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AmphibiaWeb provides information on amphibian declines, natural history, conservation, and taxonomy.






Species of the Week
Ambystoma mexicanum | Axolotl


Amphibian News Archive
The axolotl is the most common salamander used in biological research; they are easily bred, and thousands live in home aquariums and labs. Its long association with humans is fascinating. In the 13th century, the indigenous Mexica people built an island city in Lake Texcoco in the Central Valley of Mexico. They also built floating gardens and canals, which the native axolotls invaded. Eventually, the lakes were drained and the salamanders were cut off. Their numbers declined; a 1998 census found 6,000 axolotls per square kilometer. In 2000, Luis Zambrano, a biologist at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, found only 1,000 animals/km2. By 2008, the census registered 100/km2, and currently the estimate is only 35/km2. With isolation, reduction in numbers, invasive predators, and environmental contaminants, the axolotl is almost extinct in the wild.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,811 (Feb 23, 2018) Newly added species