But why is the Axolotl from Alchichica so special? Well, as you may know, amphibians need water to survive but most of them are not adapted to saline water. Also, most amphibians experience metamorphosis which is a transformation from larva to adult in order to produce offspring. However, the Axolotl from Alchichica is a ‘neotenic’ species, it lives all its life as a larva but despite not experiencing metamorphosis it can produce offspring!
This Axolotl is endemic to Alchichica, it does not exist anywhere else because it is adapted to these very unique conditions. Sadly this very evolutionarily distinct species is also also critically endangered which is why EDGE have chosen it for an EDGE Fellowship project.
Even though the axolotl from Alchichica is a very unique species, the knowledge about it and the real threats that it is facing, is very poor. That is why I am going to start a project with the aim of filling the gaps on the knowledge of this species in order to find the best strategy to protect it and its habitat. With the support from the Zoological Society of London and Africam Safari Zoo from Mexico we will spend the next two years setting the basis for the conservation of this unique creature.