If you see a turtle on the beach is is likely to be either Gopher Tortoises or Box turtles both of which are native to AMI and can be found in the dunes or walking on the beach , they are land turtles and don’t need to be put in the water , in fact they may drown . the easy way to tell is to look for legs vs flippers . Sea turtles have flippers , land turtles have legs .Sea turtles only come up on the beach to Nest or if they are injured they will be in the surfline .
From May 1st to Oct 31 each year, 100% of the shoreline of Anna Maria Island is monitored at dawn by trained , permitted staff. Walkers report the crawls from females from the night before and they are flagged as the walkers pass at dawn. Walkers also report locations of hatchling emergence every morning
If you think you have found an unmarked nest or a hatching that has strayed from the waterline, call Turtle Watch at 941 778 5638