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 15545 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15545 5 hours ago michele rule concord, NH , US
15544 11 hours ago Renee Boteilho California, CA , US
15543 13 hours ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15542 15 hours ago Margaret Tollner Lakewood, CA , US
15541 1 day ago mauricio carvajal Santiago, ot , CL
15540 1 day ago Gary Hileman Hesperia, CA , US
15539 2 days ago Jacki Hileman Hesperia, CA , US
15538 2 days ago Penelope Prochazka Simi Valley, CA , US
15537 2 days ago Jamie Conrad San Leandro, CA , US
15536 2 days ago Jamie Conrad San Leandro, CA , US
15535 2 days ago Pam Shaouy Woodstock, GA , US
15534 2 days ago Jackie Bear Los Angeles, CA , US
15533 3 days ago Tina deKwaadsteniet Los Angeles, CA , US
15532 3 days ago ali smith san francisco, CA , US
15531 3 days ago kajsa ingelsson west h0llywod, CA , US
15530 3 days ago Michelle Carter San Francisco, CA , US
15529 3 days ago glenn Mullins Buena Park , CA , US
15528 3 days ago Anonymous South Gate, CA , US
15527 3 days ago william lawson Calimesa, CA , US
15526 3 days ago Norm Wilmes Yuba City, CA , US
15525 3 days ago Seb Villani Chula Vista, CA , US
15524 3 days ago Jennifer Hayes Modesto, CA , US
15523 3 days ago Laura Newton Cathedral City, CA , US
15522 4 days ago Pat Bryan Lemon Grove, CA , US
15521 4 days ago Doris Telles Mountain Center, CA , US
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Please take action by Jan. 5, 2018.

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

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