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 14715 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14715 28 minutes ago Sharon Saba Brighton, CO , US
14714 31 minutes ago Shari Krueger Downers Grove, IL , US
14713 34 minutes ago Anonymous Reston, VA , US
14712 2 hours ago Mary Proteau Los Angeles, CA , US
14711 1 day ago Anonymous Bucharest, ot , RO
14710 2 days ago THEODORE SPACHIDAKIS PIRAEUS, ot , GR
14709 3 days ago Leslie Blanchard Texas, TX , US
14708 3 days ago Dolores Bonanno Town : Birkirkara, ot , MT
14707 3 days ago robert dowling bx nyc, NY , US
14706 3 days ago Sean Kallal CA, CA , US
14705 3 days ago Sharon Baily Charlottesville, VA , US
14704 3 days ago Debi Darnell Grimsley , TN , US
14703 3 days ago Anonymous east, PA , US
14702 4 days ago Ashling McGrath Jefferson, LA , US
14701 4 days ago Paul McCarthy Scotia, NY , US
14700 4 days ago Wayne Langley Texas, TX , US
14699 5 days ago Geniece Medsker Sparta, NJ , US
14698 5 days ago Stephen Spieckerman Waukesha, WI , US
14697 6 days ago Carol Papworth WA, WA , US
14696 6 days ago Tricia Hamilton Shirley, NY , US
14695 6 days ago Anonymous Staten Island, NY , US
14694 7 days ago Linda Polinski Pittsburgh, PA , US
14693 1 week ago Gloria Stacholy Coral Gables, FL , US
14692 1 week ago Sarah Sivro Geneva , ot , CH
14691 1 week ago Stephanie Vlahos Boston, MA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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