No. 37, Dec. 20, 2013
In This Issue:
Resolution Time: How Will You Help Wildlife in 2014?
With 2014 right around the corner, this is the time we reflect on the old year and look forward to the new. But while we're contemplating the usual resolutions to lose weight and balance our checkbooks, let's take a minute to think beyond the basics to the big picture. From polar bears to sea turtles, hundreds of species are feeling enormous pressure from human population growth and overconsumption.
This year we're resolving to ease that pressure -- to buy less, drive less, eat less meat, practice safer sex, and have more conversations about the impact of our human footprint on the planet. Please: Take a minute and add our resolutions to your list. Help the Center for Biological Diversity kick off a year of taking on these critically important issues with our newly expanded population and sustainability program.
Take the pledge today; then share it with your family and friends.
Want to know more about why we're adding overconsumption to our population work? Check out this infographic.
Rising Seas Bring New Wave of Threats for Endangered Species
They don't make snorkels for Florida's Key deer, who live 3 feet above sea level, or water wings for Hawaiian monk seals, who have already lost a key pupping island to the rising ocean. And those are just two of 233 animals and plants already on the endangered species list that are now at risk from sea-level rise and storm surges, according to a new, first-of-its-kind report from the Center. That's 1 out of every 6 endangered species that faces a new wave of threats as climate change heats the planet, melts the Arctic and pushes seas inland.
In the next 90 years, sea levels could climb 6 feet while global population shoots past 10 billion people. Species like the Key deer and Hawaiian monk seal that rely on coastal habitat will be feeling the squeeze from rising waters on one side and encroaching development on the other. But there's a lot we can do in the meantime to protect remaining habitat, including deep cuts to greenhouse gas pollution, protecting our shorelines to create natural buffers, making room for species to move inland, and stemming population growth through education and universal access to birth control, so everyone can decide for themselves when and how many kids they want to have.
It isn't just wildlife threatened by sea-level rise: 123 million people (and growing) live along America's coastlines.
Watch our video and check out the Center's report on how sea-level rise is putting wildlife at risk.
25,000 Endangered Species Condoms to Ring in the New Year
Nothing says Happy New Year like condoms with endangered species packaging and slogans like "Be a savvy lover...protect the snowy plover." This holiday season more than 25,000 of our Endangered Species Condoms will be distributed by volunteers across all 50 states. The condoms will be handed out at yoga studios, skateparks, churches, holiday parties and even family gatherings.
By New Year's Eve, we'll reach the milestone of half a million Endangered Species Condoms given away for free since 2009. We couldn't have done it without our network of dedicated volunteers, who share the condoms and start conversations about the impact of human population growth on endangered species.
Thanks to the 330 lucky volunteers randomly chosen to give away free condoms this holiday season for helping us reach this landmark. If you weren't selected this time, stay tuned... there will be more opportunities to help the Endangered Species Condoms project in 2014.
Learn more about our Endangered Species Condoms project.
Hope for Plastic Island Paradise
The Hawaiian Islands are a top destination for honeymooners. And not just people, either: Millions of seabirds and charismatic animals like sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals are also drawn to the islands for nesting and mating. But lately one of their favorite spots has become more plastic than paradise.
Tern Island, a tiny Northwestern Hawaiian Island, one of the largest tropical seabird nesting areas in the world and once a haven for marine wildlife, has been trashed. Literally. Its reefs and shores are littered with deadly plastic pollution, which can cause entanglement and drowning, strangling, lacerations and infection, and even starvation when the animals feel falsely full from consuming bits of plastic. But now there's new hope for a clean-up crew: In response to a Center petition, the Environmental Protection Agency is considering Superfund designation for the island.
Where did all this trash come from? It's impossible to trace the exact source, but if you checked out the infographic in the first article, you know that the U.S. generates more garbage than any other country in the world -- an average of 5.7 pounds per person, per day. So it's a good guess that our country's consumption habits played a role in the plastic pileup; it's only fair we help with the cleanup.
Read more from the Center's oceans director in the Huffington Post.
Help Our Online Population Grow
You won't usually find us advocating for a growing population, but when it comes to our online communities, we're looking to expand. The Population and Sustainability program is now on Facebook and Twitter.
If you like our monthly updates on population and sustainability issues, then "like" us on Facebook and follow us Twitter for daily doses of the latest news, information and campaigns on the ecological impacts of human population and overconsumption.
Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and help us grow by sharing our social media pages with your friends.
Until next time,
Population and Sustainability Director
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 Endangered Species Condoms, click here. If you'd like more information on the Center's human population campaign, visit our website. To make a donation, click here. Specific population-related questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow a few days for a response. To stop receiving Pop X, click here.
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Photo credits: Hawaiian monk seal courtesy Flickr/Michael Robles; original Earth photo courtesy NASA; key deer courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Ianare Sevi; Endangered Species Condoms courtesy Flickr/AIDS/SIDA NB; Laysan albatross courtesy Flickr/Kris Krug; gray wolf pups courtesy California Wolf Center.