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 15552 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15552 7 hours ago Jeannine Murphy Monterey, CA , US
15551 18 hours ago Tom Canning Calabasas, CA , US
15550 23 hours ago Kathleen Lewis Kiowa, CO , United States
15549 1 day ago Jeannette Welling California, CA , US
15548 1 day ago André Henrique Bacci Cambuquira, Minas Gerais , BR
15547 1 day ago Cj Gainer Washington, WA , US
15546 1 day ago Debra Cassiero Sonoma, CA , US
15545 1 day ago michele rule concord, NH , US
15544 2 days ago Renee Boteilho California, CA , US
15543 2 days ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15542 2 days ago Margaret Tollner Lakewood, CA , US
15541 3 days ago mauricio carvajal Santiago, ot , CL
15540 3 days ago Gary Hileman Hesperia, CA , US
15539 4 days ago Jacki Hileman Hesperia, CA , US
15538 4 days ago Penelope Prochazka Simi Valley, CA , US
15537 4 days ago Jamie Conrad San Leandro, CA , US
15536 4 days ago Jamie Conrad San Leandro, CA , US
15535 4 days ago Pam Shaouy Woodstock, GA , US
15534 4 days ago Jackie Bear Los Angeles, CA , US
15533 4 days ago Tina deKwaadsteniet Los Angeles, CA , US
15532 4 days ago ali smith san francisco, CA , US
15531 4 days ago kajsa ingelsson west h0llywod, CA , US
15530 4 days ago Michelle Carter San Francisco, CA , US
15529 5 days ago glenn Mullins Buena Park , CA , US
15528 5 days ago Anonymous South Gate, CA , US
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Please take action by Jan. 5, 2018.

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

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