Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races

Eastern box turtle
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Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under terrible pressure from habitat loss, road kill and other threats. But one of those threats could prove fairly simple to tackle: turtle races. Annual turtle races strain native turtle populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced at turtle races held in small towns across the country.

It’s easy to believe little harm is done when turtles caught, then released back into the wild after the races, but the fact is that these races can expose turtles to deadly diseases. Those diseases spread to wild populations when the turtles are released. Ranavirus is a sickness causing particular concern; it has caused widespread turtle, frog and salamander deaths in 25 states.

Many of the threats native turtles face are difficult problems to solve -- but turtle races have an easy fix. Just stop using turtles caught in the wild. Many towns already use creative substitutes for wild-caught turtles, such as river races using rubber turtles or races where people pull toy turtles on strings.

Please take action now: Sign the petition below and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.

1-25 of 14373 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14373 3 hours ago aniza cordova San Pedro, CA , US
14372 5 hours ago Eva Passerini Roma, ot , IT
14371 8 hours ago Laurie Izzo North Haven, CT , US
14370 1 day ago Jessica Likins Seattle, WA , US
14369 1 day ago Rob DeLucca Wausau , WI , US
14368 3 days ago Mary Proteau Los Angeles, CA , US
14367 4 days ago mary ann millay mpls, MN , US
14366 4 days ago Debbie Neimark Chicago, IL , US
14365 4 days ago julia dashe oakland, CA , US
14364 5 days ago terri pigford OH, OH , US
14363 5 days ago Anonymous east, PA , US
14362 5 days ago Sylwia Zielinska Zambrow, PA , PL
14361 5 days ago Lary McKee Gervais, OR , US
14360 5 days ago abela marie AL, AL , FR
14359 5 days ago sandy gardner NV, NV , US
14358 5 days ago Maureen Burke Palm Beach Gardens, FL , US
14357 6 days ago mark davis brooklyn, NY , US
14356 6 days ago Aixa Fielder Los Angeles, CA , US
14355 6 days ago cathy crum Agoura, CA , US
14354 6 days ago Bryna Schreier Burbank, CA , US
14353 6 days ago Danika Pence Florence, KY , UM
14352 6 days ago Valérie M. Horne Austin, TX , US
14351 6 days ago Olena Fedorova Cape town, ot , ZA
14350 7 days ago wendy whyko-marolda oxford, CT , US
14349 1 week ago Wendy Weikel Berkeley, CA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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