After the Chernobyl reactor 4 accident, an exclusion zone was created around the plant due to its high levels of radioactivity. Now it is the habitat of a fauna that has managed to adapt to high levels of radiation.
On April 26, 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded during a technical test. The accident caused an emission of radiation400 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
More than 350,000 people were evacuated from the area and an exclusion area was created around the plant.
33 years later, Chernobyl is no longer a desert ... Today there are European bison (Bison bonasus), wolves (Canis lupus), boreal lynx (Lynx lynx), elk (Alces alces), brown bears (Ursus arctos), Przewalski horses ( Equus ferus przewalskii) and more than 200 species of birds.
A team of 30 researchers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ireland, France, Ukraine and Spain, closely follows the fauna of the exclusion zone.
In March of this year, they met and presented the latest results of their work. The groups of animals studied maintain stable and viable populations.
The supports of the conclusions are documented with the projectTransfer-Exposure-Effects, which has motion detection cameras for several years in the exclusion zone.
But what are the effects of radiation on animals
The fauna is present, it even inhabits the most polluted areas, its adaptive response to high levels of radiation is amazing.
For example, the frogs living in the exclusion boundary are darker than the frogs outside it. Insects are more affected by parasites in the most radioactive areas and generally have a shorter life. The birds are usually albino and present physiological and genetic alterations.
What is striking is that wildlife has been more resistant to radiation than expected. They managed to adapt to cope with radiation without suffering considerable damage and in turn the absence of humans has favored the development of large mammals.
How will Chernobyl continue?
In 2016, the Ukrainian part of the exclusion zone was declared a Radiological and Environmental Biosphere Reserve by the Government. However, there are various activities for humans to return to the area.
Chernobyl receives 70,000 tourists a year. A solar power plant was built and forestry work is underway. In the abandoned city of Pripyat an art show and techno party were organized.
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