OOS 9-6 - Continental ecology, connectivity, and the conservation of biodiversity in the Mexico-U.S. border region

Tuesday, August 7, 2012: 9:50 AM
A105, Oregon Convention Center
Gerardo Ceballos Gonzalez, Instituto de Ecologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, México, D.F. 04510, Mexico

The Mexico – US border, expanding more than 3,169 km (1,969 mi), is the most crossed border in the World. It is a vast land that harbors a high diversity of ecosystems, stretching from extremely arid lands, to temperate and subtropical forests. It maintains a high biodiversity and represents either the northern or southern limits in the distribution of many plants and animals. The border region faces very complex social and economic issues, that have been exacerbated by the increasing drug traffic from Mexico to the US, fueled by an ever growing consumption of drugs in the US, and an ever increasing drug violence in Mexico. The US government is building unilaterally a wall across most of the border that is the only huma structure in the whole planet that is becoming a continental barrier for the dispersal and movements of many plants anal animals. I here present a comprehensive review the biological characteristics of the border area, the impact of the fence wall, and offer insights about feasible social, economic, and environmental sound solutions.


The major conclusion is that the wall will not stop drugs, guns, and people moving illegally both ways across the border, but it will have major impacts on the biodiversity, ecosystem structure, and ecosystem services.