Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom: Life in the Dead Zone-Rebecca L. Johnson

cover art

After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion in Ukraine, scientists believed radiation had created a vast and barren wasteland in which life could never resurface. But the Dead Zone, as the contaminated area is known, doesn't look dead at all. In fact, wildlife seems to be thriving there. The Zone is home to beetles, swallows, catfish, mice, voles, otters, beavers, wild boar, foxes, lynx, deer, moose—even brown bears and wolves. Yet the animals in the Zone are not quite what you'd expect. Every single one of them is radioactive.

In Chernobyl's Wild Kingdom, you'll meet the international scientists investigating the Zone's wildlife and trying to answer difficult questions: Have some animals adapted to living with radiation? Or is the radioactive environment harming them in ways we can't see or that will only show up in future generations? Learn more about the fascinating ongoing research—and the debates that surround the findings—in one of the most dangerous places on Earth.


SC Book Award Category
Award Years