebe and 
Jun[iacute]n rail throughout their ranges.

Peruvian plantcutter

    The Peruvian plantcutter is dependent upon undisturbed Prosopis 
pallida dry forest with floristic diversity (Flanagan and More 2003, p. 
4; Engblom 1998, p. 1; Collar et al. 1992, p. 805). In northwestern 
Peru, P. pallida dry forest was historically contiguous, covering 
approximately 7,000 km\2\ (2,703 mi\2\) of the coastal lowland of 
northwestern Peru (Ferreyera 1983, p. 248). There were also extensive 
wooded stands of small to medium trees of P. pallida, Acacia spp., 
Capparis spp., and Salix spp., along permanent lowland rivers, which 
have since been cleared for agricultural purposes (Lanyon 1975, p. 
443).
    Today, with the exception of three relatively large intact dry 
forests (i.e., Talara Province, Murales Forest, and P[oacute]mac Forest 
Historical Sanctuary), the vast majority of P. pallida dry forest, arid 
lowland scrub, and riparian vegetation has been reduced due to human 
activities. Seasonally dry tropical forests are considered the most 
threatened of all major tropical forest types (Stotz et al. 1996, p. 
51; Janzen 1988, p. 13). The Peruvian plantcutter has been extirpated 
from most of its historical sites due to loss or degradation of habitat 
(Flanagan et. al. in litt. 2009, pp. 1-15; Elton 2004, p. 1; Snow 2004, 
p. 69; Flanagan and More 2003, pp. 5-9). Current information indicates 
that the vast majority of occupied sites of the Peruvian plantcutter 
are small, remnant, disjunct patches of P. pallida dry forest, each a 
few acres in size (Flanagan et. al. in litt. 2009, pp. 2-7; Snow 2004, 
p. 69; Walther 2004, p. 73).
    Habitat loss, conversion, and degradation throughout the Peruvian 
plantcutter's range have been and continue to occur as a result of 
human activities, including:

    (1) Clearcutting and burning of dry forest for agriculture and 
other purposes (BLI 2009a, p. 2; Flanagan et al. 2005, p. 244; 
Williams 2005, p. 2; Snow 2004, p. 69; Walther 2004, p. 73; 
Bridgewater et al. 2003, p. 132; Engblom 1998, p. 1; Ridgely and 
Tudor 1994, p. 734; Collar et al. 1992, p. 806);
    (2) Extraction activities, including cutting for timber, 
firewood, and charcoal production (BLI 2009d, pp. 1-2; Rodriguez et 
al. 2007, p. 269; Williams 2005, p. 1; Snow 2004, p. 69; Best and 
Kessler 1995, p. 196; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 734);
    (3) Grazing by goats of P. pallida dry forests, and arid scrub 
and riparian vegetation (Capra species) (BLI 2009a, p. 2; More 2002, 
p. 37; Snow 2004, p. 69; Best and Kessler 1995, p. 196);
    (4) Human encroachment (Fernandez-Baca et al. 2007, p. 45); and
    (5) Unpredictable climate fluctuations that exacerbate human 
activities and encourage further habitat destruction (Block and 
Richter 2007, p. 1; Jetz et al. 2007, p. 1211; Richter 2005, p. 26).

    The vast majority of P. pallida dry forest habitat has been 
converted to commercial agricultural production, which is the primary 
factor in the historical decline of the Peruvian plantcutter (BLI 
2009a, p. 2; Williams 2005, p. 2; Snow 2004, p. 69; Walther 2004, p. 
73; Engblom 1998, p. 1; Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 734; Collar et al. 
1992, p. 806). Agriculture in the coastal lowlands of northwestern Peru 
consists of modern large, privately owned farms and large cooperatives 
that primarily produce crops (e.g., sugarcane, cotton, rice) for export 
(Roethke 2003, pp. 58-59; Lanyon 1975, p. 443).
    Continual habitat destruction and degradation of the dry forest is 
also due

[[Page 43456]]

to firewood cutting and charcoal production. P. pallida is the dominant 
tree of the dry forest habitat, and is highly sought after because the 
wood provides an important source of high-quality cooking fuel 
(Pasiecznik et al. 2001, p. 75; Brewbaker 1987, p. 1). Throughout the 
Peruvian plantcutter's range, whole trees, branches, and roots of P. 
pallida are cut for firewood and production of charcoal, which is used 
for cooking fuel in homes, restaurants, and businesses that use brick 
kilns, both locally and in urban centers (Flanagan et al. in litt. 
2009, p. 7). Wood of P. pallida is also used for construction and fence 
posts (Pasiecznik et al. 2001, p. 78). Additionally, roots of older P. 
pallida trees are used in wooden art crafts (BLI 2009a, p. 2).
    Talara Province (in the Piura Region) contains the largest 
remaining intact P. pallida dry forest in northwestern Peru, 
encompassing approximately 50,000 ha (123,553 ac) (Flanagan et al. in 
litt. 2009, pp. 2-3; Walther 2004, p. 73; Flanagan and More 2003, p. 
5). The Province also has the largest subpopulation of the Peruvian 
plantcutter, reportedly between 400 and 600 individuals or 
approximately 60 to 80 percent of the total population (BLI 2009a, p. 
2; Williams 2005, p. 1; Elton 2004, pp. 3-4; Snow 2004, p. 69; Walther 
2004, p. 73). Until recently, a large portion of the Province, 
including P. pallida dry forest habitat, was owned by the State-owned 
petroleum company PetroPeru, which prohibited access to approximately 
36,422 ha (90,000 ac). Under the management of PetroPeru, the P. 
pallida dry forest was not subject to the same habitat destruction and 
degradation activities (e.g., clearing of trees, firewood cutting, and 
charcoal production) as other dry forest habitat areas (Elton 2004, pp. 
3-4; Hinze 2004, p. 1). Recently, the land was reverted to the Peruvian 
Government, and it is unclear whether the government plans to issue 
private concessions as in other areas of the Province (Elton 2004, p. 
4). Consequently, there have been efforts, including a formal petition 
to the Peruvian Government, to create a 4,856 to 10,000-ha (12,000 to 
24,710-ac) protected reserve for the northern subpopulation of the 
Peruvian plantcutter (Elton 2004, p. 4; Walther 2004, p. 73). However, 
the government has not designated such a reserve for the species (NCI 
2011, Williams 2005, p. 3; Elton 2004, p. 4).
    Habitat destruction and degradation of P. pallida dry forest, 
including firewood cutting and charcoal production, is ongoing in the 
Talara Province, including on the land previously owned by PetroPeru 
and an area identified as the Talara Important Birding Area (IBA) by 
BLI (Flanagan in litt. 2009, p. 1). Since 2005, there has been 
extensive cutting and clearing of P. pallida trees for fuel to cook and 
dry Humboldt giant squid (Dosidicus gigas) carcasses (Flanagan et al. 
in litt. 2009, p. 8). The most important commercial fishery of the 
Humboldt giant squid occurs along the coast of Peru (Zeidberg and 
Robison 2007, p. 12,948; UNEP 2006, p. 33). Harvested carcasses are 
transported by truck from the Talara port to recently cleared areas in 
the dry forest, where they are boiled and dried (Flanagan et al. in 
litt. 2009, p. 8). This fishery not only adds to the collection 
pressure on Prosopis species for use as fuel, but also adds to forest 
clearing in the area. Another relatively new demand for P. pallida 
firewood is associated with the illegal extraction of crude oil from 
above-ground pipes in the Talara Province. The stolen oil is distilled 
by heating it with firewood (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 8). 
Capparis scabrida (locally known as sapote) is a tree that occurs with 
P. pallida and is also a food source for the Peruvian plantcutter. 
Although the tree is listed as critically endangered by the Peruvian 
Government, the highly sought-after wood is cut to produce handicrafts 
for the local, national, and international markets and is used for 
firewood and charcoal production (Rodriguez et al. 2007, p. 269).
    Habitat alteration is also caused by grazing goats, which remove or 
heavily degrade the shrubs and trees (BLI 2009a, p. 2; Williams 2005, 
p. 2; Elton 2004, pp. 3-4; Snow 2004, p. 69; BLI 2000, p. 402). The 
seed pods and leaves of P. pallida provide highly nutritious fodder for 
goats (Pasiecznik et al. 2001, p. 95; Brewbaker 1987, pp. 1-2). Goats 
roam freely and graze on trees and shrubs, particularly lower branches 
close to ground which are preferred by the Peruvian plantcutter for 
foraging and nesting (Williams 2005, p. 2; Elton 2004, pp. 3-4; Snow 
2004, p. 50).
    Human encroachment and concomitant increasing human population 
pressures exacerbate the destructive effects of ongoing human 
activities (e.g., clearing of P. pallida dry forest, firewood cutting, 
and charcoal production) throughout the Peruvian plantcutter's range. 
Although the coastal lowlands represent only about 10 percent of the 
country's total territory, many urban centers are located on the coast, 
which represent approximately 52 percent of the total population of 
Peru (Fernandez-Baca et al. 2007, p. 45). Large concentrations of 
people put greater demand on the natural resources in the area, which 
spurs additional habitat destruction and increases infrastructure 
development that further facilitates encroachment.
    Peruvian plantcutters are also impacted by unpredictable climate 
fluctuations that exacerbate the effects of habitat fragmentation. 
Changes in weather patterns, such as ENSO cycles (El Ni[ntilde]o and La 
Ni[ntilde]a events), tend to increase precipitation in normally dry 
areas, and decrease precipitation in normally wet areas (Holmgren et 
al. 2001, p. 89; TAO Project n.d., p. 1), while intensifying the 
effects of habitat fragmentation on the decline of a species (Jetz et 
al. 2007, pp. 1211, 1213; Mora et al. 2007, p. 1027; Plumart 2007, pp. 
1-2; Holmgren et al. 2001, p. 89; England 2000, p. 86; Timmermann 1999, 
p. 694), especially for narrow endemics (Jetz et al. 2007, p. 1213) 
such as the Peruvian plantcutter.
    The arid terrestrial ecosystem of northwestern Peru, where the 
Peruvian plantcutter occurs, is strongly influenced by the ENSO cycle 
(Rodriguez et al. 2005, p. 1), which can have severe and long-lasting 
effects (Mooers et al. 2007, p. 2; Holmgren et al. 2006a, p. 87). The 
amount of rainfall during an El Ni[ntilde]o year can be more than 25 
times greater than during normal years in northern Peru (Holmgren et 
al. 2006a, p. 90; Rodriguez et al. 2005, p. 2). El Ni[ntilde]o events 
are important triggers for regeneration of plants in semiarid 
ecosystems, particularly the dry forest of northwestern Peru (Holmgren 
et al. 2006a, p. 88; Lopez et al. 2006, p. 903; Rodr[iacute]guez et al. 
2005, pp. 2-3). During El Ni[ntilde]o events, plant communities and 
barren lands are transformed into lush vegetation, as seeds germinate 
and grow more quickly in response to increased rainfall (Holmgren et 
al. 2006a, p. 88; Holmgren et al. 2006b, pp. 2-8; Rodr[iacute]guez et 
al. 2005, pp. 1-6). Over the last 20 years, recruitment of P. pallida 
in northwestern Peru doubled during El Ni[ntilde]o years, when compared 
to non-El Ni[ntilde]o years (Holmgren et al. 2006b, p. 7). However, the 
abundant supply of vegetation encourages locals to expand goat breeding 
operations, which results in overgrazing by goats and further land 
degradation (Richter 2005, p. 26).
    ENSO cycles increase the risk of fire because El Ni[ntilde]o events 
are often followed by years of extremely dry weather (Block and Richter 
2007, p. 1). Accumulated biomass dries and adds to the fuel load in the 
dry season (Block and Richter 2007, p. 1; Power et al. 2007, p. 898). 
Evidence suggests that the fire cycle in Peru has shortened, 
particularly coastal Peru and west of the Andes (Power et al. 2007, pp. 
897-898), which can have broad ecological consequences (Block and 
Richter 2007,

