Sunday, May 3, 2015

Radioactive wolves: student sustainability video festival 35

I concluded PR for Green cars: student sustainability video festival 34 by teling my readers to "stay tuned for...the Sunday entertainment entry, which might do double duty as an installment of the student sustainability video festival."  For today's entry, I present a video that I'd been hearing about for years and which is right on-topic for the project of this blog at the intersection of biodiversity, energy, and disaster, "Radioactive Wolves."  First, the preview.

The historic nuclear accident at Chernobyl is now 25 years old. Filmmakers and scientists set out to document the lives of the packs of wolves and other wildlife thriving in the "dead zone" that still surrounds the remains of the reactor.
If anyone wants to see a post-human, post-apocalyptic landscape, one doesn't have to watch "The Walking Dead."  One simply has to view images of the exclusion zone around Chernobyl.  Take this clip of an 'unintentional green city' for example.

The ghost city of Pripyat was once a thriving metropolis. Today, it's a city that is green, in an unnerving and unintentional way.
Follow over the jump for and embedded video of the full documentary and a link to the official video at

Animal TV HD is one of several YouTube channels that has posted embeds of the entire show.  Here is its edit of Nature: Chernobyl (Radioactive Wolves) [Full Documentary].

What happens to nature after a nuclear accident? And how does wildlife deal with the world it inherits after human inhabitants have fled?

In 1986 a nuclear meltdown at the infamous Chernobyl power plant in present-day Ukraine left miles of land in radioactive ruins. Residents living in areas most contaminated by the disaster were evacuated and relocated by government order, and a no-man’s land of our own making was left to its own devices. In the ensuing 25 years, forests, marshes, fields and rivers reclaimed the land, reversing the effects of hundreds of years of human development. And surprisingly, this exclusion zone, or “dead zone,” has become a kind of post-nuclear Eden, populated by beaver and bison, horses and birds, fish and falcons – and ruled by wolves.

Access to the zone is now permitted, at least on a limited basis, and scientists are monitoring the surviving wildlife in the area, trying to learn how the various species are coping with the invisible blight of radiation. As the top predators in this new wilderness, wolves best reflect the condition of the entire ecosystem because if the wolves are doing well, the populations of their prey must also be doing well. Accordingly, a key long-term study of the wolves has been initiated to determine their health, their range, and their numbers.

Radioactive Wolves examines the state of wildlife populations in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone, an area that, to this day, remains too radioactive for human habitation.
Click here to watch the official video at

Stay tuned for more entries in this series along with the Monthly Meta.

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