How Trump’s border wall would disrupt nature

These are eight prototypes for the proposed
border wall between the US and Mexico. Customs and Border Patrol commissioned these
designs and they’re on display just outside of San Diego. Some have rounded tops so that ropes can’t
be hooked on. Others have gaps so guards can see the other
side. Some are concrete, others incorporate steel
and other materials. They’re designed to keep people out. But the border doesn’t all look like it does
in San Diego. You can find pockets of rich biodiversity,
including endangered species that move back and forth across the border. And that raises the question — when we design
borders to divide people, what happens to the natural world around them? The US-Mexico border currently has about 650
miles of physical barrier that looks something like this, while about 1,300 miles are unfenced. Overall, this border region is home to an
incredible array of species: you can see that there’s a high concentration of diversity
of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals right along the political boundary. Building a wall along these areas threatens
that diversity. Parts of the existing 650 miles of border
wall have already impacted rare and endangered species. And in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where
33 miles of new barriers are scheduled to go, the wall can’t be built on the boundary
itself. The river forms a natural border, so construction
has to happen on US territory. That means a wall here would cut through several
protected parcels of land like this, creating almost 6,500 acres of inaccessible “No Man’s
Lands”. And that poses a unique problem for animal
movement. The immediate problem is with flooding. Along the Rio Grande are floodplains that
fill up when water levels rise from torrential rains. When that happens, reptiles and mammals have
to move to safety. But installing an impermeable wall essentially
creates a dam: so when water rises, these animals would be trapped. In the long term, structures that limit animal
migration can have serious consequences for their survival. When a population is separated by a barrier,
its gene pool can be split up. That means reduced genetic diversity in each
population, which leads to higher levels of inbreeding and an increased risk of extinction. For the endangered ocelot, that process is
happening right now. The species is down to two small populations
in the US and Mexico. Border walls have been linked to a decrease
in their populations and diversity. Any additional barriers would put their survival
even more at risk, and make the possibility of re-connecting those two populations pretty
much impossible. Some argue that small crossings or barriers
with occasional gaps would help animals like the ocelot to pass through. But those design features don’t take animal
behavior into account. Typically, building a barrier requires surrounding
areas to be totally cleared of vegetation for roads that border patrol can drive on. The area is often lit with bright stadium
lights too. For animals accustomed to traveling at night
under the cover of vegetation, that’s not a welcoming environment to use a small opening. In 2014, researchers placed cameras along
the Arizona border, and found that the presence of humans and most animals dropped after fence
installations. But where the fence ended, human presence
increased dramatically, while animal presence dropped. So humans can figure out ways around, over,
or under a barrier. Animals often can’t. There’s one big reason why habitats like
those in the Rio Grande Valley are vulnerable right now. Along these areas, the Department of Homeland
Security has the authority to waive environmental laws for border wall projects. So they can build a wall anytime with no restrictions. Nature isn’t supposed to be the target of
political barriers — but with a wall like this, it might stand to suffer a lot of the
consequences. Thank you so much for watching episode 2 of By Design. To film this story I went down with our science editor Eliza Barclay, to the border of Texas and Mexico. I highly recommend that you check out more of the reporting that she has done on this issue. Those links are down below.

Comments 100

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  • It's just bloody sad. Why can't the Americans use high-tech surveillance and detection in eco-sensitive areas?

  • Law breakers are the cause for law makers. Those who do evil deeds are the cause for any related deaths.

  • Walls do not work, let's send 40 billion dollars to Israel for their walls and defense

  • DEBUNKED: How Trump's border wall would disrupt nature + Three Major Reasons Democrats Need to Fund a Physical Barrier at the Southern Border – Fact-Checking Chuck Schumer in His Response to Trump Oval Office Address

  • humans shouldve never evovled

  • share this everywhere

  • The music at last was way too jolly

  • Is this propaganda 🤔

  • You do know that it’s all Desert on the border right?


  • Democrats don't want a wall because a wall is permanent. Let's pretend that Trump caves in and agrees to have no wall and settles on just border security. Leftards would continue to pretend to talk about border security,but if Trump is not reelected and a Democrat gets into office, he or she would immediately cut down on border staff. The funding for it would be very low. Their ultimate goal is a porous border or no border at all. Anyway, Israel's wall is very effective, and it does the job.

  • If you don't want to be killed by the Invaders then don't complain about the wall.

  • Walls work because wheels work.

  • Soooooo liberal

  • Don’t pull the nature card on us vox

  • Border walls are 100% a must because it separates the end of bad ideas and the beginning of good ones.

