Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races

Eastern box turtle

Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under 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 populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced in small towns across the country.

It's easy to believe little harm is done when turtles are caught, then released into the wild after 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 led to 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.

Sign our petition and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.

1-25 of 15195 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15195 8 hours ago Jacqueline O'Connor Sierra Vista, CA , US
15194 12 hours ago David Ramirez Sugar Land , TX , US
15193 13 hours ago Margaret Adam Twentynine Palms, CA , US
15192 2 days ago Jerri Jarvis PA, PA , US
15191 2 days ago Gene and Dori Peters Sun City, AZ , US
15190 3 days ago Audrey Farrelly London , ot , GB
15189 3 days ago Andrew Sulay Dnipropetrovsk, ot , UA
15188 3 days ago Kelly Lund Malmö, ot , SE
15187 4 days ago Michelle Fuca Saratoga Springs, NY , US
15186 4 days ago Toni Solano Fort Worth, TX , US
15185 5 days ago Arleen Ferrell Marmarth , ND , US
15184 5 days ago Lorien Dancer Lakewood, CO , US
15183 5 days ago Dennis Kaplan Ohio, OH , US
15182 5 days ago Andre Walter Austin, TX , US
15181 7 days ago Debbie Neimark Chicago, IL , US
15180 1 week ago Fernando Pueblo San Diego, CA , US
15179 1 week ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
15178 1 week ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15177 1 week ago Diane Hayward BC, BC , CA
15176 1 week ago Lorrie Jamison CO, CO , US
15175 1 week ago C W Seattle, WA , US
15174 1 week ago Anonymous Freeland, WA , US
15173 1 week ago Cinzia B. S. G., ID , IT
15171 1 week ago Andre Mickiewicz Port Charlotte, FL , US
Next ->

*Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Please take action by Jan. 5, 2017.

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.