[[Page 43457]]

p. 1; Power et al. 2007, p. 898). According to Block and Richter (2007, 
p. 1), P. pallida dry forest and Capparis spp. scrublands in 
northwestern Peru would likely experience a long-term change in plant 
species composition that favors aggressive, annual, nonnative weedy 
plant species (Richter 2005, p. 26). An accelerated fire cycle would 
further exacerbate changes in species composition that hinder long-
lived perennial, native plant species, such as Prosopis species, upon 
which the Peruvian plantcutter relies.
    ENSO cycles are ongoing, having occurred several times within the 
last decade (NWS 2009, p. 2). Evidence suggests that ENSO cycles have 
increased in periodicity and severity (Richter 2005, pp. 24-25; 
Timmermann 1999, p. 694), which will exacerbate the negative impacts of 
habitat destruction on a species. It is predicted that, by 2050, 
approximately 11 to 16 percent of existing land is likely to be 
unsuitable for this species due to climate change; and, by 2100, it is 
predicted that about 24 to 35 percent of the species' range is likely 
to be lost as a direct result of climate change (Jetz et al. 2007, p. 
81).
    Habitat destruction is often caused by a combination of human 
activities. In Lambayeque Region, a 1,500-ha (3,706-ac) section of 
remnant P. pallida dry forest is under continual threat from human 
activities, including conversion to agriculture, cutting for firewood 
and charcoal production, and grazing by goats. This area may support 
between 20 and 40 Peruvian plantcutters (BLI 2009f, p. 1; Walther 2004, 
p. 73). In the 1990s, a significant portion of this dry forest was 
converted to sugarcane fields (Engblom in litt. 1998, p. 1; Snow 2004, 
p. 69; Walther 2004, p. 73; Williams 2005, p. 2). Within Piura and 
Lambayeque Regions, threats to the dry forest habitat include 
conversion to agriculture, firewood and timber cutting, and grazing by 
goats (BLI 2009d, pp. 1-2). Habitat destruction and alteration also 
occurs within two protected areas where the Peruvian plantcutter occurs 
(in Lambayeque Region), P[oacute]mac Forest Historical Sanctuary 
(Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 7-8; Andean Air Mail and Peruvian 
Times 2009, p. 1; Williams 2005, p. 1), and the Murales Forest (BLI 
2000, p. 402; BLI 2009a, p. 3; Walther 2004, p. 73; Stattersfield et 
al. 2000, p. 402).
    Experts consider the population of this range-restricted endemic 
species to be declining in close association with the continued habitat 
loss and degradation (BLI 2009a, pp. 1-2; BLI 2009g, pp. 1-3; BLI 2000, 
p. 401), and suggest that the effects are greater in dry forest habitat 
than in any other Neotropical habitat (Stotz et al. 1998, p. 51).

Summary of Factor A--Peruvian plantcutter

    The Peruvian plantcutter is dependent upon intact P. pallida dry 
forest with low-hanging branches and high floristic diversity, and 
associated arid lowland scrub and riparian vegetation. P. pallida dry 
forest habitat, as well as arid lowland scrub and riparian shrub 
habitats, throughout the Peruvian plantcutter's range have been and 
continue to be altered and destroyed as a result of human activities, 
including conversion to agriculture; timber and firewood cutting and 
charcoal production; grazing of goats; and human encroachment. Extant 
P. pallida dry forest today consists of remnant, disjunct patches of 
woodlands, which are heavily disturbed and under continued threat of 
degradation by human activities. Observations suggest that this dry-
forest-dependent species is able to occupy very small remnant patches 
of dry forest with low-hanging branches and floristic diversity, and is 
able to persist to some degree near developed lands. However, many of 
these sites are so small that they are below or approaching the lower 
threshold of the species' ecological requirements. This species has 
been extirpated from most of its historical sites due to loss or 
degradation of habitat. Additionally, many of the extant occupied sites 
are separated by great distances, which may lead to genetic isolation 
of the species.
    The same activities that caused the historical decline in this 
species are ongoing today. These habitat-altering activities are 
compounded by unexpected climate fluctuations, especially for narrow 
endemics such as the Peruvian plantcutter. Excessive rains accompanied 
by El Ni[ntilde]o events induce further habitat destruction, as people 
take advantage of better grazing and growing conditions. Destruction of 
the remaining P. pallida dry forest fragments in Peru continues to 
reduce the quantity, quality, distribution, and regeneration of 
remaining patches of dry forest. Human activities that degrade, alter, 
and destroy habitat are ongoing throughout the species' range, 
including within protected areas. Therefore, we find that destruction 
and modification of habitat threaten the continued existence of 
Peruvian plantcutter throughout its range.
B. Overutilization for Commercial, Recreational, Scientific, or 
Educational Purposes
    The best available information does not indicate that 
overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or 
educational purposes is a threat to any of the six bird species (the 
ash-breasted tit-tyrant, Jun[iacute]n grebe, Jun[iacute]n rail, 
Peruvian plantcutter, royal cinclodes, and the white-browed tit-
spinetail) addressed in this final rule. With respect to the ash-
breasted tit-tyrant and royal cinclodes, most areas where they occur 
are in very steep areas that are difficult to access. With respect to 
the Jun[iacute]n grebe, Fjelds[aring] (1981, pp. 254-255) noted that 
local hunters were not interested in grebes as food because they have 
too little meat. No other information was located or provided during 
the proposed rule comment period regarding the overutilization of these 
six species. Therefore, we find that overutilization for commercial, 
recreational, scientific, or educational purposes is not a threat to 
any of these six species.
C. Disease or Predation

Ash-breasted tit-tyrant, Peruvian plantcutter, royal cinclodes, and the 
white-browed tit-spinetail

    We are not aware of any scientific or commercial information that 
indicates disease or predation pose a threat to the following four 
species: Ash-breasted tit-tyrant, royal cinclodes, white-browed tit-
spinetail, or Peruvian plantcutter. Disease and predation remain a 
concern for the management of each of these four species; however, the 
best available information does not indicate that the occurrence of 
disease or predation affecting these species rises to the level of 
threats that place any of these species at risk of extinction. 
Therefore, we do not find that disease or predation threaten the 
continued existence of any of these four species.

Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail (Lake Jun[iacute]n)

    Disease: Although no specific diseases have been identified for the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail, contamination of Lake 
Jun[iacute]n exposes these two species to mortality and a reduction in 
the overall fitness and health of these species. Water contamination 
affects the health of species inhabiting Lake Jun[iacute]n where mining 
activities occur (Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 
660-661). Agricultural runoff, organic matter, and wastewater have 
contaminated the entire lake with high concentrations of dissolved 
chemicals (ParksWatch 2011, pp. 2-3; ParksWatch

[[Page 43458]]

2006, pp. 5, 19, 20-21; Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 
124; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-662). Environmental contaminants 
exceed current established thresholds for aquatic life (ParksWatch 
2006, p. 20; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-661) and have rendered the 
northern portion of the lake lifeless due to eutrophication (BLI 2008, 
p. 4; Shoobridge 2006, p. 3). Due to severe contamination, the 
sediments in the center of the lake are anoxic (containing no dissolved 
oxygen), and the lake's turbidity has increased (ParksWatch 2006, p. 
20; Martin et al. 2001, p. 180). Chemical waste has damaged at least 
one third of the lake, severely affecting animal and plant populations 
in the area and completely eliminating vegetation from the northern 
portion of the lake (Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; ParksWatch 2006, pp. 20-21; 
Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 124; O'Donnel and Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 29).
    As discussed under Factor A, lead, copper, and zinc mining 
residues, agricultural runoff, organic matter, and wastewater are 
discharged directly into Lake Jun[iacute]n (Shoobridge 2006, p. 3; 
ParksWatch 2006, pp. 5, 19; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 660-661; 
Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 255). High concentrations of environmental 
contaminants (including ammonium, copper, iron oxide, lead, mercury, 
nitrate, and zinc) have been detected throughout the lake (ParksWatch 
2006, pp. 20-21; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 124; Martin and McNee 1999, pp. 
660-662; Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 255-256) and exceed established 
thresholds for aquatic life (ParksWatch 2006, p. 20; Martin and McNee 
1999, pp. 660-661).
    High concentrations of suspended particulate matter increase the 
turbidity of the water, making it less penetrable to sunlight and 
results in die-off of aquatic plants and algae (ParksWatch 2006, p. 
20). The northern portion of the lake is completely devoid of 
vegetation (ParksWatch 2006, pp. 20-21; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 124), 
and the giant bulrush marshlands, which once existed in great expanses 
around the entire perimeter of the lake and upon which the Jun[iacute]n 
grebe relies for nesting and foraging habitat, have virtually 
disappeared.
    During years of heavy rainfall, the lake is filled; however, the 
lakeshore becomes polluted with toxic acidic gray sediment that has 
caused large-scale mortality of cattle (approximately 2,000 died in 
1994) and birds, apparently due to lead poisoning (O'Donnel and 
Fjelds[aring] 1997, p. 30). Lead poisoning from the presence of mining 
waste is a common cause of mortality in water birds, and is medically 
described as an intoxication resulting from absorption of hazardous 
levels of lead into body tissues (Friend and Franson 1999, p. 317).
    Water contamination has directly affected the health of the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe population. As predators of aquatic organisms, the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe occupies a mid-tertiary level position in the food 
chain and is prone to bioaccumulation of pesticides, heavy metals, and 
other contaminants that are absorbed or ingested by its prey 
(Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 123; Fjelds[aring] 1981, pp. 255-256). Species 
such as the Jun[iacute]n grebe, which inhabit high trophic levels, are 
strictly dependent upon the functioning of a multitude of ecosystem 
processes. The loss or absence of species at lower trophic levels can 
result in cascading ecosystem effects, causing imbalances in the food 
web at all higher trophic levels (The University of the Western Cape 
2009, p. 1). Analysis of feathers and bone tissue of Jun[iacute]n 
grebes and of pupfish, the species' primary prey, indicate that both 
the grebe and its prey contain elevated lead levels (Fjelds[aring] 
1981, pp. 255-256).
    Drought conditions exacerbate the effects of water contamination 
and bioaccumulation of contaminants in aquatic species and species at 
higher trophic levels (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 123; Demayo et al. 1982, 
as cited in Eisler 1988, p. 5). From 1989 to 1992, an extensive drought 
occurred in the Lake Jun[iacute]n area. During that time, many dead 
Jun[iacute]n grebes and other water birds were found along the edges of 
the lakeshore (Valqui and Barrio in litt. 1992, as cited in Collar et 
al. 1992, p. 45, 190). In 1992, one of the driest years in decades, up 
to 10 dead grebes per month were reported around the lake (Valqui and 
Barrio in litt. 1992, as cited in Collar et al. 1992, p. 45). Experts 
consider the cause of death to have been either heavy metal 
contamination, which increased in concentration as water levels 
decreased (Valqui and Barrio in litt. 1992, as cited in Collar et al. 
1992, p. 45), or reduced prey availability (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 
124). Reduced prey availability is exacerbated by manmade activities 
that are reducing the water levels of the lake, increasing competition 
among sympatric grebe species (different grebe species that occupy the 
same range) and decreasing the marshlands that provide primary spawning 
habitat for the pupfish.
    Persistent exposure to contaminants can contribute to a decline in 
fitness for long-lived, mid-trophic level species. Contaminants may be 
inherited by offspring and can impact embryonic development, juvenile 
health, or viability (Rose 2008, p. 624). The excessive contaminant 
load in Lake Jun[iacute]n could also allow opportunistic bacterial and 
viral infections to overcome individuals. According to Fjelds[aring] 
(1981, p. 254), the Jun[iacute]n grebe bears a heavy infestation of 
stomach nematodes (parasitic roundworms), especially as compared to 
other grebe species. Stomach contents of Jun[iacute]n grebes that have 
been examined had an average of 16.7 nematodes, compared with no 
nematodes in silver grebes (P. occipitalis) and 1.6 nematodes in white-
tufted grebes (Rollandia rolland). Fjelds[aring] (1981, p. 254) 
postulated that the higher nematode infestation in Jun[iacute]n grebes 
may be an indicator of poor health.
    Predation--Jun[iacute]n grebe. Predators around Lake Jun[iacute]n 
include the Andean fox (Pseudalopex culpaues), the long-tailed weasel 
(Mustela frenata), Pampas cat (Onicifelis colocolo), and hog-nosed 
skunk (Conepatus chinga) (ParksWatch 2009, p. 4). However, nest sites 
of the Jun[iacute]n grebe are generally inaccessible to mammalian 
predators (Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). The only raptor likely to take 
a grebe on Lake Jun[iacute]n is the Cinereus harrier (Circus cinereus), 
which primarily feeds in white-tufted grebe habitats. Moorhens 
(Gallinula chloropus), which also inhabit the lake (ParksWatch 2009, p. 
3; Tello 2007, p. 2), may steal Jun[iacute]n grebe eggs for food 
(Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). However, there is no direct evidence of 
predation upon the Jun[iacute]n grebe or indication that predation is a 
concern.
    Predation--Jun[iacute]n rail. Jun[iacute]n rails are preyed upon by 
pampas cats (BLI 2009b, p 2). Under normal conditions, water levels are 
lower in the dry season, and the marshlands can become partially or 
completely dry (BLI 2009b, p. 1; ParksWatch 2009, p. 2), reducing 
protective cover and allowing predators to more easily locate the rail. 
When the floodgates of the Upumayo Dam are opened during the dry season 
(June to November) (BLI 2009b, p. 1; ParksWatch 2009, p. 2), drawdown 
has led to complete desiccation of the marshlands by the end of the dry 
season (Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 123). The ground-nesting Jun[iacute]n 
rail breeds near the end of the dry season, in September and October, 
and builds its nests in the dense vegetative cover of the rushes on the 
lake perimeter (BLI 2009b, p. 2). Water drawdown and periods of drought 
increases the bird's vulnerability to predation because nesting grounds 
become exposed and larger areas of the marsh are accessible to 
predators (ParksWatch 2006, p. 23). Predation increases the risk of 
extirpation due to the species' already small population size. In 
addition, species that inhabit a small geographic range, occur at low 
density, occupy a high trophic level, and exhibit low reproductive 
rates tend

[[Page 43459]]

to have a higher risk of extinction than species that are not limited 
by the same risk factors (Purvis et al. 2000, p. 1949) (Factor E).

Summary of Factor C--Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail

    Disease. The best available information indicates that 
environmental contaminants (Factor A) in Lake Jun[iacute]n likely have 
negative consequences on the health of both the Jun[iacute]n grebe and 
Jun[iacute]n rail. The species' trophic level also exposes them to 
accumulation of toxins in the tissue of prey species. Therefore, we 
find that disease due to contamination is a threat to the continued 
existence of both the Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail.
    Predation. There is no available evidence to indicate that 
predation is causing declines in Jun[iacute]n grebe populations or 
otherwise contributing to the species' risk of extinction. Therefore, 
we do not find that predation is a threat to the Jun[iacute]n grebe.
    Predation by the pampas cat results in the direct removal of 
Jun[iacute]n rails from the population and can remove potentially 
reproductive adults from the breeding pool. The species' habitat 
becomes more accessible to predators during droughts and water 
drawdowns due to ongoing habitat destruction (through reduced water 
levels and contamination), which continues to degrade the quality of 
habitat available to the Jun[iacute]n rail. Predation renders the 
species particularly vulnerable to local extirpation due to its small 
population size. Therefore, we find that predation, exacerbated by 
ongoing habitat destruction, is a threat to the continued existence of 
the Jun[iacute]n rail throughout its range.
D. Inadequacy of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms
    Regulatory mechanisms affecting each of these six species could 
potentially fall under categories such as wildlife management, parks 
management, or forestry management. We are primarily evaluating these 
regulatory mechanisms in terms of nationally protected parks because 
this is where these species generally occur. The FAO conducted a review 
of forest policies and laws in 2010, and a summary for Peru and Bolivia 
is in table 1. The study found that, although Peru does not have a 
national forest policy, it does have both a national forest program and 
law in place. Bolivia has a national forest policy, national forest 
program, and law program in place. No forest laws at the subnational 
level (such as jurisdictions equivalent to states in the United States) 
exist in these countries. FAO reported that Peru and Bolivia reported a 
significant loss of primary forests; this loss peaked in the period 
2000-2005 in Peru and increased in Bolivia in the last decade compared 
with the 1990s (p. 56). FAO also reported that, at a regional level, 
South America suffered the largest net loss of forests between 2000 and 
2010; at a rate of approximately 4.0 million ha (9.9 million ac) per 
year (p. xvi).

