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 16328 signatures
Number Date Name Location
16328 5 hours ago david ayres viseu, ot , PT
16327 12 hours ago Dennis Armstrong hercules, CA , US
16326 21 hours ago Mary Cuevas Tucson, AZ , US
16325 23 hours ago Dita Škali? Moravske Toplice, ot , SI
16324 1 day ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
16323 1 day ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
16322 1 day ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
16321 1 day ago Alisa Adobajor Moscow, ot , RU
16320 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moskva, ot , RU
16319 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moskva, ot , RU
16318 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moskva, ot , RU
16317 1 day ago Jose Avetikyan Moskva, ot , RU
16316 1 day ago Toni McCray Lanham, MD , US
16315 1 day ago Susan Manning New York, NY , US
16314 1 day ago jessie foran na, ot , IE
16313 1 day ago Casey Jo Remy Days Creek, OR , US
16312 1 day ago Sheila Mandell Fort Lauderdale, FL , US
16311 1 day ago Ronald Sitton North Little Rock, AR , US
16310 1 day ago tim voeltz gulf breeze, FL , US
16309 2 days ago Anonymous Morrisdale, PA , US
16308 2 days ago Quentin Fischer Roanoke, VA , US
16307 2 days ago sonja syne pompano Beach, FL , US
16306 2 days ago Toni Cardoso Carolina Beach, NC , US
16305 2 days ago linda beach albany, NY , US
16304 2 days ago Carola Ebertz-Knop Walsrode, ot , DE
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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