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FUKUSHIMA, Japan, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Bird populations near Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear plant have dropped more than expected from a related analysis of the Chernobyl disaster, scientists say. Researchers counting birds at 300 locations in Fukushima prefecture from 15 to 30 miles from the Fukushima nuclear power complex damaged in last year's earthquake and tsunami said they found bird communities were significantly diminished in the more contaminated areas. They compared the findings to a similar study undertaken in Ukraine's Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from 2006 through 2009 and discovered that for 14 species of birds found in both locations, the decrease of population size was more pronounced at Fukushima than at Chernobyl, where a devastating nuclear power plant accident occurred in 1986. The study suggests "these birds, which have never experienced radiation of this intensity before, may be especially sensitive to radioactive contaminants," co-author Timothy Mousseau, a biologist at the University of South Carolina, said. The study suggests many similarities between the Chernobyl and Fukushima events and provides new insight into the first-generation effects of radiation exposure on animals in the wild, researchers said. "Our results point to the need for more research to determine the underlying reasons for differences among species in sensitivity, both initially and following many generations of exposure," Mousseau said in a University of South Carolina release Tuesday. Read more: www.upi.com...
here are the birds of japan www.birdlist.org...
They compared the findings to a similar study undertaken in Ukraine's Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from 2006 through 2009 and discovered that for 14 species of birds found in both locations,
They found that populations of four groups of birds -- those whose red, yellow and orange plumage is based on carotenoids, those that laid the biggest eggs, and those that migrated or dispersed the furthest -- declined more than other species.
Even low levels of radiation are already affecting bird populations near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, according to a new study in Environmental Pollution. Surveying birds in Fukushima Prefecture, an international team of scientists showed that higher levels of radiation correlated with smaller populations. The scientists attribute this to the fact that the power plant’s malfunction occurred in March, early in the breeding season.
► Abundance of birds was negatively related to radiation in Chernobyl and Fukushima. ► Effects of radiation on abundance differed between Chernobyl and Fukushima and among species. ► For 14 species common to the two areas the effects of radiation on abundance were stronger in Fukushima than in Chernobyl.