Although many of us live in cities or areas not close to forests and jungles, we can safely say that humans and wildlife co-exist in the same space. However, what would happen if we were divided? What would the world look if we built a wall between people and wildlife?
A wall between people and wildlife is not the solution to our problems. It’s just a band-aid that will only worsen things in the long run. Instead, we need to look at what we’re doing to cause these problems in the first place. If we want to see change, it will be through us changing our perspective and behaviour as much as possible.
If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen articles discussing how a proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico would be a disaster for wildlife. The experts all agree that it would be the END for many birds and other animals who call that region home. And so do we! The question is: Will building a wall help solve any issues? Or will it just create even more problems down the road? Let’s take a look at why we think that.
Why a Wall Between People and Wildlife Is a Bad Idea
A wall would not protect wildlife. Species will not choose one path over another because of our human-built barriers. Wildlife would naturally seek out the most appealing route over the wall for them. Finally, a wall would not protect human communities from disease.
It would likely increase the risk of disease transmission between human and wildlife populations. The wall would be a barrier to vital natural wildlife corridors, isolating wildlife populations and making them more likely to contact dangerous pathogens.
Lack of Habitat Fragmentation
Habitat fragmentation is a serious problem that many species are experiencing. When pieces of their natural habitat are broken up into smaller pieces, leaving less space for each animal to survive, when this happens, it can cause stress in the animals’ bodies, and they often end up dying from a disease called “social stress syndrome.”
Humans can cause this problem in many ways, including overusing or tampering with natural landscapes, building structures too close to their habitats, and changing how water flows through their ecosystems. A wall would only cause more habitat fragmentation rather than decrease it.
Lack of Food & Water Sources
The next issue is a lack of food and water sources. It is essential for animals, who need food and water to survive. If an animal does not have access to either one, it will eventually die from hunger or thirst. A wall would cut off the animals from their food and water source.
The only option for many of these animals would be to cross the wall and try to get to the other side, risking getting shot at or captured by human authorities on the other side. It would be highly hazardous to and lives of these animals, so they would be less likely to cross the wall. If they did, they would be greatly risking their chances of survival.
Lack of Predators
The final issue is a lack of predators. Some animal species are endangered or threatened with extinction because they live in areas where people do not want to live, and no predators live nearby to control populations. Building a wall would prevent these animals from having access to the predators they need to survive.
Many of the endangered and threatened animal species that would be affected by a wall are threatened with extinction because they live in areas in danger of being destroyed for development. A wall would make these animals even less likely to come near human settlements and get shot since they would have less access to food and water.
Wildlife conflict can occur when humans and animals come into direct contact. Wildlife biologists have identified several problems due to a lack of predators near human settlements, including animal-human conflict, human-wildlife disease transmission, and malnutrition in vulnerable species.
It can happen in many ways, including when animals are killed on roads, when their habitat is destroyed, or when they are accidentally trapped in areas of human activity such as buildings or roads. Building a wall would create a barrier between people and predators, which would make it more likely that people would come into contact with them. The predators would have fewer options for getting food or surviving. If they were trapped on the other side of the wall, they would be much more likely to attack humans than they are now.
We Have More Connectivity Than We Think.
When people talk about this wall, they often think only of physical barriers between people and wildlife. But the truth is that we have more connectivity than we think. Humans and other animals have direct, natural pathways between most of the places they live.
Some of these pathways are over mountains, rivers, or deserts, but they are still pathways. These pathways make up the “natural” borders between most places. There are also many other connections between places, including roads and railways.
Building a wall between people and wildlife would only cause more problems. Wild animals would not choose one path over another because of our built environment. A wall would be expensive and ineffective. The solution to these problems lies in us changing our behaviour. Instead of building walls between people and wildlife, we should focus on building connections between them.