A Wall in the Wild

Transcript

1 a Wall in the Wild The Disastrous Impacts of Trump’s Border Wall on Wildlife Noah Greenwald, Brian Segee, Tierra Curry and Curt Bradley Center for Biological Diversity, May 2017 Saving Life on Earth

2 Executive Summary rump’s border wall will be a deathblow to already endangered animals on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the impacts of construction of that wall on threatened and endangered species along the entirety of the nearly 2,000 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico. T The wall and concurrent border-enforcement activities are a serious human-rights disaster, but the wall will also have severe impacts on wildlife and the environment, leading to direct and indirect habitat destruction. A wall will block movement of many wildlife species, precluding genetic exchange, population rescue and movement of species in response to climate change. This may very well lead to the extinction of the jaguar, ocelot, cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and other species in the United States. To assess the impacts of the wall on imperiled species, we identified all species protected as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, or under consideration for such protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“candidates”), that have ranges near or crossing the border. We also determined whether any of these species have designated “critical habitat” on the border in the United States. Finally, we reviewed available literature on the impacts of the existing border wall. We found that the border wall will have disastrous impacts on our most vulnerable wildlife, including:  93 threatened, endangered and candidate species would potentially be affected by construction of a wall and related infrastructure spanning the entirety of the border, including jaguars, Mexican gray wolves and Quino checkerspot butterflies.  The wall would degrade and destroy critical habitat for 25 species, including a total of 2,134,792 acres that occur within 50 miles of the border. Species with critical habitat on the border include the jaguar, arroyo toad and Peninsular bighorn sheep.  Studies on portions of the border wall that have already been constructed demonstrate that the wall precludes movement of some wildlife. For example, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl tends to fly low over the ground and avoids open areas, so the border wall will isolate U.S. birds from those in Mexico. This is true for many other species as well. These results reflect a first look at the consequences of construction of more than 1,200 miles of border wall and associated infrastructure and enforcement on imperiled species. A more thorough analysis of Trump’s border wall is badly needed, but adequate federal studies will not occur because the REAL ID Act of 2005 gave the secretary of Homeland Security the power to waive environmental and other laws to expedite construction of the border wall. Under President George W. Bush, then-Secretary Michael Chertoff utilized this authority five times to waive the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and other laws to construct the nearly 700 miles of wall and other barriers that have been constructed to date. Past challenges to REAL ID waivers have proven unsuccessful. Even so, the Center for Biological Diversity and a broad coalition of environmental, human and civil-rights organizations, as well as borderland private property owners and elected officials, are preparing new and vigorous legal challenges in case the Trump administration attempts to once again rely on REAL ID Act waivers and dispense with the rule of law regarding border wall construction. In addition, the Center has already teamed up with Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, to sue the Trump administration and require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a full environmental review of the border wall and the broader Homeland Security border enforcement program. See pages 13-16 for profiles of six species threatened by the wall: jaguar, ocelot, Mexican gray wolf, Sonoran pronghorn, cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and Quino checkerspot butterfly. 1

3 areas that provide important habitat and movement Introduction corridors for wildlife would also be impacted. It will result in thousands of acres of direct habitat n Jan. 25, 2017, Trump issued an executive destruction, impact thousands more through indirect order calling for construction of a wall along disturbance from roads, lights and noise and serve as a the entirety of the nearly 2,000-mile border O barrier to movement of plants and animals. between the United States and Mexico. The wall will no doubt deepen divisions between the two countries and, in To assess the scope of impacts to wildlife from construction combination with increased militarization of the border, of a wall across the entirety of the border, we identified all lead to untold suffering for those seeking a better life species protected as threatened or endangered under the and harm to the many communities along the border. Endangered Species Act or candidates for such protection The wall will also have serious impacts on numerous 1 that occur in the area of impact for the border wall. We threatened and endangered species and other wildlife. also reviewed all available literature on the impacts of the border wall on wildlife. These analyses show that The borderlands are one of the most biologically construction of a border wall will have devastating results rich areas in North America (McCallum et al. 2014). for our most sensitive wildlife species. More than 700 migratory species of birds, mammals and insects use the borderlands during their annual migrations (EPA 1996). Many subtropical and tropical Impacts of Border Construction to Date species such as the jaguar, ocelot, and gray hawk Since the early 1990s, the U.S. government’s border- reach their northern range extent in the borderlands. control efforts have been driven by a “prevention Likewise many northern species, such as the black through deterrence” strategy — the concept that bear and black-tailed prairie dog, reach their southern increased personnel and infrastructure will discourage range extent in the region. Others, such as the Sonoran undocumented immigration. This strategy was first pronghorn, are found only near the border. implemented in heavily populated border areas such To date 353 miles of border wall, impassable by as San Diego and El Paso and shifted immigrants, pedestrians and vehicles, and roughly 300 miles of drug trafficking and other unlawful activities to more barriers that block vehicles but not pedestrians, have remote and less populated areas, causing extensive been constructed. These barriers affect wildlife less environmental damage and social disruption to severely but are not without negative impacts. Trump’s borderlands communities. Invariably increased border proposal to construct a physical barrier to human enforcement efforts have then shifted to those more traffic across the entirety of the border would entail a remote areas, further intensifying the impacts on the massive increase in the length of the border wall with borderlands environment and communities. Many concurrent impacts on wildlife. It will cut through of these more remote locations are protected areas of Buenos Aires, Cabeza Prieta and several other national federal, state or private land containing essential habitat wildlife refuges, as well as Organ Pipe Cactus National for some of the most imperiled species of fish, wildlife Monument and Big Bend National Park. Many other and plants in North America. 2

