A developer building a Walmart on a tract of disappearing forest between two national parks in south Miami-Dade County should stop all work until a survey of endangered wildlife is completed, federal officials warned this week.
In a strongly worded letter sent to Ram Realty Services, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said at least eight threatened species, including the federally protected Florida bonneted bat and two endangered plants, could inhabit about 140 acres of pine rockland north of Zoo Miami off Coral Reef Drive.
Field Supervisor Craig Aubrey said Ram should first obtain a federal permit before proceeding with any work that could threaten protected species.
“We want to work with them to make sure there’s a project that balances the economic development with the needs of the species there,” Aubrey said. “It’s not just one species. There’s a lot of sensitive resources out there.”