I have shared multiple news stories about the potential impacts of Trump’s border wall on jaguars (Panthera onca). As a recap, jaguars were wiped out of the United States due to excessive hunting. They began reappearing in 1996, and most experts believe that these returning jaguars have all come from Mexico.
If the U.S. builds a giant wall across its entire southern border, it would likely prevent jaguars from moving between the two countries. But it is not just jaguars that would be affected.
According to a May, 2017 article from The Revelator, Trump’s wall could impact up to 10,000 species. These numbers come from Dr. Gerardo C. Ceballos González of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), who led a team that assembled a list of vertebrate species that the border wall might affect. Dr. Gerardo Ceballos and his team surveyed the entire, 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border, and also pulled together the scientific data on species distributions and travel routes in the region.
Dr. Gerardo Ceballos and his team concluded that the border wall would impact 841 known vertebrate species. Importantly, this list does not include fish, plants, or invertebrates. If one adds in these other organisms, Dr. Gerardo Ceballos estimates that the construction and maintenance of the border wall would affect up to 10,000 species – and none of them positively.
The Revelator’s original article presents far more information than what I have summarized here. If you want to learn more about the environmental and social impacts of Trump’s proposed border wall, please visit the link below.