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 20226 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20226 49 minutes ago Denise Griffin Mobile, AL , US
20225 3 hours ago Kim Smith Cicero, NY , US
20224 15 hours ago Sheila Mandell Fort Lauderdale, FL , US
20223 2 days ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20222 2 days ago Kim Martin Arcade, WV , US
20221 2 days ago chenie kaur kuala lumpur, ot , MY
20220 4 days ago david calligeros Nyack, NY , US
20219 4 days ago Cara Ammon Chicago, IL , US
20218 4 days ago Sylvia Coburn Reno, NV , US
20217 5 days ago J. Woodworth Newman Lk., WA , US
20216 5 days ago Denise Beatty SAn Francisco, CA , US
20215 6 days ago Joyce Angleberger Funkstown, MD , US
20214 6 days ago Eugene Linderkamp Tucson, AZ , US
20213 6 days ago Jorge Marques Maia, ot , PT
20212 6 days ago Platto Manuela Agnese rovato brescia, IN , IT
20211 6 days ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20210 6 days ago Tonya Howard Southampton, ot , BM
20209 6 days ago Christelle Michon Paris, ot , FR
20208 6 days ago Marthese Cassar GUDJA, ot , MT
20207 7 days ago Cuauhtémoc González Chípuli Shaker Heights, OH , US
20206 7 days ago Mary Ellen Pallatino Pittsburgh, PA , US
20205 7 days ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
20204 7 days ago C matthews murrieta, CA , US
20203 7 days ago mauricio carvajal Santiago, ot , CL
20202 7 days ago Jason Trentlyon New York, NY , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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