Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Timothy A. Mousseau

Abstract

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident is one of two disasters ranked as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the highest possible rank. The Fukushima Prefecture and surrounding region, including the people and wildlife, were contaminated with large amounts of radioactive material. It is well known that ionizing radiation causes many negative effects on the health of animals. This study used motion activated cameras throughout the Fukushima Daiichi Exclusion Zone and surrounding area to investigate the effect of chronic exposure to low-dose radiation on medium- to large-sized mammal abundance and distribution. Only mild effects of ambient radiation were found. Instead, human disturbance associated with clean-up operations along the outside of the exclusion zone significantly affected mammal distribution and abundance.

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