Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Border fences pose threats to wildlife on US-Mexico border, study shows

July 13, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas-Current and proposed border fences pose significant threats to wildlife populations, with those animals living in border regions along the Texas Gulf and California coasts showing some of the greatest vulnerability, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin shows.

"Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of threats to species across the entire U.S.-Mexico border," says Jesse Lasky, a graduate student in the laboratory of Tim Keitt, associate professor of integrative biology. "The scale at which these fences stretch across the landscape is large, so it's important for us to also have a large- scale view of their effects across the continent."

Among the species at risk include four species listed as threatened globally or by both the U.S. and Mexico, and another 23 with small range sizes. The animals include the Arroyo toad, the California red-legged frog and the jaguarundi.

"We were able to identify a list of animal species that are most at risk and should be prioritized and monitored for change," says Lasky. "We're hoping this helps point decision-makers towards the animals to look at first when making priorities for conservation."

Most at risk of extinction are smaller populations of wildlife that occur in more specialized habitats, the study shows. Even animals that may appear to have large ranges may live in isolated habitats within those ranges that can be heavily disturbed by border fences. Human population growth along the border also poses threats to the wildlife.

Lasky says when the ranges of these animals are separated by barriers, including border fences and roads, the animals' ability to move is limited. The isolated populations are then more vulnerable to unforeseen disturbances, such as a hurricane or fire, which can wipe out an entire population. The isolation also increases inbreeding depression, which means the animals have limited opportunities to mix their genes with others and accumulate harmful mutations.

The study analyzed the ranges of 313 non-flying mammals, reptiles and amphibians and identified three major regions where wildlife is most vulnerable: the high human population areas of coastal California and coastal Texas and the unique "sky island" Madrean archipelago habitat in southeastern Arizona.

These regions have high numbers of vulnerable species. Some species in California have barriers that block as much as 75 percent of their ranges.

"The U.S.-Mexico border spans regions of extraordinary biological diversity as well as intense human impacts," says Keitt. "Loss of biological diversity can have negative impacts on the ecosystem services that are the basis of our life-support system."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is waived from environmental regulations when building security infrastructure. There are about 750 miles of border fences and human migration barriers along the border.

###

The study, by Lasky, Keitt and coauthor Walter Jetz, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, appeared May 3 online in the journal Diversity and Distributions.

University of Texas at Austin



More Border Fences Current Events and Border Fences News Articles

The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border
by Claire Fox (Author)


Book by Fox, Claire

By Sylvia Longmire Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer [Hardcover]

By Sylvia Longmire Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer [Hardcover]
by Palgrave Macmillan Trade (Publisher)




Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer

Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer
by Sylvia Longmire (Author)


When confronted with the challenges of border security and illegal immigration, government officials are fond of saying that our borders have never been as safe and secure as they are now. But ranchers in the borderlands of Arizona and Texas fear for their lands, their cattle, their homes, and sometimes their lives due to the human and drug smuggling traffic that regularly crosses their property. Who is right? What does a secure border actually look like? More importantly, is a secure border a realistic goal for the United States? Border Insecurity examines all the aspects of the challenge―and thriving industry―of trying to keep terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants from entering the United States across our land borders. It looks at on-the-ground issues and...

Borders, Fences and Walls: State of Insecurity? (Border Regions Series)

Borders, Fences and Walls: State of Insecurity? (Border Regions Series)
by Routledge


Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the question remains ’Do good fences still make good neighbours’? Since the Great Wall of China, the Antonine Wall, built in Scotland to support Hadrian's Wall, the Roman ’Limes’ or the Danevirk fence, the ’wall’ has been a constant in the protection of defined entities claiming sovereignty, East and West. But is the wall more than an historical relict for the management of borders? In recent years, the wall has been given renewed vigour in North America, particularly along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel-Palestine. But the success of these new walls in the development of friendly and orderly relations between nations (or indeed, within nations) remains unclear. What role does the wall play in the development of security...

The Third Nation: Life along the southern border fence

The Third Nation: Life along the southern border fence
by Mr. Richard P Rosenthal (Author)


A short history of how our southernmost border came into being. The "fence" now separating the nations of Mexico and the United States and how we might best resolve the issues this border presents to both nations.

