Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 21, 2020


Sarah Baillie, (520) 345-5708,

Nation’s First Public Database Launched Featuring Research on Links Between Human Population Growth, Extinction Crisis

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity today launched the nation’s first public database featuring research documenting the links between human population growth and the escalating wildlife extinction crisis.

Crowded Planet is a compilation of studies, reports and reviews detailing how human population growth and its associated pressures are driving habitat destruction and other threats to wildlife. The database also features research on effective, human rights-based solutions and the barriers to population advocacy.

“As the extinction crisis worsens it’s more important than ever that we deepen our understanding of the links between human population growth and wildlife,” said Sarah Baillie, endangered species condoms coordinator at the Center. “This important new database will not only help detail the challenges we face but provide tools we need to find equitable solutions.”

The database currently includes 50 resources from the past two decades drawing on a variety of disciplines including conservation, psychology, demography and public health. The database is organized into three categories: issues, barriers and effective solutions.

Each resource has a brief summary of the research and the key takeaways. New resources will be added periodically and users are encouraged to submit additional resources.

Recent research includes a study showing that 85% of species are experiencing intense human pressure; a paper describing how positive psychology can be used to improve sustainability messaging; and new predictions about how shifting away from an economically driven culture is crucial for our survival.

Human population has doubled over the past 50 years, while wildlife populations have plummeted by half. Scientists predict that 1 million species are at risk of extinction from human-caused threats in the coming decades. There are currently 7.8 billion people on the planet. The United Nations projects that world population will reach nearly 10 billion by 2050.

“I want this information to be accessible and understandable so that more people can realize how critical it is that we address the root causes of the extinction crisis, including those that might be difficult to discuss,” said Baillie. “This isn’t an impossible problem to manage and we can address it with equity and rights-based solutions, but only if we’re informed with the facts and willing to talk about it.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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