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 20013 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20013 8 hours ago Fawn Lynch hickory hills, IL , US
20012 1 day ago RyAnn Stafford Boise, ID , US
20011 1 day ago Alyse Vasil Ocean Isle Beach, NC , US
20010 1 day ago Anonymous easton, PA , US
20009 1 day ago Tiffany Baker Nicholasville, KY , US
20008 3 days ago Anonymous Monheim, ot , DE
20007 3 days ago Dorina Solymar Los Angeles, CA , US
20006 3 days ago surya rajesh hyderabad, ot , IN
20005 4 days ago susanna minacheili thessaloniki, HI , GR
20004 5 days ago Elizabeth Claiborne Tucson, AZ , US
20003 5 days ago Kimberly Myhre Colorado Springs, CO , US
20002 5 days ago Michael Brown Eugene, OR , US
20001 5 days ago sandra klein Obertshausen, ot , DE
20000 6 days ago mr. g. west everett, WA , US
19999 6 days ago B Levy Fort lauderdale, FL , US
19998 6 days ago april barrett amsterdam, OH , US
19997 6 days ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
19996 6 days ago AJ and John Jittipsopa-Zinner Mossyrock, WA , US
19995 6 days ago Roswitha Baughman San Clemente, CA , US
19994 6 days ago Ellen Goodman East Providence, RI , US
19993 7 days ago Melissa Moris Shoreview, MN , US
19992 1 week ago Hirokoj Jones San Fraancisco, CA , US
19991 1 week ago Rev Leslie Martin Celadhan Huntington Station, NY , US
19990 1 week ago Bianca Sodfried Purbach, ot , AT
19989 1 week ago Ivan Snajdar Crikvenica, ot , HR
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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