Bird life badly hit by nuclear fallout in Japan
DAVID McNEILL in
Fri, Feb 03, 2012
RESEARCHERS WORKING in the irradiated zone around the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant say bird populations there have begun to dwindle, in what may be a chilling harbinger of the impact of radioactive fallout on local life.
In the first major study on the impact of the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, the researchers from Japan, the US and Denmark say that analysis of 14 species of birds common to Fukushima and Chernobyl shows the effect on numbers is worse in the Japanese disaster zone.
Published next week in the journal Environmental Pollution, the paper says its findings demonstrate “an immediate negative consequence of radiation for birds during the main breeding season March-July”.
Two of the study’s authors have spent years working in the irradiated 2,850sq m zone around the
Timothy Mousseau and Anders Pape Moller say their research there uncovered major negative effects among the local bird population, including reductions in longevity, male fertility and birds with smaller brains.
Many species show “dramatically” elevated DNA mutation rates, developmental abnormalities and extinctions, they add, while insect life has been significantly reduced.
Some scientists have challenged the findings, arguing that animal and insect species have thrived around
Prof Mousseau, a biological scientist, at the
Prof Mousseau says the fresh findings are of “profound” interest because
In a 2003 judgment by a Danish academic body, Prof Pape Moller was found to have been guilty of “a falsification of the scientific message”.
© 2012 The Irish Times
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs