Spotting Manatees During Manatee Season

May 5, 2022

The Florida manatees you will see in Southwest Florida are a subspecies of West Indian manatees, which live in the waters around Florida, the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America. You may even see a female manatee, called a cow, with her baby, or calf. Male manatees are called bulls, but they do not have any kind of paternal presence after mating.

Since manatees have few natural predators and are not territorial, they are fairly solitary and do not need to travel in herds. They will, however, come together in informal groups when they need to share food sources or warm water – the latter of which brings them to the Southwest Florida area.

Although the thick, leathery skin of manatees may suggest otherwise, these docile creatures do not do well when water temperatures dip below 68 ̊F. They are prone to a cold-related disease called cold stress syndrome, which can prove to be fatal.

When the water starts to cool, hundreds of manatees seek shelter along the shores of South Florida.

Southwest Florida is an excellent place to enjoy the animals in a non-captive environment. We host boat tours, which will take you up close and personal to where the manatees will typically be found and you can greet an entire group of manatees from atop the boat while exploring the area and other beautiful natural wildlife that the area has to offer.

The serene waters create a haven for manatees, giving you a unique opportunity to encounter the creatures.

Florida manatees are enormous mammals and should be treated as such. They are peaceful creatures, but please keep your distance if you opt for paddle boarding and you paddle about, and do not travel over resting manatees because they could resurface at any time.

If you accidentally find yourself too close to a sea cow, just slowly paddle back until you are a safe distance away. All in all, if you give them space, avoid touching them and speak quietly in wildlife areas, you are bound to have an incredible manatee-viewing experience. It is never too early to plan your winter vacation – packed with sea cow sightings and an endless list of year-round adventures.

Florida Manatee season started on November 15 and runs through to March 31. As air and water temperatures have been dropping through cold fronts this year, manatees have moved south for warmer water refuge, and slower seasonal speed limits have gone into effect. Boaters are cautioned to be on the lookout for greater numbers of manatees moving into the waterways. When the weather is cold, the majority of manatees can be found in the warm-water refuges. When temperatures are warm, manatees move into surrounding canals and the Intracoastal Waterway to forage, increasing the chance of manatee/boater interaction.

Boaters should be aware that many seasonal manatee protection zones go into effect throughout the state on November 15 and run thru March 31. For information about manatee protection zones by county, including seasonal changes, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website and click on “Data and Maps.” At the bottom of the page there is information on FWC Manatee COLD-weather changes to speed zones.

When in the Naples, Florida area, taking a manatee sightseeing eco tour is a great way to enjoy a close view of Florida wildlife. Manatee Eco-Tours out of Naples is the only sightseeing tour company in the world that sees manatees everyday all year. We offer an informative 90-minute tour that will allow you to see manatees in their natural habitat. It is very likely to also see other types of wildlife, such as alligators, egrets, dolphins, sea turtles and other animals that are indigenous to the area during the tours. The tours take you and your group to the Faka Union Canal, which is part of the Port of the islands and the 10,000 islands.

Naples Manatee Eco-Tours

March 3, 2022

Naples Florida is a paradise for natural wildlife and home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the United States. Located on the Southwest portion of Florida, Naples has a great number of natural visitors, from alligators and big game fish to all kinds of aquatic wildlife. The real attraction is our resident manatees, as Southwest Florida is home to the one of the largest concentration of manatee in North America. We are also one of the only places in Florida where manatees are found year round!

Our eco-tours are designed to be a view of some of the world’s most beautiful natural habitats, with direct access to the beautiful creatures of the region. We take great care to preserve the natural beauty of the Naples, Florida coast that surrounds us, and our manatee population is no exception.

Come by and let us take you on a boat tour to see our family of Florida manatees. We have boats and tours leaving every day and our guides will take you to the manatees in the area, where you can see them playing and swimming in their natural habitat.

Ecotourism offers an opportunity for an increase in education and activism among travelers, making them more effective supporters of conservation.

We offer an informative 90-minute tour that will allow you to see manatees in their natural habitat. It is very likely to also see other types of wildlife, such as alligators, egrets, dolphins, sea turtles and other animals that are indigenous to the area during the tours. The tours take you and your group to the Faka Union Canal, which is part of the Port of the islands and the 10,000 islands.

For more information about the Eco-Tours and manatee sightseeing tours available, please call us today.

Marine Life of Southwest Florida

February 2, 2022

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline and over 30,000 lakes throughout the state.

The Florida marine life is diverse with hundreds of native and non-native species.

One could spend an afternoon in Southwest Florida sailing alongside dolphins and manatees. The winding rivers etched with forests, preserves, keys, and the vast ocean is an eco-tourists dream destination.

All the more reason to visit Southwest Florida beaches.

What can you expect below the surface, soaring through the sky, and burrowing in the sandy beach dunes?

Many planning a trip to Southwest Florida will find delight in knowing they are in walking distance from warm, sunny beaches. reefs and rivers.

You will find a mix of gulls, crabs, and fish. Those seeking a journey into mother nature may come across alligators and freshwater turtles. Plus, our beautiful sea cows: manatees.

Others to look out for include:

  • Echinoderms: Sand dollars, sea cucumber, sea urchin
  • Crabs: Ghost crab, hermit crab, leopard crab
  • Reptiles: Alligators, gopher tortoise, American alligator
  • Fish: Pufferfish, smalltooth sawfish, rays
  • Birds: Pelicans, egret, spoonbill
  • Others: Octopus, jellyfish, sea worms, coral

Be sure to pack a camera — these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see incredible Florida marine life found nowhere else!

The Florida marine life may be beautiful and welcoming but do understand that many are endangered and protected.

This includes:

  • Manatees
  • Alligators
  • Sea turtles
  • Waterfowl

We ask you to look but not touch – not only for their well-being, but to prevent dangers to yourself and hefty fines.

We have protections to prevent overfishing, too, so please make sure to check those out prior to fishing.

Visit us for an eco-tour to see manatees when you are in town. We would love to show you the real side of Florida — one rich in marine life that’s found nowhere else in the world!

See Manatees in Naples Florida

January 1, 2022

Manatees roam the waters of southeast Florida from April through October—but when things get a bit chilly, they head to places like freshwater Florida springs, where the temperatures remain constant throughout the year.

It may not seem warm when you jump into a freshwater spring, but the water temperatures remain around 70 degrees, which is perfect for manatees in Florida who need that kind of warmth to survive.

Seeing a large number of Florida manatees in one place is an amazing experience, but just remember these gentle sea cows are there for survival. Whether you’re on a solo kayaking trip or a manatee swim tour, always mind your “Manatee Manners”— look, but don’t touch.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has produced several videos on interacting with manatees, whether it’s by swimming/snorkeling, boating or kayaking. There’s even information that’s specifically for photographers and videographers.

Remember to respect these precious creatures and the environment in which they live. Naples provides one of the best places to see manatees in their environment. We offer manatee eco-tours and an experienced staff who will take you to see the manatees, while offering important information regarding manatees and their habitat.