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 15086 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15086 3 hours ago Natalie Beatty WA, WA , US
15085 1 day ago Sarah Payette Macomb, MI , US
15084 1 day ago Yael Shimshon Jerusalem, ot , IL
15083 1 day ago Cheryl Carney TX, TX , US
15082 2 days ago Laura Thompson CALIFORNIA, CA , US
15081 3 days ago terri pigford Dayton, OH , US
15080 4 days ago kendra cope PA, PA , US
15079 4 days ago Cindy Knapp Ravenswood , WV , US
15078 4 days ago Marcia Leone Concord, CA , US
15077 5 days ago sapna johari NOIDA, IN , IN
15076 6 days ago Amanda Cruise France, MT , FR
15075 6 days ago Dominique Nemo Paris, ot , FR
15074 6 days ago Amy Frost Bozeman, MT , US
15073 6 days ago Antonio Delgado Fenoy Torre del Mar (Malaga). SPAIN, ot , ES
15072 7 days ago Diane Schwarz Cheverly, MD , US
15071 7 days ago Sonia Romero Villanueva Sant Adrian del Besos, ot , ES
15070 1 week ago Anonymous Wilkes Barre, PA , US
15069 1 week ago Kim Sellon New Providence, NJ , US
15068 1 week ago Nicole Loh Singapore, ot , SG
15067 1 week ago Sylwia Zielinska Zambrow, ot , PL
15066 1 week ago Susanna Askins Oregon, OR , US
15065 1 week ago ELIZABETH WIRTZ IL, IL , US
15064 1 week ago Geisha Garcia Mugardos La Coruña , ot , ES
15063 1 week ago Brigitta MacMillan Deal, ot , GB
15062 1 week ago Simone Restelli Choose a State, ot , IT
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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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