                                            Table 1--Summary of Forest Policies and Laws in Bolivia and Peru
                                           [Adapted From FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment 2010, p. 303.]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           National                     National forest program                         Forest law national
                                 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Country                                                                                                                        Subnational
                                      Exists         Year        Exists        Year          Status          National--type       Year        exists
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivia.........................  Yes...........       2008  Yes..........       2008  In implementation.  Specific forest          1996  No
                                                                                                            law.
Peru............................  No............  .........  Yes..........       2004  In implementation.  Specific forest          2000  No
                                                                                                            law.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ash-breasted tit-tyrant, royal cinclodes, and the white-browed tit-
spinetail (Polylepis habitat)

    The following analysis of regulatory mechanisms is discussed on a 
country-by-country basis, beginning with Peru.
    Peru: The ash-breasted tit-tyrant and the white-browed tit-
spinetail are considered endangered, and the royal cinclodes is 
considered critically endangered by the Peruvian Government under 
Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 276854, 276855). This Decree 
prohibits hunting, take, transport, and trade of protected species, 
except as permitted by regulation.
    The Peruvian national protected area system includes several 
categories of habitat protection. Habitat may be designated as any of 
the following:
    (1) Parque Nacional (National Park, an area managed mainly for 
ecosystem conservation and recreation);
    (2) Santuario (Sanctuary, for the preservation of sites of notable 
natural or historical importance);
    (3) Reserva Nacional (National Reserve, for sustainable extraction 
of certain biological resources);
    (4) Bosque de Protecci[oacute]n (Protection Forest, to safeguard 
soils and forests, especially for watershed conservation);
    (5) Zona Reservada (Reserved Zone, for temporary protection while 
further study is under way to determine their importance);
    (6) Bosque Nacional (National Forest, to be managed for 
utilization);
    (7) Reserva Comunal (Communal Reserve, for local area use and 
management, with national oversight); and
    (8) Cotos de Caza (Hunting Reserve, for local use and management, 
with national oversight) (BLI 2008, p. 1; Rodr[iacute]guez and Young 
2000, p. 330).
    National reserves, national forests, communal reserves, and hunting 
reserves are managed for the sustainable use of resources (IUCN 1994, 
p. 2). The designations of National Parks, Sanctuaries, and Protection 
Forests are established by supreme decree that supersedes all other 
legal claim to the land and, thus, these areas tend to provide more 
habitat protection than other designations. All other protected areas 
are established by supreme resolution, which is viewed as a less 
powerful form of protection (Rodr[iacute]guez and Young 2000, p. 330).
    Protected areas have been established through regulation in at 
least three sites occupied by the ash-breasted tit-tyrant and the 
white-browed tit-spinetail in Peru: Parque Nacional Huascar[aacute]n 
(Ancash), and Santuario Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu (Cusco); and Zona 
Reservada de la Cordillera Huayhuash (spanning Ancash, Hu[aacute]nuco, 
and Lima) (BLI 2009i, p. 1; BLI 2009l, p. 1; BLI 2009n, p. 1; Barrio 
2005, p. 563). The royal cinclodes is known to occur in the Santuario 
Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu (Cusco, Peru) (BLI 2009h, p. 4). 
Resources within Santuario Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu are managed 
for conservation (Rodr[iacute]guez and Young 2000, p. 330). However, 
activities such as habitat destruction and alteration, including 
burning, cutting, and grazing occur within the sanctuary and prevent

[[Page 43460]]

regeneration of the woodlands (BLI 2009c, p. 3; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 
58). Abra Malaga and Mantanay are now established as community reserves 
(Lloyd 2010, pers. comm.). These community reserves may be a more 
effective way of protecting area than other categories (e.g., national 
park, reserved zone), because local community-based projects greatly 
assist in resolving land tenure problems between local communities.
    Habitat destruction and alteration, including burning, cutting, and 
grazing, are ongoing within Parque Nacional Huascar[aacute]n and 
Santuario Hist[oacute]rico Machu Picchu (BLI 2009l, p. 4; BLI 2009n, p. 
2; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 58). Reserved zones are intended to be 
protected pending further study (Rodr[iacute]guez and Young 2000, p. 
330). Burning for habitat conversion and maintenance of pastures for 
grazing and increasing ecotourism are ongoing within Zona Reservada de 
la Cordillera Huayhuash (Barrio 2005, p. 564). Although these three 
species occur within protected areas in Peru, these protected areas do 
not adequately protect the species. Therefore, the occurrence of these 
three species within protected areas in Peru does not protect these 
species, nor does it mitigate the threats to the species from ongoing 
habitat loss and concomitant population decline.
    Bolivia: In Bolivia, several activities are occurring that affect 
the royal cinclodes and ash-breasted tit-tyrant. They occur within 
several protected areas in the Department of La Paz, Bolivia: Parque 
Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Madidi, Parque 
Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Cotapata, and the 
colocated protected areas of Reserva Nacional de Fauna de Apolobamba, 
[Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado de Apolobamba, and Reserva de 
la Biosfera de Apolobamba (BLI 2009a, p. 1; BLI 2009b, p. 1; Auza and 
Hennessey 2005, p. 81). Although national parks are intended to be 
strictly protected, the two parks in which these species occur are also 
designated as areas of integrated management, which are managed for 
biological conservation balanced with the sustainable development of 
the local human population (Supreme Decree No. 24,781 1997, p. 3). 
Within the Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado 
Madidi, habitat destruction is caused by timber harvest used for 
construction, wood collection for firewood, and burning (that often 
goes out of control) to maintain pastures (BLI 2009a, p. 2; WCMC 1998a, 
p. 1). In addition, one of the most transited highways in the country 
is located a short distance from the Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea 
Natural de Manejo Integrado Cotapata, which may add to the habitat 
degradation in this area. Grazing also occurs within the protected area 
(BLI 2009b, p. 2; BLI 2009c, p. 2). Within the Apolobamba protected 
areas, uncontrolled clearing, extensive agriculture, grazing, and 
tourism are ongoing (BLI 2009d, p. 5; Auza and Hennessey 2005, p. 81).
    Commercial logging has occurred within Parque Nacional y 
[Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Madidi (BLI 2009a, p. 2; WCMC 
1998a, p. 1). Grazing and firewood extraction are also ongoing within 
Parque Nacional y [Aacute]rea Natural de Manejo Integrado Cotapata (BLI 
2009b, p. 2; BLI 2009c, p. 2). Uncontrolled clearing, extensive 
agriculture, and grazing are ongoing within the Apolobamba protected 
areas (BLI 2009e, p. 5; Auza and Hennessey 2005, p. 81). Habitat 
degradation and destruction from grazing, forest fires, and timber 
extraction are ongoing in other protected areas such as Tunari National 
Park (Department of Cochabamba, Bolivia), where suitable habitat exists 
for these two species (De la Vie 2004, p. 7).
    In Bolivia, habitat is protected either on the national or 
departmental level. Recently, Bolivia passed the ``Law of Rights of 
Mother Earth'' to add strength to its existing environmental protection 
laws. This law has the objective of recognizing the rights of the 
planet (Government of Bolivia, 2010). Protected habitat in Bolivia has 
the following designations:
    (1) Parque (Park, for strict and permanent protection of 
representative ecosystems and provincial habitats, as well as plant and 
animal resources, along with the geographical, scenic and natural 
landscapes that contain them);
    (2) Santuario (Sanctuary, for the strict and permanent protection 
of sites that house endemic plants and animals that are threatened or 
in danger of extinction);
    (3) Monumento Natural (Natural Monument, to preserve areas such as 
those with distinctive natural landscapes or geologic formations, and 
to conserve the biological diversity contained therein);
    (4) Reserva de Vida Silvestre (Wildlife Reserve, for protection, 
management, sustainable use and monitoring of wildlife);
    (5) Area Natural de Manejo Integrado (Natural Area of Integrated 
Management, where conservation of biological diversity is balanced with 
sustainable development of the local population); and
    (6) Reserva Natural de Inmovilizaci[oacute]n (Immobilized Natural 
Reserve, a temporary (5-year) designation for an area that requires 
further research before any official designations can be made and 
during which time no natural resource concessions can be made within 
the area) (Supreme Decree No. 24,781 1997, p. 3).
    Within parks, sanctuaries and natural monuments, extraction or 
consumption of all resources are prohibited, except for scientific 
research, ecotourism, environmental education, and authorized 
subsistence activities of original towns. National protected areas are 
under the management of the national government, while departmental 
protected areas are managed at the department level (eLAW 2003, p. 3; 
Supreme Decree No. 24,781 1997, p. 3). Despite these protections, 
habitat degradation continues to occur even in areas that are 
designated as protected.
    Bolivia's 1975 Law on Wildlife, National Parks, Hunting and Fishing 
(Decree Law No. 12,301 1975, pp. 1-34) has the fundamental objective of 
protecting the country's natural resources (ELAW 2003, p. 2). This law 
governs the protection, management, use, transportation, and selling of 
wildlife and their products; protection of endangered species; habitat 
conservation of fauna and flora; and the declaration of national parks, 
biological reserves, refuges, and wildlife sanctuaries, tending to the 
preservation, promotion, and rational use of these resources (ELAW 
2003, p. 2; Decree Law No. 12,301 1975, pp. 1-34). Although this law 
designates national protection for all wildlife, there is little 
information as to the actual protections this confers to these two 
species or their habitat. Law No. 12,301 also placed into public trust 
all national parks, reserves, refuges, and wildlife sanctuaries. 
Bolivia passed an overarching environmental law in 1992 (Law No. 1,333 
1992), with the intent of protecting and conserving the environment and 
natural resources. However, there is no specific legislation to 
implement these laws (eLAW 2003, p. 1).
    A national strategy for conservation of Polylepis forest has been 
developed, and will be used in combination with current research to 
elaborate a specific plan for the conservation of these two species and 
their habitat (Gomez 2010, p. 1). In an effort to reverse the loss of 
Polylepis forest, the Peruvian Government has endorsed the creation of 
several new conservation areas that should have significant 
ramifications in the ongoing efforts to protect habitat for endangered 
bird species in the country (American Bird Conservancy (ABC)

[[Page 43461]]

2010, unpaginated). Three new community-owned, conservation areas 
encompassing 3,415 ha (8,438 ac) to protect Polylepis forest in the 
Vilcanota Mountains of southeastern Peru, near Cusco have been 
established. ECOAN and ABC are collaboratively working with the local 
communities to protect and restore these conservation areas: 
Choquechaca, Mantanay, and Sele Tecse Ayllu Lares in the Vilcanota 
Mountains (ABC 2010). A goal of planting 8,000 Polylepis trees (5,000 
at Abra Malaga and 3,000 at Cancha) was reached (ABC undated, p. 1). 
These efforts should have a positive impact on the three Polylepis-
dependent species in this rule: The ash-breasted tit-tyrant, royal 
cinclodes, and white-browed tit-spinetail (MacGregor-Fors et al. 2010, 
p. 1,492; Lloyd and Marsden 2009, pp. 7-8). Despite these efforts, they 
do not adequately protect these species, nor do they sufficiently 
mitigate the threats to these species from ongoing habitat loss and 
concomitant population decline. Given the ongoing habitat destruction 
throughout these two species' ranges in Bolivia, the laws and 
protections in place do not protect these species, nor do they mitigate 
the threats to the species from ongoing habitat loss (Factor A) and 
concomitant population decline (Factor E).