4 Photo © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons Although there have been few studies on the impacts As part of this prevention-through-deterrence strategy, of the border wall on wildlife to date, the ones hundreds of miles of border walls have been constructed that have been conducted demonstrate that many since the early 1990s, requiring billions of dollars species have been impacted by existing border wall in federal appropriations. Border-wall construction construction and that many more will be if Trump’s accelerated greatly during the George W. Bush wall is built. Moya (2007), reporting on the results administration after Congress passed legislation known of a specialist panel, raised concerns about habitat as the “Secure Fence Act,” which originally mandated fragmentation, lost habitat, the wall as a barrier to more than 800 miles of border wall construction. In dispersal leading to loss of genetic interchange, spread total, Homeland Security has installed 353 miles of of invasive and noxious weeds and light and noise primary border wall (“pedestrian fencing”), as well as pollution related to the wall, identifying pronghorn, 36 miles of secondary border walls behind the primary the American bison, bighorn sheep, jaguar, Mexican wall and 14 miles of tertiary border walls behind the gray wolf, ocelot, American black bear, black-tailed secondary border walls (CRS 2016). prairie dog, North American porcupine, American In addition, approximately 300 miles of “vehicle badger, swift fox, Montezuma quail, wild turkey, barriers” have been installed on the southern border. “various species of fish in border rivers and creeks” and Although the deployment of vehicle barriers can result “other medium and small species distributed in valleys in environmental impacts, primarily from associated and other sites along the border” as all being at risk road construction, they pose far less risk to wildlife from these impacts. populations than border walls. Vehicle barriers are McCain and Childs (2008) used cameras to monitor made of steel, are 4 to 6 feet in height, and do not block the presence of two jaguars and possibly a third in the migrations of most wildlife species or cause or Arizona, determining that these male jaguars were exacerbate flooding along the borderlands. in fact residents of the United States and leading the Border wall installation and associated construction authors to “stress the fragmentation consequences of of roads threatens the biological integrity of the the proposed United States–Mexico border fence to the borderlands and all of the unique and diverse northernmost jaguar population, and particularly to ecosystems and plant and wildlife assemblages within jaguars in the United States.” that broader region through direct habitat destruction Flesch et al. (2010) examined the potential impacts of and fragmentation and creation of barriers between the border wall on two species, the cactus ferruginous wildlife populations. That in turn precludes essential pygmy owl and bighorn sheep, finding that both movement and gene flow while facilitating increased species are negatively impacted by existing barriers and vehicular traffic and human disturbance in previously 2 leading the authors to conclude “connectivity for other undisturbed areas (ACE 2001). 3

