Perico Preserve was opened just recently in 2016 and has quickly become one of the most exciting free outdoor family friendly attractions near Anna Maria Island.
The preserve is located right off Anna Maria Island and can be reached by traveling just across the Manatee Avenue Bridge, near most Anna Maria Island Florida rentals.
The 175-acre restored preserve is now a wildlife sanctuary for native plants and wildlife. It has an interesting story behind its recent launch.
With extraordinary coastal scenery, sprawling maritime habitats and fascinating flora and fauna it still remains a bit of hidden gem.
A massive transformation
Although it only recently opened, Perico Preserve underwent a massive transformation in recent years. A large amount of research and planning was required when it came to selecting the area and prepping it to become a wildlife habitat.
Originally farmland, it was transformed into coastal wetlands, upland terrain and scrub hills that now provide an important habitat and breeding ground for the region’s bird species.
Exotic plant species such as the Brazilian pepper and Australian pine tree were removed from the area to allow native species to thrive.
Volunteers and local organizations worked painstakingly over the years to remove other invasive plants and restore native species. The project included planting over 100 different species and containerized native trees and shrubs.
The transformation was incredible, and now it is a unique site where you can view a vast range of native plant, bird, and fish species including ospreys, herons, egrets, ducks, pelicans and eagles.
A looped walking trail allows you to view these fascinating birds from a distance without disturbing them and takes you through beautiful salt and freshwater marshes, forested hammocks, and uplands scrub.
Throughout your walk, you’ll find plenty of benches, swings and overlooks to relax, take in the views and connect with nature.
A delicate nesting site
It’s important to remember that the Perico Preserve is a delicate nesting site for some of the area’s most precious and rare bird species.
As a result, pets are not allowed with the exception of service animals. Bicycles are also only allowed on designated bike trails at the preserve.
The purpose of these protections is to allow the local wildlife and birds to have the greatest chance of breeding and successfully rearing their young.
Traveling through the preserve on foot is highly recommended and will allow you to fully explore the preserve and birdwatching areas.
Visit the Perico Preserve during your next Anna Maria Island vacation
No matter which of the available Anna Maria Island house rentals you choose to reserve for your next vacation, you’ll be able to reach Perico Preserve within minutes.
If you’re interested in the local wildlife and birds, getting some hiking exercise, and seeing one of the more incredible habitats around the island, you won’t want to miss it.
With a convenient location and breathtaking scenery, don’t hesitate to make a plan to visit the Perico Preserve during your next Anna Maria Island beach vacation.