Turtle Nesting Season on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is home to everything you could want on your next Florida getaway: stunning white sand beaches with crystal clear waters, fresh seafood caught just off the shore, and welcoming locals that will show you all the best attractions. However, there is one special time of the year where the island offers a truly unique experience. Sea turtle nesting season is simply not to be missed, and if you stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, you’ll be in the perfect place to spot these incredible creatures!

When is Sea Turtle Nesting Season?

Anna Maria Island sea turtles make their nests from the beginning of May to the end of October. This is the most common time for travelers on AMI, and the fact that it coincides with the nesting season is all the more exciting! During these months, you’re likely to see sea turtles come onto shore to build their nests and lay their eggs. Towards the end of the sea turtle season, you might spot the young hatchlings breaking free of their shells and making their way into the water!

Anna Maria Island often sees five species of sea turtles during turtle nesting season, but by far the most common species is the Loggerhead. If you see something in the water with a reddish-brown shell and a very big head, you’ve likely spotted one of these turtles!

sea turtle

Why is Turtle Nesting Season Important?

Across the world, six of the seven species of sea turtles are classified as either threatened or endangered. As such, it is our responsibility to make sure they have a proper habitat to live and raise their families. Many of the reasons why sea turtles are endangered are due to human activity, such as poaching, over-exploitation, and accidental capture in fishing gear. Sea turtles are vital to our marine ecosystems, as they help control sponge distribution, transport nutrients, and take part in many other vital roles in protecting the Gulf of Mexico.

Many visitors come to Anna Maria Island to turtle watch, which is a big help to the local economy. Doing everything in our power to protect the sea turtles not only benefits our local businesses, but it also helps to ensure that the turtles will continue to visit the Anna Maria Island beaches for decades to come. It’s up to all of us, locals and visitors alike, to observe the turtles from a distance and make sure they are as comfortable as possible.

How Can You Help?

Anna Maria Island has multiple rules and regulations in place to ensure the safety of the sea turtles. If you’re on the beach and you happen to see a sea turtle or a nest, maintain your distance. With today’s cameras, you don’t have to get close to get a good picture! We urge you to remain at least 50 feet away from turtles and nests. If you do choose to take a picture, please make sure your flash is off. This bright light can disorient the turtles and cause them to get confused and lose their way.

Speaking of light, if you have an outdoor light on your vacation rental, be sure to turn it off at nighttime. These lights cause a particular headache for young sea turtles that are making their way to the ocean for the first time. Once you’re done visiting the beach, toss any trash that you may have brought with you, and take all of your beach equipment back into your rental overnight.

Of all the things to do on Anna Maria Island, watching sea turtles is one of the most unique and fun. Contact us today to see which Anna Maria Island rentals will be available during this year’s turtle nesting season!


Mainsail Vacation Rentals
5325 Marina Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL 34217


Homes & Villas by Marriott International


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