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 20565 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20565 6 hours ago debra plishka baldwinsville, NY , US
20564 9 hours ago Delores Hardin Greenwood, IN , US
20563 9 hours ago Sandy Poole overland park , KS , US
20562 11 hours ago Bonnie Miller Santa Rosa, CA , US
20561 11 hours ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20560 15 hours ago Vilma Mengoli Bologna, ot , JO
20559 1 day ago Susan Warner El Cerrito, CA , US
20558 1 day ago Dennis Landi Long Beach, CA , US
20557 3 days ago Karil Daniels San Francisco, CA , US
20556 3 days ago Ruth Galindo Sacramento, CA , US
20555 4 days ago Birgit Dashi Forchheim, ot , DE
20554 5 days ago Natasha Haynes Bristol, ot , GB
20553 6 days ago Christine Cranston Seattle, WA , US
20552 6 days ago William Mullen Wheeler, OR , US
20551 7 days ago Orva M Gullett Marion, OH , US
20550 1 week ago karen howard blaine, WA , US
20549 1 week ago Pamela burke Tulsa, OK , US
20548 1 week ago orchid ra southport, NC , US
20547 1 week ago Mary Snowden Providence, RI , US
20546 1 week ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20545 1 week ago rocco frangione ottawa, CA , US
20544 1 week ago Josseline Husted Monterey, CA , US
20543 1 week ago donna cocuzza PORT RICHEY, FL , US
20542 1 week ago Karen Janda Aurora, CO , US
20541 1 week ago Cristina Kennington Chillicothe, IL , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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