April 17, 2009--
A juvenile mountain lion
crouches at the bend of a river in Arizona
's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the United States-Mexico border in early 2009. Many species, including the mountain lion, find prey and mates via migration corridors that cut through public lands along the 1,950-mile (3,138-kilometer) border.
Now a reinforced wall being constructed on large stretches of the border—as well as illegal border crossings into the U.S. and enforcement activities
—are placing a "tremendous burden" on these creatures, conservationists say.
To document what's at stake, the International League of Conservation Photographers sent a team of world-renowned photographers, writers, and filmmakers to the borderlands as part of a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE), which took place between January 25 and February 17, 2009. They returned with thousands of images—some of them presented here.
Photograph courtesy George Steinmetz