Wildlife In Chernobyl Is Not Only Back, But Thriving. Automatic Cameras Are Revealing Their Secret Lives

May 1, 2015

Automatic cameras in the Ukrainian side of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone have provided an insight into the previously unseen secret lives of wildlife that have made the contaminated landscape their home.

In the first four months since the cameras were deployed, the team has "trapped" more than 10,000 images of animals, suggesting the 30km zone, established shortly after the April 1986 disaster when a nuclear reactor exploded, ejecting radioactive material across the surrounding terrain and high into the atmosphere, is now home to a rich diversity of wildlife.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

Packs of grey wolves have been recorded across the zone, and seem to have adapted well to life with minimal human interference.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

Przeswalski's horses have adapted quite well to life within the zone, moving around in large groups.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

Red foxes are another species that seem to be capitalizing on the lack of human disturbance.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

The surrounding habitat provides a perfect backdrop for this deer to blend into the background.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

... as it does for this lynx.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

The arrival of warmer weather saw an increase in the number of badgers being photographed by the remote camera traps.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

Wild boar are widespread, moving in large groups and causing considerable physical disruption to the top-soils as they forage for food.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

Until these images were captured, there was no known photographic proof that brown bears had returned to the area.

animals in chernobyl
Credit: Tree Research Project

The camera traps will continue to capture images until October 2015.

wildlife in Chernobyl thriving
Credit: Tree Research Project

Credit: BBC.

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