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Report Turtles With Shell Lesions


May 26, 2020

Printable Version (pdf, 850kb)

In 2019 the Division received reports from an area of Salem County of severe lesions on the shells of northern red-bellied turtles, a large basking turtle regularly seen in the central and southern portions of the state. It's not clear if turtles in any other areas are affected. We are actively investigating the cause and need the public's help.

Please send reports of any turtle species with lesions to Brian Zarate at

Please include specific information on where the turtle was found, when, how many turtles you saw and any other observations that may be relevant (abnormal behavior, water conditions, dead fish/amphibians in the area). The Division appreciates the cooperation of the public and "citizen scientists."
Red-bellied Turtle
Red-bellied Turtle
Click to enlarge
Turtle shell with lesions
Turtle Shell With Lesions
Click to enlarge

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: May 26, 2020