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 19992 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19992 21 hours ago Hirokoj Jones San Fraancisco, CA , US
19991 1 day ago Rev Leslie Martin Celadhan Huntington Station, NY , US
19990 1 day ago Bianca Sodfried Purbach, ot , AT
19989 1 day ago Ivan Snajdar Crikvenica, ot , HR
19988 1 day ago Angela Culver Fort Worth, TX , US
19987 2 days ago Julia Kaloustian San Jose, CA , US
19986 3 days ago rayleen liechti endwell, NY , US
19985 3 days ago Canan Tzelil Beverly Hills, CA , US
19984 3 days ago Judy Malone Billings, MT , US
19983 3 days ago Deidre Digel Montgomery, TX , US
19982 4 days ago Peter Seigars Concord, NH , US
19981 4 days ago Sue Vélez Riverside, NJ , US
19980 4 days ago priscilla grimmett hermitage, TN , US
19979 4 days ago Trautel Schönheit Rudolstadt, ot , DE
19978 4 days ago Pam Lynn Oak Ridge, NJ , US
19977 5 days ago Elisabetta Goss San Canzian d'Isonzo Go Italy, ot , IT
19976 5 days ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
19975 5 days ago Rubi Khilnani San Mateo, CA , US
19974 5 days ago Rubi Khilnani San Mateo, CA , US
19973 5 days ago Patricia PERRON PERRON SEATTLE, WA , US
19972 5 days ago susan laube aguanga, CA , US
19971 5 days ago Anonymous Upland, CA , US
19970 5 days ago Kate Buttles Sedona, AZ , US
19969 5 days ago Celeste Irizarry Summerfield, NC , US
19968 5 days ago mary allen hazel park, MI , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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