Why You Should Care: Trump’s Order on the Border Wall

Wildlife and habitat are on the line because of impacts of the new administration’s immigration policy.

Today, President Trump ordered the construction of a Mexican border wall — the first in a series of steps intended to crack down on immigration and bolster national security. The executive order to finish the remaining 1,000 miles will have a huge impact on biological unity, connectivity along the border, and habitat disruption.

Spanning roughly 1,900 miles across the southwestern states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, the U.S. and Mexico border has long since been a topic of debate between conservation groups like Defenders of Wildlife and policymakers that support extending the border wall. These public lands provide essential habitat for hundreds of wildlife species, including rare, threatened and endangered species such as the Mexican gray wolf and the elusive jaguar.

Since the early 1990s, U.S. Border Patrol has dramatically increased immigration enforcement from urban zones to more remote areas, and we have seen significant environmental degradation in some of the most pristine and valuable wildlife habitats in the nation.

Why You Should Care

While being constructed to stop people from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, the border wall actually does more to prevent wildlife – not humans – from migrating and connecting with different populations across vast natural southwestern habitats.

Maintaining connected habitats is important for any species, but especially  for those struggling to survive in the face of multiple and cumulative threats. For some species, the wall will completely block the  corridors – or regularly traveled paths through the landscape – that they have relied on for centuries. If the wall fragments populations and prevents animals from reaching necessary habitat, these species are unlikely to remain healthy and contribute to their ecological landscapes. Imperiled species such as the ocelot, Mexican gray wolf, jaguar and Sonoran pronghorn may not be able to migrate, exchange genes between populations, and or reach vital food sources.

Is There An Alternative?

There are several scientific and conservation-minded solutions to extending the wall, including virtual fencing and wildlife-friendly vehicle barriers that are passable only to wildlife. There are also short-term measures that can be taken to support wildlife on America’s borders such as increased funding for environmental protection, improved environmental training for Border Patrol agents, and greater commitment to existing environmental laws.

We shouldn’t have to sacrifice our wildlife to secure America’s borders. Protection of the irreplaceable parks, refuges, forests and wilderness areas on the southern border – and the intricate web of life that depends on them – must become a central and fundamental consideration of border security.

As we continue to read over the Executive Order, stay tuned for new updates from Defenders of Wildlife about how the border wall will have an impact on the wildlife and landscapes we are working hard to protect.

44 Responses to “Why You Should Care: Trump’s Order on the Border Wall”

  1. Carol Mayer

    We need to worried about our wildlife. This is VERY IMPORTANT, to our lives. The Mexican people really do not hurt us as much as you think. Considerate on the crimes our own people do. Get help for the sick people on drugs.

  2. Betsy Thomas

    Been Wiccan and some Native American Family and Wildlife and Nature is very close to my heart. An this is true is sad and a bad move for us in this area. But I do understand that we need to control other issues just need to find another way.

  3. Marguerite Ormon

    Please above all elce ,please care about and protect all wildlife ! As go the smallest animal on Mother Earth , so go we all .

  4. Marcie Donnelly

    Please at don’t further risk these endangered species with the wall! Don’t build the wall, we Dont need it!!

  5. Jan

    Nature before profit .
    People need nature and jobs intalagents and morals . There is always another way to move forward for prosperity and may lead to lower profits and a healthy environment.

  6. Carol Cassidy

    The wall will impact innocent animal life in the most negative of ways!
    Will it prevent all illegal and/or criminal persons from entering the U.S.? I think not.
    The money could be spent in so many other positive ways! Health care, education, housing, infrastructure – etc.
    I hope all the policy makers will not implement this awful idea!

  7. Michelle Frantz

    why do we keep doing whatever we want with no concern on how it affects other around us. be it animal or human.. Think about how your actions will affect others before you act.

  8. Jennifer Gjestson

    Which pack actually crosses the border? The wolves are endangered and are being hunted to extinction. If the people in New Mexico would protect them it would be safer for them to remain in their state.
    Panthers will stay here or jump over.
    I don’t know what kind of deer is on the picture here, but I haven’t seen him on the border.

    • Hillary Esquina

      Hi Jennifer! The wildlife feature in the photo is a Sonoran pronghorn, which is an endangered species with only three small populations remaining; one in southwest Arizona, and two separate populations in Mexico.

