Published on Apr 3, 2016
What occurs to nature after a nuclear accident? And how does wildlife deal with all the world after human inhabitants have fled, it inherits?
In 1986 a nuclear meltdown in the Chernobyl power plant that was infamous in present-day Ukraine left miles of land in radioactive ruins. Residents living in areas most contaminated by the disaster relocated and were evacuated by government order, as well as a no-man’s land of our own making was left to its own apparatus. In the ensuing 25 years, fields, marshes, woods and rivers recovered the land, overruling the effects of hundreds of years of human development. And surprisingly, this exclusion zone, or “dead zone,” has turned into a sort of post-atomic Eden, populated by beaver and bison, horses and birds, fish and falcons – and ruled by wolves.
Accessibility to the zone is permitted on a limited basis, and scientists are tracking the remaining wildlife in the region, attempting to learn how the various species are contending with the undetectable blight of radiation. Because if the wolves are doing well, the populations of their prey must additionally be doing nicely, as the top predators in this new wilds, wolves best represent the state of the whole ecosystem. Consequently, a key long term study of the wolves has been initiated to ascertain their range their health, as well as their numbers.
Radioactive Wolves analyzes the state of wildlife populations in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone, an area that, to this day, stays too radioactive for human habitation.