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 14855 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14855 1 hour ago Gina Dalvesco Ambridge, PA , US
14854 10 hours ago Gabriele Zimmermann Romanshorn, ot , CH
14853 19 hours ago Donna Walker Los Angeles, CA , US
14852 21 hours ago Dawn Carr Charlotte, NC , US
14851 1 day ago angela fox desert hot springs, CA , US
14850 1 day ago Carrie Moore Oklahoma, OK , US
14849 1 day ago josh pucci VA, VA , US
14848 1 day ago Martin Archer West Wickham, ot , GB
14847 1 day ago Karen Neubert LA, CA , US
14846 1 day ago jon brock dallas, TX , US
14845 1 day ago Melodie Rammer Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA , US
14844 1 day ago Susan Marone Heath, TX , US
14843 1 day ago Demelza Costa Sweet Home, OR , US
14842 1 day ago Michelle Crumb Gilford, NH , US
14841 1 day ago r manek london, ot , GB
14840 1 day ago elisabeth bittremieux herent, belgium, ot , BE
14839 1 day ago Carlo Zucchi Como, ot , IT
14838 1 day ago gregory.a.. clewell seaside heights, NJ , US
14837 1 day ago Angy Hallows NSW, NB , AU
14836 1 day ago Chris Guillory Port Angeles, WA , US
14835 1 day ago Dennis Kaplan Mayfield Heights, OH , US
14834 1 day ago Robert DeLucca Wausau , WI , US
14833 2 days ago Germano Brandes TX, TX , BR
14832 2 days ago Joseph J. O'Connell Augusta, GA , US
14831 2 days 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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