Team finds thriving wildlife populations in Chernobyl

Science Blog

A team of international researchers, including James Beasley, assistant professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the Warnell School Forestry and Natural Resources, has discovered abundant populations of wildlife at Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear accident that released radioactive particles into the environment and forced a massive evacuation of the human population.

In the current issue of the journal Current Biology, the researchers report the site looks more like a nature preserve than a disaster zone–abundant with moose, roe deer, wild boar and wolves–nearly 30 years after the world’s largest nuclear accident.  

Team finds thriving wildlife populations in ChernobylPrevious studies in the 1,621-square-mile Chernobyl Exclusion Zone showed evidence of major radiation effects and significantly reduced populations of wildlife. For the first time since the Chernobyl accident, researchers have long-term census data that reveal thriving wildlife populations in the zone.

“Our data are a testament to the resiliency of wildlife when freed from direct human pressures such as habitat loss, fragmentation and persecution,” said Beasley, a co-author on the study. “The multi-year data clearly show that a multitude of wildlife species are abundant throughout the zone, regardless of the level of radiation contamination.”

“This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming and forestry, are a lot worse,” said Jim Smith, a professor of environmental science at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. and the team’s coordinator.

The study results show that the number of moose, roe deer, red deer and wild boar living in the zone are similar to numbers in nearby uncontaminated nature reserves in the region.

The census data on wolves in the area indicate they are seven times greater in number than those living in the nearby reserves. Aerial census data collected from 1987-1996 reveal rising numbers of moose, roe deer and wild boar in the zone.

The study’s lead author, Tatiana Deryabina, a wildlife ecologist at Polessye State Radioecological Reserve in Belarus, has been “working, studying and taking photos of the wonderful wildlife in the Chernobyl area for over 20 years, and I am very pleased our work is reaching an international scientific audience.”
Read more at http://scienceblog.com/80514/team-finds-thriving-wildlife-populations-in-chernobyl/#4L5K86wi0moo7u5k.99

2 thoughts on “Team finds thriving wildlife populations in Chernobyl

  1. Yeah…. it only took almost 30 years to come back. What they’re not telling is that the moose have three legs.. and nuts the size of 14 pound bowling balls contaminated with radiation.
    Wolves that will kill you like an MTV celebrity death match. Plus rodents that have radiation std’s like a bad crack whore.
    But… ask your doctor….if it’s right for you , like a big pharma commercial in between the nightly news broadcast. So I guess in 30 years all the ocean life contaminated from Fukushima… will return…just fine…
    Remember. … radiation is good for you..!

    Disclaimer:
    May cause… diarrhea, stroke, shortness of breath ,anal leakage, birth defects, mental retardation, heart palpitations, loss of vision,
    Temporary constipation, a burning sensation in your urinary tract, additional organ growth, irraddict behaviour with thoughts of suicide,
    gender confusion, terrible road rage..and playing tiddly winks… with no tiddly’s
    But ask your doctor if it’s right for you.

    Flee

  2. First of all, I don’t believe a word of this, but I do see that it serves an important propaganda goal:
    The animals are good, the humans are bad, and the planet isn’t big enough for coexistence, so you shouldn’t worry about the wholesale slaughter of your friends, neighbors and family members.

    “This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming and forestry, are a lot worse,”

    The problem was never HUMAN habitation, hunting, or farming, but instead the problems are cause by CORPORATE farming, mining, and deforesting. When was the last time you decimated a rain forest?

    I have a family of bears sleeping behind my pump house, and they don’t seem too worried or stressed by my habitation here, in fact, they were deeper in the woods, but they recently moved closer.

    “abundant with moose, roe deer, wild boar and wolves–nearly 30 years after the world’s largest nuclear accident.”

    Three-eyed moose, glow-in-the-dark deer, boars with chicken feathers, and wolves with no teeth.

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