News, Mountain lions face greater risk of becoming roadkill in wildfire’s aftermath, study says : detailed suggestions and opinions about Mountain lions face greater risk of becoming roadkill in wildfire’s aftermath, study says .
Conservationists have long warned that Southern California mountain lions could vanish within decades due to inbreeding and loss of habitat. Now, biologists have identified another threat that could hasten their demise — extreme wildfires.
In a paper published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, UCLA researchers found that the 2018 Woolsey fire had greatly increased the odds of a mountain lion being struck fatally by a motorist or killed by a fellow panther in a territorial dispute.
The reason? Mountain lions were so eager to avoid the 100,000-acre burn zone that they chose instead to cross busy roadways within the Santa Monica Mountains or enter the hunting grounds of other adult pumas.
The research paints a grim portrait of the mountain lion’s struggle for survival as its habitat is increasingly limited and divided by development. It also raises concerns about the potential effectiveness of a long-planned wildlife crossing that seeks to provide mountain lions with safe passage over a 10-lane freeway, in part so that they can mate with pumas from other areas and increase genetic diversity.
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