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 16380 signatures
Number Date Name Location
16380 4 minutes ago Ann Sandritter Old Bridge, NJ , US
16379 12 minutes ago Margaret Gallagher Bel Air, MD , US
16378 15 minutes ago Shanae Yip Fremont, CA , US
16377 24 minutes ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
16376 29 minutes ago Sheri Hill Santa Maria , CA , US
16375 33 minutes ago Elizabeth Badenhop Powell, OH , US
16374 34 minutes ago Sue Vélez Riverside, NJ , US
16373 37 minutes ago jennifer larkin los angeles, CA , US
16372 42 minutes ago Barbara Sondra Levine South Salem, NY , US
16371 46 minutes ago Jamie Greer West Orange, NJ , US
16370 48 minutes ago Matthew Tarpley McDonough, GA , US
16369 1 hour ago Tela Dionese Hammond, LA , US
16368 1 hour ago Dr. Gloria Bautista Seneca, SC , US
16367 1 hour ago Jenny Peterson madison, WI , US
16366 1 hour ago John Melland Boise, ID , US
16365 1 hour ago Linda Romero Stockholm, ot , SE
16364 1 hour ago Chiara Lo Giudice Essen, ot , DE
16363 1 hour ago Susan zeiger ardsey, NY , US
16362 1 hour ago Jessica Brothers colver, PA , US
16361 2 hours ago Cathy Loewensteib Babylon, NY , US
16360 2 hours ago Heather Bauer Hardy, VA , US
16359 2 hours ago AAMOD WAGH princeton, NJ , US
16358 2 hours ago Denise Mohr Houston, TX , US
16357 3 hours ago Bonnie Hearthstone Vergennes, VT , US
16356 3 hours ago Rebecca Mitchell Wake Forest, NC , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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