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 14403 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14403 6 hours ago liberty michaels new paltz, NY , US
14402 14 hours ago Maureen Fudger Lisle, NY , US
14401 16 hours ago abigail andrade SP, ot , BR
14400 16 hours ago Sylviane Mahaux Boynton Beach, FL , US
14399 17 hours ago Jillian Towner McBride , MI , US
14398 18 hours ago iwona bernard Illinois, IL , US
14397 19 hours ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
14396 20 hours ago Andi Delorenzo Setauket, NY , US
14395 21 hours ago Chantal Geest State *, ot , BE
14394 22 hours ago Lary McKee Oregon, OR , US
14393 22 hours ago ARLEN TUCKER atlanta, GA , US
14392 1 day ago Natalia Kuznetsova Shchekino, ot , RU
14391 1 day ago Natalia Kuznetsova Shchekino, ot , RU
14390 1 day ago Valentina Morbini Gardone V.T., ot , IT
14389 1 day ago Karsten Mueller Santa Cruz, CA , US
14388 1 day ago Stephen Alley CO, CO , US
14387 1 day ago Debrah Ziehm Sebastopol, CA , US
14386 1 day ago Rebekah Laros Novato, CA , US
14385 1 day ago Deborah Cox-Wonch TX, TX , US
14384 1 day ago RHONDA LEWIS Pueblo West, CO , US
14383 1 day ago Beth Jamison Ripley, OH , US
14382 1 day ago Andrea Snyder Hickory, NC , US
14381 1 day ago Karla Everett San Jose, CA , US
14380 1 day ago Katrine Quinn Vermont, VT , US
14379 1 day ago David Wolf Philadelphia , PA , US
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Please take action by Jan. 5, 2017.

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

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