The Center for Biological Diversity is handing out 25,000 free Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states this holiday season to raise awareness of the devastating effects of runaway human population growth and overconsumption on endangered plants and animals. More than a half-million Endangered Species Condoms have been given away since 2009.
The condoms — wrapped in colorful packages featuring six different endangered species — are being distributed by hundreds of volunteers around the country at events and venues like holiday parties, churches, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, health clinics, skate parks and yoga studios.
“The Earth’s population now tops 7 billion people, and that has a huge impact on wildlife, climate and the resources we all need to survive,” said Taralynn Reynolds, population and sustainability organizer at the Center. “These are big issues that need to be talked about, and the Endangered Species Condoms give people a fun, unique way to start the conversation.”
More than 200,000 people are added to the planet every day and, according to the United Nations, global human population could reach nearly 10 billion by 2050. As the human population grows, wildlife pays the price as wildlife habitat is developed, air and water are polluted and the climate crisis deepens.
The Endangered Species Condoms packages feature a sampling of wildlife threatened by population and accompanying slogans like “Wrap with care…save the polar bear,” “In the sack? Save the Leatherback” and “Be a savvy lover…protect the snowy plover.”
Government agencies are increasingly including the pressure from an expanding human population on the natural world in studies and reports. For instance, an Interior Department report released this past week on Southern California’s Santa Ana River Watershed cited “climate change and growing populations” as challenges to the future health of the region’s water supply.
“Half a million condoms and a lot of conversations later, people are finally starting to acknowledge that population growth is a real issue,” Reynolds said. “The good news is that solutions are available. Universal access to birth control and family planning, and education and the empowerment of women and girls leads to healthier babies, healthier moms and a healthier planet.”
In 2013 the Center expanded its population program to encompass overconsumption and sustainability, since these issues are intricately tied to the impact of human population size on endangered species. The Center is the only environmental organization with a full-time campaign dedicated to addressing rampant human population growth and overconsumption, and their link to the current extinction crisis.