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 20186 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20186 1 day ago doug miller Ewa Beach, HI , US
20185 1 day ago Drue CAli Calimesa, CA , US
20184 1 day ago Pam Miller No. Highlands, CA , US
20183 1 day ago Tina Zeeberg Portland, OR , US
20182 2 days ago mr. g. west everett, WA , US
20181 2 days ago Susan Helmstetter Livingston, NJ , US
20180 2 days ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20179 2 days ago Missy Kendrick Valdosta, GA , US
20178 3 days ago Anonymous Orange, CA , US
20177 3 days ago Rachel Church Apopka, FL , US
20176 4 days ago Faith Strailey Quincy, CA , US
20175 4 days ago Kyle myers cohasset, CA , US
20174 4 days ago Kyle myers cohasset, CA , US
20173 4 days ago Veronica Reyes Chatsworth, GA , US
20172 4 days ago Loretta Olsen Wilmington, OH , US
20171 5 days ago Shalise Wilson Roseville, CA , US
20170 5 days ago Maria Nowicki San Francisco, CA , US
20169 5 days ago Lynne Elmer Lafayette, NY , US
20168 5 days ago Armida Franceschini Ramona, CA , US
20167 5 days ago norma loftis forestville, MD , US
20166 5 days ago Sheryl Erickson JAX, FL , US
20165 5 days ago Debbie Sparks Gretna, LA , US
20164 5 days ago Antonio Triana Cortland, NY , US
20163 5 days ago Dianne och Devonport, ot , AU
20162 6 days ago James Burge Foster, RI , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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