Scientists warn border wall would harm region’s species

A family of javelinas walk by a U.S.-Mexico border wall near the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona. Scientists recently agreed a continuous border wall would harm species and their biodiversity. ©Krista Schlyer

A continuous border wall between the United States and Mexico would cause trouble for the biodiversity of 1,506 native terrestrial and freshwater animal and plant species that use the border region as habitat, according to a new paper in Bioscience. Sixty-two of those species are listed as critically endangered or vulnerable. In the paper, scientists outline the wall’s impact on biodiversity, including not adhering to environmental laws, eliminating and fragmenting animal and plant populations and habitats and devaluing binational research and conservation investments. They suggest surveys for at-risk species, habitats and ecological resources before construction and call for facilitating scientific research at the border. So far, over 2,500 scientists from 43 countries have endorsed the paper.

Read more in Newsweek, and read the Bioscience paper here.