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 16514 signatures
Number Date Name Location
16514 4 hours ago KIMBERLY ROSS Toronto, ON , CA
16513 4 hours ago Brittani Killion-Mottola Austin, TX , US
16512 9 hours ago brigitte ballouard villefranche sur mer, ot , FR
16511 11 hours ago nelson myers harrisburg, PA , US
16510 18 hours ago eva genoves valencia, CA , ES
16509 20 hours ago liron solomon holon, ot , IL
16508 22 hours ago Zohal Khan Bethlehem, PA , US
16507 1 day ago Sheila Mandell Fort Lauderdale, FL , US
16506 1 day ago KAREN PEPE HAWTHORNE, NJ , US
16505 1 day ago patricia janssens bruxelles, ot , BE
16504 1 day ago Eva S. Antos New Kensington, PA , US
16503 1 day ago Debra Young Hooksett, NH , US
16502 1 day ago Katja Sibakov OULU, ot , FI
16501 1 day ago Amanda McGovern Oxford, CT , US
16500 1 day ago DOLORES MORENO MADRID, NC , ES
16499 2 days ago anne ramsey seal beach , CA , US
16498 2 days ago Frank Adamick Astoria, NY , US
16497 2 days ago Cassandra Fazio Cotati, CA , US
16496 2 days ago Cynthia Neill Glen Ellen, CA , US
16495 2 days ago Maureen Michael University Place, WA , US
16494 2 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
16493 2 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
16492 2 days ago Jose Avetikyan Moscow, ot , RU
16491 2 days ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
16490 2 days ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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