Outdoor Structures - Build Storage Sheds, Retaining Walls, Fences, Brick and Iron Structures, Garages and More

Outdoor Structures - Build Storage Sheds, Retaining Walls, Fences, Brick and Iron Structures, Garages and More
by Henry Grunwald (Editor)


CONTENTS: 1) Laying the Groundwork: Surveying property; Reshaping land; Halting erosion; Terracing slopes; Building a free form garden pool. 2) Borders of Wood, Brick and Iron: Setting fence posts; Wooden fences; Privacy fences; Repairing gates; Block and brick walls. 3) Quick and Easy Backyard Building: A-Frame; Post and beam; Gazebos; Tree houses; Dome; Coverings. 4) A Roomy All Purpose Structure: Slab; Sturdy walls; Ready made trusses; Sheathing.

The Fence and the Bridge: Geopolitics and Identity along the CanadaâUS Border

The Fence and the Bridge: Geopolitics and Identity along the Canada–US Border
by Heather N. Nicol (Author)


The Fence and the Bridge is about the development of the Canada-US border-security relationship as an outgrowth of the much lengthier Canada-US relationship. It suggests that this relationship has been both highly reflexive and hegemonic over time, and that such realities are embodied in the metaphorical images and texts that describe the Canada-US border over its history. Nicol argues that prominent security motifs, such as themes of free trade, illegal immigration, cross-border crime, terrorism, and territorial sovereignty are not new, nor are they limited to the post-9/11 era. They have developed and evolved at different times and become part of a larger quilt, whose patches are stitched together to create a new fabric and design. Each of the security motifs that now characterize...

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Landscape Projects, 2nd Edition: Stonework, Plantings, Water Features, Carpentry, Fences (Black & Decker Complete Guide)

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Landscape Projects, 2nd Edition: Stonework, Plantings, Water Features, Carpentry, Fences (Black & Decker Complete Guide)
by Editors of Cool Springs Press (Author)


Complete step-by-step instructions help you achieve a sustainable, efficient, and attractive yard.The Black & Decker Complete Guide to Landscape Projects is a hardworking, comprehensive manual for renovating, building, and "greening up" your landscape. Inside, you'll find complete directions for time-tested landscape building projects as well as new environmentally sustainable projects. From designing your landscape to putting the finishing touches on an arbor or custom gate, everything you need for landscaping success is right here.Learn how to make and install: compost bins, garden walls, dry beds, rain gardens, water features and irrigation, patios and walkways, all the most popular styles of fencing, and more. You can build a sustainable, low-cost yard with the most efficient,...

Theory of the Border

Theory of the Border
by Thomas Nail (Author)


Despite -- and perhaps because of -- increasing global mobility, there are more types of borders today than ever before in history. Borders of all kinds define every aspect of social life in the twenty-first century. From the biometric data that divides the smallest aspects of our bodies to the aerial drones that patrol the immense expanse of our domestic and international airspace, we are defined by borders. They can no longer simply be understood as the geographical divisions between nation-states. Today, their form and function has become too complex, too hybrid. What we need now is a theory of the border that can make sense of this hybridity across multiple domains of social life.


Rather than viewing borders as the result or outcome of pre-established social entities like...

Building the Wall: The Efficacy of a U.S.-Mexico Border Fence

Building the Wall: The Efficacy of a U.S.-Mexico Border Fence
by U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (Author)


The construction of a US-Mexico border fence has proved an increasingly divisive method for securing the southern US border since its initial construction as the San Diego Fence in 1990. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 the construction of a US-Mexico border fence has morphed from a method to stem the tide of illegal immigration from Mexico into a legislated method to prevent the entrance of terrorists. All terrorists except two have gained entrance into the US through manipulation of the US immigration system. Those two exceptions crossed the US-Canada border. This work analyzes what threat Mexico poses as a transit for terrorists attempting to enter the US by surreptitious means, and what deterrent or defeat effect a US-Mexico fence provides. The absence of a terrorist...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com