NEW YORK — As construction is imminently set to begin on a section of a border wall at the National Butterfly Sanctuary in Mission, Texas and that threatens to close Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Texas, part of the World Birding Center, which hosts over 500 bird species, National Audubon Society released its position statement opposing the wall:
“Along with planetary warming, loss of habitat is a leading cause of declining bird populations. The biological impact of destroying this habitat is incredibly high. The ecosystems along the U.S. border with Mexico are intensely rich in birds and natural beauty. They generate hundreds of millions of dollars in ecotourism and other economic benefits every year, and they support vibrant human communities.
"That’s no surprise: Healthy ecosystems contribute to healthy bird populations and healthy human communities alike. The wellbeing of birds and of people are deeply intertwined, and that’s why Audubon has worked for decades to protect birds and the places they need. Of course, healthy human communities also depend on strong local culture, good jobs, public health, and the rule of law.
“As the voice of birds and as a community-builder for 114 years, Audubon opposes the construction of structures along the border that would:
- destroy or fragment important bird habitat like Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, iconic National Wildlife Refuges like Santa Ana NWR in Texas, National Parks, National Forests, other public lands, or protected wetlands;
- block migration corridors for 111 endangered species, and 108 species of migratory birds;
- damage habitat for over 500 species of birds;
- create or worsen environmental risks like flooding that would threaten birds and people;
- result in waiving or weakening bedrock environmental protections, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, or the National Environmental Policy Act;
- diminish outdoor recreation or ecotourism opportunities;
- sever connections between communities and natural resources; or
- harm the communities, landowners, tribes, or organizations with whom we partner and among whom we serve.
“Millions of Americans from all walks of life love birds and understand the connections between birds and people. Audubon believes that conservation doesn’t have a party and that bird issues can bring us together. At a time when America needs solutions and understanding, Audubon remains committed to creating more common ground for birds and communities.”
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using, science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more and how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.
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