It’s estimated that fewer than 100 axolotls remain in the wild, making the salamander one of Latin America’s most threatened amphibians.

The axolotl is possibly one of Latin America’s most threatened amphibians as the surviving wild population is very small. Although populations are difficult to assess, recent surveys covering almost all of its known distribution range have usually captured fewer than 100 individuals.

During 2002 and 2003, more than 1,800 net casts were made along Xochimilco canals covering 39,173m² and this resulted in a catch of only 42 specimens. In a study covering a span of six years, from 1998 to 2004, axolotl density had reduced from 0.006-org/ m2 to 0.001-org/ m2, although it is thought that this reduction could also be due to its own population dynamics. A recent scientific survey revealed no axolotls, although wild-caught animals are still found in the local market, which indicates that fishermen still know where to find them. There has not been a density study of the Chalco population, but evidence suggests that the population there is small and, furthermore, Chalco is a highly unstable system that runs the risk of disappearing in the near future.

Sources: (Griffiths, Bride, et al., 2004; Zambrano, et al., 2010)
Image: Jenna



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