Caught in the wire: The rise of border security fences forces reconsideration of wildlife conservation strategies in Eurasia
Between 25.000 and 30.000 kilometres of wire fences and walls surrounds the borders of many countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This is killing wildlife that becomes entangled and acts as a barrier to wildlife movements, cutting species off from important seasonal habitats. The long-term consequences are a lower viability of wildlife populations, and a reduction in their ability to respond to climate change. This situation forces a re-think of transboundary conservation strategies.
When the Iron Curtain fell in the early 1990’s it seemed that a borderless world had arrived. In addition to allowing the flow of people, this new situation allowed wildlife to pass across borders. The strategy of transboundary cooperation in wildlife conservation spread across Eurasia. The idea was to benefit from the newly opened borders and improved spirit of cooperation to develop plans for countries to pool their efforts and work together to conserve wildlife.