5 Jaguar photographed in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson, Ariz., October 22, 2013, courtesy USFWS power to waive otherwise applicable laws in order to species with similar movement abilities and spatial 3 ensure the expeditious construction of border walls. distributions may be affected by border development.” During the George W. Bush administration, Homeland Likewise, Lasky et al. (2011) evaluated the impacts Security Secretary Michael Chertoff published five of the existing border wall and other barriers on “notices of determination” in the Federal Register amphibians, reptiles and mammals. They identified 56 that he was invoking the REAL ID waiver authority, species that have likely been affected by existing border exempting more than 35 laws that would have walls, including five that have been identified as being otherwise applied to approximately 550 miles of border at risk of extinction by the International Union for 4 wall and vehicle barrier construction. Conservation of Nature or at least one of the two nations — arroyo toad, California red-legged frog, black-spotted In all five of these determinations, Secretary Chertoff 5 newt, Pacific pond turtle and jaguarundi. Lasky et al. waived application of NEPA. Due to these waivers, (2011) also expressed concern that further construction quantified information regarding impacts of border of border wall had the potential to greatly increase the wall and associated road construction are lacking, number of species at risk, particularly in California, the as well as post-decision monitoring and mitigation Madrean archipelago (“Sky Island” ranges) and the Gulf requirements that would have also applied. Under Coast, all regions that are rich with biological diversity. the Obama administration, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol prepared some “Environmental Stewardship Finally McCallum et al. (2014) used camera traps to Plans” prior to construction and “Environmental compare movements of people and wildlife between Stewardship Summary Reports” after construction for areas with and without border walls in existing border infrastructure projects that provided limited protected areas of Arizona, finding that both pumas information. These reports, however, are not sufficient and coatis were found in higher numbers in areas to compile a more comprehensive and accurate without walls. The authors, however, found no estimate of border wall and associated infrastructure difference in number of people detected between quantified impacts on wildlife. the two treatments, suggesting that barriers are not effective at deterring migrants, but do affect wildlife The border walls that exist today were largely populations. constructed prior to the Obama administration. During President Obama’s two terms, Homeland Further impacts of existing border construction on Security did not propose extensive new wall wildlife or the environment as a whole have not been construction, though construction begun under Bush’s catalogued in large part because Congress has unwisely second term did continue. That has dramatically vested the Homeland Security secretary with the changed under the Trump administration. 4

6 March 14, 2009, Naval Mobile Construction Battalions construct a concrete-lined drainage ditch and a 10 foot-high wall along the U.S. and Mexico border in Douglas, Ariz. Within days of taking office, Trump issued an majority of the border. Indeed Trump has consistently executive order directing the Homeland Security described his “great wall” as a solid concrete edifice as secretary to “secure the southern border of the United high as 55 feet. States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border,” (Sec. 2(a)) and Threatened, Endangered and Candidate defining “wall” to mean “a contiguous, physical wall Species Affected by Border Wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable 6 physical barrier.” (Sec. 3 (e)). We identified all threatened, endangered and candidate species that would likely be affected by construction of Completion of a wall running the length of the a complete border wall utilizing a database maintained border would thus require new construction along by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifying approximately 1,283 miles of border. Moreover, protected species by county. We initially included all the executive order could be interpreted to require species found in one of the counties along the border, replacement of the existing 300 miles of vehicle fencing, but then refined this list through careful examination of which are passable to humans. In fact even the existing each species’ reported range in listing rules or species “single layer” bollard and mesh fencing could arguably accounts available at NatureServe.org. We excluded any be characterized as “passable” (if someone had an species that did not have a range that abutted the border 11-foot ladder for a 10-foot fence) under the order’s or did not occur in both the United States and Mexico definition, requiring new construction along the vast in proximity to the border. We also identified any 5

7 Mexican spotted owl by Aaron Maizlish, CC-BY-NC protection and two species of concern (golden and designated critical habitats for these species occurring bald eagle) (Table 1). All but five of these species have on the border. populations on both sides of the border, meaning The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service defines candidate construction of the wall will divide the species and species as those warranting protection as threatened potentially limit gene flow. or endangered, but for which the agency lacks Twenty-five threatened or endangered species have resources to provide such protection. We included designated critical habitat on the border, including any candidate species found along the border since 10 where all of their habitat is within 50 miles of they have already been determined to be at risk. In a the border and three where a majority is within this small number of cases, we also included species that distance (Table 2, Figure 1). Under the Endangered are under consideration for protection as threatened Species Act, federal agencies like the Department of or endangered, meaning a petition has been submitted Homeland Security would normally be required to to have them considered for protection and the agency ensure their actions, including construction of the has made an initial finding that they may warrant border wall, did not destroy or adversely modify protection. Finally we included the golden and bald critical habitat for these 25 species, but because of the eagle, which are both protected under the Golden and possibility of another REAL ID Act waiver, this may Bald Eagle protection Act. not happen. If this should occur, there should be real Many of the cross-border imperiled species concern for the survival of these species. we identified may not be affected directly by construction of the wall itself, but rather by Conclusions associated infrastructure, such as roads, structures and traffic associated with enforcement and building Our report documents that a minimum of 93 species the wall. In analyzing impacts of border enforcement at risk of extinction will be further imperiled by in 2001, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used construction of Trump’s border wall, including impacts a 50-mile wide area starting at the wall (ACE to critical habitat for 25 of these species. The purpose 2001). We used this distance to identify potentially of the border wall is to keep people seeking work and affected species and impacts to critical habitat. In a better life in the United States from crossing the the vast majority of cases, the species we identified border, a purpose at which it is unlikely to be effective, as potentially being affected by Trump’s wall and but it also has the unintended consequence of acting associated activities occur much closer than 50 miles as a barrier to wildlife. If the wall is constructed, it will or on the border. in all likelihood contribute to the loss of the jaguar, ocelot, cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and other species In total we identified 93 imperiled species that would in the United States and divide cross-border species likely be affected by construction of a border wall, like bighorn sheep, Mexican gray wolves and most of including 57 endangered species, 24 threatened the other 93 species that occur on both sides of the species, three species proposed for endangered status, border. Should this occur it will be an unmitigated three candidate species, four species under review for disaster for both people and wildlife. 6

