The United States-Mexico border is blocking the movement of wild animals, and conservationists are warning that it is causing a possible “ecocide.”
Southern Arizona and northern Mexico are home to thousands of native animal and plant species. Before the border wall was built in 1994, the animals used to roam freely back and forth. However, the wall has stunted their movement, and it is damaging the delicate balance in the ecosystem.
Euro News reported that local conservationists have placed camera traps to track the movements of animals. They found that animals such as deer, mountain lions, and black bears pace along the metal wall, seeming confused and lost.
Jose Manuel Perez, the conservation director of Cuenca Los Ojos (CLO) said that a family of boars spent five hours trying to get past the wall to look for water.
The metal wall was reinforced in 2017 under President Donald Trump. The wall stretches over 600 miles and prevents animals from reaching food, water, and even mates. Migrating animals can become confused as well.
Conservationists are urging the US and Mexican governments to build ‘biodiversity corridors’ where animals could get through. They also are calling for the restoration of cross-border rivers.
We hope that passages will be designed for wild animals so they can move freely.
Recently, California announced they would be building the world’s largest wildlife crossing over a 10-lane freeway. The Wallis Annenberg wildlife Crossing will be in the Santa Monica Mountains region of Los Angeles County and will not only be California’s first bridge of its kind but the largest in the world.
Nearly 20 years ago, the U.S. National Park Service conducted a study that found roads and developments were deadly for animals that were trying to cross. The new bridge will allow animals to safely cross the road without entering the busy ten-lane freeway.
The bridge is not the first of its kind, but it is becoming increasingly popular to protect these incredible wild animals. Just 40 years ago, there was only a handful, while today, there are more than 1,000 crossings. Most of them are underpasses or tunnels, while only a few are overpass designs like the new crossing will be.
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 21 October 2022. Lead Image Source : Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock.
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