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Phoenix Zoo Research Director Discusses Movement Corridors

And now we turn more specifically to how an expanded border wall could affect wildlife.

Jan Schipper is the Field Conservation Research director for the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Center for Nature Conservation.

Among other things, he has studied so-called movement corridors for animals, including jaguars in Costa Rica.

“Probably why we’re seeing jaguar coming in right now is because there are still some gaps in some areas that are still pretty rugged and remote. I’m sure people are probably able to get through there as well, but they’re remote enough that a border fence may not be the obvious solution,” Schipper said.

Schipper says the concern is in the event the entire border wall is built, it would prevent species traveling their normal migration route. It could also cut off washes beneficial for moving wildlife and water flow.

Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.