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 19191 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19191 3 hours ago jodi Rodar Springfield, MA , US
19190 3 hours ago Jamie Greer West Orange, NJ , US
19189 3 hours ago Hector Glez oaxaca, ot , MX
19188 3 hours ago Dale Wright Ramona, CA , US
19187 3 hours ago Anonymous Chicago, IL , US
19186 4 hours ago Miriam M Lake Grove, NY , US
19185 4 hours ago Bogdana Leto Los Angeles, CA , US
19184 5 hours ago Lisa Hanckel Boulder, CO , US
19183 5 hours ago Sandra Becker Crystal City, MO , US
19182 6 hours ago BARBARA WILLIAMS New Bern, NC , US
19181 6 hours ago Evgenia Vyatchanin Gainesville, FL , US
19180 6 hours ago Yolanda Figueroa Chicago, IL , US
19179 7 hours ago Kathleen Cameron Merrimack, NH , US
19178 7 hours ago David Herman Elkins Park, PA , US
19177 8 hours ago Anonymous Bethlehem, PA , US
19176 8 hours ago Jim Traweek Springfield, VA , US
19175 9 hours ago Dana Stewart Lakeside, CA , US
19174 10 hours ago Adonnis Goldstein Herndon, VA , US
19173 10 hours ago daen christensen chatsworth, CA , US
19172 11 hours ago Josianne Rigoli la Sarraz, ot , CH
19171 11 hours ago Corey Pane West Hartford, CT , US
19170 12 hours ago Daniel Tham singapore, ot , SG
19169 12 hours ago Arseniy Maximov Moscow, ot , RU
19168 13 hours ago Paulina Sladek Leiden, ot , NL
19167 13 hours ago Steve B Torrance, CA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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