The wall with Mexico could cost the U.S. more than money

Image from Sharp Photography (Media Commons)

By Erin Thompson

The Northern Jaguar has become virtually extinct over the past several years.  These extraordinary animals were once executed in Mexico because of their thirst for livestock, as well as “overhunted for their fur and for trophies.”  In an effort to preserve this species, and others like it, the Northern Jaguar Project formed back in 2003.

“The Northern Jaguar Project is unique as it is focused entirely on protecting the jaguars living near the U.S.-Mexico border.  The project began in 2003 with the purchase of the 10,000 acre Los Pavos Ranch in northern Mexico, just 125 miles south of the border.  In 2008 it was expanded to more than double its size when Rancho Zetasora was acquired.”

Presently, two male jaguars have been identified in Southern Arizona.

“The Northern Jaguar Project is primarily focused on efforts to create a stable jaguar population in Northwestern Mexico.  But, their long term aspirations include a return of the jaguar to the Southwestern United States.  The potential for such a re-introduction is high; as much as 30% of Arizona alone is considered suitable habitat for the jaguar.”

Mexico is currently home to the remaining female jaguars that still inhabit the mountains in Northwestern Mexico.  It is possible that a re-introduction might actually occur as long as these cats have a passage that leads them from Northwestern Mexico to the Southwestern United States.

The Northern Jaguar requires an undisturbed territory in which to procreate and ultimately to survive.  The wall that President Trump wishes to build might inhibit these animals’ need to reproduce by restricting their ability to cross from one region to the next.  In this case, from Mexico to the United States.  Trump’s $14 billion wall would not only suffocate amiable relations between the United States and Mexico, but also suffocate the efforts of the Northern Jaguar Project to reestablish the jaguar population in the United States.