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 15267 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15267 10 hours ago Heidi Mitchell Teasdale, UT , US
15266 11 hours ago Megan Baker MO, MO , US
15265 14 hours ago Marianna Sandulescu MI, MI , US
15264 17 hours ago Marjorie Clisson grand champ, ot , FR
15263 17 hours ago gordon scott FL, FL , US
15262 18 hours ago Anonymous PA, PA , US
15261 19 hours ago James Carmean O'Fallon, MO , US
15260 20 hours ago Shelley Toye Gales Ferry, CT , US
15259 22 hours ago Michelle Carr NC, NC , US
15258 22 hours ago Hilde Nagels Schilde, ot , BE
15257 1 day ago Simon Martin Zermatt, ot , CH
15256 1 day ago Hillie Janssen RMV, CA , US
15255 1 day ago pam truscott redding, CA , US
15254 1 day ago Terry Wallerstedt St. Joseph, MO , US
15253 1 day ago Terry Wallerstedt St. Joseph, MO , US
15252 1 day ago Joan Arnold Madison, WI , US
15251 1 day ago Mary caputi Mt Prospect, IL , US
15250 1 day ago Leslie Bow Oro Valley, AZ , US
15249 1 day ago Annette Ondre-Wysocki Montague, MA , US
15248 1 day ago Yvette Lantz MYRTLE BEACH, SC , US
15247 1 day ago Linda Mountain Roswell, NM , US
15246 1 day ago Roberta Kessler Crest Hill, IL , US
15245 1 day ago Roberta Kessler Crest Hill, IL , US
15244 1 day ago Doug Gemmell Everett, WA , US
15243 1 day ago Patricia A Lenzen Vancouver, WA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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