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 19057 signatures
Number Date Name Location
19057 13 minutes ago joseph digiandomenico plantsville, CT , US
19056 1 hour ago alunni ilaria perugia, ot , IT
19055 3 hours ago suzanne aagaard svendborg, ot , DK
19054 4 hours ago marisol melgarejo hoorn, ot , NL
19053 5 hours ago MARIA PIA SCOTTO DI FREGA ROMA, ot , IT
19052 6 hours ago Martin Haunhorst Bonn, ot , DE
19051 9 hours ago Anonymous buffalo, NY , US
19050 10 hours ago Cathy Loewenstein Babylon, NY , US
19049 10 hours ago Taylor Barton toledo, OH , US
19048 12 hours ago Tina Zeeberg Portland, OR , US
19047 14 hours ago Shonna Willson Rogue River, OR , US
19046 16 hours ago Cynthia Brooks-Fetty Leoti, KS , US
19045 18 hours ago Valorie Allen lETHBRIDGE, AB , CA
19044 21 hours ago sadie long moorhead, MN , AF
19043 21 hours ago Alina Bertol Fuengirola, ot , ES
19042 22 hours ago Joanne Lowery b, MI , US
19041 1 day ago Margherita Montanari Florence, ot , IT
19040 1 day ago ????? ??????? ??????????, FL , RU
19039 1 day ago jet asha sydney, ot , AU
19038 1 day ago Moya sanders south lake tahoe, CA , US
19037 1 day ago betty almand avondale est., GA , US
19036 1 day ago Amanda Esposito Reno, NV , US
19035 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
19034 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
19033 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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