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Bears get involved in U.S. border security debates

Politicians and human rights activists have been arguing over the border fence in Arizona for some time now, but now wildlife biologists are joining the conversation.

The controversial fences are designed to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to sneak into the United States from Mexico, but a recent study found that the barriers may also be hindering the migration of the black bear, The New York Times reports.

In the study, researchers used pieces of barbed wire set up to catch fur as genetic samples of bears that pass through Arizona. They discovered a number of interesting findings, but noted that the fences may threaten the bear as it forages and roams throughout the southwest U.S. Other human development such as highway systems and urban sprawl are also threatening the species, the study reports.

The authors, including two researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center, say they plan on sharing the findings with the Department of Homeland Security and other officials in order to include bears and other large carnivores in the border security debates. 
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