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Fukushima Bird Species Hard Done by Radiation


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Some birds in highly radioactive areas of Fukushima in eastern Japan have dropped significantly in numbers over the four years since the nuclear disaster occurred. In 2011, radioactive material began to leak from a Fukushima nuclear power plant after an earthquake-triggered tsunami struck the power plant. The disaster forced many residents from their homes and rendered the food from farms in the area inedible. Now, three recent studies examine how subsequent high radiation rates affect birds in the region, whether these effects change over time and how they compare to other bird species in areas surrounding Chernobyl in Ukraine. “The effects of radiation are increasing over time despite the fact that the radiation levels are decreasing,” said Tim Mousseau, a professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina and an author of the studies. A Wave of Effects in Japan One of the studies, published in the Journal of Ornithology, tracked the effect of radiation on 57 bird species from a few months after the Fukushima disaster through subsequent years. Mousseau and a team of researchers monitored 400 areas around Fukushima with differing radiation levels, paying attention to natural landscape features that have a tendency to limit or [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/fukushima/

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