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 15235 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15235 7 hours ago Robert Burger Corvallis, OR , US
15234 10 hours ago Eileen Karsten Palm desert , CA , US
15233 15 hours ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15232 15 hours ago vesna antonic Loznica, ot , SP
15231 16 hours ago Linda Kamholz Ocala, FL , US
15230 16 hours ago Sandra Geyer Fallbrook, CA , US
15229 17 hours ago Annie Bruno Farmingville, NY , US
15228 17 hours ago Brenda Hatch Sunbury, NC , AR
15227 18 hours ago Prairie Moser Bandon, OR , US
15226 18 hours ago Jennifer Faulkner Rocky point , NY , US
15225 19 hours ago Marie Fitzsimmons Florida, FL , US
15224 23 hours ago Nicole Loh Mayville, WI , SG
15223 24 hours ago Bellinda Rolf-jansen Other, NL+03 , NL
15222 1 day ago Dobi Dobroslawa estero, FL , US
15221 3 days ago Charlene Young Hermosa Beach, CA , US
15220 3 days ago Vasileios Grigoriou Liverpool, GB+28 , GB
15219 4 days ago JoAnne Kissler Honoluku, HI , US
15218 5 days ago Anonymous Ahwahnee, CA , US
15217 5 days ago Leanne Keane Cranbourne, VIC , AU
15216 5 days ago Natali Y Brighton, MA , US
15215 1 week ago Claire Chambers CA, CA , US
15214 1 week ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15213 1 week ago willem kom hoogezand, ot , NL
15212 1 week ago Kenneth MagaƱa apo, CA , US
15211 1 week ago Christopher Porter Wallasey, ot , GB
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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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