TRUMP’S WALL IS A HAZARD TO BORDER’S WILDLIFE
Hundreds of endangered species would be affected with the construction of a wall
Animals do not bother about getting a passport or a visa, they have crossed from one side to the other of the border for almost 3 million years, but now this might change; environmentalists say that Donald Trump’s idea of a 10 meters wall between Mexico and the United States will attempt against local wildlife.
The purpose of a wall is to stop illegal migration into the United States, but it also will stop mating between species in the region, which would result in reduced genetic diversity, making them susceptible to diseases.
“For some species, like desert bighorn sheep, you have decent populations on both sides of the border. But they depend on those movements for maintaining genetic diversity, for recolonising habitat where they’ve suffered local extinctions“, told Dr Clint Epps, wildlife biologist at Oregon State University, to the BBC.
The region of the border has an extensive number of mammals and plants considered on danger of extinction as the saguaro cactus, the American roadrunner, the desert bighorn sheep, the North American jaguar, the ocelot, the black bear, the mountain lion and the bobcat.
But we don’t have to wait until Trump’s becomes president to react; Dr. Epps says that there have been so many cases of stressed animals along the one thousand and 988 miles of fence that divide the Mexican territory to the United States.
And the situation can be worst, the construction of a 10 or even 20 meters wall will slow down the research process and the conservation programs this due to the strict controls exercised by the border patrol.
“For example, if you work with owls, that’s work you do at night, or if you’re hiking looking for evidence of wildlife it gets the attention of law enforcement. Every time I travel along the border I have to explain not only who I am and where I work but what kind of work I do, why I’m along the border and why I’m taking photographs”, explained Sergio Avila-Villegas, from Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, on a BBC interview.
By Fernanda Duque Hernández