10:08 PM

For Immediate Release

Continental Divide: Photo Exhibit Highlighting Border Wall Impacts

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2018) – A new photo exhibit on Capitol Hill emphasizes the potential impacts a contiguous wall along our southern border would have on communities and wildlife. The exhibit will feature photography from nine photographers, including Krista Schlyer, an award-winning photographer and writer whose work focuses on conservation, biodiversity and public lands. In 2012, Schlyer published a book called “Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall” which depicts the visual beauty of wildlife, ecology and people of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

A coalition of groups sponsoring the exhibit including Defenders of Wildlife, Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, and Sierra Club issued this statement:

“The 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border passes through stunning and biologically diverse landscapes and human communities. Together, the United States and Mexico have long labored to protect these landscapes and their wildlife. Construction of additional walls along the border would irreparably damage this rich natural legacy and forever split important wildlife corridors and borderland communities.

“The wildlife and wild lands of our borderlands region are some of the most spectacular our nation has to offer. These photographs truly capture that splendor. Hopefully these images will help members of Congress understand the irreversible damage that would be inflicted on these fragile areas from an impenetrable wall.”

Members of the media are invited to tour the exhibit with photographer Krista Schlyer. To schedule time with Krista, contact Rebecca Bullis (rbullis@defenders.org or 202-772-0295).


  • Defenders of Wildlife has long fought to restore imperiled species and to protect national wildlife refuges and other sensitive federal lands along the U.S.-Mexico border. We have worked for decades to support the reintroduction and recovery of the Mexican gray wolf and to protect the habitat of the jaguar, ocelot, Sonoran pronghorn, cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl and other wildlife on the edge of extinction.
  • The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and conservation partners sued the Trump administration in March to challenge its waiver ignoring 25 laws to speed construction of 20 miles of border wall in New Mexico, an area that’s home to rare wildlife in one of the world’s most biodiverse deserts.
  • In April 2018, Defenders of Wildlife produced a comprehensive report, “In the Shadow of the Wall,” which explored the work being done on both sides of the border to protect wildlife and their habitat.
  • The border wall puts binational conservation legacy at risk by destroying vegetation and harming wildlife in the construction and maintenance of the wall and related infrastructure, as well as disrupting and altering wildlife behavior as animals avoid border infrastructure, lights, noise, patrols and other enforcement-related disturbances.
  • There are signs animals like the jaguar and Mexican gray wolf are making a comeback but the construction of an impenetrable border wall would eliminate any possibility of recovery in the U.S. Extending the border wall would fragment vital ecosystems and landscapes protected on either side of the border by the two countries, jeopardizing decades of binational conservation investment.
  • Nearly 700 miles of the 1,953-mile U.S.-Mexico border is already blocked by walls, fences and other barricades, impeding the movement of wildlife in search of food and mates and cutting off migration routes.
  • A 2017 study by the Center for Biological Diversity identified more than 90 endangered or threatened species that would be threatened by proposed wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit newsroom.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

The Animal Welfare Institute is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home and in the wild. For more information, visit www.awionline.org.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.