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 18875 signatures
Number Date Name Location
18875 1 hour ago LUKE HANSEN Hood River, OR , US
18874 1 hour ago LUKE HANSEN Hood River, OR , US
18873 7 hours ago Amber Still Bellingham, WA , US
18872 9 hours ago darlene reynolds katy, TX , US
18871 12 hours ago Siegfried Hellring Dumont, NJ , US
18870 12 hours ago pauline wolf finley, ND , US
18869 14 hours ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
18868 22 hours ago Angie Hris Athens, NY , GR
18867 23 hours ago Tanya Krusko Miami, FL , US
18866 23 hours ago Melinna Ruiz Chula Vista, CA , US
18865 1 day ago Karina Dansie Sandy, UT , US
18864 1 day ago Stephanie Ferrotti East Northport, NY , US
18863 1 day ago Denise Griffin Mobile, AL , US
18862 1 day ago Mitzi Toth Savannah, GA , US
18861 1 day ago Sheryl Greenhouse Ontario, CA , US
18860 1 day ago Jody Meadows Marblehead, MA , US
18859 1 day ago Nuria Vergara Torredembarra, ot , ES
18858 1 day ago Stacy Neudahl Fridley, MN , US
18857 1 day ago nelson myers harrisburg, PA , GB
18856 1 day ago Dani Muscardelli Johnstown, PA , US
18855 1 day ago Joanne M Lester, PA , US
18854 1 day ago Melanie Fritz Weingarten, ot , DE
18853 1 day ago alunni ilaria perugia, ot , IT
18852 2 days ago Michael Schaper Conyers, GA , US
18851 2 days ago Anonymous Porto, ot , PT
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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