Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races

Eastern box turtle

Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under 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 populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced in small towns across the country.

It's easy to believe little harm is done when turtles are caught, then released into the wild after 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 led to 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.

Sign our petition and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.


1-25 of 14417 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14417 1 hour ago Jenny See Grinnell, IA , US
14416 5 hours ago Kathryn Pierce Syracuse, NY , US
14415 10 hours ago massimo marchesini torino, ot , IT
14414 14 hours ago victor hemmy III honolulu, HI , US
14413 14 hours ago victor hemmy III honolulu, HI , US
14412 18 hours ago Karen Howard Blaine, WA , US
14411 1 day ago Debra Corbett IN, IN , US
14410 1 day ago Mark House Machesney Park, IL , US
14409 1 day ago Sally Chewter Phoenix, AZ , US
14408 1 day ago Charlotte Gardiner Virginia, VA , US
14407 1 day ago Charlotte Gardiner Virginia, VA , US
14406 2 days ago Patricia Araceli Martinez Baez mexco, ot , MX
14405 3 days ago S Holtz Colorado, CO , US
14404 3 days ago Polly Cockrill ME, ME , US
14403 4 days ago liberty michaels new paltz, NY , US
14402 4 days ago Maureen Fudger Lisle, NY , US
14401 4 days ago abigail andrade SP, ot , BR
14400 4 days ago Sylviane Mahaux Boynton Beach, FL , US
14399 4 days ago Jillian Towner McBride , MI , US
14398 4 days ago iwona bernard Illinois, IL , US
14397 4 days ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
14396 4 days ago Andi Delorenzo Setauket, NY , US
14395 4 days ago Chantal Geest State *, ot , BE
14394 4 days ago Lary McKee Oregon, OR , US
14393 5 days ago ARLEN TUCKER atlanta, GA , US
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Please take action by Jan. 5, 2017.

Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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