Summary of Factor D--Polylepis habitat

    Peru and Bolivia have enacted various laws and regulatory 
mechanisms to protect and manage wildlife and their habitats. As 
discussed under Factor A, these three species require dense Polylepis 
habitat, which has been reduced by an estimated 98 percent in Peru and 
Bolivia. The remaining habitat is fragmented and degraded. Habitat 
throughout the species' range has been and continues to be altered as a 
result of human activities, including clearcutting and burning for 
agriculture, grazing lands, and industrialization; extractive 
activities, including firewood, timber, and minerals; and human 
encroachment and concomitant increased pressure on natural resources. A 
strategy for conservation of Polylepis forest has been developed, and 
will be used in combination with current research to develop a plan for 
the conservation of these species and their habitat (BLI 2012; Gomez 
2010, p. 1). NGOs are conducting reforestation efforts of Polylepis in 
some areas of Peru, but it will take some time for these saplings to 
grow and create suitable habitat. Despite the laws in place in Peru and 
Bolivia, destructive activities are ongoing within protected areas and 
in these species' habitat, indicating that the laws governing wildlife 
and habitat protection in both countries are either inadequate or 
inadequately enforced to protect the species or to mitigate ongoing 
habitat loss (Factor A) and population declines (Factor E). Therefore, 
we find that the existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to 
mitigate the current threats to the continued existence of these three 
species throughout their range.

Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail--Lake Jun[iacute]n

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe is listed as critically endangered by the 
Peruvian Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 
276853). The Jun[iacute]n rail is listed as endangered by the Peruvian 
Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 276855).
    These two species occur wholly within one protected area: The 
Jun[iacute]n National Reserve (Jun[iacute]n, Peru) (BLI 2009b, pp. 1-
2). The Jun[iacute]n National Reserve has an area of 53,000 ha (133,437 
ac), bordering Lake Jun[iacute]n and its adjacent territories (Wege and 
Long 1995, p. 264). In Peru, national reserves are created in part for 
the sustainable extraction of certain biological resources (BLI 2008, 
p. 1; Rodr[iacute]guez and Young 2000, p. 330). Established in 1974, 
through Supreme Decree No. 0750-74-AG, the stated objectives of the 
Jun[iacute]n National Reserve include: Integrated conservation of the 
local ecosystem, its associated flora and wildlife; preservation of the 
scenic beauty of the lake; and support of socioeconomic development in 
the area through the sustainable use of its renewable natural resources 
(BLI 2009a, p. 2; Hirshfeld 2007, p. 107). Most of the lake shore is 
designated a direct use zone, which allows fishing, grazing, and other 
educational, research, and recreational activities (ParksWatch 2006, p. 
12). Although designation of this reserve has heightened awareness of 
the ecological problems at Lake Jun[iacute]n (BLI 2009c, p. 1), it has 
not reduced or eliminated the primary threats to these two species: 
Water fluctuations and contamination (Factor A), contamination 
resulting in poor health (Factor C), and small population size (Factor 
E). Therefore, the existence of this species within a protected area 
has not reduced or mitigated the threats to the species.
    Ramsar. The Jun[iacute]n National Reserve was designated a Ramsar 
site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance 
(Ramsar Convention) in 1997 (BLI 2009a, p. 2; Hirshfeld 2007, p. 107; 
INRENA 1996, pp. 1-14). The Ramsar Convention, signed in Ramsar, Iran, 
in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for 
national action and international cooperation for the conservation and 
wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 159 
Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1,874 wetland sites, 
totaling more than 185 million ha (457 million ac), designated for 
inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance 
(Ramsar 2009, p. 1). Peru acceded to Ramsar in 1992. As of 2009, Peru 
had 13 sites on the Ramsar list, comprising 6.8 million ha (16.8 
million ac) (Ramsar 2009, p. 5). In reviewing five Ramsar sites, 
experts noted that Ramsar designation may provide nominal protection 
(protection in name only) by increasing both international awareness of 
a site's ecological value and stakeholder involvement in conservation 
(Jellison et al. 2004, pp. 1, 4, 19). However, activities that 
negatively impact these two species within this Ramsar wetland include 
livestock grazing, severe water fluctuations, and contamination 
resulting in poor health. These activities that negatively impact both 
species are ongoing throughout this wetland. Therefore, the Ramsar 
designation has not mitigated the impact of threats on the Jun[iacute]n 
grebe or Jun[iacute]n rail.
    In 2002, the Peruvian Government passed an emergency law to protect 
Lake Jun[iacute]n. This law makes provisions for the cleanup of Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, and placed greater restrictions on extraction of water 
for hydropower and mining activities (Fjelds[aring] in litt. 2003, as 
cited in BLI 2007, p. 3). However, this law has not been effectively 
implemented, and conditions around the lake may even have worsened 
after passage of this law (BLI 2009c, p. 1). The Ministry of Energy and 
Mining has implemented a series of Environmental Mitigation Programs 
(PAMAs) to combat mine waste pollution in the Jun[iacute]n National 
Reserve (ParksWatch 2009 p. 3). The PAMAs were scheduled to have been 
completed by 2002, but extensions were granted, indicating that many of 
the mines currently in operation are still functioning without a valid 
PAMA. Reductions in pollution are reported; some mining companies have 
begun to use drainage fields and recycle residual water. However, 
analysis of existing PAMAs indicate that they do not address specific 
responsibilities for mining waste discharged into the San Juan River 
and delta, nor do they address deposition of heavy metal-laced 
sediments in Lake Jun[iacute]n (ParksWatch 2009, p. 3; ParksWatch 2006, 
p. 21). Recent information indicates that mining waste contamination in 
the lake continues to be a source of pollution (Lebbin et al 2010, p. 
382; ParksWatch

[[Page 43462]]

2006, pp. 20-21; Fjelds[aring] 2004, p. 124). Therefore, neither this 
law nor other protections in place are effective at mitigating the 
threat of habitat degradation and health issues associated with 
contamination and small population size of either species.

Summary of Factor D--Jun[iacute]n grebe and Jun[iacute]n rail

    Peru has enacted various laws and regulatory mechanisms for the 
protection and management of wildlife and their habitats. The entire 
populations of both species occur within one protected area. As 
discussed under Factor A, the distribution, breeding success and 
recruitment, and food availability for both species on Lake 
Jun[iacute]n has been curtailed, and are negatively impacted due to 
habitat destruction that is caused by artificial water fluctuations and 
water contamination from human activities. These species are endemic to 
this lake, they have populations of between 100 and less than a few 
thousand individuals, and their populations have declined in the recent 
past. These habitat-altering activities are ongoing throughout these 
two species' ranges. Thus, despite the species' status and presence 
within a designated protected area, laws governing wildlife and habitat 
protection in Peru are inadequately enforced or ineffective at 
protecting the species or mitigating ongoing habitat degradation, 
impacts from contaminants, and concomitant population declines, and in 
the case of the Jun[iacute]n rail, predation. Therefore, we find that 
the existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to mitigate the 
threats to the continued existence of the Jun[iacute]n grebe and 
Jun[iacute]n rail throughout their ranges.

