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Vial containing swab from a deceased duck, collected for testing during the 2014-2015 avian influenza outbreak. © 2015 Erica Cirino, used with permission.

Could Trump’s Government Shutdown Cause Outbreaks of Wildlife Disease?

By Erica Cirino

The current U.S. government shutdown could worsen ongoing wildlife disease outbreaks or even delay responses to new epidemics, according to federal insiders and outside experts who work with federal wildlife employees.

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Light graffiti projected onto a 30-foot by 30-foot border wall prototype in Baja California. Backbone Campaign / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A Literal Wall Expert Explains Why Trump's Wall Won't Even Work

President Donald Trump's unrelenting bid to build a wall on the southern border has not only held up much of the federal government for 24 days and counting, its construction could be devastating to the environment and local wildlife.

Now, in a epic Facebook post shared more than 100,000 times, an actual structural and civil engineer explained why the project is also a "monumental waste of money" and will be ineffective if it ever goes up.

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A sign placed by staff is posted on a temporary barricade at a closed campground at Joshua Tree National Park on Jan. 4 in Joshua Tree National Park. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Joshua Tree National Park Will Stay Open After All

Joshua Tree National Park will not shut its gates after all as it works to recover from the effects of the ongoing government shutdown, the park announced Wednesday.

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PHOTOSTOCK-ISRAEL / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

Joshua Tree Closes Temporarily to Repair Damage Caused During Shutdown

The government shutdown, now well into its third week, has taken a major toll on many iconic national parks, which have remained open to the public but severely understaffed. Now that toll is forcing one of them—Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California—to temporarily close its gates.

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Mario Tama / Getty Images

As Shutdown Drags on, National Parks Will Use Entrance Fees to Take Out Trash

As the government shutdown continues into a third week, the Interior Department has made the controversial and unprecedented decision to use visitor fees collected at national parks to help deal with the maintenance and safety issues that have emerged as iconic public lands remained open but understaffed when the government failed to pass a budget in December, The Washington Post reported.

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A sign is displayed at the National Archives building that is closed because of a U.S. government shutdown in Washington, DC, on Dec. 22. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP / Getty Images

EPA Runs Out of Funds as Government Shutdown Drags On

The partial government shutdown that began nearly a week ago is likely to drag into the New Year, CNN reported Friday. The House and Senate both met only briefly on Thursday and made no progress towards resolving the impasse between congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump over $5 billion in spending for his proposed border wall.

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A sign announces that the National Christmas Tree site is closed due to the government shutdown that began Saturday. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

How the Government Shutdown Could Impact the Nation’s Environment

A partial government shutdown continued for a third day Monday as legislators left the capital for the holidays, CNBC reported Monday. The shutdown is due to an impasse between President Donald Trump and Congress over $5 billion in funding for Trump's border wall, a construction project that would have devastating consequences for wildlife in the region.

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Mtwrighter / CC BY-SA 4.0

Most Diverse Butterfly Center in the U.S. to be Bulldozed for Trump’s Border Wall

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas is the most diverse butterfly sanctuary in the U.S. Some 200 species of butterflies find a home there each year, including the Mexican bluewing, the black swallowtail and the increasingly imperiled monarch. And, as soon as February, almost 70 percent of it could be lost to President Donald Trump's border wall, The Guardian reported Thursday.

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