#Chernobyldisaster #nuclearaccident #UkraineBelarusborder
Chernobyl disaster zone now has more wildlife than before nuclear accident.Wild deer, bison, Przewalski’s horses and up to 200 species of birds have flourished in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone thanks to the disappearance of humans.Chernobyl has become a surprising haven for wildlife thee decades on from the world’s worst ever nuclear accident.
In 1986, a fire broke out at one of the plant’s reactors and sparked a massive evacuation of the surrounding towns which have lain abandoned ever since .
But researchers say the disappearance of humans has had one effect that few would have predicted at the time – the reemergence of wild animals.
Wild horses, deer and 200 bird species now flourish in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a 1,600 square mile zone surrounding the site on the Ukraine-Belarus border.Camera traps set up have captured an amazing array of animals, including brown bears, bisons, wolves, lynxes, which also roam the zone unfettered by humans.
The peacefulness of the area has also attracted the attention of nature-loving ‘stalkers’ who live in the zone undetected for weeks at a time until they are caught by disapproving authorities.
At recent conference, scientists studying the effects of radiation on animals presented the results of their work.
Academic Germán Orizaola said : “These studies showed that at present the area hosts great biodiversity.
“In addition, they confirmed the general lack of big negative effects of current radiation levels on the animal and plant populations living in Chernobyl. All the studied groups maintain stable and viable populations inside the exclusion zone.”The current health of the flora and fauna is a far cry from the picture presented in the aftermath of the disaster.
Contamination was so bad that pine trees at the nearby ‘Red Forrest’ died instantly and turned their leaves red.
Few animals in the immediate vicinity survived the initial radiation leak and it was thought that the zone would remain devoid of life for decades to come.Some argue that the region should be turned into a wildlife reserve in order to help protect animals that live there.
Germán Orizaola added: “Over the past 33 years, Chernobyl has gone from the being considered a potential desert for life to being an area of high interest for biodiversity conservation.
“It may sound strange, but now we need to work to maintain the integrity of the exclusion zone as a nature reserve if we want to guarantee that in the future Chernobyl will remain a refuge for wildlife.
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