Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Catching Wild Turtles for Turtle Races

Eastern box turtle

Turtles are dying off at an alarming pace -- rates never seen before -- under 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 populations every year -- thousands of turtles are removed from the wild and raced in small towns across the country.

It's easy to believe little harm is done when turtles are caught, then released into the wild after 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 led to 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.

Sign our petition and ask communities to stop using wild-caught turtles in their turtle races.

1-25 of 15246 signatures
Number Date Name Location
15246 5 hours ago Rolaine Bird West Jordan , UT , US
15245 14 hours ago Lynn Barnes Brown City, MI , US
15244 1 day ago Sharon brink BC, BC , CA
15243 2 days ago Ramona Ivanovic Surrey, BC , CA
15242 3 days ago Jessica Mckoen london, ot , GB
15241 3 days ago Michael Mayo Syracuse, NY , US
15240 4 days ago Dat Tran Upper Darby, PA , US
15239 4 days ago Cynthia Johanson California, CA , US
15238 5 days ago Gila Alter NY, NY , US
15237 5 days ago Jennifer Parramore San Diego, CA , US
15236 6 days ago Anonymous Sacramento, CA , US
15235 6 days ago Robert Burger Corvallis, OR , US
15234 6 days ago Eileen Karsten Palm desert , CA , US
15233 6 days ago sara sexton TX, TX , US
15232 6 days ago vesna antonic Loznica, ot , SP
15231 7 days ago Linda Kamholz Ocala, FL , US
15230 7 days ago Sandra Geyer Fallbrook, CA , US
15229 7 days ago Annie Bruno Farmingville, NY , US
15228 7 days ago Brenda Hatch Sunbury, NC , AR
15227 7 days ago Prairie Moser Bandon, OR , US
15226 7 days ago Jennifer Faulkner Rocky point , NY , US
15225 7 days ago Marie Fitzsimmons Florida, FL , US
15224 7 days ago Nicole Loh Mayville, WI , SG
15223 7 days ago Bellinda Rolf-jansen Other, NL+03 , NL
15222 1 week ago Dobi Dobroslawa estero, FL , US
Next ->

*Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Please take action by Jan. 5, 2017.

Photo of eastern box turtle courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas.

If you have cookies enabled in your Web browser, our action pages will remember your address information for 30 days.