Wolves Have Escaped From the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Discussion in 'The Natural World' started by nivek, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Wolves Have Escaped From the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

    At least one of the wolves that have survived and thrived in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) surrounding the site of the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster has been tracked outside of this 4,300 square kilometers (1,660 square miles) relatively human-free area.

    And you know what that means …

    “The dispersal of a young wolf is an important observation because it suggests that the CEZ may serve as a source for some wildlife populations outside of the CEZ, and raises questions about the potential spread of radiation-induced genetic mutations to populations in uncontaminated areas.”

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    Chernobyl plant

    Add “fear of mutant radioactive wolves” to the general fear of wolves and change “raises questions” to “terrifies locals to shoot to kill” and you have a general idea of what’s bound to happen as a result of a new study in the European Journal of Wildlife Research which found that the concentration of wolves in the CEZ is seven times that of the surrounding areas and one of the animals they had fitted with a GPS collar was located 186 miles (300km) outside of the zone.

    “We have no evidence to support that this is happening. It is an interesting area of future research, but it is not something I would worry about.”

    Study lead author Michael Byrne, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Missouri at Columbia, knows what you’re thing and says in an interview with Live Science that “no wolves there were glowing – they all have four legs, two eyes and one tail.”

    In fact, despite the radiation leakage and because of the lack of humans for 30 years, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is actually overloaded with well-fed, healthy animals of all species – so many that it’s only natural a young wolf would look for food in a less crowded locale. Should locals be more fearful of coming in contact with a lost wolf, a radioactive wolf, neither or both?

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    Where humans destroy, animals thrive

    Unfortunately, due to fears, restrictions and politics, no one really knows for sure. Researchers say that the most genetic damage was done immediately after the disaster and those animals may have quickly died off. There are some signs of problems from eating contaminated foods – voles that eat contaminated mushrooms have a high rate of cataracts.

    This hasn’t stopped poachers from hunting and undoubtedly eating animals from around the edges of the zone with no reported aftereffects … yet. It also hasn’t stopped tourists from spending time in the zone and around the animals now that visiting is permitted.

    Will the fact that tourists see that the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has turned into a thriving wildlife habitat lessen the fears of wolves venturing out of the area?

    Probably not.

    Will any lessons be learned from this? Highly unlikely. If (or when) a worldwide nuclear disaster finally occurs, which will ultimately survive … humans or wolves?

    You know the answer.

    .
     
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  2. Castle-Yankee54

    Castle-Yankee54 Celestial

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    Its not really a surprise some would leave......and its always wise to be careful around a potentially dangerous animal.
     
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  3. Gambeir

    Gambeir Celestial

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    Radiation causes some sort of brain damage which is noted for making animals and humans illogical, aggressive, and combative. Really I think that's what the real worry might be.
     
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  4. CasualBystander

    CasualBystander Celestial

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    Umm.

    A wolf is a wild animal.

    How could they not leave the exclusion zone?

    Not sure why we are supposed to care about this.
     
  5. Mr_Darkness

    Mr_Darkness Adept

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    Because it will make a great illogical plot to a horror movie?
     
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  6. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Umm, radioactivity perhaps?...I know you do not care but perhaps people who live close by and would be affected by this do...I doubt you will ever see one of these wolves cross your path, so don't worry, move along, nothing to see here...

    ...
     
  7. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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  8. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Not quite a horror movie, they haven't done one on this scenario...yet...

     
  9. CasualBystander

    CasualBystander Celestial

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    You are right, I don't care.

    But the average kilogram of earth has 400 Becquerel of radioactivity and a banana has 120 Becquerel.

    Pretending that radioactivity is a human invention or that human radioactivity is unusually dangerous is delusional. The whole planet is so hot that it is really hard to make things a lot worse for any period of time (you can make an area really hot for a couple of weeks but that is about it). The problem with short term artificial actinides is they are dangerous because of the short half life - but it is hard to ingest a lot and the short half life means they disappear quickly.

    Fukushima released over 90% of the radioactivity in Iodine and Xenon (and other inert gases) that were gone in days.

    The wolves aren't going to be eaten so it really doesn't matter.

    There are old ladies living for decades in the exclusion zone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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  10. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Interesting, I did not know this...Thanks...

    The Babushkas of Chernobyl

    30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, some 100 women fiercely cling to their ancestral homeland inside the radioactive “Exclusion Zone.” While most of their neighbors have long since fled and their husbands have gradually died off, this stubborn sisterhood is hanging on — even, oddly, thriving — while trying to cultivate an existence on toxic earth.

     
  11. CasualBystander

    CasualBystander Celestial

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    Yeah, I don't think killing a bunch of old ladies and disposing of them as hazardous waste because they are radioactive is going to fly with most people.
     
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  12. Gambeir

    Gambeir Celestial

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    Ya know, these stories are like priming the pump, lubing us up for something to come, it's like Mr Kissinger the Anti~Christ's messenger boy said; "never let an opportunity go to waste."

    Next stop genetically engineered killer wolves~
     
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  13. Castle-Yankee54

    Castle-Yankee54 Celestial

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    It will be good to see what these studies find and see if there is any long term health effects on the numerous predators in the exclusion zone. The wolves being the apex predator is just going to act differently around people due to the fact they see less of them as in more remote areas.
     
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  14. michael59

    michael59 Celestial

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    My mind does go directly to the Cujo effect. Look what happens to dogs that we tamper with to create purebreds. There's actually a breed of dog that dies in agony because it's brain is too large for the skull. Syringomyelia (SM) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    When you consider what radiation exposure does to us. It isn't that much of a stretch to consider what it does to wildlife and future generations of wildlife.

    This is just one paragraph I took from a study. There is much more to read....

    Genetic and Ecological Studies of Animals in Chernobyl and Fukushima | Journal of Heredity | Oxford Academic

     
  15. CasualBystander

    CasualBystander Celestial

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    We are breeding humans with extra empty space - which isn't any better.

    The US IQ has been dropping for at least a decade. Will take just a couple of centuries (or less) to be back with the monkeys at this rate.

    I'm all for eugenics. If you remove natural selection failures multiple exponentially. When natural selection fails - artificial selection needs to take its place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  16. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    How does this relate to the topic?...

    ...
     
  17. CasualBystander

    CasualBystander Celestial

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    Dogs with brains too big for their heads wasn't very relevant either.

    Syringomyelia - Wikipedia

    Syringomyelia is a cyst on the spinal cord. There are several causes and one is a genetic defect.


    And the whole thing about mutations is a little misinformed.

    About 40% of embryos are spontaneously aborted before pregnancy is noticed and first trimester total loss is 45-55%.

    Many of these have chromosome abnormalities.

    So if all births succeeded about 1/2 of the population would be retarded or deformed.
     
  18. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    We are talking about canines, not US citizen IQs...

    ...
     
  19. CasualBystander

    CasualBystander Celestial

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    Well... have to give you that.

    Wolves and dogs are the same species (the definition of a species is all the animals that can interbreed)..

    Species - Wikipedia
    A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which two individuals can produce fertile offspring

    Still waiting for someone to tell me what harm can come from wolves escaping the exclusion zone other than farmers losing some livestock.
     
  20. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

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    Yeah I'm on the fence about the possible danger of that too, one thing I tried and failed to find is the levels of radioactivity these wolves carry or estimated levels...I dug through many papers on the subject but nothing on radiation levels these animals many carry...If they are highly radioactive then they probably cannot produce offspring if they mated with wolves outside the exclusion zone, they would contaminate the others...

    ...
     

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