8 Table 1. Endangered, threatened and candidate species likely to be affected by construction of Trump’s border wall. Scienti fic St atus Cross-border St ate Common Echinomastus erecto- centrus var. acunensis Endangered Arizona Acuña cactus Ye s arroyo toad Anaxyrus californicus Endangered Ye s California Thymophylla tephro- Endangered ashy dogweed leuca Unknown Texas Haliaeetus leucoceph- Recovered Texas, Arizona alus Ye s bald eagle Graptopetalum bar- Bartram stonecrop Ye s Arizona tramii Under Review beardless chinch Pectis imberbis Under Review weed Arizona Ye s Arizona, New Threatened Ye s beautiful shiner Mexico Cyprinella formosa Big Bend gambu- sia Ye s Texas Gambusia gaigei Endangered black-capped vireo Endangered Ye s Texas Vireo atricapilla bunched cory Coryphantha ramillosa Threatened Ye s cactus Texas cactus ferruginous Glaucidium brasilia- num cactorum Ye s Arizona pygmy owl Under Review Gymnogyps califor- Arizona, Utah, Endangered Ye s California condor California nianus California least Arizona, Califor- Sterna antillarum browni Endangered tern nia Ye s California Orcutt grass Ye s California Orcuttia californica Endangered Arizona, New Chiricahua leop- ard frog Threatened Ye s Mexico Rana chiricahuensis Echinocereus chisoen- Chisos Mountain sis var. chisoensis No hedgehog cactus Texas Threatened Coastal California Polioptila californica gnatcatcher Threatened Ye s California californica Cochise pincush- Coryphantha robbins- iorum Threatened Ye s Arizona ion cactus Del Mar manza- Arctostaphylos glandu- nita Ye s California Endangered losa ssp. Crassifolia Devils River min- Dionda diaboli Threatened Ye s Texas now Gila intermedia Endangered Ye s Arizona Gila chub Gila topminnow Poeciliopsis occiden- Arizona, New talis Endangered (incl. Yaqui) Ye s Mexico golden eagle Species of Concern Ye s Texas Aquila chrysaetos Proposed Endan- Texas gered Ye s Guadalupe fescue Festuca ligulata Gulf Coast jagua- Herpailurus (=Felis) rundi yagouaroundi cacomitli Endangered Ye s Texas 7

9 Hermes copper butterfly Candidate Ye s California Lycaena hermes Quercus hinckleyi Hinckley oak Texas Threatened Ye s Lilaeopsis schaffneri- Huachuca wa- Ye s ana var. recurva ter-umbel Arizona Endangered Arizona, New Endangered Mexico Panthera onca jaguar Ye s Kearney’s blue- star Ye s Arizona Amsonia kearneyana Endangered Laguna Mountains Ye s California skipper Pyrgus ruralis lagunae Endangered Endangered Ye s California least Bell’s vireo Vireo bellii pusillus Texas, New Endangered Sterna antillarum Mexico least tern Ye s leatherback sea Dermochelys coriacea Endangered Ye s California, Texas turtle Arizona, New lesser long-nosed Leptonycteris cura- bat soae yerbabuenae Endangered Ye s Mexico light-footed clap- Rallus longirostris levipes per rail Ye s California Endangered Lloyd’s mariposa Echinomastus maripo- cactus Threatened Ye s Texas sensis Arizona, New Tiaroga cobitis loach minnow Ye s Mexico Endangered loggerhead sea Caretta caretta Endangered Ye s California, Texas turtle masked bobwhite Colinus virginianus (quail) ridgwayi Ye s Arizona Endangered - Fremontodendron Mexican flannel mexicanum Endangered Ye s California bush Mexican long- New Mexico, Ye s nosed bat Texas Leptonycteris nivalis Endangered Strix occidentalis Mexican spotted Arizona, New Threatened Ye s owl Mexico, Texas lucida Mexican gray wolf Canis lupus baileyi Ye s New Mexico Endangered narrow-headed - Thamnophis rufipunc gartersnake tatus Threatened Ye s New Mexico Nellie cory cactus Coryphantha minima Endangered No Texas New Mexican ridge-nosed rattle- Crotalus willardi ob- Arizona, New Threatened scurus Mexico snake Ye s Nichol’s Turk’s Echinocactus horizon- head cactus thalonius var. nicholii Endangered Ye s Arizona northern aploma- Arizona, New Falco femoralis septentrionalis Ye s do falcon Mexico, Texas Endangered northern Mexican Thamnophis eques Arizona, New megalops Threatened Ye s gartersnake Mexico Leopardus (=Felis) ocelot pardalis Endangered Ye s Arizona, Texas Otay Mesa-mint Pogogyne nudiuscula Endangered Ye s California 8

