Mountain Lions are far more likely to die from getting hit by a car than from being killed by wildfire, new study shows

Mountain lions face greater risk of becoming roadkill in wildfire’s aftermath, study says Mountain lions face greater risk of becoming roadkill in wildfire’s aftermath, study says Wynne H. Smith A mountain lion is seen…

Mountain Lions are far more likely to die from getting hit by a car than from being killed by wildfire, new study shows

Mountain lions face greater risk of becoming roadkill in wildfire’s aftermath, study says

Mountain lions face greater risk of becoming roadkill in wildfire’s aftermath, study says

Wynne H. Smith

A mountain lion is seen through a window of a cabin just before sunrise on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in the Conejos-St. Johns State Forest in southwestern Colorado. U.S. Forest Service in Colorado and Southern Ute tribe have agreed to an additional $16.6 million in funding to protect wilderness and endangered species in the state forest, which is also habitat to about 250 mountain lions. (AP Photo/Wynne H. Smith)

May 12, 2011: A camera trap set up by researchers in southwestern Colorado captured a photo of one of the rarest and most endangered big cats in the world.

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

By BILL REYNOLDS

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Wynne H. Smith

SALEM, Ore., May 12 (UPI) — A mountain lion is far more likely to die from getting hit by a car than from being killed by wildfire, a new study shows.

About 3,000 people die each year because of collisions with motor vehicles in the United States, and the lion’s chances of getting hit in such wrecks were similar to those of people.

“It’s kind of odd that it appears to be a deadlier event for a lion than a human being, but that may be the case,” said lead researcher Chris Johnson of the Oregon State University.

“There was some research that showed that human mortality rates were highest among males and in the 30 to 49 age group. Mountain lions have a relatively long life span and die young, compared to humans in similar areas,” he said.

Johnson, who conducted the study with colleagues at the University of Idaho, said there was no difference in the risk of being killed by a car versus a wildfire during the fire years for mountain lions.

But he said the study would not have been possible without the help of more than 1,600 citizen volunteers

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