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Scientists Decry the Border Wall’s Harm to Wildlife

More than 2,500 scientists have co-signed a paper describing the “significant” harm to wildlife posed by infrastructure on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Scientists say a continuous border would make it difficult for endangered animals such as the Mexican gray wolf to disperse across the border to reestablish a population or bolster a small existing population.
Scientists say a continuous border would make it difficult for endangered animals such as the Mexican gray wolf to disperse across the border to reestablish a population or bolster a small existing population.Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

More than 2,500 scientists from the United States, Mexico, and around the globe signed a paper published on Tuesday in the journal BioScience, warning that barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border are causing harm to biodiversity and that the continuous wall urged by President Trump would magnify this harm. The scientists, hailing from 43 different countries, called on the U.S. government to consider the ramifications of the wall for wildlife populations and not to reverse past investments in binational cooperation toward conserving the borderlands.

“We are trying to give a voice to the species, to the animals and plants that live in the borderlands areas, because people tend to think it’s just a barren area with no life,” Jennifer Miller, a co-author of the paper and a senior scientist at the conversation group Defenders of Wildlife, told CityLab.