Peruvian plantcutter

    The Peruvian plantcutter is considered endangered by the Peruvian 
Government under Supreme Decree No. 034-2004-AG (2004, p. 276854). This 
Decree prohibits hunting, take, transport, and trade of protected 
species, except as permitted by regulation.
    The Peruvian plantcutter occurs within two nationally protected 
areas, the P[oacute]mac Forest Historical Sanctuary and the Murales 
Forest (both in the Lambayeque Region on the northwestern coast of 
Peru). The P[oacute]mac Forest Historical Sanctuary supports an 
estimated 20 to 60 Peruvian plantcutters (BLI 2009a, p. 2; BLI 2009e, 
p. 1; Walther 2004, p. 73). Resources within the P[oacute]mac Forest 
Historical Sanctuary are managed for various purposes including the 
preservation of the archeological site, P. pallida dry forest, and 
wildlife species. However, habitat destruction and alteration, 
including illegal forest clearing for farming, timber and firewood 
cutting, and grazing, continually threaten the sanctuary (ParskWatch 
2005; Williams 2005, p. 1). For 8 years, more than 250 families 
illegally occupied and farmed land in the Sanctuary. During the illegal 
occupancy, the inhabitants logged 2,000 ha (4,942 ac) of P. pallida 
trees for firewood and burned many other trees for charcoal production 
(Andean Air Mail and Peruvian Times 2009, p. 1). The logged forest was 
subsequently converted to agricultural crops, while remaining forest 
habitat was continually degraded by firewood cutting, charcoal 
production, and grazing of goats (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, p. 8). 
In January 2009, the government forcibly removed the inhabitants, but 
it is too soon to determine the effect that habitat destruction has had 
on the suitability of the habitat for the Peruvian plantcutter. There 
is insufficient information to conclude that recent efforts to stop the 
illegal human occupancy of the area will have a positive impact on the 
species or remaining habitat within the protected area. Therefore, any 
protections afforded by this sanctuary have not mitigated the threats 
to the species from ongoing habitat loss and associated population 
decline.
    The Murales Forest is a designated archeological reserved zone (BLI 
2009a, p. 3; Stattersfield et al. 2000, p. 402; BLI 2000, p. 401) and 
contains a declining population of Peruvian plantcutters. According to 
Peruvian law, designation as a reserved zone allows for temporary 
protection while further study is under way to determine the area's 
importance (BLI 2008, p. 1; Rodr[iacute]guez and Young 2000, p. 330). 
Although strict monitoring has protected some habitat (BLI 2009a, p. 
3), the actual dry forest is not protected. In 1999, land rights to 
sections of the forest were sold for agricultural conversion, and 
government intervention has been necessary to prevent further sales of 
land for conversion to agriculture (BLI 2009a, p. 3). In 1999, Murales 
Forest and adjacent areas contained approximately 494 ha (1,221 ac) of 
habitat, and reportedly supported 140 Peruvian plantcutters (BLI 2000, 
p. 402). In 2004, the population was estimated to be 20 to 40 
individuals (Walther 2004, p. 73). The decline in population indicates 
that threats to the species from ongoing habitat loss and associated 
population decline have not been mitigated.
    Other incidences of illegal activity that occur throughout the 
species' range also impact the Peruvian plantcutter. Ongoing firewood 
cutting and charcoal production degrades the small amount of remaining 
dry forest habitat within the species' range (BLI 2009d, pp. 1-2; 
Rodriguez et al. 2007, p. 269; Williams 2005, p. 1; Snow 2004, p. 69; 
Ridgely and Tudor 1994, p. 734). In Talara Province (in the Piura 
Region, north of the Lambayeque Region), a recent increase in the 
illegal extraction of crude oil has generated further demand for P. 
pallida firewood, which is used as fuel to heat-distill the oil. 
According to Flanagan et al. (in litt. 2009, p. 8), enforcement to 
combat this illegal activity is difficult. This further illustrates how 
existing laws are ineffective at mitigating the ongoing threat of 
habitat destruction.

Summary of Factor D--Peruvian plantcutter

    Peru has enacted various laws and regulatory mechanisms to protect 
and manage wildlife and their habitats. The Peruvian plantcutter is 
endangered under Peruvian law and occurs within two protected areas in 
Peru. As discussed under Factor A, the Peruvian plantcutter inhabits P. 
pallida dry forest. This habitat has been drastically reduced, and 
remaining habitat comprises small remnant patches of dry forest that 
are separated by great distances. Habitat throughout the species' range 
has been and continues to be destroyed and altered as a result of human 
activities, primarily conversion to agriculture, and continual 
degradation by timber and firewood harvest and charcoal production, and 
grazing by goats. These activities are ongoing, including within 
protected areas and despite the species' endangered status. This 
indicates that the laws governing wildlife and habitat protection in 
Peru are either inadequate or inadequately enforced to protect the 
species or to mitigate ongoing habitat loss and population declines. 
Therefore, we find that the existing regulatory mechanisms are 
inadequate to mitigate the current threats to the continued existence 
of the Peruvian plantcutter throughout its range.
E. Other Natural or Manmade Factors Affecting the Continued Existence 
of the Species' Small, Declining Population
    An additional factor that affects the continued existence of these 
six species is their small, declining population sizes. Small, 
declining population sizes, in concert with other threats, and the lack 
of connectivity based on habitat fragmentation leads to an increased 
risk of extinction (Harris and Pimm 2008, p. 169). All six species have 
limited and increasingly fragmented geographic

[[Page 43463]]

ranges in addition to small population sizes (see Table 2). One of IUCN 
and BirdLife's criteria to determine if a species is categorized as 
threatened is a breeding range of under 20,000 km\2\. In most cases, 
their existing populations are extremely localized, and sometimes 
geographically isolated from one another, leaving them vulnerable to 
localized extinctions from habitat modification and destruction, 
natural catastrophic changes to their habitat (e.g., flood scour, 
drought), and other stochastic disturbances.

 Table 2--Population Estimates for Six Bird Species Found in Bolivia and
                                  Peru
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Estimate of
         Peruvian species             Population     population decline
                                       estimate       in past  10 years
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ash-breasted tit-tyrant (Anairetes             780  between 10 and 19
 alpinus), also native to Bolivia.                   percent.
royal cinclodes (Cinclodes                  50-250  between 30 and 49
 aricomae), also native to Bolivia.                  percent.
white-browed tit-spinetail               500-1,500  between 10 and 19
 (Leptasthenura xenothorax).                         percent.
Jun[iacute]n grebe (Podiceps               100-300  14 percent.
 taczanowskii).
Jun[iacute]n rail (Laterallus          1,000-2,499  between 10 and 19
 tuerosi).                                           percent.
Peruvian plantcutter (Phytotoma          500-1,000  between 1 and 9
 raimondii).                                         percent.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A small, declining population size renders a species vulnerable to 
any of several risks. Extinction risk is heightened in small, isolated, 
declining populations because they are more susceptible to 
environmental fluctuations and demographic shifts such as reduced 
reproductive success of individuals and chance disequilibrium of sex 
ratios (Harris and Pimm 2008, p. 163; Pimm et al. 1988, pp. 757, 773-
775; Shaffer 1981, p. 131). Additionally, the increasing isolation of 
populations due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation 
(fragmentation), unless the population is managed, greatly affects 
dispersal and other movement patterns of individuals between 
subpopulations.
    1. Ash-breasted tit-tyrant. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is 
considered to have a very small population of less than 1,000 
individuals (see table 2; BLI 2009o, p. 1). Its population declined at 
a rate between 10 and 19 percent in the past 10 years, and this decline 
is expected to continue in close association with continued habitat 
loss and degradation (BLI 2009o, p. 1). The ash-breasted tit-tyrant is 
currently confined to restricted and severely fragmented forest patches 
in the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia, where it is estimated that 
approximately only 2 percent of the dense woodlands preferred by the 
species remains (Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 114; Smith 1971, p. 269).
    2. Jun[iacute]n grebe. The current population of the Jun[iacute]n 
grebe is estimated to be 100-300 individuals, however, only a small 
number of adults remain (BLI 2009b, pp. 1, 3; BLI 2008, p. 1). The 
species is restricted to the southern portion of Lake Jun[iacute]n (BLI 
2009b, p. 1; Gill and Storer, pers. comm. As cited in Fjelds[aring] 
2004, p. 200; Fjelds[aring] 1981, p. 254). The Jun[iacute]n grebe 
underwent a severe population decline in the latter half of the 20th 
century, and experienced extreme population fluctuations (Fjelds[aring] 
1981, p. 254). For example, in 1993, the population size declined to 
below 50 individuals, of which fewer than half were breeding adults 
(BLI 2009b, p. 2; BLI 2008, p. 3). Even if the population estimate of 
100-300 individuals is correct, the number of mature individuals is 
likely to be far smaller, perhaps only half (Fjelds[aring] in litt. 
2003, as cited in BLI 2009b, p. 2). Therefore, 100-300 individuals 
likely overestimates the species' effective population size (the number 
of breeding individuals that contribute to the next generation). The 
population has declined by at least 14 percent in the last 10 years and 
is expected to continue to decline, as a result of declining water 
quality and extreme water level fluctuations (BLI 2009b, pp. 1, 4, 6-
7).
    3. Jun[iacute]n rail. BLI placed the Jun[iacute]n rail in the 
population category of between 1,000 and 2,499 individuals (BLI 2009b, 
p. 2), and considers the population to be likely very small and 
presumably declining (BLI 2009b, p. 1; BLI 2000, p. 170). The 
Jun[iacute]n rail is known from two localities (Ondores and Pari) on 
the southwestern shore of Lake Jun[iacute]n in central Peru. The 
population has declined at a rate between 10 and 19 percent in the past 
10 years, and this decline is expected to continue as a result of the 
declining quality of habitat within its small, restricted range (BLI 
2009b, pp. 4-5).
    4. Peruvian plantcutter. BLI placed the Peruvian plantcutter in the 
population category of between 500 and 1,000 individuals (BLI 2009g, p. 
1). The Peruvian plantcutter has experienced a population decline of 
between 1 and 9 percent in the past 10 years due to habitat loss. This 
decline is expected to continue in close association with continued 
habitat loss and degradation. There is insufficient information on 
similar species (i.e., the other South American plantcutters) to 
understand whether the Peruvian plantcutter's population size is small 
relative to other plantcutters. However, there are several indications 
that this number of individuals represents a small, declining 
population.
    First, the Peruvian plantcutter's population size--which is defined 
by BLI as the total number of mature individuals--is not the same as 
the effective population size--the number of individuals that actually 
contribute to the next generation (Shaffer 1981, pp. 132-133; 
Soul[eacute] 1980, pp. 160-162). Not all individuals in a population 
will contribute to reproduction each year. Therefore, the estimated 
population size for the Peruvian plantcutter may be an overestimate of 
the species' effective population size. Moreover, the population 
structure and extent of interbreeding are unknown. If the species does 
not breed as a single population, its effective population size would 
be further reduced.
    Second, the extant Peruvian plantcutter population occurs primarily 
in two disjunct subpopulations--Talara and P[oacute]mac Forest 
Historical Sanctuary (BLI 2009g, pp. 1-2; Walther 2004, p. 73)--and in 
several smaller sites (Flanagan et al. in litt. 2009, pp. 2-7; Williams 
2005, p. 1; Walther 2004, p. 73; Flanagan and More 2003, pp. 5-9). 
Talara and P[oacute]mac Forest Historical Sanctuary are approximately 
257 km (160 mi) apart (FCC (Federal Communications Commission--Audio 
Division 2009). Its habitat is heavily degraded and localities are 
small, severely fragmented, and widely separated (Flanagan et al. in 
litt. 2009, pp. 1-9; Bridgewater et al. 2003, p. 132; Ridgely and Tudor 
1994, p. 18). It is possible that the distance between patches of 
suitable habitat is too far to support interbreeding between 
localities, so that the extant occurrences of this species would 
function as genetically isolated subpopulations.

