Chernobyl Camera Captures Wildlife Wonder

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Thirty years ago the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, an area of land the size of Rhode Island may not be fit for human habitation for as much as 150 years, which just might make it a perfect place for a thriving wildlife refuge.

New photographic data show the 1,600 square-mile Chernobyl Evacuation Zone is now “basically an incredibly large sanctuary” for animals large and small, according to University of Georgia biologist Jim Beasley.


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Where once there were bustling towns and busy roads, “the vegetation began to regrow and created habitat, and animals like wolves that don’t do exceptionally well in the presence of humans could be offered more protection,” said Beasley, whose study was supported in part by a grant from the National Geographic Society. “All these animals that could be hunted for food now are protected.”

Mother nature is much more resilient then we give her credit for, it would seem.

US News Asserts Wildlife Irreparably Harmed
Radioactive cesium from Chernobyl can still be detected in some food products today. And in parts of central, eastern and northern Europe many animals, plants and mushrooms still contain so much radioactivity that they are unsafe for human consumption.

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The Ecological Society Of America Says Wildlife Is Flourishing
We observed individuals of 14 mammalian species in total; for those species with sufficiently robust visitation rates to allow occupancy to be modeled (gray wolf, raccoon dog, Eurasian boar, and red fox, we found no evidence to suggest that their distributions were suppressed in highly contaminated areas within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

NBC News Suggests The Human Migration Was  A Good Thing 
The wolf population is actually seven times bigger than in Ukraine’s official nature reserves, which indicates that the predators have plenty to feed on, said the study’s coauthor Jim Beasley of the University of the Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.


Comments (1)

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    Klaus L.E. Kaiser


    This makes perfect sense:
    Most animals in the wild have life expectancies in the order of 10 years. Therefore, low-level radiation is not going to affect them and their populations flourish.

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