Current world population:

Human population growth and overconsumption are at the root of our most pressing environmental issues, including the species extinction crisis, habitat loss and climate change. To save wildlife and wild places, we use creative media and public outreach to raise awareness about runaway human population growth and unsustainable consumption — and their close link to the endangerment of other species.

There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, and we're adding 227,000 more every day. The toll on wildlife is impossible to miss: Species are disappearing 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate. It's clear that these issues need to be addressed before it's too late.


The Center has been working to address the connection between rampant human population growth and the extinction crisis since 2009. Our innovative outreach and public-pressure campaigns — like our award-winning Endangered Species Condoms project — focus on common-sense solutions, including the empowerment of women and girls, the education of all people, universal access to birth control, sustainable consumer choices, and a societal commitment to giving all species a chance to live and thrive.

Population and Sustainability

Check out our interview with Tom Toro.

In 2013 we expanded our population program to encompass overconsumption and sustainability, too, — since these issues are intricately tied to the impact of human population on endangered species and the health of our planet – with a focus on the two industries responsible for the most environmental damage: meat and energy production and consumption. We’re tackling these destructive systems through our innovative Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign, which makes the connection between food and the wildlife extinction crisis and urges people to eat less meat as a key part of reducing their environmental footprints, and our Wild Energy campaign, which creates a vision for a sustainable energy future that protects wildlife, habitats and the climate we all depend on. Our population and sustainability campaigns use a combination of creative media, advocacy, outreach, and the expansion of our nationwide network of activists to advance change and keep these critical, yet often ignored, issues in the spotlight.


Our Population and Sustainability Program has:

  • Distributed more than half a million Endangered Species Condoms across all 50 U.S. states.
  • Created the first full-time program by a major environmental group, Take Extinction Off Your Plate, addressing the devastating impact of the meat industry on wildlife.
  • Inspired more than 20,000 people to sign our “Earth-friendly Diet” pledge to reduce their meat consumption as a way to protect the planet and take extinction off their plates.
  • Launched Wild Energy, the Center for Biological Diversity’s vision for a renewable energy future that addresses climate change while protecting sensitive wildlife and habitats.
  • Commissioned a groundbreaking poll showing that most Americans believe human population growth is a significant factor in the disappearance of wildlife.
  • Created an innovative social media campaign that inspired people from around the world to share photos of what living in a world of 7 billion looked like and felt like to them.
  • Mobilized supporters to submit more than 1,500 letters to the editor to newspapers around the country about the impacts of population growth on wildlife.
  • Generated momentous media attention on the often ignored issue of human population in top outlets, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Mashable and dozens of radio and podcast appearances.
  • Reached more than one million people with our campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.


Polar bear

New Video: Which Weighs More, the Chicken or the Elephant?

Take Action:
Urge the USDA to Promote Sustainable Diets
Take Our Pledge to Take Extinction Off Your Plate
Demand Warning Labels in California for Cancer-causing Meats
Demand Greener Menus From World's Largest Restaurant Company
Tell McDonald's: Billions of Burgers Are Bad for Our Future

Huffington Post Op-ed: "Plates, Pyramids, Planet: USDA’s Missed Opportunity"

Read the latest edition of our e-newsletter Pop X: Equal Access to the Sun

Check out these sustainability tips:
12 Ways to Live More Sustainably

Learn more about genetically engineered crops:
Busting Myths About GMO Crops.

Distributing Endangered Species Condoms?
Tips and tricks for hosting your own event

Our statement on immigration and population

Featured Videos

How Can You Save Endangered Species... In Bed?


Human Population Growth and Wildlife Extinction:



Help support our cutting-edge work in the Population and Sustainability Program.


It’s time for us to stop hogging all the water and start saving some for wildlife.

Learn what's at stake with one person's diet.

Check out this infographic about human population growth and climate change.

A great infographic from Lancet on planetary health.

And don't miss this one about consumption.


Wild Energy
Check out our new campaign that’s creating a vision for a renewable energy future that will tackle climate change, protect sensitive wildlife and habitats, and benefit people and the planet.

There are more than 7.3 billion people on the planet today. That means more crowds, more traffic, more pollution… and less room for wildlife. We want to see what sharing a crowded planet with wildlife looks like in your neighborhood. Submit your photos to our campaign.

Endangered Species CondomsEndangered Species Condoms
Condoms wrapped in colorful wildlife-themed packages offer a unique way to talk about human population pressure on endangered species. Learn why — and how — to get involved.

Take Extinction Off Your Plate Take Extinction Off Your Plate
How can you eat an Earth-friendly diet? Meat production is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation globally. Reduce your consumption and help save species, habitat, water, emissions and air quality. Take our pledge now.

Pop X: Our Free Monthly E-newsletter
Sign up to receive Pop X and check out past editions of our newsletter covering population, overconsumption and sustainability, and the extinction crisis —  and what you can do to help.

Huffington Post Blog
Check out our population and sustainability director Stephanie Feldstein’s Huffington Post blog for late-breaking commentary on how human population growth and overconsumption affect wildlife.

Florida panther condom coverWrite a Letter to the Editor
Want to spread the word through words? A letter to the editor of a local paper is a great way to get peoplet talking about population and sustainability. Learn how with our guide in our Take-action Toolbox.

Langes metalmark butterfly Top 10 U.S. Endangered Species Threatened by Population
As human population and consumption grow, we’re crowding out, paving over, poisoning and eating other species to extinction. Learn about these 10 and see who's in your neighborhood.

What Is Sustainability?What Is Sustainability?


xPopulation and Climate Change

xPopulation and Extinction

Population and OceansPopulation and Oceans

Population and OceansPopulation and Urban Wildlands

Media highlights
Press releases




Contact: Stephanie Feldstein