A camera trap survey of town and the woods encompassing the place of the Chernobyl power plant nuclear meltdown in 1986 has given a peek into the lives of the creatures that have recovered the abandoned landscape.
A It relied only on counting animal tracks to estimate amounts, although a previous study by exactly the same research team had found that the people of wildlife in the CEZ were doing nicely. This new study, published in Frontiers has used camera traps reiterate in what way the creatures residing within the disaster zone are booming, and to support these earlier findings.
“For this study we got photographic signs because these are images that everyone can see – robust signs – and deployed cameras methodically across the whole Belarus section of the CEZ.”
The team used a camera trap odor station technique, where they not only create a remote camera to take pictures whenever it is triggered by anything, but in addition they employed a fatty acid odor so that you can bring any creatures walking nearby. They focused primarily on the wild carnivores in the region, because they are good indicators concerning the general well-being of an ecosystem and frequently sit on top of the food chain.
“Carnivores are generally in higher trophic levels of ecosystem food webs, so they can be susceptible to bioaccumulation of contaminants says Sarah Webster, another of the coauthors. What this means is that while creatures lower down the food chain – such as deer as multiple deer is eaten by predators like wolves – might have smaller amounts of contaminant, the contaminants roll up, or build up.
They discovered no signs to indicate these creatures had been adversely influenced by the radiation or some other contaminants, with wild boar, wolves, red foxes, and raccoon dogs being the most often seen species.