TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity will distribute its one millionth free Endangered Species Condom today for World Population Day. The giveaway of 10,000 condoms in total also marks the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the campaign, which seeks to make the connection between unsustainable human population growth and the wildlife extinction crisis by highlighting the need for universal access to reproductive healthcare and education.
The colorful condom packages include species threatened by population growth and slogans like “When you’re feeling tender, think about the hellbender” and “Before it gets any hotter, think of the sea otter.”
The Center also launched a social media competition today to celebrate the anniversary of the campaign. Individuals are encouraged to submit their own slogan for a condom package design featuring an endangered species affected by population growth. The winning package will be unveiled later this year.
"Ensuring that people can choose if and when they have children is critical to protecting wildlife and the environment," said Sarah Baillie, the Center’s Endangered Species Condoms coordinator. "We can’t truly solve the extinction crisis without finding real solutions for our increasingly crowded planet. That’s why we created our Endangered Species Condoms 10 years ago and why we’re still highlighting the issue today."
The United Nations estimates that the world population is expected to increase by 2 billion in the next 30 years. This growth drives habitat loss and forces competition for natural resources. In fact wild plants and animals are going extinct at rates 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural background rate due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change and other human-caused problems.
"As our population grows and urban sprawl destroys wild spaces, species we know and love pay the price," said Baillie. "Over the past 10 years, the one million Endangered Species Condoms we’ve distributed have helped people understand how conscientious family planning can protect wildlife. We’re excited to mark this milestone today."
World Population Day, July 11, was designated by the United Nations in 1989 to raise awareness about global population issues. There are more than 7.7 billion people on the planet, with the United States ranked as the third-most populous country.
The Center's population and sustainability program uses creative media to promote a range of common-sense solutions like access to family planning and reproductive health services, as well as education, opportunity and equal rights for women and girls.