Fatal crashes including wild animals dipped by over 50% due to coronavirus restrictions, says study

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Aug 31, 2020, 03:39 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

A new study claims that coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state has saved a lot of lives

The US state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases - California may have brought relief to its wild animals.

Over the weekend, California became the only US state to surpass 700,000 cases of COVID-19. Even though this is harrowing news for humans, it is a reprieve for its wild animals.

A new study claims that coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state has saved a lot of lives. Owing to the stay-at-home orders, people were not driving their vehicles, which resulted in way fewer collisions and consequentially lesser deaths.

In the US, the major victims of collisions include deer, mountain lions, and other large animals.

Also read: About 3 billion animals harmed in Australian bushfires, says WWF

A study, which was undertaken by the Road Ecology Center at the University of California found that traffic declined by 75 per cent in the aftermath of imposition of lockdown in the state, which was largely rolled out beginning March.

The report also brings to light the major decrease in the number of fatalities reported since the restrictions were imposed. A 58 per cent decrease was noted in the number of fatal crashes involving mountain lions. This conclusion was reached by comparing data 10 weeks before the restrictions were in place, and 10 weeks after.

The Center is rolling out multiple reports to assess the impact of stay-at-home orders on traffic patterns. They are also tracking the usage of fuel, and climate change, among many.

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Additionally, researchers found how the daily fatalities of animals declined by 21 per cent in the aftermath of the lockdown. Earlier, 8.4 large animals were killed everyday as opposed to the 6.6 animals after the imposition of restrictions.

To add weight to their research, the authors studied data from the last five years and found no similar patterns of decline in the number of fatalities, suggesting how it was a direct consequence of the restrictions.

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