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 19739 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19739 16 minutes ago Lucinda Greene Harrison Valley, PA , US
19738 2 hours ago Nicole Santiago-Passi Lakewood, NJ , US
19737 3 hours ago macyle candela East Berlin, PA , US
19736 3 hours ago Sarala Arunagiri El Paso, TX , US
19735 3 hours ago Lucia Port Waterbury Center, VT , US
19734 4 hours ago margie olvera palm bay, FL , US
19733 4 hours ago David Ramos Mishawaka, IN , US
19732 5 hours ago Nicolás Caballero Sevilla, ot , ES
19731 5 hours ago Barbara Poulsen Corvallis, OR , US
19730 5 hours ago V Wiener Princeton, NJ , US
19729 5 hours ago Nichole Noelle Vancouver, WA , US
19728 5 hours ago Haley Gilmer Staunton, VA , US
19727 5 hours ago Virginia Utt Melbourne, FL , US
19726 5 hours ago Glenn Eklund Oak Harbor, WA , US
19725 6 hours ago Robert Husbands San Diego, CA , US
19724 20 hours ago Laurie Sargent Livermore, CA , US
19723 23 hours ago Sheila Mandell Fort Lauderdale, FL , US
19722 2 days ago Kathleen Coy Magna, UT , US
19721 2 days ago Viviana Cherniatevich buenos aires, ot , AR
19720 2 days ago Bridget Bailey Stafford, VA , US
19719 2 days ago monique ponce Aulnay-sous-Bois, ot , FR
19718 2 days ago Rebecca Banner Canton, OH , US
19717 3 days ago Pamela Miller Tolar, TX , US
19716 3 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
19715 3 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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