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Border Wall Worries Wildlife Biologists

posted Sep 18, 2018, 10:34 PM by chloe owens

6/1/2018, by Angela Kocherga, Las Cruces Bureau

Border wall worries wildlife biologists

SANTA TERESA – A day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, a Mexican wolf slipped across the border from Chihuahua into New Mexico and roamed through a region where a new section of border wall is now under construction. “The wolf had a gap in the fence, and it was able to get back to Mexico,” said Myles Traphagen, borderlands program coordinator with the Wildlands Network. The nonprofit organization works to preserve wildlife corridors in North America, including those that span the Mexican border. The endangered Mexican wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, was wearing a GPS radio collar that allowed biologists to track the young male’s movements. The U.S. and Mexico have been working on a wolf recovery effort for decades. “The intent being to recover ideally a binational population of Mexican wolves with constant flow from one side of the border to the other,” Traphagen said. He recently visited southern New Mexico to retrace the wolf’s path. “What this wolf shows, definitely wolves need this connectivity and seek it.”