A species action plan focusing on conservation education, habitat restoration, and bioremediation has been drafted to help conservation actions for the axolotl.

Building on its existing profile among the people of Lake Xochimilco, over the past three years a partnership of British and Mexican organizations has been developing a conservation program for the axolotl. The project was the brainchild of the late Dr. Virginia Graue of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana at Xochimilco (UAM-X), who contacted the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) in 1999 for assistance with development of the project.

As it was clear at that time that addressing the many threats that the axolotl faced would be impossible without the co-operation of local stakeholders, the project initially focused on embracing local people within the conservation planning process by developing the axolotl as a flagship species for nature tourism and conservation education within the region. Using UAM-X’s existing field station, CIBAC, on the shores of the lake as a base, and with funding from The Declining Amphibian Population Task Force (DAPTF) and the British Government’s Darwin Initiative programme (DI), the project partnership has run training workshops on amphibian biology and conservation for local students and conservation organizations, nature guiding for local boatmen, and souvenir production for unemployed artisans. In addition, the project has been engaged with ongoing biological research on population status and the assessment and impact of threats, workshop facilitation, and public education and awareness-raising.

Sources: (Griffiths, Bride, et al., 2004; Griffiths, Graue, et al. 2004; McKay, 2003; Zambrano, et al., 2010)
Image: Almee Ray



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