Wild Animals Prefer Nuclear Exclusion Zones to Humans

The Nuclear Disaster of Fukushima in 2011 was a devastating event, combined with the severe earthquakes and terrifying tsunamis, resulting in the deaths of over 2,000 people in Japan. However, there are now new signs of life within the area, as wild animals are beginning to obtain the land and are reported to be thriving significantly.

The Fukushima Nuclear accident naturally resulted in an exclusion zone being enforced due to the extremely high levels of radiation in the area. This event shares large similarities with the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in 1986, with the immediate and extended areas being entirely excluded to humans.

A further surprising link between the two accidents is the revival of natural wildlife to both surrounding areas of the nuclear accidents. In recent years, there have been numerous reports concerning land, within Chernobyl and Pripyat, of wild animals returning to settle down in the nuclear infested areas. 

The University of Georgia have been able to conduct research, where they have collected an estimate of 260,000 images of wildlife living successfully inside the exclusion zone. Their studies conclude that more than 20 different species have been identified. 

“Our results represent the first evidence that numerous species of wildlife are now abundant throughout the Fukushima Evacuation Zone, despite the presence of radiological contamination” said James Beasley, an associate professor at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University.

In addition, with the current suffering and loss of wild animals currently taking place on the other side of the globe in the Australian fires, where estimates suggest that one billion animals have lost their lives. It raises the question as to whether wild animals would prefer to be left to their own devices and enabled to thrive, without human interference. In this instance, the human contribution towards climate change is the leading culprit for the events in Australia. 

 

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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla.

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