[[Page 43464]]

    5. Royal cinclodes. Based on recent observations in Peru and 
Bolivia, the total population of royal cinclodes is between 50 and 250 
mature individuals (BLI 2011e; Aucca-Chutas 2007, pp. 4, 8; 
G[oacute]mez in litt. 2007, p. 1). The royal cinclodes has undergone a 
population decline between 30 and 49 percent in the past 10 years in 
close association with the continued loss and degradation of the 
Polylepis forest (BLI 2009i, p. 6). It is an intrinsically low-density 
species. The exacerbated small population size, lack of connectivity 
(isolation), and small areas of remaining habitat which are localized 
and highly fragmented, all affect the continued existence of this 
species (Lloyd 2010, pers. comm.). Engblom et al. (2002, p. 57) noted 
that the royal cinclodes may descend from the mountains to forage in 
the valleys during periods of snow cover at the higher altitudes. Thus, 
interbreeding may occur at least among localities with shared valleys, 
but there is insufficient information to determine that the species 
breeds as a single population. It is currently restricted to high-
elevation, moist, moss-laden patches of semihumid woodlands in Peru and 
Bolivia (BLI 2009i, p. 6; Fjelds[aring] and Kessler 1996, as cited in 
Fjelds[aring] 2002a, p. 113). Remaining Polylepis woodlands are highly 
fragmented and degraded, and it is estimated that approximately only 2 
percent of the dense woodlands preferred by the species remain (del 
Hoyo et al. 2003, p. 253; Engblom et al. 2002, p. 57).
    6. White-browed tit-spinetail. BLI has placed the white-browed tit-
spinetail in the population category of between 500 and 1,500 
individuals (BLI 2009d, pp. 1, 5). The white-browed tit-spinetail is 
currently confined to high-elevation, semihumid patches of forest in 
the Andes of Peru, and its population has declined at a rate between 10 
and 19 percent in the past 10 years, in close association with the 
continued loss and degradation of the Polylepis forest (BLI 2009d, pp. 
5-6).

Summary of Factor E

    Based on their small, declining population size and fragmented 
distribution, combined with the threat of disease (Jun[iacute]n rail 
and Jun[iacute]n grebe), we have determined that all six species 
addressed in this final rule are vulnerable to the threat of adverse 
natural events that exacerbate human activities (e.g., deforestation, 
habitat alteration, and infrastructure development) that, alone or in 
combination, destroy individuals and their habitat. The stochastic 
risks associated with small, declining populations are exacerbated by 
ongoing human activities that continue to curtail the species' habitat 
throughout their range. We expect that the risks associated with small, 
declining populations will continue to impact these six species and may 
accelerate if habitat destruction continues unabated. We recognize that 
reforestation efforts are occurring in some areas, but these efforts 
will take years to have a positive effect on these species. Therefore, 
we find that these species' small, declining populations, in concert 
with their restricted ranges, habitat loss, and heightened 
vulnerability to adverse natural events and manmade activities are 
threats to the continued existence of these six species throughout 
their ranges.

Finding

    Section 3 of the Act defines an endangered species as any species 
which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant 
portion of its range and a threatened species as any species which is 
likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future 
throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We have carefully 
assessed the best scientific and commercial information available 
regarding threats to each of these six bird species. Significant 
effects have already occurred as a result of habitat loss, and some 
populations have likely been extirpated. The most significant threat to 
the six species in this rule is habitat loss and alteration. Various 
past and ongoing human activities and their secondary influences 
continue to impact all of the remaining suitable habitats that may 
still harbor each of these six species. We expect that any additional 
loss or degradation of habitats used by these species will have a 
greater, cumulative impact on these species. This is because with each 
contraction of an existing subpopulation, the likelihood of interchange 
with other subpopulations within patches decreases, while the 
likelihood of their reproductive isolation increases.
    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may 
warrant listing if it is threatened or endangered throughout all or a 
significant portion of its range. Each of the species in this listing 
rule is highly restricted in its range. In each case, the threats to 
the survival of these species occur throughout the species' range and 
are not restricted to any particular portion of that range. 
Accordingly, our assessment and determination apply to each species 
throughout its entire range.
    We find that each of these six species is presently in danger of 
extinction throughout its entire range, based on the immediacy, 
severity, and scope of the threats described above. Although there are 
ongoing attempts to alleviate some threats, no populations appear to be 
without current significant threats, and many threats are without 
obvious or readily available solutions. NGOs are conducting 
conservation efforts including educational programs and reforestation; 
however, these efforts are not adequately mitigating the threats to 
these species. We expect that these species will continue to experience 
an increased vulnerability to local extirpations into the future. On 
the basis of the best available scientific and commercial data, these 
six species meet the definition of endangered species under the Act, 
rather than threatened species, because these species are in danger of 
extinction at the present time. Therefore, endangered status is 
appropriate for all six species in accordance with the Act.

Status Determination for the Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant

    The total population of the ash-breasted tit-tyrant is estimated to 
be approximately 780 individuals. We have carefully assessed the best 
available scientific and commercial information regarding the past, 
present, cumulative, and potential future threats faced by the ash-
breasted tit-tyrant and have concluded that there are three primary 
factors that threaten the continued existence of the ash-breasted tit-
tyrant: (1) Habitat destruction, fragmentation, and degradation; (2) 
limited size and increasing isolation of remaining populations; and (3) 
inadequate regulatory mechanisms.
    The ash-breasted tit-tyrant population is small and declining, 
rendering the species particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse 
natural events and human activities (e.g., deforestation and habitat 
alteration) that destroy individuals and their habitat. Ongoing human 
activities that curtail the species' habitat throughout its range 
exacerbate the demographic risks associated with small population 
sizes. The population has declined 10-19 percent in the past 10 years, 
and is predicted to continue declining commensurate with ongoing 
habitat loss. Habitat loss was a factor in the ash-breasted tit-
tyrant's historical population decline, and the species is considered 
to be declining today in association with the continued reduction in 
habitat.
    A species may be affected by more than one threat in combination. 
We have identified multiple threats that may have interrelated impacts 
on the species. However, it is not necessarily easy to determine (nor 
is it necessarily

[[Page 43465]]

determinable) which potential threat is the operational threat. These 
threats, either individually or in combination, are occurring at a 
sufficient geographical or temporal scale to significantly affect the 
status of the species.
    Based on the immediate and ongoing threats to the ash-breasted tit-
tyrant throughout its range, as described above, we determine that the 
ash-breasted tit-tyrant is in danger of extinction throughout all of 
its range. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and 
commercial information, we are listing the ash-breasted tit-tyrant as 
endangered throughout all of its range.

Status Determination for the Jun[iacute]n Grebe

    The Jun[iacute]n grebe, a flightless grebe, is endemic to Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, where it resides year-round. The species' population size 
is estimated as 100-300 individuals, although the number of mature 
individuals may be half this amount. We have carefully assessed the 
best available scientific and commercial information regarding the 
past, present, and potential future threats faced by the Jun[iacute]n 
grebe and have concluded that there are four primary factors that 
threaten the continued existence of the Jun[iacute]n grebe: (1) Habitat 
destruction, fragmentation, and degradation; (2) disease; (3) limited 
size and isolation of remaining populations; and (4) inadequate 
regulatory mechanisms.
    Jun[iacute]n grebe habitat continues to be altered by human 
activities, conversion, and destruction of habitat, which reduce the 
quantity, quality, distribution, and regeneration of habitat available 
for the Jun[iacute]n grebe on Lake Jun[iacute]n. Population declines 
have been correlated with water availability, and droughts have caused 
severe population fluctuations that have likely compromised the 
species' long-term viability. The Jun[iacute]n grebe population is 
small and believed to be declining, rendering the species vulnerable to 
the threat of adverse natural events and human activity (e.g., water 
extraction and contaminants from mining) that destroy individuals and 
their habitat. The population has declined 14 percent in the past 10 
years, and this decline is predicted to continue commensurate with 
ongoing threats from habitat destruction and water contamination. Based 
on the immediate and ongoing threats to the Jun[iacute]n grebe 
throughout its range, as described above, we determine that the 
Jun[iacute]n grebe is in danger of extinction throughout all of its 
range. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and 
commercial information, we are listing the Jun[iacute]n grebe as an 
endangered species throughout all of its range.

Status Determination for the Jun[iacute]n Rail

    The Jun[iacute]n rail is a ground-nesting bird endemic to Lake 
Jun[iacute]n, where it resides year-round. The current estimated range 
of the species is 160 km\2\ (62 mi\2\), and its population size is 
estimated to be 1,000-2,499. However, both of these figures are likely 
to be overestimates. We have carefully assessed the best available 
scientific and commercial information regarding the past, present, and 
potential future threats faced by the Jun[iacute]n rail and have 
concluded that there are four primary factors that threaten the 
continued existence of the rail: (1) Habitat destruction, 
fragmentation, and degradation; (2) disease and predation; (3) limited 
size and isolation of remaining populations; and (4) inadequate 
regulatory mechanisms.
    Jun[iacute]n rail habitat continues to be altered by human 
activities, which results in the continued degradation and destruction 
of habitat and reduces the quality and distribution of remaining 
suitable habitat. The Jun[iacute]n rail population is small, increasing 
the species' vulnerability to the threat of adverse natural events 
(e.g., demographic or environmental) and human activities (e.g., water 
contamination, water level manipulation, cattail harvest, and 
overgrazing) that destroy individuals and their habitat. The 
Jun[iacute]n rail population has declined at a rate between 10 and 19 
percent during the past 10 years, and this decline is predicted to 
continue commensurate with ongoing threats from habitat destruction, 
water contamination, overgrazing, and cattail harvest and burning.
    Based on the immediate and ongoing threats to the Jun[iacute]n rail 
throughout its range, as described above, we determine that the 
Jun[iacute]n rail is in danger of extinction throughout all of its 
range. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and 
commercial information, we are listing the Jun[iacute]n rail as an 
endangered species throughout all of its range.

