Die-off of freshwater turtles prompts FWC to investigate
The die-off began five months ago.
Freshwater turtles began turning up dead along the St. Johns River in January. Now about 100 dead or dying turtles have been found in water bodies in Orange, Seminole and Putnam counties. A few reports have come in from other locations, such as Trout Lake near Eustis in Lake County.
Examinations of the turtles and tests of their tissues have, at this point, failed to pinpoint a cause of death, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. There were no obvious signs of injury.
Now the commission has officially opened an investigation, in collaboration with the University of Florida, and is asking the public for help. Anyone who finds a dead turtle should contact the agency’s Fish Kill hotline at toll-free 1-800-636-0511 or submit an online report at MyFWC.com/FishKill.