FWC asking public to help monitor freshwater turtles in Central Florida

Public can report sightings of sick turtles at 352-339-8597


BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking the public to help them monitor freshwater turtles in Central Florida.

FWC officials said a fatal viral disease continues to impact the turtles.

Cases of the virus started in the St. Johns River watershed around 2018.

The cases have now reached the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, according to FWC.

The FWC is collecting samples of turtles and cooters from wildlife rehabilitation centers.

The samples will be tested by project collaborators, according to the FWC.

The FWC is asking anyone to report sightings of sick or dead turtles to the FWC by calling the Turtle Hotline at 352-339-8597.

Officials said a turtle may be sick if you see it at the water’s edge with its neck stretched out on the ground or the turtle is reluctant to move when approached.

Another way to tell if a turtle is sick is if its eyes are swollen or remain closed.

The FWC wants to remind people to not attempt to move the turtles.

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