10 Deinandra (=Hemizo- Otay tarplant Threatened Ye s California nia) conjugens Perognathus longi- Pacific pocket Endangered Ye s California mouse membris pacificus Astragalus magdale- Peirson’s milk- Threatened Ye s California vetch nae var. peirsonii Peninsular big- Ovis canadensis Endangered horn sheep California Ye s nelsoni Coryphantha scheeri Pima pineapple Endangered Ye s Arizona cactus var. robustispina Charadrius melodus Ye s Texas piping plover Threatened Quino checker- Euphydryas editha qui- no (=E. e. wrighti) spot butterfly Ye s California Endangered Quitobaquito pupfish Endangered Ye s Arizona cyprinodon eremus California, Ari- Xyrauchen texanus Endangered zona razorback sucker Ye s red-crowned parrot Candidate Ye s Texas Amazona viridigenalis Rio Grande silvery Hybognathus amarus Endangered Ye s Minnow New Mexico Riverside fairy Streptocephalus woot- toni Ye s California shrimp Endangered Cordylanthus mariti- salt marsh bird’s- mus ssp. Maritimus Endangered Ye s California beak San Bernardino springsnail Pyrgulopsis bernardina Threatened Ye s Arizona San Diego am- brosia Endangered Ye s California Ambrosia pumila Eryngium aristulatum San Diego but- Endangered Ye s California ton-celery var. parishii San Diego fairy Branchinecta sandi- shrimp egonensis Endangered Ye s California San Diego thorn- Acanthomintha ilicifolia Threatened Ye s California mint Gila ditaenia Ye s Arizona Sonora chub Threatened Sonoran prong- Antilocapra americana horn sonoriensis Endangered Ye s Arizona Sonorella magdalen- Under Review ensis Sonoran talussnail Ye s Arizona Sonora tiger sala- Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi Endangered Ye s Arizona mander Sonoyta mud Proposed Endan- Kinosternon so- turtle noriense longifemorale gered Ye s Arizona South Texas am- Ambrosia cheiranthi- Endangered folia brosia Ye s Texas Arizona, Califor- southwestern wil- Empidonax traillii nia, New Mexico, Endangered Ye s Texas extimus low flycatcher Arizona, New spikedace Meda fulgida Endangered Ye s Mexico 9

11 spreading navar- retia Threatened Ye s California Navarretia fossalis Astrophytum asterias Endangered Texas star cactus Ye s Oncorhynchus (=Sal- Southern Califor- Endangered Ye s nia steelhead trout California mo) mykiss pop. 10 Terlingua Creek Cryptantha crassipes Endangered No Texas cat’s-eye Ayenia limitaris Endangered Texas ayenia Texas Ye s Proposed Endan- Texas hornshell gered Ye s Texas Popenaias popeii Styrax texanus No Texas snowbells Texas Endangered Manihot walkerae Walker’s manioc Ye s Texas Endangered western snowy Charadrius alexandri- nus nivosus plover Threatened Ye s California willowy monar- della Endangered Ye s California Monardella viminea Wright’s marsh thistle Candidate Ye s Arizona Cirsium wrightii Ictalurus pricei Threatened Yaqui catfish Arizona Ye s Yaqui chub Gila purpurea Endangered Ye s Arizona yellow-billed Arizona, New Coccyzus americanus Ye s Cuckoo Mexico, Texas Threatened Arizona, Califor- Rallus longirostris yumanensis Ye s Yuma clapper rail nia Endangered Zapata bladder- Lesquerella thamno- pod phila Endangered Ye s Texas 10

