UPDATE NOVEMBER 7 2022: Miami Dade County has completed their monthly surveys of the Calusa Rookery. They independently confirmed imperiled nesting of the State Threatened Tricolored Heron. They also confirmed that 6 Tricolored Heron chicks, from 3 different nests, were hatched and raised at the Calusa Rookery during the 2022 nesting season. On November 7, 2022 Mayor Cava issued a statement indicating that the Calusa Rookery MUST be preserved!! See Mayor Cava’s full statement, and the DERM summary report below.
Endangered Florida Bonneted Bats
Using acoustic surveys, high activity of the endangered Florida bonneted bat has been confirmed on the Calusa property, including some social calls. We are disappointed that an emergence study has not been provided to observe potential roosts at sunset. Though the owner/developed has conducted a cavity search and roosting survey, they have not found any roosting on the property. Of note, the property is over 50 acres, which could have increased value and importance as foraging habitat since it may affect the bonneted bats ability to feed and breed. USFWS visited the property in January 2022 but formal consultation/recommendations have not been provided.
An active, multi-species rookery in an area as heavily developed as Kendall/West Kendall is VERY rare! We’ve documented the following species at the Calusa Rookery: snail kite, great egret, snowy egret, cattle egret, tricolored heron, green heron, great blue heron, anhinga, ibis, black necked stilt, black crowned night heron, Federally Threatened wood stork and a rare redhead! We’ve documented nesting for the great egret, cattle egret, tricolored heron and anhinga. This mixed colony of breeding also shows breeding colors and plumage.
The owner’s environmental assessment report dated Feb 2020 (and conducted on Dec 9, 2020) indicates the confirmed presence of the following:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) State Threated (ST): little blue heron and tricolored heron
Miami-Dade County CDMP: little blue heron, tricolored heron, osprey, snowy egret and white ibis
In September 2021, FWC added the State Threatened Tricolored Heron colony nesting in the Calusa Rookery to their map of imperiled wading birds. Link: https://myfwc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b00eccadc9504b96aa4a027b5acd2b99 As a requirement of the approved zoning change, Miami Dade County DERM and the property owner will be surveying the Calusa Rookery from March – August 2022 to determine utilization and nesting.
FWC visited the property in January and April 2022, and formal recommendations have not been provided.
Calusa Rookery 2022 Breeding/Nesting Season
Photo credit: Dennis and Victoria Horn (DV Nature Photography) unless otherwise specified below