April 10, 2019

12:10 pm - 1:00 pm, Eastern Time

A Wall on the Land: The Ecological Impacts of the Border Wall

Baker 116, New Haven, CT

Please join the Yale Environmental Law Association, the Yale Animal Law Society, the American Constitution Society, and the Yale Law National Security Group this Wednesday for a videoconference lunch event with Katie Davis from the Wildlands Network about the ecological impacts of the border wall.


Although the borderlands are often imagined as an empty desert, expanding the border wall would have grave consequences for land and species conservation. Many places along the U.S.-Mexico Border are landscapes previously set aside by the government for preservation. In many cases, the wall separates or would separate American conservation lands from similarly protected areas of Mexico. This habitat fragmentation threatens at least 93 vulnerable species, including jaguars, pronghorns, Mexican wolves, and ocelots by preventing genetic exchange and blocking access to resources such as rare desert water sources. Critically, the Department of Homeland Security is authorized to disregard any conservation statute—such as the Endangered Species Act and the Wilderness Act—under a 2005 immigration law designed to streamline the border wall’s construction.


Katie Davis is the Western Wildway Director and Associate Director at the Wildlands Network. The Wildlands Network is a conservation organization dedicated to the creation of wildlife corridors as a means to connect fragmented animal habitat. Through their Borderlands Campaign, the Wildlands Network has brought together stakeholders to lobby Congress, published the report Four Species on the Brink, and organized citizen-scientists for a “BioBlitz” that documented the region’s biodiversity.