Why Animal Lovers Should Oppose Trump’s Border Wall

When debates about President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border occur, a lot of the discussion is naturally focused on the human consequences, be it the lives of desperate families seeking a better life or the concerns that an influx of foreign labor has on the economy. However, one severely underreported consequence of the wall would be the detrimental effects it has on wildlife.

A new study published in the journal BioScience this week concludes that an uninterrupted wall would “threaten some of the continent’s most biologically diverse regions.” The largest problem is how the wall would impede normal migration patterns for species that live in the area. A lot of species cross the border for different purposes, including food and water sources and breeding grounds.

Bear in mind that animals know nothing of passports; the concept of a border is completely arbitrary to them. They’ve been able to traverse the land easily, and won’t understand or necessarily even be able to adapt to this sudden change. Depending on where animals are at the time of construction, some could get stuck on the side that isn’t advantageous to their needs.

Altogether, there are over 1,500 animal and plant species that live near the border, about 100 of which are endangered and would be further threatened with the construction of a wall. Animals facing some of the stiffest consequences include bighorn sheep, pumas, bobcats and pygmy owls.

As climate change sends temperatures higher, it’s likely that animals will try to migrate north, particularly in the summer, to avoid the heat. Trapping the animals on one side will limit the amount of space and relief the animals can seek as other parts of the environment become unforgiving.

Ecosystems are both intricate and delicate. As Jamie McCallum, a scientist who has devoted his attention to how border barriers affect wildlife, explained to the Huffington Post, “Once there is a disruption to the complex ecosystem in this way, there is a risk of triggering a cascade of secondary effects. Simply put, less apex predators leads to more deer, which leads to greater vegetation predation, which leads to less pollination with a further effect on bird species and insects.”

Good science is typically peer-reviewed, but what’s unique about the latest study is that the authors asked other scientists to “endorse” their research. Over 2,700 scientists – most of whom are American or Mexican – heeded the call and added their names to the list. Apparently, when it comes to animals, a lot of experts see the writing on the wall for, well, the wall.

If you’re wondering why existing endangered species laws wouldn’t protect vulnerable animals, it’s because Congress passed a law in 2005 giving the Department of Homeland Security the authority to ignore usual ecological concerns in the name of national security. So long as the White House spins a wall construction as necessary protection from scary immigrants, worries about animals are deemed irrelevant.

Take Action

While the GOP continues to find ways to fund the wall – because, no, Mexico isn’t going to pay for it – there’s still time to stop the project from being completed. Sign this petition encouraging the Trump administration to ditch the plan, if for no other reason than to spare the animals.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

117 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

thanks for posting

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE9 months ago

Thank you

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner9 months ago

You can't physically build a useless wall across mountains, lakes, parks. Just trying would be massively destructive to the environment and cost trillions which would obviously bankrupt the US. There should be a military coup to stop Trump and his circle of Trump Republican terrorists. I would enjoy a military tribunal to watch all of those murderers and planet destroyers being hung high, and then trussed up upside down for the world to spit on them.

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michela c
michela c9 months ago

Thanks

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Debra G
Debra G9 months ago

The appeal against the wall on environmental grounds is being argued in the 9th circuit court on August 7th. A rally in support will be held at 8am that day in Pasadena, CA.

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Janis K
Janis K9 months ago

Thanks

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