How might Trump's border wall affect animals?

Experts worry that that Trump's proposed US-Mexico border wall would irreparably harm the wildlife.

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Tzvi Lev,

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Experts worry that United States President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the US-Mexico border would be a death sentence for local wildlife.

In August, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they had "issued a waiver to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads", and would ignore "a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws".

This means that the wall can be built without assessing the wall's impact on local wildlife. The US Fish and Wildlife Services says that the wall would threaten over 100 different animals due to stopping migration patterns and removing predators, hurting the food chain.

If the native predators were removed from the food chain due to an inability to cross the wall, it could set off a trophic cascade, where the balance of plant and flora populations is altered by the sudden explosion of prey, leaving less vegetation for other animals.

"This would cause incalculable damage to the integrity of wildlife populations on either side of the border, as well as the massive societal disruption it would cause,” Defenders of Wildlife Vice President Bob Dreher told NBC News.

Animals most at risk from the wall are the jaguar, ocelot, jaguarundi, Mexican gray wolf, desert big horn sheep and pronghorn antelope.