There is a new piece of information regarding the mammal vs. bird controversy in Chernobyl:
Brightly coloured birds are among the species most adversely affected by the high levels of radiation around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, ecologists have discovered. The findings -- published online in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology -- help explain why some species are harder hit by ionising radiation than others.
Dr Anders MÃ¸ller of the UniversitÃ© Pierre et Marie Curie and Professor Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina examined 1,570 birds from 57 different species in the forests around Chernobyl at varying distances from the reactor. They found that populations of four groups of birds -- those whose red, yellow and orange plumage is based on carotenoids, those that laid the biggest eggs, and those that migrated or dispersed the furthest -- declined more than other species.