  • How vox lies all the time

  • Speaking of animal migration, if you don't feed them they leave. Imprison everybody that hires illegals. We ignore our own homeless citizens and invite millions more to take their potential jobs? Anti-Americans should not live in this country. Zebra mussels.

  • Look at the preamble. The constitution of the United States describes a role of government to provide for the common defense. That is what Trump is doing. I believe that the founding fathers would have done the same thing.

  • Boohoo stfu

  • I see VOX is a fake news network of unAmerican POS. Go Fuq yourselves and your lies. Majority of American Patriots not buying your CNN type garbage, traitors … MAGA! KAG!

  • How Trump's border wall would disrupt nature: It wouldn't. Rearranging nature isn't disrupting it. That iron was in the mountains (mountains are walls, cliffs and crags are walls… don't see Democrats complaining about them) and now it is standing erect in a line. Small animals can go around the metal slats. People can't. They can reach an arm through but they can't walk past. They can't climb the smooth surface. They can't use a ladder due to the angle of the slats and the space in between the slats. They can't dig under with conventional tools because the slats extend too far down into the earth.

    It's just like a Democrat to accuse a Republican of being heartless, when, in fact, your heart won't work if you don't have a brain. Democrats' pathological empathy is truly sickening, and a mockery of actual compassion that at least some Republicans seem to possess. Democrats are dangerous and insane.

  • Another brick in the wall

  • No more ocelots? No more Babou?
    Archer would be distraught…

  • Nature will adapt. Build the wall.

  • Since I was frowning up I remember people talking aboit the wall. I remember president talking about putting up a border wall instead they built a portion then used wire fence. My question to everyone who's getting the kick backs on drugs comming in, child traficing? Animals adapt to change in our environment. It's all about loosing money. Why is the demrats being this way. Look at palosi. Why isnt anyone question her. Evil is evil does. The demorcarts had changed our schools education. Why? Cause the less of the truth is taught the more they can get away with corruption. I wish more Americans start asking for investigation on the democrats party and push for the truth. Some people wants to be hateful against president trump on this shut down. Why didnt they make this big of deal when Obama shut down the government in office? At least this shut down is for our safety for all Americans.

  • Just le em live man

  • disrupt nature are you kidding these lowlife scums will disrupt the people of America

  • I want the border wall to be built just to laugh at the stupidity of racist white for the rest of my life I

  • Animals are legally allowed in Mexico without being detained. I think they will survive. Also I believe birds can fly over the current 15ft fences and animals can swim to dry land.

  • Man, liberals will find any excuse not to build the wall.

  • Does a building or a city comprised of hundreds and thousands of buildings impact nature’s path ? The answer is yes! So why are we worrying about a wall. What is more upsetting, a fox that lost its way or Isis in your back yard. We must think logical.

  • It will be most likely just a fence not an impermeable wall. If it happens at all.

  • Is there still anything we can do to stop this???

  • 0:52 *despacito

  • 🤣🤣🤣now left is using environment card for stopping wall

  • Look at a prison!! More effective and cheaper! Razor wire electrified fencing!!
    The species will be saved by staying out of Mexico where they don't have fish and game!!
    All these talking points are bullshet liberal lies!!

  • বলখেলা হৃদয়ৰ বননিত প্ৰিয়ংকু নাৰায়ণ বৰুৱা সাগৰ তেৰ বছৰ বয়সত ডক্টৰেট ডিগ্ৰী লাভ কৰে

  • The narrator of this video should look up the amount of Americans killed by illegal aliens! We need the border wall for protection.

  • Bullshit! Animals stay where they are. Animals move into other areas automatically. I guess we should prevent adult inbreeding of races in the US because it corrupts the gene pool! LMAO! This guy is a Snowflake.

  • TAKE DOWN ALL THE WALL!! Let everyone come in as they see fit. 2016 some 600,000 people were caught crossing. Start a sponsorship program, if you don’t support the wall, take in a family, help them start a life in America. Sponsor a family of 4, mother father and 2 kids. Let the citizens that don’t want a wall help. They can also help the homelessness in San Francisco and LA.

  • Trump and 30% of US voters will not care about that, it's unfortunate but true. as long as they get their wall everything else can hang, odd how when they had the power they did nothing, and now it all wall wall wall.

