Elk and other animals thriving at Chernobyl area.
The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 contaminated over 1,600 square miles in Ukraine, which led to the population of people and wildlife evacuating that area. Now it is a haven for animals that have come back to inhabit this land.
Many deer, bison, wolves, elk, and wild boar have come back to this exclusion area around the nuclear power plant and are thriving despite being contaminated with radioactive material. Scientists who have surveyed this region found no evidence that suggests that wildlife there has been affected by the ill effects of the Chernobyl explosion from 30 years ago.
In fact, they say that because there have not been any humans living in this zone for so many years may have very likely contributed to this flourishment of wildlife, as stated in a report by The Independent.
“It’s very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident,” explained Professor Jim Smith of Portsmouth University in England, who also co-authored this study. “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,”
These findings were published on Monday in the journal Current Biology. After their surveys were completed, the researchers concluded that there is no evidence that suggests any mammals have been affected by the nuclear fallout from Chernobyl.
“These results demonstrate for the first time that, regardless of potential radiation effects on individual animals, the Chernobyl exclusion zone supports an abundant mammal community after nearly three decades of chronic radiation exposure,”
According to The Washington Post, another team is currently out there studying the same thing. They are using camera traps to keep tabs on the wildlife in the Chernobyl area as well. They are expected to be done by the end of the year.
Researchers say that wolves are seven times more populous in this region than in non-radiation areas. Where people once lived now stands abandoned houses with wild boar, as well as other animals, running free and living off the land.
Photo by Pixabay.
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