Biodiversity is thriving in Fukushima, a report shows

As nuclear power struggles to return to life following the 2011 Fukushima meltdown, there is one shining example of nuclear revival: Wildlife.

As Japan struggles to bury the nuclear fallout, more wildlife is returning to areas that weren’t affected, The Guardian reports.

One species in particular–the striped songstellix–is thriving: Researchers report more than 30 cross-country flights over areas evacuated and changed because of the meltdown, and their observations show increased sightings of the spiny creature.

The researchers found 59% more birds there in 2010-2012 than the baseline, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. They also saw 29% more rare birds and a 47% increase in the types of butterflies.

The scientists are cautioning against overreaction to the findings, noting they observed the increase primarily near modified fishing grounds. (Carp, another affected species, has also gone up.)

Researchers predict that by 2050, more than half of the world’s worldwide population will live within 40 miles of a nuclear power plant. (The Fukushima meltdown was so damaging, you can now build new nuclear reactors underground.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Biodiversity Is Also Booming in Fukushima

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