    • Don Talley

      Trump should talk to the German people before he builds a wall . Then in a dream , he should be be chased , poisoned , shot at , or caught in a leg trap so he could realize what animals experience .

    • steph

      Jump over? This wall will probably be 20 feet high, and electrified.

  9. Joanna Metzger

    I’ll be making a donation. We must resist this dictator. I’m seeing animal rescuers on a daily basis defending this lunatic; it’s maddening.

  10. Debra Doucette

    Enough is enough trump needs to be impeached he cares nothing for the wildlife or people we can’t let him get away with what he is doing

  11. Kimberly Beltran

    I am a staunch Trump supporter & am in favor of building a wall/fence or whatever to greatly reduce illegal immigration. However, I insist that it be done in a sustainable way that will have minimal negative impact on wildlife. Please encourage the current administration to create land bridges or tunnels at key crossing points for wildlife to cross. Border patrol stations can be erected at the crossings to ensure that they are only being used for animals.

    Thank you for all you do!

  12. Marie Estes

    I am very concerned about the impact these actions will have on wildlife. Since Trump only recognizes white, middle American Republicans as his base, I’m not at all surprised that he has absolutely no conception of food chains/webs and the importance of maintaining habitat for animals. As Joe Biden said yesterday, Trump is “profoundly ignorant” of so many issues. This ill conceived border wall, along with most of his policies to destroy open lands, cannot be realized.

  13. John T (Doc) Baker in Dallas, Texas

    There are a few places where the WALL can be helpful. However, we must be very selective in deciding those locations. The wildlife corridors are so very important in so many ares of the border. Example-the bears are coming back to Texas. The Big Horn Sheep are being reestablished on both sides -& more. I saw 6 bears in one day in Big Bend this past Out. I remember when there were none. Also, some areas of the border pose hardly NO peoblem to illegal immagration &/or drug smuggling-such as the area from Candellaria (Presidio), Texas to Langtry, Texas. The remoteness & real lack of roads & great distances to a road makes it so almost impossible to have illegal activity. Only 4 good roads go into & out of that area & they have Border Patrol check points.. Contact Bruce Burleson of Temple Texas for your “Stop the Wall” bumper sticker.
    John T (Doc) Baker in Dallas.

  14. Patty

    Trump never ever think about what his consequences have wildlife He just like shooting his mouth so so sad He is our modern day Hitler

  15. Don Talley

    As a Christian , I am ashamed to admit that I wouldn’t be bothered at all if Trump was impeached or kidnapped . I think the President is so delusional that he actually thinks he is protecting us . I pray for the people and animals that will suffer because of the spineless Congress that is allowing Trump to remain in office . God help us all .

  16. GABRIELA VARGAS

    AQUÍ LO VERDADERAMENTE IMPORTANTE ES LA VIDA SALVAJE, ES FUNDAMENTAL RECONOCER QUE NECESITAN MIGRAR PARA ENCONTRAR SUFICIENTES RECURSOS PARA ALIMENTARSE Y REPRODUCIRSE. TODA ACCIÓN QUE ATENTE CONTRA LA VIDA SALVAJE TENDRÁ CONSECUENCIAS IRREVERSIBLES!!! SÍ, SE NECESITAN PROTEGER A LOS LOBOS, LOS OCELOTES, ZORROS, COYOTES, ETC. NO PUEDEN SOBREVIVIR SI LES IMPIDEN Y LIMITAN SUS TERRITORIOS. NO QUEREMOS QUE INCREÍBLES ESPECIES SE EXTINGAN Y DESAPAREZCAN COMO HA SUCEDIDO EN MÉXICO. LA VIDA SALVAJE TIENE DERECHOS DE PROTECCIÓN Y SUS HÁBITATS SON SAGRADOS, SI CON ACCIONES TORPES Y NECIAS ENTORPECEMOS LA VIDA Y COSTUMBRES DE LA VIDA SALVAJE, ACABAMOS EN UN FUTURO MUY CERCANO CON LA NATURALEZA Y RESERVAS DE GRAN IMPORTANCIA PARA LA VIDA DEL PLANETA.

