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 14860 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14860 53 minutes ago Maria Juliana Abumrad NA, ot , BR
14859 1 hour ago Anonymous Olivehurst, CA , US
14858 2 hours ago Laura Nowack Earlville, NY , US
14857 19 hours ago JILLSON ELISHA FROST Santa Fe, NM , US
14856 20 hours ago susan parrish Nevada, NV , US
14855 1 day ago Gina Dalvesco Ambridge, PA , US
14854 2 days ago Gabriele Zimmermann Romanshorn, ot , CH
14853 3 days ago Donna Walker Los Angeles, CA , US
14852 3 days ago Dawn Carr Charlotte, NC , US
14851 3 days ago angela fox desert hot springs, CA , US
14850 3 days ago Carrie Moore Oklahoma, OK , US
14849 3 days ago josh pucci VA, VA , US
14848 3 days ago Martin Archer West Wickham, ot , GB
14847 3 days ago Karen Neubert LA, CA , US
14846 3 days ago jon brock dallas, TX , US
14845 3 days ago Melodie Rammer Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA , US
14844 3 days ago Susan Marone Heath, TX , US
14843 3 days ago Demelza Costa Sweet Home, OR , US
14842 3 days ago Michelle Crumb Gilford, NH , US
14841 3 days ago r manek london, ot , GB
14840 3 days ago elisabeth bittremieux herent, belgium, ot , BE
14839 3 days ago Carlo Zucchi Como, ot , IT
14838 3 days ago gregory.a.. clewell seaside heights, NJ , US
14837 3 days ago Angy Hallows NSW, NB , AU
14836 4 days ago Chris Guillory Port Angeles, WA , 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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