12 Table 2. Species with critical habitat along the border, including acres within 50 miles of the border. Percent Total Scientific Name Acres Common Name within 50 within 50 Acres miles miles 98424.2 46.5% arroyo toad 45806.4 Anaxyrus californicus beautiful shiner Cyprinella formosa 10.3 10.3 100.0% Ovis canadensis nel- Peninsular big- 377419.9 237485.9 62.9% soni horn sheep Rana chiricahuensis 31757.0 15473.1 48.7% Chiricahua leop- ard frog Polioptila californica 372668.2 66468.0 17.8% Coastal California californica gnatcatcher Cyprinodon macularius 778.8 778.8 desert pupfish 100.0% Huachuca wa- Lilaeopsis schaffneri- 100.0% 661.3 661.3 ana var. recurva ter-umbel 764206.2 764206.2 100.0% jaguar Panthera onca 36987.7 4704.9 12.7% least Bell’s vireo Vireo bellii pusillus 9869983.0 412749.1 Strix occidentalis luci- 4.2% Mexican spotted da owl 73.9% 421352.1 311412.5 northern Mexican Thamnophis eques gartersnake megalops Deinandra (=Hemizo- 6332.7 6332.7 100.0% Otay tarplant nia) conjugens Peirson’s milk- 100.0% Astragalus magdale- 12104.9 12104.9 nae var. peirsonii vetch Charadrius melodus piping Plover 26.6% 383010.0 102026.4 Euphydryas editha 62174.2 40133.5 64.6% Quino checker- spot butterfly quino (=E. e. wrighti) 31.3% Streptocephalus woot- riverside fairy 2986.0 935.1 toni shrimp San Bernardino Pyrgulopsis bernardina 1.7 1.7 100.0% springsnail 40.8% Branchinecta sandi- San Diego fairy 13154.6 5363.0 shrimp egonensis Sonora chub Gila ditaenia 47.1 47.1 100.0% spreading Navar- 15.9% Navarretia fossalis 6725.5 1067.9 retia western snowy 1.4% 25022.5 346.9 Charadrius nivosus plover (Pacific nivosus (Pacific DPS) DPS) Ictalurus pricei 10.3 10.3 100.0% Yaqui catfish Yaqui chub Gila purpurea 10.3 10.3 100.0% western yel- Coccyzus americanus 549849.2 102076.4 18.6% (Western DPS) low-billed cuckoo Zapata bladder- 100.0% Lesquerella thamno- 5348.9 5348.9 phila pod 11

13 Figure 1. Designated critical habitat for 25 species potentially affected by Trump’s border wall and associated infrastructure and enforcement. er rd Bo e Cr ong Al cal Habitats i it th Cr ts ta al Habi ic it l al w er rd Bo V e barrier cl ehi 50 Mi le B or der I m pact Z one ona iz Ar a orni lif Ca Mexico New Ba ja li Ca fo ia rn Te xa s No rte a onor S Ch i a huahu oahuila C N o uev L eon Ta ma ulipas ta S ou rc es : Da Cr it ic al H abit at : U SF WS g Bord er W all- T he C ent er for In vest igat iv e Re po rt in 12

14 Jaguar photographed by Border Patrol motion-detection camera in the Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista, Ariz., on January 17, 2017 0 199 Since Sightings r ua Jag Spotlight Species: in Sight gs e Al buquerqu Bo l de r r W al Jaguar xico Ne w Me Ca lif a orni Stretching from 5 to 8 feet long and weighing up to 300 Ar iz on a pounds, jaguars are the largest oeni Ph x cat native to North America. Though often thought of as jungle denizens, these agile n cso Tu predators once ranged north o El P as to Monterey Bay, Calif., and east to the southeastern United s xa Te States before they were hunted to near extirpation. They are now protected as endangered a S onor Ba ja in both the United States and huahua i Ch fo Ca li ia rn Mexico. rte No One of the goals identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the jaguar’s recovery plan is to provide for natural jaguar dispersal between the two countries. At least seven jaguars have been documented dispersing north to Arizona es rc Da ou ta S : gua ata. s. h edit it w fo in rd a .j Ja guar S ight i ngs - www in the past two decades. The W ing. iv Re igat e vest po for In rt Border er all- T he C ent construction of the border wall would cut off the northward Figure 2. Verified jaguar locations since 1990 compared to existing border walls dispersal from Sonora and kill any hope of our biggest cat’s recovery in its U.S. range. Three jaguars have been documented in southern Arizona in recent years. Students at Felizardo Valencia Middle School in Tucson named one jaguar that roamed the Santa Rita Mountains until a year or so ago “El Jefe,” which is Spanish for “The Boss,” and students at Hiaki High School on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation named the jaguar currently in the Huachuca Mountains “Yo’oko Nahsuareo” which translates to “Jaguar Warrior.” The third jaguar in the Dos Cabezas Mountains doesn’t have an official name yet. The border wall would separate these pioneering males from potential mates and doom future reproduction prospects in Arizona. 13

