Environment For The First Time, Scientists Tracked a Wolf Leaving The Radioactive Chernobyl Zone

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 left a landscape that was highly toxic, but in the 30 years since we've seen small signs of nature recovering. The latest is evidence of a young wild wolf boldly making its way far out of the designated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone or CEZ.

    Covering some 4,300 square kilometres (1,660 square miles), the zone is still considered too contaminated to be habitable, but some wildlife in the area seems to be flourishing without interference from human activity.

    Now those animals are pushing the boundaries of the zone, specifically a young, male grey wolf which has been recorded venturing some 369 kilometres (229 miles) from its home.

    That's the first time scientists know of that an animal leaving the zone has covered such a distance, and it could be a sign of how these populations might spread in the future – and how far genes mutated by the nuclear radiation could spread.

    "Instead of being an ecological black hole, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone might actually act as a source of wildlife to help other populations in the region," one of the researchers, Michael Byrne from the University of Missouri at Columbia, told Charles Q. Choi at Live Science.

    "And these findings might not just apply to wolves – it's reasonable to assume similar things are happening with other animals as well."

    The data on the one- or two-year-old wolf was collected back in February 2015 with the help of a GPS collar, but the study analysing it is brand new.

    Read more here. (Science Alert)

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