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“Novel” Virus Investigated In St. Johns Turtle Die-Off

Softshell turtle. Photo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Wildlife authorities say a virus is behind a die-off of some 300 turtles in the St. Johns River.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is describing the virus as “novel.” Toxins related to harmful algae blooms are not believed to be involved.

The die-off began a year ago and spans an area from the river’s headwaters near Palm Bay to Crescent Lake and Palatka to the north.

Lifeless turtles also have been found in Lake Apopka, Cocoa Beach, Eustis and Windermere.

 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »

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