Science News

Canny birds in Chernobyl

Sat, 31st Mar 2007

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Birds around Chernobyl seem to be avoiding radioactive nests. Anders Møller from the Marie Curie University in Paris and Tim Mosseau in South Carolina have been studying the birds around chernobyl.Great tit

The background radiation in the Red Forest, 2-3km away from the Cherobyl reactor, is very variable so they built nesting boxes for Great Tits and Pied Flycatchers in lots of different sites in the area.

Both birds but particularly the pied flycatcher avoided the most contaminated areas, with the Flycatchers only nesting in the least contaminated  areas. Although they have idea how they are doing it, this is a very sensible thing for the birds to be doing as the radiation will have a bad effect on the birds, although if wildlife is able to detect the really dangerous areas, this may be contributing to the huge growth in wildlife in the exclusion area around Chernobyl.

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