Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races

Eastern box turtle
Bookmark and Share

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 19767 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19767 54 minutes ago Matthew Hartlieb Mesa, AZ , US
19766 1 hour ago Lara Linnemeier Düsseldorf, ot , DE
19765 3 hours ago donna grace Gulfport, FL , US
19764 21 hours ago Laura Freeney Loranger, LA , US
19763 1 day ago Thomas Piper Laurel, MD , US
19762 1 day ago liron solomon holon, ot , IL
19761 1 day ago Elizabeth Boggess Hammond, IN , US
19760 1 day ago Thomas Kuntz Portsmouth, VA , US
19759 2 days ago Nancy Hauer White Bear Lake, MN , US
19758 2 days ago Martin Haunhorst Bonn, ot , DE
19757 3 days ago Anonymous Williamsport, PA , US
19756 3 days ago Jin Nothmann Owings mills, MD , US
19755 3 days ago Lily Sandoval Pasadena , CA , US
19754 3 days ago Debbi Trudeau Perris, CA , US
19753 3 days ago Wanda Bass Durham, NC , US
19752 3 days ago pETER HAWES London, ot , GB
19751 3 days ago Nick Franklin Palm Springs, CA , US
19750 3 days ago Amanda Braden Bayonne, NJ , US
19749 3 days ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
19748 3 days ago Liane McFetridge Northolt, ot , GB
19747 3 days ago Josefa Arana miami, FL , US
19746 3 days ago Marguerite White dagenham, ot , GB
19745 4 days ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
19744 4 days ago Iovanovici Camelia Timisoara, ot , RO
19743 4 days ago sharron wilmot concord, NH , US
Next ->

*Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

If you have cookies enabled in your Web browser, our action pages will remember your address information for 30 days.