Government stay-at-home orders and less cars on the road have saved hundreds of wildlife from being roadkill, a new study has found.
Using traffic and collision data from California, Idaho, and Maine, numbers show that roadkill declined by between 21 to 50 per cent following the stay-at-home orders.
From early March to mid-April, these orders resulted in less traffic in California by 71 per cent, in Idaho by 63 per cent and a 73 per cent reduction in driving in Maine.
The Road Ecology Center at University of California-Davis used carcass and crash reports to calculate the change in daily collision rates from four weeks prior to stay-at-home orders going into effect to the four weeks after.
We used carcass and crash reports to calculate the change
in daily collision rates from the 4 weeks prior to stay-at-home orders going into effect, to the 4
Although rates of WVC naturally vary by season, the change from 1 month pre-stay-at-home orders to 1 month post-order only occurred in 2020 and not 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019, suggesting that the reduction was associated with the reduction in traffic.
In the three states, this could amount to 5,700 to 13,000 fewer large mammals killed on roads per year.
In California, that was 50 fewer mountain lion mortalities on roads per year.