15 Ocelot by Jitze Couperus, CC-BY Ocelot Ocelots are secretive nocturnal cats that weigh only 30 pounds. They have two black stripes on their cheeks, longitudinal stripes on their necks and a cinnamon or grey background color. The word “ocelot” is from the Aztec word “tlalocelot,” which means “field tiger.” Adept predators, ocelots hunt small animals including birds, mammals, and even rattlesnakes. The cats declined because they were hunted for their beautiful coats and lost habitat to agriculture and development. Now protected as endangered in the United States and Mexico, ocelots are making a stealthy comeback. Between 50 and 100 of the cats now live in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, and five have been seen in Arizona since 2009, the first time they have been documented in the state since the 1960s. In 2011 a female with a kitten was spotted less than 30 miles south of the Mexico border, indicating that reproduction in Arizona could be on the near horizon. Reproducing ocelot populations are already established in several counties in Texas. One of the important recovery actions identified for the ocelot by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the reconnection of viable populations of ocelots in the borderlands between Texas and Tamaulipas and between Arizona and Sonora. For ocelots to be considered recovered, the Service has developed a criterion of 1,000 ocelots in an interconnected, naturally dispersing metapopulation across the border of Arizona and Sonora and 1,200 ocelots in an interconnected populations between Texas and Tamaulipas. If the border wall is built, meeting these goals would become impossible. Mexican Gray Wolf The Mexican gray wolf is the smallest gray wolf subspecies in North America and one of the rarest and most endangered mammals on the continent. The wolves live in packs of four to nine animals, and alpha pairs mate for life. Mexican gray wolves were once found throughout southwestern Texas, southern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, ranging south to central Mexico, but they were hunted to near extinction by the U.S. government to protect the livestock industry. By the early 1930s, Mexican gray wolves had been eliminated from the United States, and for several decades the government maintained a hunter on the Mexican gray wolf by Eric Kilby, CC-BY-SA border to kill wolves migrating north from Mexico. After being protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1976, the few surviving wolves were taken into a captive-breeding program in 1981, and wolves were reintroduced into the wild in 1998. As of 2017 there are 14

16 Sonoran pronghorn courtesy Jim Atkinson / USFWS 113 Mexican gray wolves in the wild in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. There is a bi-national recovery plan and effort to produce wolves for reintroduction, and Mexico began reintroducing wolves in 2011, leading to a population of around 35 wolves in the wild in northern Mexico. The objective of the recovery plan for the wolf is to reestablish a viable, self-sustaining population of at least 100 Mexican wolves in a 5,000-square-mile area of the wolf ’s historic range. A border wall would separate the northern and southern populations, prevent much-needed genetic exchange and limit the recovery of the wolf in both countries. Sonoran Pronghorn Capable of running 60 miles per hour, pronghorns are the fastest land mammals in North America. Vast herds once roamed the continent, but now the Sonoran pronghorn survives only in northwestern Sonora, Mexico and southwestern Arizona. Though its common name is “pronghorn antelope,” pronghorn are not actually antelopes; their closest living relatives are giraffes. Pronghorn are different from all other hoofed animals because their branched, hollow horns are made from hair, like the permanent horns of sheep, but are shed each year like the solid horns of deer. At 3 feet tall and 100 pounds, they are the size of goats. They have excellent vision and eyes nearly as large as those of an elephant, which allow them to easily detect predators. Due to historic hunting and habitat degradation, the Sonoran pronghorn population has declined to fewer than 1,000 animals in the United States and Mexico combined. Pronghorn require immense open areas and must travel long distances in search of food and water in the harsh desert environment, a task made ever more difficult by drought and climate change. They are also particularly sensitive to disturbance from human activities. One of the proposed recovery goals for Sonoran pronghorn is to ensure adequate quantity, quality and connectivity of habitat to support populations. The proposed border wall would limit their ability to travel freely in search of food and water and would permanently cut off the species’ northern and southern populations, preventing dispersal and gene flow that are essential to their survival and recovery. Cactus Ferruginous Pygmy Owl Pygmy owls are less than 7 inches tall and weigh only 2.5 ounces, but these fierce little owls nest in cactuses and prey on mammals, birds and reptiles. They were once very common in the Sonoran Desert, but since 1993, no more than 41 pygmy owls have been found in Arizona in any year. The owls are more abundant in Sonora, Mexico, but they are also in decline there, with their population having fallen 26 percent since 2000, putting the owl at heightened risk of extinction in both countries. Cactus ferruginous pygmy owl by Sky Jacobs In response to a 1992 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the pygmy owl was protected as an endangered species in Arizona from 1997 15

