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 20718 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20718 14 hours ago Jane Rosen New York, NY , US
20717 18 hours ago Mark Davis Brooklyn, NY , US
20716 1 day ago Anonymous Orange, CA , US
20715 1 day ago Lynnette Barrera La Grange, CA , US
20714 1 day ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20713 2 days ago Anonymous Watertown, MA , US
20712 2 days ago panny constantinou london, ot , GB
20711 2 days ago Martha Comer BOTHELL, WA , US
20710 2 days ago angela bosscher groningen, ot , NL
20709 2 days ago Alexandra Meyer Groebenzell, ot , DE
20708 2 days ago Mishelle Vislisel Denver, CO , US
20707 3 days ago Sheri Minix Descanso, CA , US
20706 3 days ago Naomi Dunlap Henderson, CO , US
20705 3 days ago Terry Roche Harwinton, CT , US
20704 3 days ago Alison Kruk Towson, MD , US
20703 3 days ago Louise Burgess Leander, TX , US
20702 3 days ago Anneliese Lipinski Somerset, NJ , US
20701 3 days ago Doreen Frega Saddle brook, NJ , US
20700 3 days ago jude misurelli hockessin, DE , US
20699 3 days ago Bobbie Vanover Gallipolis, OH , US
20697 3 days ago Anonymous Scotchtown, NY , US
20696 3 days ago Jessica Jean Posner Palmdale, CA , US
20695 3 days ago wandis wilcox aptos, CA , US
20694 3 days ago Andy Murphy Boulder Creek, CA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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