Wildlife flourishing in the no-man’s land around Fukushima

Three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station melted and radioactive materials were released into the atmosphere, leaving more than 100,000 people evacuated from the area.

Scientists have now discovered that wildlife is abundant in areas where humans no longer live.

Researchers at the University of Georgia used a remote camera to collect more than 267,000 photographs of more than 20 species, including raccoon dogs, wild boars, mackerel, pheasants, foxes, and Japanese hares around the power plant.

“Our results represent the first evidence that many types of wildlife inhabit the entire evacuation area of ​​the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, despite the presence of radioactive contamination.” James Beasley, Associate Professor of the Savannah River Ecological Institute and the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Resources of Warnell, said. He said in a statement.

Photo data was collected from 106 camera sites in three zones. Areas where humans are excluded due to the highest levels of pollution. Areas where humans are restricted due to moderate pollution. And the area where people were allowed to stay.

Over 120 days, the camera took 46,000 pictures of wild boars and more than 26,000 pictures in uninhabited areas.

In contrast, approximately 13,000 images were taken in zones where humans are restricted due to pollution, and 7,000 images were taken in inhabited zones.

Researchers have taken images of more than 20 species, including macaque monkeys, around the plant.

Researchers have also seen more animals such as raccoons, martens, weasels, Japanese macaques or monkeys in unmanned or restricted areas.

Species that are considered “conflicting” with humans, such as wild boars, were primarily photographed in areas and areas where humans were evacuated, Mr. Beasley said.

Inside Slavutych, a city created by the explosion of Chernobyl

Scientists point out that the study monitors the effects of radiation on the entire wildlife population, but does not give an assessment of the health of individual animals.

The study Published on Monday in the Journal of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, it was created in addition to the team’s research on Chernobyl, where wildlife also flourished after the disaster.

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