With the world’s population having doubled since 1968 to 7 billion by October of last year, experts predict that by the end of this century, this figure will have climbed to 10 billion. The resulting effect on the world's animal population has been devastating, environmentalists report.
Loss of habitat caused by human expansion and global warming sees about 90 species going extinct every day said the Tuscon, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity
In an effort to tie human overpopulation and global animal extinction for this year's Earth Day on April 22, the Center is distributing 100,000 free condoms around the country. The 'Endangered Species Condom
,' package will feature two condoms, original artwork, information on the species, and facts about overpopulation and the extinction crisis.
Designed by artist Roger Peet, included with the condom duo are suggestions on how the human population can be stabilized. Each package will also combine a snappy slogan that directly correlates to one endangered species.
Amy Harwood, who runs the Center’s human population campaign said:
"The more people we crowd onto our planet, the fewer resources there are for already-endangered species like panthers, sea turtles and snowy plovers. If we’re going to deal with why plants and animals are going extinct at a staggering rate, we have to make human overpopulation part of the conversation."
The "pocket-sized" snowy plover said the Center, "is surviving against the odds," considering "its habitat of open, sandy beaches is a prime target for increasingly destructive human activity." The message accompanying this bird advises folk to "Be a savvy lover, protect the snowy plover."
Other messages in the series include:
Since 2010, the Center has handed out nearly 500,000 free condoms at community events, libraries, college dorms, protests, bars and backyard parties, as a part of the 7 Billion and Counting campaign.
"These condoms are a great way to get people talking and thinking about how overpopulation’s hurting plants and wildlife that people care about," said Harwood.
The first Earth Day back in 1970, was the brainchild of former senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. Through his efforts said Earth Day.org
, 20 million Americans came together the first year "to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment." Earth Day's credits this initial gathering for "the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts."
Now entering its 42nd year, Earth Day 2011 witnessed over 100 million 'Acts of Green' conducted on a global scale, said the organization. These actions boosted efforts to deliver a 'Billion Acts of Green
' to world leaders at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference is scheduled for June 20-22.