U.S. Geological Survey researchers in Lafayette, La. are using everything from fish eyeballs to 3-D glasses to learn more about chemical pollution in wetlands, The Advertiser reported.
One researcher gleans chromosomal information by studying fish eyes, helping wildlife managers protect against the overpopulation of certain species. Others use 3-D glasses in conjunction with color-coded satellite maps to track wetland destruction. Chemical pollution is tracked by implanting salamanders with microchips and releasing them into wetlands. This allows researchers to assess the health of the creatures — and their environment — at a later date.
Louisiana’s wetlands have faced a variety of obstacles, including major storms, invasive oil operations and even wild hogs. The USGS researchers at the Lafayette center study wetlands across the world to better assist domestic restoration efforts.
Image: White Lake wetlands in Louisiana (Credit: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries)