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

Softshell turtle. Photo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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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 whose work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. She began her career at The Associated Press. Her book on the Everglades, under contract with Johns Hopkins ... Read Full Bio »

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