Sea Turtles on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a quaint vacation destination that is perfect for seeing wildlife. You can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and retreat to the hidden gem of AMI.

Here, you won’t find high-rises and tons of crowds but will instead be greeted by locals strolling down the street alongside you.

One of the most unique and fun experiences you can have on AMI is watching the sea turtles visit for nesting season. These majestic creatures can sometimes be seen from our beachfront Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, and they offer a one-of-a-kind show that you won’t soon forget!

Anna Maria Island Conservation Partners

From May 1 through October 31, you are likely to come across sea turtles gracing the shores of Anna Maria Island for sea turtle nesting season. Loggerhead sea turtles are typically around 35 inches long and can reach weights of up to 1,000 pounds!

Female sea turtles do not reproduce often, typically laying eggs only every 2-3 years. They will lay 3-6 nests every season, each containing about 100 eggs. While this may seem like a lot, not all of the baby turtles will reach the sea and survive to adulthood, so it is crucial that we do everything we can to ensure the safety of these incredible creatures.

Tour de Turtles

Every year, the Sea Turtle Conservancy hosts the Tour de Turtles. While tracking the satellite location of sponsored sea turtles, they raise awareness for issues such as water quality, light pollution, climate change, plastic debris, illegal sea turtle shell trade, and many others. The turtle that travels the furthest distance in the Tour de Turtles wins! Another way to win is having the most engagement on social media. Every time a turtle is adopted or posted about on Twitter, the engagement is recorded, and at the end of the Tour de Turtles, a “People’s Choice” winner is announced. This is a fun way to get everyone involved and educated so that we can help save these endangered animals. Even if you are unable to donate, please visit their website for more information on sea turtles and how you can help.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch

For 30+ years Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring has coordinated conservation efforts for 12 miles of Manatee County shoreline. In three decades, we monitored 7339 turtle activities, protected 4454 nests, 301, 694 turtle eggs, and watched 271,680 hatchlings depart to become a future generation of loggerheads that will return to the region as they reach maturity — in about 30 years.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch offers an “Adopt-A-Turtle” program where donors can adopt a turtle to benefit their local School Educational Programs, Public Awareness Campaigns and the production of educational materials.

Turtle Conservation

Six of the seven sea turtle species worldwide are considered endangered. It is up to us to make sure these turtles are safe, particularly when they come to shore to nest so that we can all enjoy their company for years to come! One of the biggest issues facing nesting turtles is light pollution. If you select a beachfront rental, be sure to turn off your porch lights at night. Hatching turtles use the moonlight to make their way to the water, and artificial lights can distract them on their journey.

A few additional tips to make sure we’re keeping our turtles safe:

  • Don’t use flashlights, lanterns or camera flashes on the beach at night.
  • Never touch a sea turtle. It’s against the law! Be sure to collect any garbage you may see on the shore
  • If you spot a sea turtle, enjoy the view, but keep your distance!

Plan Your Visit

We love doing our part to keep AMI beautiful for humans and animals alike. For more information on booking your Anna Maria vacation rental, contact us today!

Of all the things to do on Anna Maria Island, spotting the sea turtle migration is a truly unforgettable experience. From May through October, these creatures bring a new life to our shores, and we are able to help them on their journey through our conservation efforts. At Mainsail, we are proud to be environmentally conscious and customer-friendly when it comes to our Anna Maria Island property management services.