  17. GABRIELA VARGAS

    EL TEMA MÁS RELEVANTE ES LA VIDA SALVAJE, LA CUAL ES AMENAZADA TERRIBLEMENTE CON LA LIMITACIÓN DEL MURO, YA QUE PIERDEN LOS ANIMALES LA OPORTUNIDAD DE ENCONTRAR VARIADOS RECURSOS PARA SOBREVIVIR; ALIMENTARSE Y REPRODUCIRSE. LOS ANIMALES SALVAJES, LA NATURALEZA Y LOS RECURSOS Y HÁBITATS TIENEN QUE SER PROTEGIDOS FORZOSA Y URGENTEMENTE POR LEYES DETERMINANTES QUE NO PERMITAN POR NINGÚN MOTIVO LA AMENAZA A LAS RESERVAS NATURALES NI ATENTEN CONTRA LA VIDA DE LOS ANIMALES!!!

  18. carol johnson

    We need to protect the remaining wildlife we have, what difference is that wall really going to back except cause discontentment with our nation and with the harm that would come to our wildlife. Wake up President Trump and start thinking beyond twitter, you need to support our nation and our wildlife.

  19. J Glen

    This article does not state what Defenders of Wildlife is currently doing to communicate to the Trump administration about the negative impacts to wildlife of a physical wall and other alternatives. All this article says is that “As we continue to read over the Executive Order…” – I hope Defenders is currently doing more than this.

  20. REv. Robert A. Jones

    It is not only precious wildlife, but valuable PEOPLE who will be curtailed. ! THE GREAT SYMBOL OF AMERICA IS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY, NOT the wall. The Old Donini Strivepeace28@gmail.com

    strivepeace28@g

  21. Carolyn Denton

    I am all in favor of the wall but concerned about any negative impact it could have on wildlife. Wonder if a study has been done on what animals are crossing the border and at what points? The wall should be designed with monitored wildlife crossings in the appropriate locations or some other means to allow for passage of the animals while fulfilling the purpose for which it is intended.

  22. Carol Criddle

    The environment is far more important than this ineffectual wall. Please consider the species that will be affected.

  23. Lynn RothII

    If you don’t take into consideration what will happen to the habitat in that area and just build a wall fence you will destroy the balance and animals flora etc will be destroyed and there will be an imbalance that will cause more problems. Put in tunnels or overpasses for these animals . A lot of people want to build a wall, fence. Who is going to be watching along the wall to prevent people from coming over the wall or .tunneling under the wall. How much is it going to cost the middle-class? I don’t have the money to build a wall. If the million Ares and billionaires want it they should pay forit

  24. Eileen Farrer

    All wildlife need to be protected. The world is becoming more careless in the disregard for habitat for these wonderful God-given creatures.

  25. Renato G.

    … We don’t need to get stressed having “another brick on the wall” around … The Wildlife will win at the end , no matter how/when/where , it will be done … That’s “our” Wolves would hope for …

  26. Barbara Cundari

    This is something that I don’t think has even been considered, or taken into account, but now is the time to do so !! I am not optimistic that someone who denies all the scientific evidence for global warming, supports the XL pipeline, and has never shown any concern whatsoever for the environment, or the wildlife that relies on it, will give a rats ass about this…….but here’s hoping !! I would LOVE to be wrong !

  27. Patricia Panitz

    There are ways of securing the border without harming wildlife. Virtual fencing is probably the best, with the least disruption to wildlife.

  28. MECKY MYERS

    We need the various types of animals to keep balance in nature. Besides we enjoy their diversity and the amazing ways they all survive. Living in the many cities now we have gotten more and more disconnected from nature which takes away major experiences in our lives. We are already encroaching on wildlife’s territories and building a WALL will make it even much harder for animals to survive.

  29. Gina Ness

    I hope that this most important and vital reason for NOT building a wall is an important part of the discussion to lay this absurdity to rest. We have so many valiant and articulate environmental attorneys fighting for the animals and the environment! Truly a blessing for our country at this frightening moment in our history!

  30. Margot Lowe

    A wall would be disastrous for wildlife. It is not necessary to build a wall to curb illegal immigration. JUst enforce the existing laws, make e-verify mandatory, and end birthright citizenship.

  31. Jeanne

    Imagine..all of this misery , because people were 2 lazy 2vote . especially sad 4 our world.God help us.Not my president!

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