  • The thumbnail is like "OMAE WAE MU NO SHIDERU"

  • I got a add to build the wall right before this vid

  • Trump add
    No skip
    Send help

  • Throughout the West, illegal immigrants have left a wake of environmental destruction. The US Govt Accountability Office reports that illegal immigrants caused FORTY PERCENT of the forest fires on our Mexican border just between 2006 and 2010. Fires have been deliberately set to mislead BP Agents, or as campfires or from gunfire by the smugglers.
    In 2002 in southern Arizona, illegal aliens were suspected of having caused at least eight major wildfires that burned 68,413 acres (Illegal Immigrants Tied to Costly Wildfires Associated Press, Dateline Tucson, Arizona, September 9, 2002).  
    In May of 2007, illegal aliens set at least five fires in the Coronado National Forest over a 10-day period in an effort to burn out Border Patrol agents conducting a law enforcement operation in the area (Illegals using fire to clear border. Washington Times, June 18, 2007)
    Besides millions in economic damages, illegal crossing has severely damaged habitat for endangered species like our own Sonoran pronghorn sheep, increased the spread of invasive non-native plant species and caused erosion. Constant illegal traffic by drug and human smugglers has created vehicle tracks in the Cabeza Priera National Wildlife Refuge that disrupt food sources severely for the wildlife, undermining the protection our laws and tax dollars are meant to give.
    The damage to the environment of the Southern United States by illegal immigration and drug and human smuggling has been severe and going on for decades. It is far more damaging than a barrier could possibly be Stopping the wildfires would be a great benefit to our environment.

    Signs of illicit activity clearly deface areas considered to be corridors of illegal immigrant movement.  Causing great concern for fragile ecosystems, the immense amount of debris left behind by illegal travelers evading capture is a huge detriment and comes at a high cost to the region.
    At the peak of traffic in 2004 and 2005, the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge near Sasabe, southwest of Tucson, 2,000 crossings a day, translated to 16,000 pounds of trash a day. A long list of items, including abandoned vehicles, can be attributed to illegal immigrant groups traversing the desert.  Items such as used needles, drug paraphernalia, plastic grocery bags, paper products, empty water containers, blankets, clothing, used disposable diapers, among other things.  The heaps of litter long forgotten by those forging ahead come at a great cost to those who must bear the responsibility of cleaning it up.  Sadly, the affects on the environment cannot, so easily, be repaired. The cost of clean-up to private land owners and local governments is staggering. 
    In the early 2000s, the Tohono O'odham Reservation was getting 1,500 crossers daily and 12,000 pounds of trash. The tribe has workers who march out several times a week to do cleanups, as part of the tribe's solid-waste program. Between September 2004 and December 2008, tribal workers removed 106 tons of human trash from the delicate ecosystem that needs to support wildlife.
    By early 2004, the Chief Ranger at Organ Pipe estimated that illegal aliens and smugglers had created 300 miles of illegal roads and “thousands of miles of illegal trails."
    More than 30 abandoned vehicles are removed from Organ Pipe alone each year.
    Since its creation in 2000, more than 50 illegal roads have been created in the Ironwood Forest National Monument, and more than 600 vehicles are abandoned there each year.
    There are an estimated 20-25 abandoned vehicles in the Cabeza Prieta NWR at any given time.
    An estimated 180 miles of illegal roads were created in Cabeza Prieta between 2002 and 2006. 
    Statistics show that over the past thirty years, illegal immigration has escalated from roughly 180,000 unauthorized entries per year in 1980 to about 850,000 per year since 2000 .  That's 15,300,000 between 2000 and 2018 just through our delicate and beautiful Sonoran desert. The media keeps quoting a number of 11 million total illegals from all sources, including visa overstays. They've used that same number for 15 years.

    Environmentalists fighting on behalf of illegal immigration and against border control selectively ignore the many species of plants and animals in our complex desert and mountain ecosystems that are being irreparably harmed by illegal, unchecked, wantonly and ignorantly destructive human foot and vehicle traffic.  They are not really true environmentalists, but people using environmentalism to cloak a political agenda to destroy much more than our natural environment in America.

  • I hope trump dies of a heart attack soon

  • Apart from nature, there's no real reason not to build the wall. Yet y'all are so stuck on feelings that can't understand why it's a good idea.

  • I really wish people would take issues like this seriously.

  • This is what happens when ignorant people agree to decisions without thinking twice. They harmed our world enough and now they are making it worse. I wonder if they even studied or knew about the situation and consequences of doing this. Making these barriers ruins the circle of life and the balance of our ecosystem. They clearly didn’t think of this before building that wall. They could’ve made security a hundred times tighter or at least made sure that the wildlife is safe. This wall can and most definitely will become the bane of our existence. If you already didn’t know. Disrupting the ecosystem will lead to major consequences. The effect may not come now but it will in the future. And by then it would already be too late to fix it.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone here. I am just stating my opinion. This video clearly has more common sense than building that wall.

