Brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) in Chernobyl exclusion zone

Gashchak, S.; Gulyaichenko, Y.; Beresford, N.A; Wood, M.D. 2016 Brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) in Chernobyl exclusion zone. Proceedings of the Theriological School, 14. 71-84.

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Brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) in Chernobyl exclusion zone. — Gashchak, S., Gulyaichenko, Y., Ber-esford, N.A., Wood, M.D. — Deployment of camera traps in the Chornobyl exclusion zone (Ukraine) in 2012–2016 confirmed the existence of the brown bear. The presence of ca. 2–3 individuals was established in an area of up to 80 km2 near the village of Tovstyi Lis. Bears were observed on 17 occasions in all seasons ex-cept winter. Confirmed sightings were also recorded near the villages of Paryshiv and Ladyzhychi, though it was not possible to judge how many animals were there. Both locations include large areas of broadleaved woodlands with moist soil and abundant food reserves. The evidence collected (photographs, video, footprints, markings on trees, oral reports of a female bear with cubs) suggest the development of a resident breeding group and the revival of the species in Kyiv Polissia after centuries of its absence. This is facilitated by the size of the exclusion zone (2,600 km2), abundant resources and the absence of humans. A similar revival of bear oc-curred in the neighbouring Paliessie Radioecological Reserve in Belarus (Deryabina, 2011). Together both terri-tories (4,750 km2) promise to be a new large reservation for brown bear in Eastern Europe.

Item Type: Publication - Article
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISSN: 2312-2749
Additional Keywords: radioecology, brown bear, Chornobyl exclusion zone, camera trap, revival of species, favourable habitats
Date made live: 19 Oct 2017 10:29 +0 (UTC)

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