Monday, 9 April 2018

Proposed border wall will harm Texas plants and animals, scientists say

Date:  March 30, 2018
Source:  University of Texas at Austin

In the latest peer-reviewed publication on the potential impacts of a border wall on plants and animals, conservation biologists, led by a pair of scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, say that border walls threaten to harm endangered Texas plants and animals and cause trouble for the region's growing ecotourism industry.

In a letter publishing Monday in Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment, Norma Fowler and Tim Keitt, both professors in the Department of Integrative Biology, examine what would happen if more of Texas' roughly 1,200 miles of border with Mexico were to be walled off, contributing to habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and ecosystem damage. Other states have shorter borders than Texas has and more barriers already in place; in Texas, there are walls along only about 100 miles of the border with Mexico. Congress just exempted the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge from the new fencing project, but many miles of new barriers are set to be built on other federal lands, most of which are part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

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