This experiment is part of the Wildlife Diseases Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

Chernobyl’s Legacy: Does radiation exposure affect parasite and disease rates in two of Chernobyl's carnivores?

University of Georgia
North Augusta, South Carolina
DOI: 10.18258/7565
Grant: Wildlife Diseases
Raised of $3,968 Goal
Funded on 10/06/16
Successfully Funded
  • $4,113
  • 103%
  • Funded
    on 10/06/16



My goal is to evaluate the health effects of chronic radiation exposure in gray wolves and raccoon dogs as a function of the dose level received by individuals living in highly contaminated areas in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. I will utilize established molecular and microscopic techniques to quantify disease and parasite rates. To quantify internal parasite loads within scat I will perform a common fecal float and McMaster counting slide technique. Additionally we will test for canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus and canine enteric coronavirus, etc. through established methods of analysis for specific sequences of viral nucleic acids. 

To quanitfy radiation exposure, we use a novel device that combines GPS tracking with electronic dosimetry to get simultaneous information on an animal’s location and its radiation exposure. This innovative approach will allow us to directly examine the relationship between health measurements and exposure. 


During our trip to Belarus in fall of 2014 we were able to develop critical working relationships with reserve staff and local scientists. This trip provided us with a unique opportunity to collect preliminary data that will be used to support the proposed research, as well as critical insights into the policies and logistics of conducting research within the CEZ.


This project has not yet shared any protocols.