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 15298 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15298 2 days ago Kenneth Smith Yuma, AZ , US
15297 2 days ago Alexis Culley bumpass, Virginia , US
15296 3 days ago Lori Gasser Hermitage, TN , US
15295 3 days ago Anita Stiegler Chicago, IL , US
15294 4 days ago Alex Tsukernik Brooklyn, NY , US
15293 5 days ago Sophie Swirczynski Eugene, OR , US
15292 5 days ago Irena Franchi SIB, FL , US
15291 5 days ago Elaine Greenlee Arizona, AZ , US
15290 1 week ago Fernando Pueblo San Diego, CA , US
15289 1 week ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, RU+48 , RU
15288 1 week ago James Sullivan Chicago, IL , US
15287 1 week ago Zara Ivanova Anchorage, AK , US
15286 1 week ago Barry Bennett Fayetteville, AR , US
15285 1 week ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15284 1 week ago Anonymous Huffman, TX , US
15283 1 week ago Dawn Hostetler Phoenix, AZ , US
15282 1 week ago David Barlow Leesburg, VA , US
15281 2 weeks ago A Martin Texas, TX , US
15280 2 weeks ago Quentin Fischer Roanke, VA , US
15279 2 weeks ago Jere Wilkerson Monterey, CA , US
15278 2 weeks ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15277 2 weeks ago Angelica Chinellato Monthey, CH+22 , CH
15276 3 weeks ago Claire Chambers CA, CA , US
15275 3 weeks ago Tessa Love Oakland, CA , US
15274 3 weeks ago sara sexton TX, TX , 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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