Mexico: Save the Axolotl

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Mexico

The axolotl, an aquatic salamander noted for living its entire life in a larval form, is one of Mexico’s strangest creatures. Or it was. The species is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as “Critically Endangered” on the Red List, but it may already be extinct in the wild.

Threatened by water pollution, aggressive introduced fish, disease and habitat destruction, the axolotl has been struggling for decades. Its population was small and highly fragmented, and if any individuals still remain, they probably won’t for much longer.

To save the species, the habitat must be rendered safe, tourism regulated and, if necessary, a carefully planned reintroduction program organized. Conservation work is already ongoing, but it needs to be stepped up if the axolotl is to have any chance at all. Saving and restoring the wetlands around Lake Xochimilco, the axolotl’s last haunts, would also help some of Mexico’s other endangered wildlife.

Ask the Mexican environment ministry to take real action to save the axolotl.

We the undersigned ask that you take definitive action to save the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species unique to Mexico and now restricted to the area around Lake Xochimilco.

Axolotl numbers have been falling rapidly for years. In fact, the species may already be extinct in the wild, which would necessitate a carefully managed reintroduction program after the habitat has been made relatively safe. We believe, though, that this would be a worthwhile endeavour.

You can’t put a monetary value on a species. However, a unique animal such as the axolotl has symbolic importance. If Mexico can save it, this could benefit the country economically – ecotourism is booming – and politically – as it would certainly demonstrate genuine green credentials.

Please take a position at the forefront of international conservation and preserve this salamander along with its habitat.

Thank you for your attention.

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