Episode 122: Butterflies, Bison, and the Border Wall
Interview with Conservationist Krista Schlyer
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Conservation photographer Krista Schlyer describes the almost 2,000-mile border between the US and Mexico as a vibrant landscape teeming with life. Raising awareness for its biodiversity has become an integral part of her life’s work and is the focus of a new documentary film she directed, Ay Mariposa, which came out in May.
We hear a lot about the border wall in the news, but we don’t often talk about the wildlife and landscape that its construction impacts.
Note: We want to emphasize that while there’s a lot of talk about flora and fauna in this episode, it’s not to discount the very human elements of the US/Mexico border – it’s simply to highlight what exists alongside it.
Photos © Krista Schlyer
Featured in this episode: Krista Schlyer
Hosted by Gale Straub
Music is by Lee Rosevere, Kai Engel, Joshwoodward, and Meydän using CC by A license.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- Krista’s circuitous route to political journalism, followed by a shift to environmental journalism
- Advice for making a living as a conservation photographer
- How witnessing a rare herd of bison jump over a border fence changed the direction of Krista’s work
- Why Krista is so motivated to showcase the biodiversity at the US/Mexico border
- The many animals that call both the United States and Mexico home
- Why the butterfly is the perfect symbol for the delicate state of animal life along the Rio Grande
- The unknown cost of human and animal life due to the border
- How to keep moving forward when you’re feeling discouraged by the progress of a project
- About Ay Mariposa, a short documentary film telling the story of two women and a rare community of butterflies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Krista Schlyer: Website
- Ay Mariposa Film: Website
- Almost Anywhere: A book about Krista’s life-changing road trip
- Continental Divide: A photo book about wildlife, people, and the border wall
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