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Group Gives Out 100,000 Endangered Species Condoms for Valentine's Day

Educational Project Highlights Impact of Human Overpopulation on Wildlife

Five People to Win Lifetime Condom Supply

February 11, 2010 - TUCSON, Ariz. - With 3,000 volunteers operating in all 50 states, the Center for Biological Diversity will distribute 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms beginning on Valentine's Day and has launched an educational Web site - - chronicling the devastating impact of human overpopulation on endangered species. Additional free condoms will be distributed through the site, and five people will win a lifetime condom supply.

The international icon of global warming, the polar bear is going extinct as the Arctic sea ice melts beneath its feet due to the greenhouse gas emissions of 6.8 billion people, especially those in high-consumption nations like the United States. The bear was put on the endangered species list in 2008.

Six different packages with original artwork and edgy slogans feature the polar bear ("Wrap with care, save the polar bear"), jaguar ("Wear a jimmy hat, save the big cat"), American burying beetle ("Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle"), snail darter ("Hump smarter, save the snail darter"), coquí guajón rock frog ("Use a stopper, save the hopper"), and spotted owl ("Wear a condom now, save the spotted owl"). All six species are listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The snail darter lives in just nine populations in the Tennessee River drainage in eastern Tennessee. Its habitat has been severely reduced by dams constructed to provide water, power, and barge transportation to a rapidly growing human population. It was put on the endangered species list in 1975.

"Human overpopulation is destroying wildlife habitat at an unprecedented rate," said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate leading the Center's overpopulation campaign.

"All of the major threats to the earth's biodiversity - sprawl, logging, mining, dams, pollution, and climate change - are driven by human overpopulation. Our Endangered Species Condoms are designed to capture peoples' attention, get them laughing, and get them talking about the impact of overpopulation on our small and fragile planet."

The spotted owl depends on old-growth forests, which are being cut down to supply timber, wood fiber, and toilet paper to an ever-growing human population. It was put on the endangered species list in the Northwest in 1990 and the Southwest in 1993.

The Endangered Species Condoms will be distributed in bars, supermarkets, schools, concerts, parties, and other public events by grandmothers, college students, university professors, health-care providers, ministers, rock bands, and people from all walks of life.

"We've been overwhelmed with volunteers," said Serraglio. "We expected 100, but got over 3,000 in just a month. The demand far exceeded our first run of 100,000 condoms. We'll be producing another 100,000 as soon as the first batch hits the streets."

The large, spectacularly colored American burying beetle has disappeared from more than 90 percent of its former range due to disruption of its food chain by humans, including the human-caused decline of top predators like wolves and bears and carrion species such as passenger pigeons. The beetle was put on the endangered species list in 1989.

The human population stands at 6.8 billion and is projected to reach at least 9 billion by 2050. "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 Serraglio. "The Earth simply can't sustain that many people and provide a high-quality life for all species, including humans."

The largest cat in North America, the jaguar formerly roamed the borderlands of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It disappeared as human settlements spread further and further into its wilderness habitat. The U.S. population was put on the endangered species list in 1997.

The current extinction rate is about 1,000 times the normal background rate that has existed for hundreds of millions of years. "Unlike previous mass extinctions, which were the result of cosmic or geologic catastrophes, this one is being caused by a single species: human beings," said Serraglio. "With a little more thoughtfulness and responsibility for our reproductive behavior, we can ensure future generations inherit a world that's still full of a diversity of life."

The Puerto Rico rock frog, also known as the coquí guajón, lives in caves, grottos, and streamsides in southeast Puerto Rico. It was put on the endangered species list in 1997 due to destruction of its habitat by urban sprawl and roads, garbage dumping, deforestation, and pesticide poisoning.

"Through the empowerment of women, universal, free access to birth control for everyone who wants it, and education of all people, we can stabilize global population at a sustainable level," said Serraglio. "The United States, which has the highest population growth of any developed nation and extremely high consumption levels, is a key factor in this problem. We should be taking the lead in promoting policies that will stabilize global population."

The Center's new Web site - - has images of the six colorful condom packages, information on how overpopulation is impacting climate change, global fisheries collapse, public lands, and the extinction crisis. It allows people to sign up to become Endangered Species Condom distributors in their own neighborhoods and to enter a contest to win free condoms for life.

On the web:



Randy Serraglio,
(520) 784-1504

Source: Center for Biological Diversity

"Reproduced with permission - Center for Biological Diversity "

Center for Biological Diversity


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