The Ambystoma mexicanum , axolotl or axolotl is a type of amphibian endemic to Mexico. It may remind us of a salamander, but its gills or horns totally differentiate them. It is a curious amphibian that in recent years has gained much more popularity around the world, and there are even people who look for it as a pet. This and other aspects have led to a serious problem: the axolotl is considered by the IUCN as an animal in a situation of “Critically endangered”, that is, in serious danger of extinction.
For this reason, at AgroCorrn we consider it necessary to disclose updated information about your condition, about the seriousness of your situation and what your disappearance would imply and how to help you survive and get ahead. Thus, we have prepared this article in which we reveal all the reasons why the Mexican axolotl is in danger of extinction and more details.
The Mexican axolotl is in a critical situation of danger of extinction
The Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the endemic species in Mexico and is one of the most emblematic animal of the country, and for the rest of the world is a very curious and exotic amphibian. It is a native animal of the oldest water channels and lakes in Mexico, specifically in the area of Lake Xochimilco . It adapts to the newest ones, as long as they are very deep and with a large amount of vegetation, since they lay their eggs there and protect themselves.
Sadly, since 2006 it has been considered a critically endangered species. It has been holding out for a little over a decade, but every year its population continues to decline without stopping.
You can learn more about this Mexican species and others in this other AgroCorrn article in which we show Animals in danger of extinction in Mexico with photos and interesting information.
How many axolotls are left in the world
When learning about the serious situation that this species lives, many people wonder how many axolotls or axolotls are left in the world and in the wild. The truth is that a little more than a decade ago, in 2006 when it was declared in danger, the scientists in charge of the registry counted less than 100 axolotls in freedom . If we take into account that this number has decreased even more, we can clearly see the risk that this species runs of disappearing from the world.
This means that in captivity there are more, but many of these specimens are not suitable to be released, because having been born and always lived in captivity safely and with easy feeding, they would not know how to adapt to nature and would easily die in a short time.
Why the axolotl is in danger of extinction
As we have seen before, the Mexican axolotl, axolotl or Ambystoma mexicanum is in a critical situation of danger of extinction, since there are less than 100 individuals left in the wild in Xochimilco, Mexico. But why? The truth is that there are several reasons why this animal is about to disappear and they all have a direct relationship with humans. These are the main causes that the Mexican axolotl is in danger of extinction :
- They are taken in their natural state for various purposes, something that has been done a lifetime, as with other animals and plants, but the problem lies in the volume that increases more and more. They are taken for human consumption in different ways. Today, axolotls are captured for consumption, as there are populations in Mexico and other nearby countries that use them for food , for medical purposes , that is, to take them to laboratories, and to sell them as pets . For these activities there are currently some farms, especially for medical matters and for the sale of these as pets. However, as with the vast majority of species, there is a black market for illegal animal trafficking, in which specimens caught in the wild are sold, although this is increasingly regulated and controlled.
- Another cause of the risk that this species runs and that is currently more serious than the previous reasons is the contamination of the water of the lakes and canals in which they live in Mexico, as well as the drop in the water level in these areas, is that is to say, the loss of habitat of the Mexican axolotl . Mostly due to the increase in construction around it.
- The introduction of species in Lake Xochimilco is another reason why the population of this amphibian decreases. Specifically, it has been affected by the introduction of tilapias and carp that have thrived very well in this environment, taking food away from the axolotls and being their predators, since they also eat them.
- Another reason that they are killing axolotls and that is related to the previous point is the diseases that have increased and the new ones that have appeared. It is the new introduced species that have led them to these waters, and those that have infected the axolotl population, which is being greatly affected. In addition, the fact that the water is more impoverished by pollution also facilitates contagion.
How to help endangered axolotls
There are conservation plans and projects that are already being carried out, such as improving and conserving Lake Xochimilco , both directly with conservation and biological restoration methods, as well as through the education of the population and ecological tourism, which respects this area. In any case, the reintroduction of individuals that have grown in captivity or that were captured a long time ago, at the moment, is still not advised until the threats to the environment diminish.
In addition, the government of Mexico has cataloged this amphibian in the category of Pr (Special protection or special protection), but they are in the process of increasing the category to one of more risk, so that the laws protect it more, although it is already in the Appendix II of CITES .
Apart from these aspects, there are more ways to help Mexican axolotls to recover and not go extinct :
- Volunteer or collaborate in any way with entities such as organizations and associations aimed at the conservation of the axolotl, which are environmental and environmental associations.
- If you live in the area or are going to visit it as a tourist, make sure not to make dirty, not damage the vegetation and animals in the area, especially the Ambystomas.
- If you see someone in the area not complying with the protection laws, let them know that they are violating them, because sometimes people are not sufficiently informed, and if they do not stop, call the relevant authorities.
- Apply the 3Rs of ecology to help take care of the environment of the area and in general, reduce waste and pollutants.
- It helps to educate the rest of the population about this problem and the importance of helping them recover, especially it helps to educate the youngest.