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 20342 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20342 18 hours ago Aysenur Çömlekci Manisa, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, IA , CA
20341 18 hours ago Aysenur Çömlekci Manisa, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, IA , CA
20340 1 day ago Shirley Gilbreath Valley Mills, TX , US
20339 2 days ago debbie mcqueen avon park, FL , US
20338 2 days ago Debby Rising sacramento, CA , US
20337 2 days ago Carol Turton Swansea, MA , US
20336 2 days ago Carol Turton Swansea, MA , US
20335 3 days ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20334 3 days ago George Skiadopoulos Athens, ot , GR
20333 3 days ago Kathryn Cissna Kenmore, WA , US
20332 3 days ago Teri Smyth Mims, FL , US
20331 3 days ago ELLEN HOMSEY Hockessin, DE , US
20330 3 days ago Heather Shoup Austin, TX , US
20329 4 days ago Orva M Gullett Marion, OH , US
20328 4 days ago Debbie Neimark Chicago, IL , US
20327 5 days ago Anonymous Easton, PA , US
20326 5 days ago Anonymous Pittsburgh, PA , US
20325 6 days ago john greaves carson city , NV , US
20324 6 days ago Ellen Franzen Berkeley, CA , US
20323 6 days ago Anonymous Moorhead, MN , US
20322 1 week ago Evan Roman San Diego, CA , US
20321 1 week ago Shirley Janus wailuku, HI , US
20320 1 week ago Karen H Eicholtz Wyckoff, NJ , US
20319 1 week ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
20318 1 week ago E Romano si, NY , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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