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 15295 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15295 11 hours ago Roginia Gonzalez Miami, FL , US
15294 1 day ago Maria Schulz Outside US, ot , RO
15293 1 day ago Christine Higgins Columbus, OH , US
15292 1 day ago manuela wolter san-jose, ID , CR
15291 1 day ago Harry Bord Ohio, OH , US
15290 1 day ago susanna minacheili THESSALONIKI, HI , GR
15289 1 day ago Deborah Parks Virginia, VA , US
15288 2 days ago Ellen Sherwood Pomona, NY , US
15287 2 days ago jeanine mielke boonville, MO , US
15286 2 days ago Alexandra Colonna East Hampton , NY , US
15285 2 days ago Nancy Crosby Foxboro, MA , US
15284 2 days ago Rita Lemkuil Manitowoc, WI , US
15283 2 days ago Alan Harper Virginia, VA , US
15282 2 days ago Kristin Lewis Stafford, TX , US
15281 2 days ago Phyllis Stinson Nashua , NH , US
15280 3 days ago Darlene Zagata Brownsville, PA , US
15279 3 days ago Lauren Jusek Garrettsville, OH , US
15278 3 days ago Olena Fedorova Cape town, ot , ZA
15277 3 days ago Francoise Phipps Ronchamp, ot , FR
15276 3 days ago Lisa Merchant Edenton, NC , US
15275 3 days ago BECKY bunnell Vermont, VT , US
15274 4 days ago Mary Claire Krager Georgetown, DE , US
15273 4 days ago Maria Pridal Guadalajara, ot , MX
15272 4 days ago Marce Walsh Houston, TX , US
15271 4 days ago Yael Shimshin Jerusalem, ot , IL
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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