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 15200 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15200 11 hours ago Merryl Lentz California, CA , US
15199 1 day ago Anonymous Indianapolis, IN , US
15198 1 day ago C Brown Scotch Plains, NJ , US
15197 3 days ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15196 4 days ago Lilly Kohler Reichenhall, ot , DE
15195 5 days ago Jacqueline O'Connor Sierra Vista, CA , US
15194 5 days ago David Ramirez Sugar Land , TX , US
15193 5 days ago Margaret Adam Twentynine Palms, CA , US
15192 6 days ago Jerri Jarvis PA, PA , US
15191 7 days ago Gene and Dori Peters Sun City, AZ , US
15190 1 week ago Audrey Farrelly London , ot , GB
15189 1 week ago Andrew Sulay Dnipropetrovsk, ot , UA
15188 1 week ago Kelly Lund Malmö, ot , SE
15187 1 week ago Michelle Fuca Saratoga Springs, NY , US
15186 1 week ago Toni Solano Fort Worth, TX , US
15185 1 week ago Arleen Ferrell Marmarth , ND , US
15184 1 week ago Lorien Dancer Lakewood, CO , US
15183 1 week ago Dennis Kaplan Ohio, OH , US
15182 1 week ago Andre Walter Austin, TX , US
15181 1 week ago Debbie Neimark Chicago, IL , US
15180 1 week ago Fernando Pueblo San Diego, CA , US
15179 1 week ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
15178 1 week ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15177 1 week ago Diane Hayward BC, BC , CA
15176 2 weeks ago Lorrie Jamison CO, CO , 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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