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 15089 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15089 19 hours ago Anneliese Lipinski Somerset, NJ , US
15088 1 day ago Christopher Porter Wallasey, ot , GB
15087 5 days ago Marcia Leone Concord, CA , US
15086 5 days ago Natalie Beatty WA, WA , US
15085 6 days ago Sarah Payette Macomb, MI , US
15084 6 days ago Yael Shimshon Jerusalem, ot , IL
15083 6 days ago Cheryl Carney TX, TX , US
15082 7 days ago Laura Thompson CALIFORNIA, CA , US
15081 1 week ago terri pigford Dayton, OH , US
15080 1 week ago kendra cope PA, PA , US
15079 1 week ago Cindy Knapp Ravenswood , WV , US
15078 1 week ago Marcia Leone Concord, CA , US
15077 1 week ago sapna johari NOIDA, IN , IN
15076 1 week ago Amanda Cruise France, MT , FR
15075 1 week ago Dominique Nemo Paris, ot , FR
15074 1 week ago Amy Frost Bozeman, MT , US
15073 1 week ago Antonio Delgado Fenoy Torre del Mar (Malaga). SPAIN, ot , ES
15072 1 week ago Diane Schwarz Cheverly, MD , US
15071 1 week ago Sonia Romero Villanueva Sant Adrian del Besos, ot , ES
15070 1 week ago Anonymous Wilkes Barre, PA , US
15069 1 week ago Kim Sellon New Providence, NJ , US
15068 1 week ago Nicole Loh Singapore, ot , SG
15067 1 week ago Sylwia Zielinska Zambrow, ot , PL
15066 1 week ago Susanna Askins Oregon, OR , US
15065 1 week ago ELIZABETH WIRTZ IL, IL , 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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