Oct 9, 2022

Wildlife deserts nature reserve known as Europe's Amazon

He is a forest ranger in Ukraine's Drevlyansky nature reserve, helping to patrol what once was a pristine sanctuary for wildlife in northern Ukraine. The artillery shells the Russians fired into northern Ukraine ignited forest fires that have burnt through more than 2,000 hectares of previously-untouched forest, sending wildlife scattering, incinerating recently-discovered orchids and hundreds of other rare plants. One look at the scorched and fire-blackened trunks of the trees suggests wildlife in this part of Ukraine will not be coming back any time soon. This part of Ukraine is a region known as Polesia, a giant oval on the map that extends into Belarus, Poland and Russia. On 26 April 1986, reactor number four in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, sending a plume of highly radioactive particles right across Europe and contaminating parts of northern Ukraine with radionuclides.

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