File photo – File photo – AN AMERICAN worker builds a part of the U.S.-mexico border wall in Sunland Park, USA across the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, November 9, 2016. Picture taken from the mexican side of the U.S.-mexican border/A Mexican gray wolf (REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/AP2011)
More than 2500 scientists warn that the wall between the U.S. and Mexico will have a negative impact on the flora and fauna.
The wall was an important part of the President, Donald Trump presidential campaign, but continues to spark controversy. While Trump has reiterated his desire to strengthen America’s southern border, critics have questioned the effectiveness, economic consequences and the costs.
The President’s budget plan earlier this year included a $23 billion demand for the security of the borders, $18 billion that would be allocated to the building of a wall.
Published in the journal BioScience, the letter is confirmed by more than 2500 scientists around the world. The signatories warn that the wall spells bad news for the field of the nature.
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“In North America, along the 3,200 km [1,988-mile] U.S.–mexican border, fence and wall construction in the past ten years and the efforts of the Trump administration to a continuous border ‘wall’ is threatening some of the continent’s most biologically diverse regions,” the letter says. “Already constructed parts of the wall are reducing the area, the quality and the connection of plant and animal habitat and compromises more than a century of bi-national investment in conservation.”
The border cuts through areas inhabited by 1,506 indigenous animal and plant species. 62 of these species are listed as critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, according to the scientists.
By significantly altering the landscape, the wall threatens a number of animal populations, the letter says. “Physical barriers to prevent or discourage animals from access to food, water, mates, and other essential resources on disrupting the financial statements or the seasonal migration and distribution routes,” the scientists explain. Continuous walls, can prevent the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep from moving between California and Mexico to gain access to water and birth sites.
It can also be difficult for other endangered animals like the Mexican gray wolf and Sonoran pronghorn to cross the border to recover and recently destroyed populations, improve or in small groups.
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“As climate change and the increasingly warm, dry conditions, redistribution of resources and shift of habitats in the border areas, the wall can prevent some populations from the track of these changes,” the letter reads. “Fragmented populations may suffer from reduced genetic diversity and face greater extinction risks.”
In the letter, the scientists claim that the wall to bypass environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The wall also devalues the conservation investment and scientific research, they say.
Fox News has reached the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, with a request to comment on this story.
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