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25/01/2016

Fences built to stop refugees kill animals

An effect of the barbed-wire fences built by some European countries to curb the flow of migrants from Syria, Iraq and other countries is the fragmentation of important habitats for endangered species such as bears, wolves and lynx. This is causing a double suffering for both people and animals.

The territory stretching from the southern Balkans to Hungary is very rich in wildlife that, clearly, doesn't know borders among states. The barbed wire prevents dramatically species migrations or their natural wandering. A bear, for example, has a distribution area of hundreds of square kilometers; its fragmentation prevents them to freely roam around in search of food, females or huts. 

This forced and unnatural separation of different populations is causing the interruption of gene flows, which in the medium term would make individuals less fertile. Not to mention that the wire itself traps all those individuals trying to overcome it; for a population as small as that of the lynx the loss of an individual ony is enormous.

What's more, fences also violate the EU Habitat Directive requiring open corridors for the movement of animals across national borders.

It seems that local communities have practiced some openings in the barriers to allow the animals to pass through. Waiting for minds to wise up and interrupt the double suffering of humans and wildlife.