President Donald Trump’s planned wall along the southern U.S. border was granted permission to plow through a protected butterflies habitat along the Rio Grande, CBS News reported on Friday.
The go ahead came after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected environmental groups’ appeal to spare the sanctuary.
The justices this week upheld a District Court ruling to allow the Trump administration to bypass 28 federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act, to be waived for southern border wall construction.
Three organizations, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, had sued the government, claiming construction of the wall would harm plants, wildlife and other species such as fairy shrimp and the Quino checkerspot butterfly.
According to Marianna Wright, executive director of the nonprofit National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, about 70 percent of the sanctuary’s land will end up on the other side of the border wall, putting hundreds of thousands of butterflies at risk.
Wright said it remains unclear how much of the land they will retain access to and how much of it will be left intact”.
The center's 100-acre sanctuary near Mission, Texas, is home to at least 200 species of butterfly, and serves as critical habitat for the migration of the threatened Monarch butterfly and endangered species including the ocelot and jaguarundi, The Intercept reports.