'MURICA — If the Trump administration's proposed border wall goes ahead with construction, plants and wildlife could be threatened in Texas.
According to NPR, the federal spending bill approved in September includes $1.6 billion in 2019 for wall construction, which could begin as early as February.
In October, the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver to 28 laws protecting public lands, wildlife and the environment in order so that construction could go ahead.
In July, scientists published a paper highlighting the negative impacts of the border wall on wildlife by eliminating, degrading or fragmenting habitats. A wall would block access to water and food, and inhibit seasonal migrations.
According to Phys.org, in a letter published in March in the journal Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment, other researchers also expressed worry the wall could damage the increasingly rare Tamaulipan thornscrub ecosystem.
Other species that would be affected are the endangered wildflower Zapata bladderpod and the threatened whiskerbush cactus.
According to the researchers, negative impacts could be reduced by limiting physical barriers and accompanying roads, while considering building structures that allow animals to pass through and barrier alternatives like electronic sensors.