Donald Trump has been talking about his border wall since before he even started running for the Republican nomination. It’s all part of his hard line against immigration and his general disregard for anyone who isn’t American. A lot of us thought he might drop the wall talk after he got in the White House, but it’s still a big priority of the administration with $1.6 million coming from congress (senate approval pending) and theories flying like crazy from the man himself. Don’t even get us started about how this clear, solar panel-covered, Mexico-financed wall is going to work. It turns out that while this wall is terrible for people, it’s also going to be devastating to over 100 endangered animal and plant species. No, not the animals!
Adorable species like the ocelot, the jaguar and the Mexican grey wolf are all in danger of going extinct if the Americans put up a wall right in the middle of their habitat.
Any time humans mess with nature, we hurt it. When barriers are put up in the middle of a species’ range, it has disastrous effects on the population for a number of reasons. On the most basic level, it cuts animals off from resources like food and water, leaving them with either less or none of the things they need to survive. That also means they’ll go searching for those resources and instead come across the construction of a wall where they could be a danger to humans or humans could be a further danger to them.
Climate change–which we know DJT doesn’t believe in–has already caused groups of animals to change their patterns and move further north as the planet heats up. In the future, the wall could bar animals from seeking a survivable climate and trap them in Mexico. Animals can’t even apply to immigrate.
The wall would have some pretty severe consequences within the animal populations as well. When the barrier goes up, parts of species’ populations will be trapped on either side, drastically reducing them in number. That will create a whole host of reproductive problems that will ultimately weaken the entire species. Since the gene pool on both sides will be dramatically reduced, the populations will have more difficulty adapting through evolution. The smaller groups will also create ‘inbreeding depression’ which is an increased likelihood that related animals will mate because there are fewer choices. We probably don’t need to explain that inbreeding is bad, but it can lead to genetic mutations, heart defects, reproductive issues and make animals more susceptible to infection.
So Donald Trump’s wall and stance on immigration is harmful to a lot more than just tolerance in America. It’s going to ruin families, further divide Americans and could bring about the extinction of over 100 animals. Yeah, it’s terrible. All we can do now is hope funding for it doesn’t get approved by the senate.