Center for Biological Diversity
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As Humans Expand, Some of Earth's Smallest Citizens Disappear

Here's something that's made me lose some sleep lately: A new study found that, in the past four decades as human population has doubled, 67 percent of the world's invertebrates have plunged in population by an average of 45 percent. "The richness of the animal world of our planet," said study co-author Rodolfo Dirzo, "is being seriously threatened by human activities."
 
Think about that. Insects, spiders, worms and other amazing invertebrates rarely get the attention that endangered species like wolves and grizzly bears enjoy, but without them, as Dirzo puts it, we face a "very impoverished planet." Not to mention that our lives depend on them -- for example, 75 percent of the world's crops need insect pollination.

Now their lives depend on us. Learn more about the study at The Verge, and read on below for more on how the demands of our growing population threaten wildlife, and opportunities to get involved.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,203,631,547. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and share the newsletter below.

Coming Soon to the Southeast: One Giant Strip of Sprawl

Night view of Atlanta, Ga.Over the past 60 years, the southeastern United States population has grown 40 percent faster than the rest of the country, and it shows no signs of stopping. In fact, new research from the U.S. Geological Survey warns that the entire region could become one big megalopolis by 2060.

A megalopolis is as scary as it sounds -- one giant sprawl of unbroken urban development spanning several major cities. According to USGS, the entire corridor from Raleigh to Atlanta could be paved over for roads, housing and businesses. One thing a megalopolis doesn't include: wildlife habitat.

In a region that already faces extreme weather and threats of sea-level rise from climate change, the further loss of habitat and increased emissions from more people and more roads would endanger the health of both human and wild inhabitants. But it doesn't have to be that way. By addressing population growth, urban planning and wildlife conservation now, the Southeast can still take a detour from this mega-disaster.

Read more about the Southeast megalopolis in The Washington Post.

 
 
 
Endangered Species Condoms

Candle light

Population Conversation in Tucson

Join the Center's executive director, Kierán Suckling, and the president of Population Media Center, Bill Ryerson, for an event on the impacts of human population growth and how protecting people and wildlife can solve the population problem. The discussion will include how population growth threatens biodiversity and the environment and how creative media -- such as the Center's Endangered Species Condoms and PMC's popular web novela, East Los High -- can bring this critical issue back to the forefront of the environmental movement. Learn more about the Sept. 10 event.

Host a 51@EarthHour Event

Every year for Earth Hour, people around the world show their commitment to the planet by turning off their lights for an hour. Inspired by the attention drawn to the carbon footprint of our energy use, environmentalists worried about how our carbon "foodprint" is affecting the planet launched 51@EarthHour. Studies show that meat production is responsible for at least 14.5 percent -- and as much as 51 percent -- of global greenhouse gas emissions. Now's the time to start planning your own 51@EarthHour event -- hold a candlelight vigil, host an extinction-free potluck or bring Earth-friendly diet flyers to your local Earth Hour rally.

 
Rare Florida Habitat Faces Walmart Rollback
Bartram's scrub-hairstreak

Pine rockland

Florida leafwing butterfly

A piece of the last remaining pine rockland forest in Florida -- home to some of the state's rarest bats and butterflies -- is slated to become home to the state's next Walmart.

Tell the developer behind the project not to trade rare species and their disappearing habitat for yet another strip mall.

Florida's human population doubles every 20 years, and the growing demand for housing and commercial development is crowding out wildlife.

 
 
Take Extinction Off Your Grill for Labor Day

A Tale of Two BarbecuesLabor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and, along with it, the unofficial end of grilling season. The holiday ties with the Fourth of July as the second-biggest beef consumption day of the year, and between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat about 7 billion hot dogs. That means billions of gallons of water, millions of acres of habitat used for grazing and growing feed crops, and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than a million cars on the road for a year.

But your Labor Day doesn't need to endanger wildlife. As part of our Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign, we're launching www.ExtinctionFreeBBQ.com next week, with tips on how to have a wildlife-friendly cookout and a full menu of extinction-free recipes contributed by Alicia Silverstone, Bryant Terry, Vegan Black Metal Chef and other top earth-friendly bloggers and chefs.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter, and use the #extinctionfreebbq hashtag to let us know how you're protecting wildlife this Labor Day.

 
Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; night view of Atlanta courtesy Wikimedia Commons/NASA; ; Endangered Species Condoms photo courtesy Center for Biological Diversity, design by Lori Lieber, artwork by Roger Peet (c) 2012; candle light courtesy Flickr/echiner1; Bartram's scrub-hairstreak courtesy USGS; pine rocklands courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Miguel.v; Florida leafwing butterfly courtesy Flickr/Carlos De Soto Molinari; A Tale of Two Barbecues design by Russ McSpadden, Center for Biological Diversity.
 

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