Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, March 22, 2018

Contact:  Catherine Thomasson, (503) 819-1170,

Texas Growth Spurt Increases Pressure on Imperiled Wildlife

Climate Change, Sprawl, Threats to Family Planning Services Amplify Impact of Growing Population

DALLAS— U.S. Census Bureau data released today shows that Dallas-Fort Worth is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States, increasing pressure on endangered species in the region such as whooping cranes and Texas horned lizards.

Six of the 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States are in Texas, with other southwest counties — Maricopa County, Ariz., Clark County, Nev. and Riverside County, Calif. — taking the top three spots on the list, raising concern for imperiled wildlife already stressed by habitat loss, drought and climate-driven extreme weather events.

“Soaring human populations are putting incredible pressure on endangered animals in Texas and across the Southwest,” said Catherine Thomasson, MD, population campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We're crowding out wildlife and destroying wild places at an alarming pace. To protect imperiled creatures, we need smart planning that fully accounts for the growing human impact on other species.”

Cities and counties in Texas, as well as other rapidly growing areas, can take steps to reduce the impact of population growth by supporting land-use and smart-growth policies that protect habitat and water resources, transitioning to wildlife-friendly renewable energy sources and increasing access to contraception and reproductive healthcare.

Texas has one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the country and the highest rate of people lacking health insurance. Only 10 percent of the need for publicly funded family planning services is currently met in the state. Family planning, education and access to affordable contraception are crucial factors in addressing unsustainable population growth.

“People in Texas and across the country deserve full access to contraception, reproductive healthcare and family planning services,” Thomasson said. “These are basic human rights, and they are critical to tackling the problem of unsustainable population growth.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

More press releases