Adopt an Animal

Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s 110,000 acres are home to a wide variety of wildlife. YOU can help protect them! Symbolically adopt a bird, dolphin, sea star, sea turtle or shark. Your contribution provides critical support for education, research and conservation.


Dolphin | Adopt An Animal | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Bottlenose dolphins are the most common dolphin species found in the Reserve. Navigating by using a series of clicking sounds that travel throughout the water, dolphins can tell size, shape, and location of objects. Dolphins can be seen in Rookery Bay often feeding on mullet, one of its favorite foods.


Funds will support the Reserve’s Stewardship Department interns and conservation efforts.



More than 150 species of birds call the Reserve home, migrate to the area in the winter or stop to rest while migrating to South America. Since 2000, Rookery Bay staff has annually monitored coastal colonies and used the data to protect critical nesting habitats.


Funds will support the Reserve’s Research Department Avian Program, including interns,  equipment and other resources. 



South Florida is home to many species of sharks, skates and rays. The five most common species of sharks include the bull shark, bonnethead shark, lemon shark, blacktip shark and nurse shark. Monitoring and research is ongoing in the Reserve to learn more about how sharks use the estuaries as nursery grounds.


Funds will support the Reserve’s Research Department Shark Monitoring Program, including interns, acoustic tags and other equipment.

Sea Star


Sea stars have five or more arms, each with hundreds of tube feet, that are used for movement and feeding.  Visit the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center’s touch tank to see this fascinating creature firsthand.


Funds will support the Reserve’s Education and Facility Departments, including interns and animal care for the Reserve’s touch tank and aquaria.

Sea Turtle


There are seven species of sea turtles in the world, two of which can be found within Rookery Bay: the Loggerhead and the Green Turtle. They nest on our the beaches each year from May until September and migrate thousands of miles annually! Though these turtles can produce around 100 eggs every 2 weeks throughout the season, only 1 in every 1,000 hatchlings actually survive to adulthood.


Funds will support the Reserve’s Sea Turtle Research Program for the resources, supplies and interns.