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Bird Population in Collapse Near Fukushima

Study: Many species show “dramatically” elevated DNA mutation rates, developmental abnormalities and extinctions

Common Dreams staff

An upcoming study shows the future for birds and insect life around Fukushima has been badly damaged, an ominous sign of things to come.

The study, set to be published next week in Environmental Pollution, looked at 14 species of birds common to Fukushima and Chernobyl. David McNeill writes in the Irish Times:

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. [..]

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.

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Japanese researchers began studying flora and fauna around Fukushima in November, with an initial report on the findings expected in March.

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In this video uploaded to YouTube in June, a bird near the Fukushima Prefecture exhibits abnormal behavior:

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