U.S. will waive environmental laws to build border wall
U.S. will waive environmental laws to build border wall

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's new plans to quicken the construction of the border wall poses a great threat to biodiversity and the environment, and in particular the jaguar.

On March 16, the Department of Homeland Security announced it will waive a number of environmental laws and regulations to accelerate the construction of border walls in Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties in Arizona.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, parts of the new border walls will run through remote natural environments and block jaguars from migrating between Mexico and the southwestern U.S. They will also isolate a small breeding population of northern jaguars in Sonora, Mexico — hindering repopulation efforts.

The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas and one of the four big cats of the Panthera genus, the others being the lion, tiger and leopard.

Inhabitat reports other animals that will be negatively impacted by the new border walls are the Mexican gray wolf, the lesser long-nosed bat, the ocelot, the Sonoran pronghorn and the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl.

A 2017 report by the Center for Biological Diversity states that: 'a minimum of 93 species at risk of extinction will be further imperiled by construction of Trump's border wall, including impacts to critical habitat for 25 of these species.'