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Wildlife and Habitat

by savecalusa

Endangered Florida Bonneted Bat

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/recommendation is not yet available.

Calusa Rookery

Calusa Rookery

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 are not yet available.

UPDATE JULY 2022: FWC and Miami Dade County DERM have both confirmed State Threatened Tricolored Heron nests (with eggs) at the Calusa Rookery. After this, caring local residents including Ron Magill, also photographed the first Tricolored Heron chick, and then two fledglings from a different nest! The County has their next planned monthly survey of the Rookery in late July. Surveys will continue until at least August, then the owner/developer will submit a revised development plan to the County for their approval. We will continue to monitor closely, but do expect the Calusa Rookery to be preserved now that imperiled nesting has been independently confirmed!

Calusa Rookery 2022 Breeding/Nesting Season

Photo credit: Dennis and Victoria Horn (DV Nature Photography) unless otherwise specified below

Tricolored Heron (with Cattle Egrets)

Calusa Rookery 2021 Breeding/Nesting Season

Photo credit: Dennis and Victoria Horn (DV Nature Photography)