Currently, the scientists all around the world are studying the effect of radiation on wildlife: watching the life of animals and the development of vegetation Red Forest in Chernobyl. Today it is possible to trace the influence of this terrible disaster: mutations on the pines and animals is the striking example of this action.
The laboratory field investigations of the wildlife in Chernobyl indicates what happened under the influence of chronic exposure:
- the drop in the reproductive capacity of all animal and plant species,
- it leads to activation of the mobile part of DNA that is present in all organisms,
- the degree of mutations raises,
- the acceleration of genetic transformation of species with a short duration of the life.
The local flora and fauna were under attack: the fallout does not distinguish between of biological species; it is dangerous for everyone. Besides, no one evacuated the birds and animals from the danger zone. At first, the death rate among them exceeded the limit.
A new study contradicts previous research works. This research based on the animals’ tracks on the snow. The scholars detected that the quantity of animals reduced. However, they could not estimate the possible radiation dose, which the animals obtained.
The factual dosage hinges not only upon the level of outer poisoning but also upon a scale of radioactive substances that animals receive with food and water. In the renewed investigation, these estimates were more accurate.
The integrity of the underground water is another area of anxiety after the crash. An initial degree of the groundwater intoxication may have been promoted because of the special way of recycling, used for the Red Forest. Most of the Red Forest was destroyed by bulldozers and buried into trenches. In such obstacles, the radiation from the decay of trees washed into groundwater.
The effects of the burst obviously caused negative consequences for all life on the Chernobyl lands. Currently, environmental sustainability restored even in the same regions that experienced the fatal dose of radioactivity.
The scientists came to a startling conclusion: the wealth of flora and fauna in Chernobyl exposes that the presence of people is more damaging to wildlife than the contamination. However, it is advisable to consider the impact of toxic substances on flora and fauna separately.
Wildlife in Chernobyl: about fauna
Some biologists have investigated the effect of radiation on the population of wild fauna, such as insects and spiders. They concluded that it has a significant negative effect even at the low level (as in natural background radiation). If these results are true, they will significantly affect the modern radiation protection for people and the environment.
The ecologists say that the biodiversity of polluted areas is changing under the influence of various factors. Thus, the number of wild pigs has decreased due to illness, and the types of mice, accompanying human settlements, were replaced by wild species. The white stork, companion of human habitation, is almost completely gone, in its place settled gray stock.
There are also unique finds. Thus, biologists recognize that the species diversity of wildlife at Chernobyl sharply replenished in three decades. It came back brown bear and other kinds that were considered rare visitors.
For example, on this terrain nesting black stork, white-tailed eagle, gray cranes, swans, ducks, eagles and grouses. There are several kinds of owls (including eagle owl), unique fauna of bats. Many kinds of birds are there, which scholars last saw in Ukraine 50 years ago.
The beasts are accustomed to the security and are not afraid of humans. They are full owners, even changed the rhythm of his daily activity. The humans are on the rights of the guests on Chernobyl lands. There are a few examples:
- Insects do not show aggression. Known fact, the journalist picked up the bumblebee (in the city of Pripyat), and it did not even think to sting.
- In the rivers, there is a great amount of different types of fish. Chub has one of the largest populations here. Shoals of fish can be seen simply by throwing a piece of bread into the water.
- Wolves rarely show aggression to a person apart from exceptional situations, when the animal appears sick with rabies. Albeit in the winter, when the hunt is more difficult for the predators, they come to people’s homes and try to attack pets.
- A huge rat runs across the road slowly. People could not believe their eyes. It turns out that it is an otter, jumped right out of the water in broad daylight. Now, it becomes clear where the stories and Chernobyl wildlife photos were taken pervading the internet. The headings stun about the Chernobyl wildlife mutations (in our case about huge rats) that appeared after the Chernobyl disaster.
Wildlife in Chernobyl: about flora
The alienation zone is a huge and predominantly forest area, hiding many mysteries from the eyes of the uninitiated. It is the least populated and most forested ground in Europe. Despite its beauty, it is very dangerous. There are Chernobyl wildlife pictures that will illustrate why it is so dangerous:
- the dosage which exceeds the annual limit is possible to get for a day after – eating wild berries or mushrooms. They contain radionuclide of 20-30 times more than maximum allowable concentration.
- there are “champions of radiation”, for example, local blueberries. It exceeds the norm in 100 times.
The basic types of natural vegetation that grow in wildlife around Chernobyl territory are forest, meadow and marsh greenery. There are rare species of plants, even orchids. At the time of the termination of economic activity, the former agricultural land (of plant cover) undergone the substantial transformations.
The ecologists point out intensive processes of overgrowing meadows and deposits of the arboreal vegetation (wind entering). The scientists believe that due to natural processes more than 40% of grasslands is covered with arboreal greenery:
- the scots pine – more than 50% (from the total amount of the Chernobyl forest);
- the birch – more than 23%;
- the oak – no more than 5%;
- and other species. (Data for 2008)
Let us speak about Chernobyl wildlife mutations. It is noteworthy that there are certainly credible facts about mutants and Chernobyl wildlife documentary information exist too. In the alienation area, the mutants are plants. The long-term radioactive contamination could lead to mutation. These poisoned elements intoxicate the water and the soil. In the first place, this factor influence on plants.
The large ejection of elements such as cesium 137 and strontium-90 was carried out because of the accident. They are analogs of other radioactive substances as calcium and potassium. Their absence made the Chernobyl soil less productive compared to the humus from other regions of Ukraine (it was before the crash).
The emission of chemicals served as the reason of the appearance of some kinds of fertilizers in the soil and the water. It led to the rapid growth of various plants. Plants mutated and began to reach unprecedented proportions. These Chernobyl wildlife mutations apply to agricultural crops and wild plants.
Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary
Because of the disaster, the wildlife of Chernobyl is “protected by the radiation.” This is an opportunity to restore Chernobyl wildlife today, on the large areas. These lands have a number of important functions:
- serve as a barrier to radiation;
- operate as “green lungs”;
- clean the air and water;
- save the climate;
- absorb carbon dioxide;
- in addition, the river Pripyat is the backup water source.
Many scientists insist that it needs to create the Chernobyl wildlife refuge, rather than returning the land into agricultural land use. The reserve was established on the territory of Belarus. The creation of Chernobyl wildlife sanctuary is important because the most part of the exclusion zone is located on the terrain of Ukraine.
The project of the biosphere reserve is attractive because the conditions of farming and nature conservation are flexible and functional.
The plan provides for the maintenance of traditional managing in certain areas, on one hand, and on the other hand – conservation, research, monitoring, educational projects, public awareness and coordination among the various organizations in the area.
The territory of the future Chernobyl wildlife refuge will be zoned:
- Only scientists are allowed to visit certain areas.
- Other areas will be visited by tourists, but there will not be any economic activity.
- There will be a part where will be limited economic activity, including the timber harvesting.
- Industrial sites and other enterprises will not be included.
In summarizing it should be noticed that Chernobyl wildlife now, after 30 years, have notable and significant changes. The Chernobyl wildlife recovery it is a long, painstaking and tedious operation. Still, there is the question to reflect: what happens when wildlife reclaims Chernobyl?