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red-bellied cooter

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No. 19, May 25, 2012

In This Issue:

On Time, On Target Report Covers Species Hurt by Human Overpopulation
Happy Earth Day, Here's a Condom: Dispatches From Distributors
Royal Society: Family Planning Needed to Keep Planet and People Healthy

On Time, On Target Report Covers Species Hurt by Human Overpopulation

The Center for Biological Diversity just put out an important new report on the success of the Endangered Species Act. It found that 90 percent of the 110 studied species that are protected by the Act are on their projected track to recovery -- an indisputable success rate. The report debunks arguments by opponents of the Act who say it's failing.

When a recovery plan is made for an endangered animal or plant, scientists factor in myriad reasons for that species' decline. In many cases, pressure from a growing human population is one of the driving factors. Knowing the historical trend of population growth in a species' habitat can be critical to charting a path to recovery; for instance, our report has a section on Plymouth red-bellied turtles (also known as cooters), which are found in Massachusetts ponds. Between 1990 and 2000, Plymouth County's human population rose 8.6 percent, while the statewide population grew 5.5 percent. In its own assessment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that "increased residential development and human activity near ponds where red-bellied cooters occur adversely affect this turtle in many ways."

Fortunately, the Endangered Species Act has been proven to work. Thanks to the establishment of a national wildlife refuge and other efforts, Plymouth red-bellied turtles are on the path to recovery. Read about the other 109 species we looked at and spread the word about this exciting new study.

Happy Earth Day, Here's a Condom: Dispatches From Distributors

Thanks to 1,200 of our enthusiastic volunteer activists, we distributed more than 100,000 Endangered Species Condoms in April. Local media covered the effort across the country, including in this excellent piece in the Eugene Weekly. Here's what some of our volunteers had to say about handing out condoms at Earth Day and other events:

  • "Our club handed the condoms out with an educational flyer on the facts of human overpopulation growth. We handed them out on our campus and all the condoms were gone within 20 minutes!"
  • "I took the condoms you sent me to San Diego Earth Day Fair -- the biggest Earth Day event in the world(!) and gave condoms to teens and 20s and got into some good conversations."
  • "Had a great event, lots of smiles and much interest in the message."
  • "Beginning at midnight tonight, I'm going to dress up like Mother Earth and hand out condoms to my fellow college students as they spill out of the bars."
  • "I think I like being the condom man -- one person yelled out, Is it that time of year again? I think we have the makings of a tradition -- Happy Earth Day!"

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year's Earth Day a success. We plan to distribute more Endangered Species Condoms later this year. We'll let you know how you can help, but in the mean time learn more about our other overpopulation work at 7.5 billion and Counting.

Royal Society: Family Planning Needed to Keep Planet and People Healthy

A new study called People and the Planet, released by the London-based Royal Society, directly links our planet's population growth and consumption patterns to the devastating loss of biodiversity and natural systems.

Most compelling about this study is the way it looks at the complexity of population issues. Although the rapid doubling of the world's population is bound to have disastrous impacts on the rest of life on our planet, we also need to be aware that the consumption, movement and behaviors of the human population that is here now will determine whether these impacts continue to grow far worse. Aging populations, migration caused by climate change and massive urbanization will all contribute to new challenges to environmental protection, as well as human rights and quality of life: We're woefully unprepared for many of these challenges. Fortunately, the report suggests a number of ways we can act now to reduce harm, including supporting voluntary family planning.

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.

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Red-bellied cooter courtesy Flickr Commons/USFWS Northeast Region.