Thursday, February 27, 2014

Researchers build Axolotl shelters in Xochimilco, Mexico

Axolotls or known as "water monsters" are salamander-like creatures that are only found in Xochimilco and its other connected lakes and canals.

Researchers attempted to capture the endangered creatures to save their alarming fall in number. Shelters are built in Xochimilco to help them breed. They are built with sacks of rocks and several plants' stalks for filters where a clean water is pumped in.  Aquariums and water tanks are discouraged due to the possibilities of interbreeding that may result in some mutations and other risks like, spreading fungus infections when released into the wild.
AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

Axolotls are important in scientific research due its tissue regeneration ability. A statement from the Mexican
Academy of Sciences claimed that an average of 6,000 axolotls for every square kilometer were found in a 1998-survey, but in 2003, the figure fell to only a thousand, and by 2008, a survey claimed there are only a hundred. At present, researchers were relieved at the sight of two axolotls in the first three weeks for this year's survey.

Read details here.

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