Stopped in Their Tracks

The U.S-Mexico border fence isn’t just halting human movement—it’s blocking wildlife from their historical ranges.

February 11, 2015

“We were looking for bears; they were searching for narcotics. As [the armed officers] checked our vehicles and gear, I was struck by the thought that the habitat connections we’d come to study predated by centuries any modern notion of borders. Concerns about smuggling, trafficking and immigration have led to the construction by the United States of a fence along most of its border with Mexico. Absent from the debate about such fencing and other security measures has been its impact on the wildlife. Among the magnificent creatures that roam the area are jaguars, ocelots, Mexican wolves and ringtails, small carnivores of the raccoon family.”

From “Don’t Fence the Jaguar Out,” John Beckmann’s New York Times op-ed calling for new approaches to open up cross-border corridors to wildlife


onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Us

When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports.