Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races

Eastern box turtle
Bookmark and Share

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 20355 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20355 11 hours ago Miriam Warwick New York, NY , US
20354 1 day ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
20353 2 days ago Jerry Davis Bellingham,, WA , US
20352 2 days ago maria peteinaraki heraklion city creta, CA , GR
20351 3 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
20350 3 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
20349 3 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
20348 3 days ago Alisa Adobajor Moskva, ot , RU
20347 3 days ago Alisa Adobajor Moskva, ot , RU
20346 3 days ago Alisa Adobajor Moskva, ot , RU
20345 3 days ago Anonymous Moskva, ot , RU
20344 4 days ago Jessica Jean Posner Palmdale, CA , US
20343 4 days ago Melania Padilla Managua, ot , NI
20342 5 days ago Aysenur Çömlekci Manisa, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, IA , CA
20341 5 days ago Aysenur Çömlekci Manisa, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, IA , CA
20340 6 days ago Shirley Gilbreath Valley Mills, TX , US
20339 7 days ago debbie mcqueen avon park, FL , US
20338 7 days ago Debby Rising sacramento, CA , US
20337 1 week ago Carol Turton Swansea, MA , US
20336 1 week ago Carol Turton Swansea, MA , US
20335 1 week ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20334 1 week ago George Skiadopoulos Athens, ot , GR
20333 1 week ago Kathryn Cissna Kenmore, WA , US
20332 1 week ago Teri Smyth Mims, FL , US
20331 1 week ago ELLEN HOMSEY Hockessin, DE , US
Next ->

*Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

If you have cookies enabled in your Web browser, our action pages will remember your address information for 30 days.