Study shows animal life thriving around Fukushima | 1/21/2020 | Eleanor Imster
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Nearly a decade after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, researchers have found that wildlife populations are abundant in areas now devoid of human life. A new camera study, published January 6, 2020 in the Journal of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, recorded more than 20 species, including wild boar, Japanese hare, macaques, pheasant, fox and the raccoon dog – a relative of the fox – in various areas of the landscape.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster happened when a massive tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, slammed into Japan, seriously damaging the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three nuclear reactors at the power plant melted down, releasing radioactive materials that contaminated about 3,500 square miles (9,000 square km).

University - Georgia - Biologist - James - Beasley

University of Georgia wildlife biologist James Beasley, a study co-author, said speculation and questions have come from both the scientific community and the general public about the status of wildlife years after a nuclear accident like those in Chernobyl and Fukushima. Beasley said in a statement:

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.

Questions - Condition - Wildlife - Thomas - Hinton

Anticipating questions about physiological condition of the wildlife, study co-author Thomas Hinton of Fukushima University said their results are not an assessment of an animal’s health. Hinton said:

This research makes an important contribution because it examines radiological impacts to populations of wildlife, whereas most previous studies have looked for effects to individual animals.

Raccoon - Dog - Image - University - Georgia

Raccoon dog. Image via University of Georgia.

Species that are often in conflict with humans, particularly wild...
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