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 20215 signatures
Number Date Name Location
20215 7 hours ago Joyce Angleberger Funkstown, MD , US
20214 13 hours ago Eugene Linderkamp Tucson, AZ , US
20213 13 hours ago Jorge Marques Maia, ot , PT
20212 16 hours ago Platto Manuela Agnese rovato brescia, IN , IT
20211 16 hours ago Anonymous east, PA , US
20210 23 hours ago Tonya Howard Southampton, ot , BM
20209 1 day ago Christelle Michon Paris, ot , FR
20208 1 day ago Marthese Cassar GUDJA, ot , MT
20207 1 day ago Cuauhtémoc González Chípuli Shaker Heights, OH , US
20206 1 day ago Mary Ellen Pallatino Pittsburgh, PA , US
20205 1 day ago Daniel Tham Singapore, ot , SG
20204 1 day ago C matthews murrieta, CA , US
20203 1 day ago mauricio carvajal Santiago, ot , CL
20202 1 day ago Jason Trentlyon New York, NY , US
20201 1 day ago barbara brucato Chapel HILL, NC , US
20200 1 day ago Patricia Guerrero Bennington, VT , US
20199 1 day ago Tammy Swoboda Indianapolis, IN , US
20198 1 day ago Samuel McIntyre Fairfield, CT , US
20197 1 day ago Maryjane A Burns Dania Beach, FL , US
20196 1 day ago Mehak Ratan Shrewsbury, MA , US
20195 1 day ago Pat Williamson Mt Arlington , NJ , US
20194 1 day ago barry werbowsky north york, ON , CA
20193 1 day ago Teri Smyth Mims, FL , US
20192 1 day ago tavi Karpilow st louis, MO , US
20191 1 day ago Alberta Householder Saint Petersburg, FL , US
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Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

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