Good Fences… Destroy Unique Ecosystems

The American government doesn’t get irony. Good fences don’t make good neighbours, as every high school literature student knows. But they’re going to build one anyway, a massive great border fence to keep out those dirty Mexicans. The idea is stupid on many levels; it will also be an environmental disaster.

ocelot by environmental graffiti, a UK based environmental blog

The riparian forest that runs along the Rio Grande River in Texas is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the USA. It is a lush subtropical belt between two vast, arid plains. It is already threatened by urban sprawl and agriculture, which has divided the forest in to many small pockets, and ecologists believe that the border fence will only exacerbate this.

Dividing the habitat into many small islands greatly reduces its ability to support a balanced ecosystem, as animals are no longer free to roam. The border fence would, in all likelihood, lead to the local extinction of the already threatened Ocelot, and would decimate the unique butterfly population of the area. The forest, spread over four counties, contains over three hundred species of butterfly, more than the rest of the country east of the Mississippi put together.