Whether you enjoy birding, kayaking, hiking, or touring zoos, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife on your Marco Island vacation! Our Top 5 Spots range from all kinds of activities like paddling the Marco River or exploring the Everglades. There are few places in Florida that are as rich in natural and protected lands as Marco Island and the nearby wildlife areas.
If you’re interested in learning more about the wildlife you see, there are also plenty of Marco Island Eco Tours that appeal to different guests and activity levels. Take out a wave runner and explore the 1000 Islands with a guide, or jump on an air boat and glide around the swamps in search of alligators and manatees.
But aside from these great vacation experiences, Marco Island residents take conservation and protection of wildlife very seriously. Their job is more important than ever after the past storms, and every guest should know of their hard-work and dedication to making Marco Island an amazing place to live and tourist destination.
Rescuing Wildlife After Hurricane Irma
Irma drastically impacted the wildlife in multiple regions including Marco Island. Animals in many parts of Florida were either evacuated or moved to safe areas, while many species faced immediate threats. Sea life such as nurse sharks and loggerhead sea turtles from the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea were actually sent to Atlanta to be out of harms way before the storm hit.
Many communities also used the resources they had to keep their animals safe. Storm surges caused the tides to move in and out drastically, putting many sea creatures in danger.
Two manatees were found beached in the Sarasota Bay area, and some good Samaritans, along with help from the local sheriff’s department, were able to move the animals back into the water and to safety. The kind-hearted locals used anything they could to safely move these massive animals as quickly as possible to protect their health – even using tarps to drag them from dry land back to safety.
Many were worried about Florida’s large sea turtle population, especially the young turtles and any eggs that may have not hatched as the storm blew through. Luckily, many were able to be transported to somewhere safe. Baby sea turtles were gathered up from the beaches and brought to Georgia for safety.
Dolphins also were in harms way as Irma ripped through the Gulf Coast. A baby dolphin had washed ashore on Marco Island, and a man along with a reporter helped the dolphin back into the water. Less than an hour later, another dolphin was spotted on the beach unable to reach the water. A group of people were able to carry that dolphin back to the water and to safety.
Community groups are still working to rehabilitate animals hurt in the storm. Other organizations and volunteers are working hard on rebuilding the natural habitats for these animals. Marco Island is known for being an area set apart for natural beauty and wildlife viewing, and nothing has changed.
Marco Island is Ready to Warmly Welcome You
Vacationers have nothing to worry about when planning a trip to this mecca of wildlife and sunshine. Marco Island is ready to go again, with many rentals booked and businesses booming with activity. As the holiday season continues, you should consider joining us for the beautiful beaches, critically acclaimed restaurants, boutiques and shops. There are many wonderful ways to enjoy your winter vacation and the New Year on Marco Island!
Come enjoy the pleasant warmth of South Florida’s Gulf coast, amidst unspoiled ocean views and fascinating tropical habitats. You’ll find great deals on several extraordinary beachfront vacation condos on Marco Island, so don’t hesitate to plan a trip today!