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We tested tiger snake scales to measure wetland pollution in Perth. The news is worse than expected

Source: theconversation.com

Australia’s wetlands are home to a huge range of stunning flora and fauna, with large snakes often at the top of the food chain.

Many wetlands are located near urban areas. This makes them particularly susceptible to contamination as stormwater, urban drainage and groundwater can wash metals — such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury — into the delicate ecosystem.

We know many metals can travel up the food chain when they’re present in the environment. So to assess contamination levels, we caught highly venomous tiger snakes across wetlands in Perth, and repurposed laser technology to measure the metals they accumulated. MORE

Header image: Our research confirmed snake scales are a good indicator of environmental contamination. Credit: Damian Lettoof, Author provided.