Endangered Species Condoms

Yes. Endangered Species Condoms. Seriously. That’s creative.

Lest you think this is a joke (as I did at first), you can visit the Center for Biological Diversity’s 7-Billion and Counting site and their newsletter Pop X. The world’s population is slated to hit the 7-billion mark this October. The Center for Biological Diversity‘s Endangered Species Condom initiative is their attempt at creatively (and, hey, practically) – dare I say – driving home the connection between overpopulation and environmental destruction.

“Overpopulation and overconsumption are the root causes of environmental destruction. They’re driving species extinct, destroying wildlife habitat, and undermining the basic needs of all life at an unprecedented rate.” -Center for Biological Diversity

The CBD is relying on volunteers to distribute the condoms at public events across the US. You can even sign up to help them reach their goal of distributing 100,000 free condoms in 2011, which is a bit shy of their 2010 quota of 350,000. Maybe this map will help you decide whether or not your geographic area is in need of more free Endangered Species Condoms. Just look at that distribution!

The images used on these clever condom wrappers were donated by the Endangered Species Print Project (ESPP). Since I study endangered species, this project hits pretty close to home. I love it! The ESPP creates art prints of critically endangered species in series that are limited by the number of animals (or plants) remaining in the wild. For example, there are less than 100 Panamanian Golden Frogs left in the wild, so ESPP founder Jenny Kendler’s print of the creature is limited to 100 prints. This project  grew out of a fondness for nature and animals shared by ESPP founders Jenny Kendler and Molly Schafer:

” [they] met during their graduate studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where they bonded over nature-geekery, including a studious interest in animals, wild places and natural pre-history. Since 2005, Kendler and Schafer have been collaborating on projects relating to art and the environment.”

To learn more about ESPP, they have a great blog and a Facebook page that features many of the ESPP’s biocreative endeavors. All of the prints are available for about $50, and the proceeds go directly to organizations that benefit each endangered species. Now if only we can do a print for the critically endangered Barton Springs Salamander!? *Hint, hint Jenny & Molly!* I just happen to have a watercolor print and access to a rhyming dictionary!

The endangered Barton Springs Salamander. Less than 200 remain in the wild. Artist: Victoria Harrell of Conroe, Texas.

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