  • First of all is Trump a human???

    Human always things abt ppl & surrounding them animal etc…
    Trump is a Joker President Vote by U ppl…

  • Trump will end this country like he did with his business

  • We've been disrupting natural habitats since the beginning of America's major infrastructure.

    Do you have any idea how many times we've blocked off animal territories by building highways?

    This is nothing new.

  • Build an Animal Park at the Border. Provide only one food source, entering Illegals. Problem solved. BTW if you are an illegal and make it past the cats, you will be granted immediate amnesty, good luck and good night.

  • I think we should put the Democrats in Mexico with em

  • we should build a wall
    because building a wall can stop immigration, and have no negative effect

    which is completely opposite to reality

  • Hey liberals, of course, do away with ANY barrier, let all of Central and South America FULLY into the once great USA. You'll open your homes to begin with for them, right???????????????????????

  • What the point of making a wall when all it will hurt the environment,cost money,and not be practical….it didn’t work in the past so why do people think it’s going to be effective now? People are just going to find a way around it!
    I wish everyone could see this video,Personally this bothers me because I love ecology.

  • The one on the bottom right and top right look the best.

  • Lol because birds and butterflies can't fly above the wall.

  • Ocelots are fine separated they are in separate regions for a reason. Some moved some didn't.

  • You can like comments on Instagram by double tapping them

  • Completely dismantle all major cities as well. They are FAR more environmentally damaging than any simple wall.

  • See this is another reason why fox has not taken very seriously by anybody over the age of 24.

  • To be clear the wall is already there it just got short falled from funding gone else where so now the wild life is a concern? Really….

  • it is not Trumps wall ,,, it was not started by Trump but he met an already existing wall he is just extending the wall ,, I am not sure if Obama continue the wall , having a wall will help keepout ,to some extent people who want to come in the US illegally and if it can reduce drugs that is a bonus , if it can assist in reducing teens by being hooked or not getting started on drugs it is worth it ,,,,, the onslaught of drugs alone is a sufficient reason to have a wall , a deterrent . in economic terms the gains in saving one life is sufficient for all the troubles incurred in building that wall .

  • 0:51 despacito

  • If Mount Saint Helens can recover in a quarter of the time the experts thought it would take, a 1 foot wide wall won't be a problem not to mention birds can fly bugs can fly and the rest will adapt just fine, not to mention the heroin that will stop killing 300 a day and the junkies littering our citys will fade awqy

  • Bruh what are you talking about, I got a bunch of ocelots on my Minecraft server.

  • I wonder what vox would say about Israel's wall.

  • So I guess what the video is saying is “Diversity is our weakness”.

  • We're full ! turn a round and go home! Free land is full!What an —t!

  • Trump doesn’t give a crap about other species and animals

  • Not all Trump supporters like the wall too

  • Are these environmentalists the same ones that support the erection of thousands of wind turbines? WInd farms kill tens of thousands of birds and significanlty disrupt the migration routes of many bird species. How is this not hypocrisy?

  • Mexicos well above average crime rate disrupts nature. Will Vox do a hit piece on that?

  • #BuildTheWall !!!

  • Survival of the fittest; quit being a saint.

  • maybe if illegal immigrants didn't cross the border, we wouldn't have to make a wall.

  • LOL, so Vox is claiming the wall will work.

  • There is already a gate there from the obama administration so thaf means that only birds can go accross.

  • this is so sad 🙁 why do innocent animals have to pay for human political war?

  • Nature will find a way. It always has and always will. There is no easy answer.

  • Hey!!! How do we stop the birds from jumping the wall

  • Who cares??

  • Humans busy fighting each others, and the animals got killed in the cross fire.
    2:22 look at that face, you are killing that face.

  • btw whats the serif font was used for the graphic title?

  • Honestly I'm for the wall, but I keep an open mind. I haven't thought about this aspect. Maybe we should better technology for surveillance to help secure border

  • The Maintenance and access roads alone would cost more than the wall itself.

  • Build it now and we'll figure it out later

  • They should demolish the wall and stop working on it. Also would this effect climate change?

  • When they mentioned ocelots my 9 year old minecraft ocelot loving self came out.


  • Nobody gives two craps about wall effects on the animals. Any type of security requires some sacrifice and inconvenience. Build the DAMN WALL!!!

  • Its President Trump fault for protecting America.

  • Well those gaps in the fence are wide enough for amphibians, reptiles, and even most mammals to squeeze thru. So this is hilarious BS.

  • Keeping the animals out is the point

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