Protect Critically Endangered Axolotl from Extinction

Target: Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Mexican Secretary of the Environment

Goal: Prevent axolotl extinction by reducing pollution and invasive predators in axolotl habitats.

As recently as the late 1990s, wild axolotls were fairly numerous: a 1998 study estimated that there were as many as 6,000 axolotls per square kilometer in their native habitat. However, due to pollution, habitat loss, and predators, there may be only a few hundred left in the wild. Immediate action must be taken if wild axolotls are to be saved.

The axolotl originated in just two lakes – Chalco and Xochimilco – in central Mexico. In the last century, they have experienced near-total habitat loss or degradation. Lake Chalco was completely drained in the 1970s to prevent flooding. Lake Xochimilco was partially drained and now exists mostly as a system of canals in part of Mexico City. Pollution and invasive species are also major threats to the survival of the axolotl. When storms flood Mexico City’s sewer system, raw sewage spills into the canals and poisons the axolotls. Two invasive species – Asian carp and tilapia – prey on axolotl eggs and juveniles, severely reducing their numbers.

Conservationists say that comprehensive ecosystem management is needed to ensure that axolotls survive in the wild. Better sewage treatment and containment measures could reduce pollution, and aggressive fishing of invasive carp and tilapia could reduce the axolotl’s predators. Although these strategies may not be simple to implement, they are necessary to prevent extinction. Sign this petition to urge the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources to prevent axolotls from becoming extinct in the wild.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Alamán,

Axolotls are now critically endangered; there may be just a few hundred left living in the remains of Lake Xochimilco. The disappearance of the axolotl would be a tremendous ecological loss, but also a major blow for scientific research. Axolotls possess remarkable regenerative qualities. Scientist think that by studying these amazing creatures, we may be able to find cures for spinal cord injuries, cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

We ask that you and your colleagues at the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources do all you can to reduce pollution and implement aggressive fishing techniques to remove invasive fish species from Lake Xochimilco, giving axolotls a chance to survive in the wild.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: AJC1

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4 Comments

  1. Save then, they are a vital part of the ecosystem! This whole planet is falling apart! Save it before it’s too late!

  2. The extinction of one is the extinction of all!

  3. Please don’t just allow them to become history. Man, the most dangerous animal of all, is slowly destroying the planet. We must remember that other species are not there for our sole use. We are intended to live in harmony with the planet- we are breaking the laws governing our time here.

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