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 14414 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14414 8 hours ago mary shabbott punta gorda, FL , US
14413 10 hours ago Jessica Jean Posner Palmdale, CA , US
14412 1 day ago Jessica Tavaglione NJ, NJ , US
14411 1 day ago Debbie Neimark Chicago, IL , US
14410 2 days ago Anonymous Crescent City, CA , US
14409 3 days ago diana koeck Costa Mesa, CA , US
14408 3 days ago Linda Grier Norcross, GA , US
14407 3 days ago Emma Rivera Maple Plain, MN , US
14406 3 days ago Ruth Goldstein Berkeley, CA , US
14405 3 days ago Richard Spotts Saint George, UT , US
14404 3 days ago Anonymous east, PA , US
14403 3 days ago Ivan Nikanorov Moscow, ot , RU
14402 4 days ago Kathy Gonzalez Albuquerque, NM , US
14401 4 days ago Jan Repp B.P., CA , US
14400 4 days ago Karen Tucker Tunbridge Wells, ot , GB
14399 4 days ago Constance Hamilton ELMIRA, NY , US
14398 5 days ago lisa manthey tyrone , GA , US
14397 5 days ago Lary McKee Gervais, OR , US
14396 5 days ago Mishka Chudilowsky California, CA , US
14395 5 days ago cindra broenner fairfield, OH , US
14394 5 days ago Rosa Jordan-Guzman Post Falls, ID , US
14393 5 days ago Jean Gillespie Prairie Du Sac, WI , US
14392 5 days ago Marina Conde Outside US, ot , MX
14391 5 days ago Mary Dosch Elburn, IL , US
14390 5 days ago M. T. Riverside, CA , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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