URBANIZATION’S IMPACT ON MEXICAN AXOLOTL (AMBYSTOMA SP.) AND STATUS OF ONGOING CONSERVATION EFFORTS
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOver the past century, the population of wild Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) has declined significantly. The native axolotl holds great cultural significance to Mexico and is an integral part of Mexican mythology and tradition. These amphibians are also commonly used in scientific research due to their advanced regeneration, complex genomes and various other unique attributes. Due to their cultural and scientific importance, scientists and locals are currently researching the decline of the last remaining populations in their only current habitat, Lake Xochimilco. This paper discusses urbanization’s role in the decline of the native axolotl, mainly how the urbanization of Mexico City has impacted their populations. This paper also looks at current axolotl conservation efforts and examines their effectiveness. What we found is that Mexico City’s pollution, destruction of habitat, and the introduction of more competitive species into Lake Xochimilco have caused irreparable damage to native populations of axolotl. There are many current projects seeking to restore the lake and through working with locals, these projects have seen success in many areas. Particularly, projects that work with local farms and businesses to raise awareness and create safe spaces for axolotls have been successful in raising funds and protecting the wild axolotl. Further research needs to be conducted on improving water quality in the lake and methods to reduce the pollution entering the lake from urban practices. By highlighting urbanization’s ramifications, this review aims to provide a clearer understanding of how to preserve this unique species.
Degree ProgramEnvironmental Science