Center for Biological Diversity
Pop X
No. 55, June 19, 2015
The Local Side of Population Pressure

Last month I wrote about the alarming disappearance of the world's largest herbivores. Since then the Center has petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify African elephants as two separate species -- forest elephants and savannah elephants -- and protect both as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. Both species are most immediately threatened by the illegal ivory trade, but human greed isn't the only threat: A growing human population continues to encroach on wild lands, taking over habitat and creating deadly conflicts.

In a few weeks, on July 11, it will be World Population Day, an international observance of the urgent importance of population problems. While high fertility rates and disappearing animals like elephants may seem far away, the truth is that population growth and extinction aren't just happening somewhere else. We all have a role to play when it comes to expanding human rights, equality and wildlife protection -- both in our own backyards and around the world.

To highlight the local side of how human population pressure threatens wildlife, we're sending thousands of condoms to the states where the animals featured on our new Endangered Species Condoms packages are really feeling the crunch. Even if you weren't selected as a volunteer distributor this time around, we still need your help. Read on to learn how to join our #CrowdedPlanet photo campaign to give your wild neighbors a voice.

For the wild,
Stephanie Feldstein Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
P.S. Today's world population is: 7,276,477,132. We can still save room for wildlife -- spread the word and share the newsletter below.

A Field Guide to Wildlife Services -- Infographic

Prairie dogsSince 1996 a quiet little program called "Wildlife Services" within the U.S. Department of Agriculture has shot, gassed, poisoned and strangled by snare at least 26 million native animals.

During fiscal year 2014 alone, this program wiped out more than 1 million native creatures -- among them bears, beavers, birds, coyotes, foxes, otters, mountain lions, prairie dogs, wolves and many other animals deemed pests by powerful special interests, including the agriculture and livestock industries.

Wildlife Services operates in the shadows. Its activities are subject to little oversight, accountability or public-disclosure requirements, even though the program is paid for with taxpayer dollars. The Center's working to end that secrecy and rein in this rogue program for the sake of wildlife, ecosystems and beloved pets caught in the line of fire.

Here are 3 ways you can join the fight:

1) Share our new infographic to help shine a light on USDA's cruel killing program.
2) Support our work by giving to our Stop Wildlife Services Fund.
3) Take Extinction Off Your Plate. By eating less meat, you can take a stand against this senseless slaughter and the other threats to wildlife and the planet caused by meat production.

Endangered Species Condoms Jennifer Molidor
Help for Condom Crisis

An ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela has made it difficult to find basic consumer goods -- including contraceptives -- for months now. What started as an economic policy issue quickly became a threat to public health, reproductive rights and biodiversity as condoms disappeared from store shelves and were sold for exorbitant prices online. To help alleviate the shortage and draw attention to the urgency of the situation in Venezuela, the Center donated 12,000 Endangered Species Condoms to be delivered to health clinics around the country. Get the story in Cosmopolitan.

New Senior Food Campaigner

The Population and Sustainability team welcomes our new Senior Food Campaigner, Jennifer Molidor, who comes to us from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. There she worked for several years on food, wildlife, environmental and animal protection campaigns as a staff writer. She holds a Ph.D. in English and Irish studies from the University of Notre Dame, and will be driving our Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign and other initiatives that address the impact of our food systems -- particularly meat production and consumption -- on wildlife, and how people can choose Earth-friendlier diets.

Get Bee-killing Pesticides Off the Shelves
Plants at garden retailer Neonicotinoid protest Bumblebee

Pesticides known as neonicotinoids are one of the leading causes of recent bee die-offs, yet plants and seeds treated with neonics are being sold by major garden retailers.

Following consumer outcry, companies including Lowe's and BJ's Wholesale Club have made concrete commitments to stop selling bee-killing pesticides -- but Ace and True Value still need to step up.

Bees need plants that will help them survive, not poison them. Tell Ace and True Value to remove all products with neonicotinoids from their shelves now.

Picture Wildlife Surviving on a #CrowdedPlanet -- Submit Photos

Mule deerFrom raccoons in garbage cans and eagles on telephone poles to coyotes in backyards and geese on golf courses, wildlife is all around us -- we just don't always take the time to notice. As our population grows at a rate of 227,000 people per day, wild spaces are disappearing and more and more wild animals are finding themselves living closer and closer to humans.

To highlight the urgency of how population growth affects wildlife, we need to show what sharing a crowded planet looks like around the world -- including your own backyard.

It's easy to join the campaign: When you see wildlife in your neighborhood, snap a picture and post it to your favorite social media site using the #CrowdedPlanet hashtag. We'll post the best photos on our website on World Population Day as a reminder that we aren't the only species living on the planet. Check out our #CrowdedPlanet webpage for more details and sample photos.

Photo credits: Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; prairie dogs courtesy Flickr/jinterwas; Endangered Species Condoms art by Shawn DiCriscio and design by Lori Lieber; Jennifer Molidor courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; garden plants courtesy Flickr/Paul Long; neonicotinoid protest courtesy Flickr/Sputnik UK London; bumblebee courtesy Flickr/Tiago Cabral; mule deer courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Oborseth.

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To sign up for Endangered Species Condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's Population and Sustainability program, visit our website.

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Center for Biological Diversity
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Tucson, AZ 85702-0710
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