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 19989 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19989 6 hours ago Ivan Snajdar Crikvenica, ot , HR
19988 6 hours ago Angela Culver Fort Worth, TX , US
19987 10 hours ago Julia Kaloustian San Jose, CA , US
19986 1 day ago rayleen liechti endwell, NY , US
19985 1 day ago Canan Tzelil Beverly Hills, CA , US
19984 1 day ago Judy Malone Billings, MT , US
19983 1 day ago Deidre Digel Montgomery, TX , US
19982 2 days ago Peter Seigars Concord, NH , US
19981 2 days ago Sue Vélez Riverside, NJ , US
19980 2 days ago priscilla grimmett hermitage, TN , US
19979 2 days ago Trautel Schönheit Rudolstadt, ot , DE
19978 3 days ago Pam Lynn Oak Ridge, NJ , US
19977 3 days ago Elisabetta Goss San Canzian d'Isonzo Go Italy, ot , IT
19976 3 days ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
19975 3 days ago Rubi Khilnani San Mateo, CA , US
19974 3 days ago Rubi Khilnani San Mateo, CA , US
19973 3 days ago Patricia PERRON PERRON SEATTLE, WA , US
19972 3 days ago susan laube aguanga, CA , US
19971 3 days ago Anonymous Upland, CA , US
19970 3 days ago Kate Buttles Sedona, AZ , US
19969 3 days ago Celeste Irizarry Summerfield, NC , US
19968 3 days ago mary allen hazel park, MI , US
19967 3 days ago Anonymous Layton, UT , US
19966 3 days ago Nicolás Caballero Sevilla, ot , ES
19965 3 days ago Jerry Rivers Roosevelt, NY , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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