It seems like President Donald Trump will have to face many hurdles before being able to, if at all he can, build the border wall. The latest obstacle comes in the form of a butterfly species, which might be threatened if the wall comes up.

A lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), along with other environmental groups, against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which stated the Quino checkerspot butterfly, which is native to southern California and northwestern Mexico, could be threatened by the proposed border wall.

According to the lawsuit, the Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino), which is already listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act, cannot fly high enough to follow their normal migration patterns if the wall was built.

“It really can’t fly above around 15 feet above the ground,” J.P. Rose, a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said, ABC affiliate KGTV reported. “So if you put in a 30- to 40-foot wall along the border, the ability of it to migrate from northern Mexico to the U.S. is going to be impossible.”

Quino checkerspot butterfly The Quino checkerspot butterfly is native to southern California and northwestern Mexico. Photo: Flickr

The lawsuit challenged the DHS’ ability to waive off environment laws which are required to be reviewed before building the wall. It sought that normal environmental reviews must be conducted before the construction of the wall begins. The plaintiffs suggested the waiving off of environmental reviews falls under a 2005 law, which expired.

“The Trump administration can't use an expired waiver to bypass crucial environmental protections to build these destructive projects,” Brian Segee, a senior attorney at CBD, told KGTV. “It's time to stop Trump's hateful bombast and his executive overreach here in San Diego before it goes any further. The law and the Constitution are firmly on our side, and we think the judge will agree.”

Apart from the butterfly, the lawsuit stated the riverside fairy shrimp and the Pacific pocket mouse will also be threatened if the wall becomes a reality.

However, the butterfly species might be tougher than we think. In the 1990s, it was observed that the butterfly’s population decreased because of climate change and habitat loss. But scientists later discovered the butterfly species was very much capable of adapting to the changes. It was found the Quino checkerspot shifted to cooler climates and also chose a different plant to lay eggs on. The findings had offered hope to scientists that other insects and species might be able to adapt to the changing climate.

"Every butterfly biologist who knew anything about the quino in the mid-1990s thought it would be extinct by now, including me," said Prof Camille Parmesan of the Marine Sciences Institute at Plymouth University, United Kingdom, told the Guardian then.