The 2,252 acre land where the smallest of the Puerto Rican coquies lives –the recently discovered coqui llanero- is still owned by the United Status Navy, but it’s manager by te company Forest City and its subsidiary Sabana Seca Land Management, which have a contract to maintain and sell the property.
Last September, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico (DRNA) released a document that preliminarily designated the essential critical natural habitat and the critical natural habitat of the coqui llanero, as part of the process to make this amphibian a species in a critical endangerment state and protect it.
Both of the areas would be banned from urban development and if the DRNA prevails, only the part where that housed the soldiers in the base, which represents 15% of the southern part of the base, could be developed.
The essential critical natural habitat by the DRNA, which refers to the area where the coqui lives, occupies as substantial part of the southern area of the base.
The key of the controversy lies in the critical natural habitat (non-essential), which according to the DRNA occupies the rest of the southern part of the base, except where the soldiers used to live. The critical natural habitat is the area where the species doesn’t live, but that has to be protected so its conditions don’t affect the essential critical natural habitat.