The Associated Press today examined the potential impacts of the U.S.-Mexico border fence on Texas wildlife in the Rio Grande Valley. If you’ve followed the debate about the Tijuana-San Diego fence, you’ll note the concerns sound familiar.

Reporter Lynn Brezosky writes from Alamo, Texas:

Nancy Brown drives the government truck slowly past mossy ponds, thick shrouds of beard-like Spanish moss and majestic ebony trees, gleefully identifying the song of the kiskadee and the gurgling call of the chachalaca.

As the truck rounds a bend near the greenish-brown Rio Grande, a bobcat scampers ahead, disappearing into the lush subtropical foliage. Lizards dart about. A tortoise lazes in the sun. Somewhere in the forest, well-camouflaged by evolution, are ocelots and jaguarundi, both of them endangered species of cats.

These are some of the natural wonders in the Rio Grande Valley that Brown and other wildlife enthusiasts fear could be spoiled by the fences and adjacent roads the U.S. government plans to erect along the Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants and smugglers.

ROB DAVIS

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