There is plenty of wildlife extant in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone a generation or so after the nuclear mishap.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine suffered a large malfunction about 30 years ago. Today, although people are not to be found in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), wildlife is there in abundance.
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A recently published camera study by researchers from the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, confirmed that there are animals galore in the area. The remote camera used in the study is the first one of its kind employed to find out more about wildlife in the region.
In the CEZ, animal species are flourishing and they are not affected by the remnants of radiation the place is so notorious for. When the disaster took place in 1986, both the Ukraine and Belarus faced a deep impact of the radiation that was released from the accident.
Inside Belarus there is over 834 square miles of thick jungle landscape that is home to all sorts of species of flora and fauna.
The amounts of radiation varied across the length and breadth of this area. Via a survey of animal tracks it was found out that their populations were not only surviving but thriving in the area.
Yet the latest method that got employed was remote camera stations. While the earlier study did show the presence of animal populations in the CEZ, the latest study corroborated that finding in a beautiful way via the use of remote cameras.
The photographic proof is a classic example of “seeing is believing”. Over a month and a week’s time span, 94 sites were monitored via 30 cameras.
The remote cameras were set up on trees to capture variegated pics of the animals. Also fatty acid scents were sprayed on the equipment so as to attract the feral inhabitants of the area.
The stations were set up at 2 mile distances from one another so that the animals would not crowd around them. The various animals were gauged based upon their rank and hierarchy in the food web game started by Mother Nature.
Carnivores seemed to be more susceptible to the concentration of radiation in their biological systems. They get it from the species they consumed as predators and from the soil, water and surrounding air.
This bio-accumulation of contaminants in meat eaters was very prominent. It is still a miracle that most species of wildlife tends to survive the worst of environments thereby showing the tenacity of Nature.
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This camera study wad published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.