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President Donald Trump’s border wall will be a threat towards as many as 111 species of endangered animals. As Trump continues his presidency, his plans to build a wall along the Mexican border are not only affecting illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, it also puts many animals at risk. It is important Trump considers these species, not simply immigration in the United States. These species share the land with humans.
In the beginning of the article by Wes Siler, Trump is quoted as declaring, “I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
As Trump builds this wall, he needs to take into account the animals who share the land with us. Siler continues, “Assuming Trump’s wall will run along the entire 1,989-mile long land border the U.S. shares with Mexico… the project will ‘potentially impact’ 111 endangered species, 108 species of migratory bird, four wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, and an unknown number of protected wetlands.” Siler specifically points out that jaguars, sea turtles, bald eagles, and grey wolves would be negatively impacted by Trump’s wall. These animals are already endangered and could be put in further jeopardy because the wall would encroach on their habitats. For example, this project will divide herds of wolves if they separate while the wall is being built. This new project will hurt the animals during construction, as workers may accidentally hit or drive into an animal.
In an article from the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, it says “Scientists say one area that would be most affected is the Madrean Sky Islands, a cluster of more than 60 high-elevation mountains rising out of lowland valleys that runs from southern Arizona and New Mexico into Mexico. Home to 7,000 species, many endangered, researchers call it one of the most biodiverse areas in North America.” These animals need to be safe and protected if Trump builds the border wall.
In a video titled “Proposed Border Wall Endangers Wildlife,” it mentions, “The proposed US/Mexico border wall will endanger wildlife. Populations of iconic species like cougars and Jaguar will have their habitat disrupted and face extinction. Wildlife should not need a passport to migrate.” In order to survive, wildlife needs to be able to roam free to find food, shelter, water, and mate.
Another article titled “Study: Trump’s Border Wall Threatens 93 Endangered Species’” mentions, “Construction of Trump's 1,200-mile wall—along with related infrastructure and enforcement—will have far-reaching consequences for wildlife, including cutting off migration corridors, reducing genetic diversity, destroying habitat, and adding vehicles, noise, and lights to vast stretches of the wild borderlands.” This highlights the many ways that the construction of Trump’s wall would impact the animals, not just during construction, but long-term.
The article continues to describe the harm that would be done if the wall is built. “The sections of a border wall that have already been built have had a range of negative effects on wildlife, including the direct destruction of thousands of acres of habitat, indirect impacts from noise and light pollution, and division of cross-border wildlife populations like bighorn sheep and jaguars. The border wall would cut through the Cabeza Prieta, Buenos Aires and several other national wildlife refuges, along with Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Big Bend National Park and many other natural areas that, besides acting as corridors for wildlife, are national treasures.” This is important because the border will cross these locations which will cause problems with animals.
“The border wall won't be effective at stopping people seeking a better life from getting to this country, but it will destroy habitat and divide wildlife populations,” Greenwald, a contributor to the article, said. “Building a wall across the entirety of the border would cause massive damage to one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America and would be a boondoggle of the highest order.”
In closing, a Mexican/US border would impact species and disrupt natural habitats. It is too high a price to pay. Trump should not continue construction on the wall and not harm species. It is important for President Trump to consider alternatives. Donald Trump should find another way to solve the illegal immigrant problem, instead of building a wall that will do more harm than good.
ckoenen. “Proposed Border Wall Endangers Wildlife.” YouTube, YouTube, 3 Aug. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=OScSW42Xrys.
Siler, Wes. “These Are the 111 Endangered Species Threatened by Trump's Wall.” Outside Online, Outside Magazine, 23 May 2017, www.outsideonline.com/2075761/trumps-wall-threatens-111-endangered-species.
“Study: Trump's Border Wall Threatens 93 Endangered Species.” The Endangered Species Act: A Wild Success, www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/border-wall-05-15-2017.php.
“Border Wall Proposal Threatens Delicate Wildlife Habitats.” Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, 12 Jan. 2018, azcir.org/news/2018/01/12/trump-border-wall-threatens-delicate-wildlife-habitat/.