The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jerry Karnas, (520) 260-7172

15,000 Free Endangered Species Condoms Distributed for Earth Day

Condoms Are Part of 20 Major Events Around Country


The Center for Biological Diversity today is distributing 15,000 free Endangered Species Condoms at 20 Earth Day events around the country, from New York and Hawaii to Florida and Alaska. The events are at universities, zoos, restoration projects, music festivals, film screenings, ecology fairs and "get out in the woods" gatherings, as well as events to be hosted by the national Earth Day Network.

The Endangered Species Condoms are part of the Center's 7 Billion and Counting campaign that focuses on how the unsustainable growth of the human population is affecting extinction rates for plants and animals around the world.

"Just like the first Earth Day in 1970, activists across this country are talking about population growth and its impact on life on Earth, and the condoms are a great way to get those conversations started," said Jerry Karnas, population campaign director of the Center.

As part of its full-time population campaign, started in 2009, the Center has so far given out about 500,000 free Endangered Species Condoms featuring polar bears, panthers and other species threatened by population growth.

The beautifully packaged condoms, which have already been distributed by thousands of volunteers around the country, are a part of a next-generation population growth movement guided by the principles of choice, diversity and empowerment. The Center is providing condoms to college health centers, night club owners, environmental activists, women's reproductive health groups and others.

"Population and voracious consumption of natural resources are the root of so many of our environmental problems," Karnas said. "The Endangered Species Condoms are a fun way to get people talking about serious issues."

The world's human population has doubled since 1970, reaching 7 billion in 2011. It could exceed 9 billion by 2050. Meanwhile, there are an estimated 200 million women who want access to birth control and other family-planning services but don't have it.

A national poll commissioned by the Center earlier this year found that:

  • 64 percent said that, with the human population expected to hit 10 billion by 2050, wildlife will be adversely affected.
  • 61 percent said they are already concerned about the rate at which wildlife is disappearing.
  • 57 percent believe human population growth is "significantly impacting the disappearance of wildlife."

The Center is the only environmental group with a full-time campaign highlighting the connection between unsustainable human population growth and the ongoing extinction crisis for plants and animals around the world. In 2011 the Center released a report on the top 10 U.S. species threatened by population growth.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252