Environmental analyst Iván Restrepo explained to Carmen Aristegui on CNN en Español that the wall would have serious consequences for the free movement of species between the two countries. "It would first end the unity of ecosystems, to which we have committed ourselves in international treaties," said the expert.
But, in addition to that, the animals would become easy prey for the poachers, since "the animals, not being able to cross into the United States or vice versa, are always going to look for a place to live together." Not to mention that they would be under inadequate climatic conditions and they would lack food because "they also move according to the time of year," Restrepo said. In short, this artificial border "is going to break the balance of the ecosystems that have existed for thousands of years between the two countries."
It is not the first time that it has been warned about the damaging effects that border walls or physical barriers built on the borders between countries have on fauna. In the case of the United States and Mexico, a 2011 study conducted by researchers Jesse Lasky, Walter Jetz, and Timothy Keitt of the University of Texas and published in the journalDiversity and Distributions I had already recorded the tragedy this represents for animals. Specifically, for 56 species that were affected at that time and whose number could increase if more obstacles are built in their habitat.
"New barriers along the border would increase the number of species at risk, especially in the three identified regions (California, the Madrean Archipelago and the Gulf Coast), which should be prioritized to mitigate the impacts of the current barriers," he said. research on its results.
In this sense, the expert Restrepo recalled that "when an attempt was made in 2007 to continue with the construction of the wall", the first to protest together with the Mexicans were the scientists "from the southern border of the United States: from California, from New Mexico, from Arizona, from Texas ”, because they knew the ecological importance that exists between the two countries.
On the other hand, a 2014 investigation by British scientists Jamie McCallum, Marcus Rowcliffe and Innes Cuthill found that measures such as walls or barriers at borders have more effect in stopping the passage of animals than that of humans. The results of the study revealed that "barriers dissect, filter, eliminate or complicate movement and can influence small mammals and large mammals alike." What can, the publication continues, put them in a situation of vulnerability "to isolation, stochastic events and extinction."
So it's time, some observers say, to start looking at the other implications the wall would have and its long-term consequences, which go beyond a four-year or eight-year presidential term.