Status Determination for the Peruvian Plantcutter

    The Peruvian plantcutter is endemic to semiarid lowland dry forests 
of coastal northwestern Peru. The species' population size is estimated 
to be 500-1,000 individuals.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present, and potential 
future threats faced by the Peruvian plantcutter and have concluded 
that there are three primary factors that threaten the continued 
existence of the Peruvian plantcutter: (1) Habitat destruction, 
fragmentation, and degradation; (2) limited size and isolation of 
remaining populations; and (3) inadequate regulatory mechanisms.
    Human activities that degrade, alter, and destroy habitat are 
ongoing throughout the Peruvian plantcutter's range. Widespread land 
conversion to agriculture has removed the vast majority of P. pallida 
dry forest habitat throughout the range of the Peruvian plantcutter.
    The Peruvian plantcutter's population is small, rendering the 
species particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse natural events 
and human activities (e.g., deforestation and firewood extraction) that 
destroy individuals and their habitat. Ongoing human activities that 
cause habitat loss throughout the species' range exacerbate the 
stochastic and demographic risks associated with small population 
sizes. The population has been estimated to have declined 1-9 percent 
in the past 10 years, in association with continued habitat loss. 
Habitat loss was a factor in this species' historical decline--the 
Peruvian plantcutter has been extirpated from 11 of its 14 historical 
sites--and the species is considered to be declining today in 
association with the continued reduction in habitat. Based on the 
immediate and ongoing significant threats to the Peruvian plantcutter 
throughout its range, as described above, we determine that the 
Peruvian plantcutter is in danger of extinction throughout all of its 
range. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and 
commercial information, we are listing the Peruvian plantcutter as an 
endangered species throughout all of its range.

Status Determination for the Royal Cinclodes

    The royal cinclodes, a large-billed ovenbird, is native to the 
high-altitude, semihumid Polylepis or Polylepis-Gynoxys woodlands of 
the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes, where it occupies a narrow range of 
distribution at elevations between 3,500 and 4,600 m (11,483 and 12,092 
ft). The species has a highly restricted and severely fragmented range 
and is found only in the Peruvian administrative regions of 
Apur[iacute]mac, Cusco, Jun[iacute]n, and Puno, and in the Bolivian 
Department of La Paz. The population of the royal cinclodes is 
estimated to be fewer than 300 individuals.
    We have carefully assessed the best available scientific and 
commercial information regarding the past, present,

[[Page 43466]]

and potential future threats faced by the royal cinclodes and have 
concluded that there are three primary factors impacting the continued 
existence of the royal cinclodes: (1) Habitat destruction, 
fragmentation, and degradation; (2) limited size and isolation of 
remaining populations; and (3) inadequate regulatory mechanisms. Only 
2-3 percent of the dense Polylepis woodlands preferred by the species 
likely remain (ABC 2010, p. 1). Limited by the availability of suitable 
habitat, the species occurs today only in some of these fragmented and 
disjunct locations. Royal cinclodes habitat is particularly vulnerable 
to the drying effects associated with diminished forest cover. Because 
the royal cinclodes population is small and declining, the species is 
particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse natural events (e.g., 
demographic or environmental) and human activities (e.g., deforestation 
and habitat alteration) that destroy individuals and their habitat. The 
population has declined 30-49 percent in the past 10 years, and is 
predicted to continue declining commensurate with ongoing habitat loss.
    Based on the immediate and ongoing threats to the royal cinclodes 
throughout its range, as described above, we determine that the royal 
cinclodes is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. 
Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial 
information, we are listing the royal cinclodes as an endangered 
species throughout all of its range.

Status Determination for the White-browed Tit-spinetail

    The white-browed tit-spinetail is restricted to high-altitude 
woodlands of the Peruvian Andes. The species has a highly restricted 
and severely fragmented range, and is currently known from only a small 
number of sites in the Apur[iacute]mac and Cusco regions in south-
central Peru. The population of the white-browed tit-spinetail is 
estimated to be approximately 500 to 1,500 individuals. We have 
carefully assessed the best available scientific and commercial 
information regarding the past, present, and potential future threats 
faced by the white-browed tit-spinetail. There are three primary 
factors impacting the continued existence of the white-browed tit-
spinetail: (1) Habitat destruction, fragmentation, and degradation; (2) 
limited size and isolation of remaining populations; and (3) inadequate 
regulatory mechanisms.
    Widespread deforestation and the conversion of forests for grazing 
and agriculture have led to the fragmentation of habitat throughout the 
range of the white-browed tit-spinetail. Researchers estimate that only 
one percent of the dense Polylepis woodlands preferred by the species 
remain. Limited by the availability of suitable habitat, the species 
occurs today only in a few fragmented and disjunct locations. The 
species' severely restricted range, combined with its small population 
size, renders it particularly vulnerable to the threat of adverse 
natural and manmade (e.g., deforestation, habitat alteration, wildfire) 
events that destroy individuals and their habitat. The species has 
experienced a population decline of between 10 and 19 percent in the 
past 10 years, and is predicted to continue declining commensurate with 
ongoing habitat loss and degradation. Based on the immediate and 
ongoing threats to the white-browed tit-spinetail throughout its range, 
as described above, we determine that the white-browed tit-spinetail is 
in danger of extinction throughout all of its range. Therefore, on the 
basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we 
are listing the white-browed tit-spinetail as an endangered species 
throughout all of its range.

Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Act include recognition, requirements for Federal 
protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition 
through listing results in public awareness, and encourages and results 
in conservation actions by Federal and State governments, private 
agencies and interest groups, and individuals.
    Section 7(a) of the Act, as amended, and as implemented by 
regulations at 50 CFR part 402, requires Federal agencies to evaluate 
their actions within the United States or on the high seas with respect 
to any species that is proposed or listed as endangered or threatened.
    Section 8(a) of the Act authorizes the provision of limited 
financial assistance for the development and management of programs 
that the Secretary of the Interior determines to be necessary or useful 
for the conservation of endangered and threatened species in foreign 
countries. Sections 8(b) and 8(c) of the Act authorize the Secretary to 
encourage conservation programs for foreign endangered and threatened 
species and to provide assistance for such programs in the form of 
personnel and the training of personnel.
    The Act and its implementing regulations set forth a series of 
general prohibitions and exceptions that apply to all endangered and 
threatened wildlife. As such, these prohibitions would be applicable to 
these species. These prohibitions, under 50 CFR 17.21, in part, make it 
illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States 
to take (take includes to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, 
kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such 
conduct) any endangered wildlife species within the United States or 
upon the high seas; or to import or export; to deliver, receive, carry, 
transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of 
commercial activity; or to sell or offer for sale in interstate or 
foreign commerce any endangered wildlife species. It is also illegal to 
possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife 
that has been taken in violation of the Act. Certain exceptions apply 
to agents of the Service and State conservation agencies.
    Permits may be issued to carry out otherwise prohibited activities 
involving endangered and threatened wildlife species under certain 
circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 
17.22 for endangered species. With regard to endangered wildlife, a 
permit may be issued for the following purposes: For scientific 
purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, and 
for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities.

Required Determinations

Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    This final rule does not contain any new collections of information 
that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This rule will not impose new 
recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, 
individuals, businesses, or organizations. We may not conduct or 
sponsor, and you are not required to respond to, a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental 
impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be 
prepared in connection with regulations adopted under section 4(a) of 
the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this

[[Page 43467]]

determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 
49244).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this rule is available 
on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request from the 
Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

Authors

    The primary authors of this final rule are the staff members of the 
Branch of Foreign Species, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

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

Regulation Promulgation

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

PART 17--[AMENDED]

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

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


0
2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) by adding entries for ``Cinclodes, royal'', 
``Grebe, Jun[iacute]n'', ``Plantcutter, Peruvian'', ``Rail, 
Jun[iacute]n'', ``Tit-spinetail, white-browed'', and ``Tit-tyrant, ash-
breasted'' in alphabetical order under Birds to the List of Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife, as follows:


Sec.  17.11  Endangered and threatened wildlife.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Species                                                    Vertebrate
--------------------------------------------------------                        population where                                  Critical     Special
                                                            Historic range       endangered or         Status      When listed    habitat       rules
           Common name                Scientific name                              threatened
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Birds............................
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Cinclodes, royal.................  Cinclodes aricomae..  Bolivia, Peru......  Entire.............  E                       799           NA           NA
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Grebe, Jun[iacute]n..............  Podiceps              Peru...............  Entire.............  E                       799           NA           NA
                                    taczanowskii.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Plantcutter, Peruvian............  Phytotoma raimondii.  Peru...............  Entire.............  E                       799           NA           NA
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Rail, Jun[iacute]n...............  Laterallus tuerosi..  Peru...............  Entire.............  E                       799           NA           NA
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Tit-spinetail, white-browed......  Leptasthenura         Peru...............  Entire.............  E                       799           NA           NA
                                    xenothorax.
Tit-tyrant, ash-breasted.........  Anairetes alpinus...  Bolivia, Peru......  Entire.............  E                       799           NA           NA
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

    Dated: June 28, 2012
Daniel M. Ashe,
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-17402 Filed 7-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P