Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another endangered amphibian

Now this awesome little fellow is on the verge of extinction too. Population has declined six-fold in the last ten years. In fact: Recent surveys suggest that only "between 700 and 1,200 Mexican Axolotl Salamanders survive in six reduced and scattered areas within the Xochimilco area of the Mexican Central Valley."

Commonly know as the "Peter Pan" of animals, the Mexican Axolotl is a favorite of scientists and pet-lovers because of their ability to regenerate body parts and their perma-larval, underwater lifestyle. But it appears that while a few human being nurture the little guys, the rest of us humans have passively harmed their habitat. Dr Luis Zambrano and colleagues at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, based in Mexico City report in the journal Biological Conservation:

"... As [Mexico] City has increased in size, it has dramatically reduced the axolotl's natural habitat.

...The salamander now exists in just six isolated parts of the water system, often near to some of the few remaining natural springs supplying clear, fresh water.

...Most recent work shows that the reduction in water quality is one of the main factors driving the axolotl to extinction in the wild. Another is the presence of large numbers of introduced carp and tilapia fish, which both compete ecologically with axolotls for food and resource, and also eat axolotl eggs."

Read more here.


Anonymous said...

I see salamanders in my back yard, so its seven places.

Deborah said...

Do you have a freshwater pond in your back yard? Cause I think we may be talking about a different salamander.