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 19533 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19533 9 hours ago nelson myers harrisburg, PA , GB
19532 17 hours ago April Debolt virginia beach, VA , US
19531 21 hours ago Phillip Pyrtle Mayodan, NC , US
19530 21 hours ago michael farkas oxford, PA , US
19529 1 day ago Maria Martinez Johnson City, NY , US
19528 1 day ago mauricio carvajal Santiago, ot , CL
19527 1 day ago Barbara Britz Berkeley, CA , US
19526 1 day ago Kathy Meteraud poway, CA , UM
19525 2 days ago Natalie Santiago Chula Vista, CA , US
19524 2 days ago Tatiana Fedotova Cherepovets, ot , RU
19523 3 days ago S Gilbreath Valley Mills, TX , US
19522 3 days ago sonja wong Brooklyn, NY , US
19521 3 days ago Cynthia Brooks-Fetty Leoti, KS , US
19520 3 days ago betty almand avondale est., GA , US
19519 3 days ago Valerie Sanderson Lake Mills, IA , US
19518 3 days ago merry thornton Katonah, NY , US
19517 3 days ago susan cooney Bath, ME , US
19516 3 days ago alessandro verzola Vastelmassa (RO), IN , IT
19515 3 days ago Corrina Parker Toowoomba, ot , AU
19514 3 days ago Martin Haunhorst Bonn, ot , DE
19513 3 days ago liron solomon holon, ot , IL
19512 3 days ago alunni ilaria perugia, ot , IT
19511 3 days ago Sampson Chan San Francisco, CA , US
19510 3 days ago Anonymous Rosamond, CA , US
19509 3 days ago Tina Colafranceschi Whitethorn, CA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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