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 14660 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14660 5 hours ago Marcelo Thurman Chicago, IL , US
14659 7 hours ago Sunny Roberts Austin, TX , US
14658 11 hours ago Andrew Weaver CA, CA , US
14657 13 hours ago Anonymous east, PA , US
14656 13 hours ago Bonnie Svec MD, MD , US
14655 3 days ago Sandra flemisch Dossenheim , ot , DE
14654 4 days ago Audrey Vales Sèvres, ot , FR
14653 4 days ago Carol Garde Sunrise, FL , US
14652 4 days ago Carolina Marin Bogota, ot , CO
14651 4 days ago kent lennox san francisco, CA , US
14650 4 days ago Kelly McColl El Cajon, CA , US
14649 5 days ago Isaac Wollman San Luis Obispo, CA , US
14648 5 days ago dennis racey iron station, NC , US
14647 5 days ago Michele CartaFalsa TX, TX , US
14646 5 days ago Margherita Montanari Florence, ot , IT
14645 5 days ago terri pigford OH, OH , US
14644 6 days ago MERI ROEDER WI, WI , US
14643 6 days ago William G Gonzalez Suffern, NY , US
14642 6 days ago Rebecca Harper California, CA , US
14641 6 days ago lynn thorensen santa cruz, CA , US
14640 6 days ago Richard Spotts Saint George , UT , US
14639 6 days ago Olena Fedorova Cape town, ot , ZA
14638 6 days ago myra berario castaic, CA , US
14637 6 days ago wendy van oosterwijck niel, ot , BE
14636 6 days ago judye houle crestline, CA , 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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