An unlikely casualty in Ukraine—wildlife research

The region surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has become an unusual nature preserve. Carsten ten Brink

The human tragedy unfolding in Ukraine may mean an end to a unique wildlife study—one born of another human tragedy. With the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant came an unusual situation. The area around it became in effect a nature sanctuary. That led researchers to study how animals and plants in the region adjusted to their radioactive surroundings. Their work has led to over 120 papers, including a six-year camera trap experiment on mammals. “All this work has been shut down following the invasion of Ukraine,” writes The Economist. Researchers suspect combat noise has caused the wildlife to flee, and they worry the site may be damaged—and littered with landmines.

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