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Southwestern willow flycatcher

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No. 10, August 19, 2011

In This Issue:

Hello From Your Friendly New O-Pop Activist
Coming Soon: The 7 Billionth Baby
Study: Saving Species Means Addressing Population
United States Requires Insurers to Cover Birth Control

Hello From Your Friendly New O-Pop Activist

Great news: The Center for Biological Diversity's ramping up our groundbreaking campaign to highlight the effects of the human population explosion on plants, animals and wild places. With the generous support of our loyal and growing network, the Center is now able to commit more resources to this critical issue, including hiring me, Amy Harwood, as a full-time organizer. Hello!

Randy Serraglio, who's been at the helm of our overpopulation work till now, has raised the national profile of the problem, led the launch of our popular Endangered Species Condoms project and harnessed the power of our campaign's most important asset: you. He remains at the Center and is now focusing his efforts on conservation issues in the Southwest. I'm excited to step into his shoes.

Coming Soon: The 7 Billionth Baby

With each passing second, the world's human population inches closer to 7 billion. The United Nations predicts that Baby Number 7.5 billion will be born on Oct. 31.

It's a huge milestone in the ever-steady increase in the world population (which is expected to hit 10 billion by century's end). Our runaway growth comes at a cost: More people means more consumption of natural resources and fewer places for other species, including endangered plants and animals, to eke out an existence. The species extinction crisis is more pressing every day, and ambitious, creative solutions are needed to curb it: This summer the Center struck a landmark agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to speed protections for 757 imperiled species around the country, including the wolverine, Pacific walrus and rare Miami blue butterfly, which just last week got emergency protection under the Endangered Species Act.

But addressing the underlying problems of overpopulation is a massive undertaking -- both to raise public awareness and to get solid solutions in place. We can't do it alone. In the coming weeks we'll be rolling out an exciting new campaign about the 7.5 billion benchmark, endangered species and how you can help on every level, from the local to the global. Stay tuned for details.

Meanwhile, we've been getting great feedback on our gigantic ad that ran in New York City's Times Square last month. Our digital billboard ad was designed to bring new visibility to the o-pop issue, increasing public support for tackling the impacts of overpopulation. If we're able to raise more funds, we hope to do another ad for the launch of our 7.5 billion campaign. You can watch the video here and read more about our overpopulation work here.

Study: Saving Species Means Addressing Overpopulation

A new study finds that despite the increases in protected land and marine areas in the world, human population growth is preventing efforts to stem the decline of biodiversity. The study looked at the 10 million+ square miles of protected lands and 1.2 million square miles of protected oceans worldwide. Its findings? The accelerating pace of new protections hasn't been able to make up for the loss of species.

The researchers make clear that they're not advocating the abandonment of protected areas, especially where critical habitat could stabilize an endangered species. However, those areas don't always protect other species from people's impact, so it behooves us to take other steps as well -- to slow human population growth and resource consumption.

The Center for Biological Diversity continues to find more opportunity to protect integral habitat for declining species; last week we won 2,000 stream miles of critical habitat for the southwestern willow flycatcher. But it's vital that we also take steps now to address one of the biggest drivers in the extinction crisis: the population bomb known as Homo sapiens.

You can read the study here and, again, stay tuned for how you can help with our 7.5 billion campaign.

United States Requires Insurers to Cover Birth Control

In a positive move for family planning, the Obama administration has issued new rules requiring insurance companies to begin covering birth control without a copay. The measure, set to take effect next year, will help ensure that those who want birth control have access to it.

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United State are unintended. That's why a report from the Institute of Medicine, which influenced the Obama administration's decision, recommended that birth control be included as preventative care in a list of other coverage changes for women.

Although it's rarely mentioned, this change should ultimately have implications for species survival. The United States has one of the highest fertility rates in the developed world, which means every effort to connect women to more family-planning options will help us stabilize our growth and reduce our impact on the planet. If this approach of better access to birth control was embraced around the world, we'd see far-reaching effects.

Less is more,

Amy Harwood

Amy Harwood
Overpopulation Campaign Coordinator

Center for Biological Diversity | P.O. Box 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710

This is an unmonitored email address, please do not reply. To sign up for condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's overpopulation campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to population@biologicaldiversity.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.

Southwestern willow flycatcher photo (c) Rick and Nora Bowers.

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