17 Quino checkerspot courtesy Andrew Fisher, USFWS volunteer biologist to 2006, until developers won a lawsuit on a technicality, stripping the owls of protection. Conservationists filed a new petition in 2007, followed by a lawsuit, and in 2017 a court ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make a new decision on the owl’s protection. The tiny owls have never been more endangered than they are right now, because the border wall would inhibit their dispersal between Sonora and Arizona. Vegetation gaps limit their movements, and the owls are low fliers, rarely flying higher than 4.5 feet from the ground; a study found that less than a quarter of their flights exceed heights of 13 feet. The proposed border wall would be prohibitive, at 18 to 30 feet tall. For the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl to survive and recover, the owls must be able to disperse freely between populations in Mexico and the United States. Quino Checkerspot June 7, 2007, a U.S. Army specialist welds a steel wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Quino checkerspot is a tiny, fast-flying butterfly with a wingspan of just 1.5 inches. Its rounded wings are a complex checkered pattern of vibrant red-orange, black and cream. Caterpillars may go through an astonishing seven molts prior to pupation, awaking from and re- entering dormancy depending on rainfall and the availability of host vegetation. Typically there is only one generation of adults per year, with a flight period from late February through May. The Quino checkerspot was once a quite common butterfly, ranging from the Santa Monica Mountains to Baja California, Mexico. More than 75 percent of its range has been lost to development and its population has declined by more than 95 percent. Today it is found only in southwestern Riverside and southern San Diego counties and in Mexico. all butterflies are threatened by the border wall for several Th ese sm reasons. They tend to avoid flying over objects taller than 6 to 8 feet, so the wall would likely separate U.S. populations from those in Mexico, threatening the future viability of the butterfly in both countries. Because the butterfly has declined so drastically, the size and connectivity of all surviving populations are critically important from a genetic standpoint. Border wall construction would also harm native vegetation and spread invasive species, threatening the host plants the butterfly needs to reproduce. 16

18 References ACE. 2001. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for INS and JTF- 6 Activities. Fort Worth District. June 2001. Congressional Research Service. 2016. Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry. Environmental Protection Agency. 1996. U.S.-Mexico Border XXI Program: Framework Document. Flesch, A.D., C.W. Epps, J.W. Cain, III, M. Clark, P.R. Krausman, and J.R. Morgart. 2010. Potential effects of the United States-Mexico border fence on wildlife. Conservation Biology, 24, 171–181. Lasky, J.R., W. Jetz, and T.H. Keitt. 2011. Conservation biogeography of the U.S.-Mexico border: a transcontinental risk assessment of barriers to animal dispersal. Diversity and Distributions, 1–15 McCain, E.B., and J.L. Childs. 2008. Evident of resident jaguars (Panthera onca) in the southwestern United States and the implications for conservation. Journal of Mammalogy, 89(1):1–10. McCallum J.W., J.M. Rowcliffe, I.C. Cuthill. 2014. Conservation on International Boundaries: The Impact of Security Barriers on Selected Terrestrial Mammals in Four Protected Areas in Arizona, USA. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93679. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0093679 Moya, H. 2007. Possible impacts of border fence construction and operation on fauna. In: A barrier to our shared environment, the border fence between the United States and Mexico, A. Cordova and C.A. de la Parra (eds.). Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources National Institute of Ecology El Colegio de la Frontera Norte Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research & Policy. (Endnotes) 1 In analyzing the impacts of border activities in 2001, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers defined the action area as 50 miles of the border to capture impacts of the full range of border activities, including construction of walls. 2 In addition, border walls have caused extensive flooding in several areas, including Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the city of Nogales. 3 Since 2001 border wall and barrier construction has been driven by newly enacted legislation, including the REAL ID Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-13, div. B), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-367), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-161, div. E). Collectively, these laws direct DHS to construct “not less than 700 miles” of border fencing (not necessarily walls). 8 U.S.C. § 1103 note 4 The five waivers are i) San Diego (70 Fed. Reg. 55,622)(Sept. 22, 2005); ii) Barry M. Goldwater Range, Arizona (72 Fed. Reg. 2,535) (Jan. 19, 2007); iii) San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (administered by U.S. Bureau of Land Management), Arizona (72 Fed. Reg. 60,870)(Oct. 26, 2007); iv) Hidalgo County, Texas (73 Fed. Reg. 19,077)(April 3, 2008); and v) >450 miles in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California (73 Fed. Reg. 18,293)(April 3, 2008). 5 In addition to NEPA, DHS Secretary Chertoff waived application of the ESA, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.), National Historic Preservation Act (Pub. L. 89-665), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. § 703 et seq.), Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.), Archeological Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470aa et seq.), Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. § 300f et seq.), Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. § 1281 et seq.), Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. § 1131 et seq.), National Forest Management Act (16 U.S.C. § 1600 et seq.), Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000bb), and American Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. § 1996), as well as numerous additional laws. 6 Executive Order on “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” (Jan. 25, 2017). 17

Related documents