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 14700 signatures
Number Date Name Location
14700 3 hours ago Wayne Langley Texas, TX , US
14699 7 hours ago Geniece Medsker Sparta, NJ , US
14698 7 hours ago Stephen Spieckerman Waukesha, WI , US
14697 1 day ago Carol Papworth WA, WA , US
14696 1 day ago Tricia Hamilton Shirley, NY , US
14695 1 day ago Anonymous Staten Island, NY , US
14694 3 days ago Linda Polinski Pittsburgh, PA , US
14693 3 days ago Gloria Stacholy Coral Gables, FL , US
14692 3 days ago Sarah Sivro Geneva , ot , CH
14691 3 days ago Stephanie Vlahos Boston, MA , US
14690 3 days ago Stephanie Vlahos Boston, MA , US
14689 3 days ago Anonymous Sussex, ot , GB
14688 4 days ago emme g ch, CA , US
14687 4 days ago LAURIE THOMPSON WEST RICHLAND, WA , US
14686 4 days ago Judith Haglund Sarasota, FL , US
14685 5 days ago Tina daCruz Northampton, ot , GB
14684 5 days ago Dilys Hunt kings Lynn, ot , GB
14683 7 days ago Brian K Sutton Louisville, KY , US
14682 7 days ago mary ann millay mpls, MN , US
14681 1 week ago Caryl Speck Melbourne, FL , US
14680 1 week ago Nicole Loh Singapore, ot , SG
14679 1 week ago Alex Par Fresno, CA , US
14678 1 week ago Chantal Buslot Hasselt, ot , BE
14677 1 week ago lynn harrigan marina, CA , US
14676 1 week ago Lotte Larsson Roskilde, ot , DK
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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