For Immediate Release, September 23, 2011
Contact: Amy Harwood, (520) 260-7172
100,000 Endangered Species Condoms Shipped to 50 States
As World Population Nears 7 Billion, Condoms Distributed to Raise Awareness of
Human Overpopulation, Species Extinction
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity this week began shipping out 100,000 Endangered Species Condoms to a network of 1,200 volunteer distributors in all 50 states. The free condoms will be given away as part of the Center’s 7 Billion and Counting campaign to highlight the world population reaching 7 billion in late October and the effects our overpopulation is having on imperiled plants and animals around the world.
“As the world population closes in on 7 billion, there’s never been a better time to talk about overpopulation and the species extinction crisis, and our Endangered Species Condoms are one of the best conversation starters out there,” said Amy Harwood, the Center’s overpopulation campaign coordinator. “Since we launched this project in 2010, we’ve heard from thousands of people that these simple but surprising packages drive the issue home in a funny, thought-provoking way.”
The condoms come in six different packages with original artwork and edgy slogans featuring the polar bear, jaguar, snail darter, spotted owl, coquí guajón rock frog and American burying beetle (“Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle”). All six species are listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In the coming weeks, the Endangered Species Condoms will be distributed at events across the country hosted by college students, grandmothers, healthcare providers, religious leaders, musicians and activists. Some of the planned events include:
- In New Haven, Conn., a volunteer has linked up with a band to make an onstage announcement about the condoms;
- A community health educator in Redding, Calif. plans to pass them out at local presentations;
- In Vermont a librarian will display the condoms at the info desk, while a group of volunteers at Middlebury College will don costumes of the animals featured on the condoms and hand them out at Halloween parties;
- Condoms will be given out at a birthday party in Minneapolis, Minn. on Oct. 31;
- A volunteer in rural Wahpeton, N.D. will hand out the condoms at the bar where she works;
- A volunteer is bringing them to her remote research station in Antarctica to hand out to coworkers.
The human population has doubled since 1970, and according to the United Nations it will hit 7 billion on Oct. 31 and at least 9 billion by 2050. Extinction rates for plants and animals around the globe have been accelerating while the growing human footprint consumes land, water and other natural resources.
“Without universal access to free birth control and engaging public education about the serious consequences of overpopulation, the global population could reach 15 billion by mid-century,” said Harwood. “The Earth simply can’t sustain that many people and provide a high-quality life for all species, including humans.”
The Center’s condom website, www.EndangeredSpeciesCondoms.com, has images of the six colorful condom packages, information on how overpopulation is affecting climate change, global fisheries collapse, public lands and the species extinction crisis. It allows people to sign up to become Endangered Species Condom distributors where they live.
As part of the new campaign, the Center has launched a new website, www.7BillionAndCounting.org, which includes background information, activist toolkits, updates on efforts to highlight the impact of overpopulation on species extinction and links to a new Facebook page.
Design donated by Lori Lieber. Artwork donated by the Endangered Species Print Project. © 2010. All rights reserved. Reproduction or redistribution of images must be accompanied by acknowledgement of the designer and artist.