These little creatures have fascinated the scientific community worldwide because they seem to have regeneration superpowers. In Mexico there are several axolotl subspecies: brownish grey, wild brown (black), brown, green or a combination of these colors with purple, wine or red gills. Those that are pink in color and look like albinos only exist in captivity and were genetically modified for research. It is said that those that appear golden in color are also an endemic Mexican species, but now they are rarely seen outside of captivity.
They used to inhabit the entire territory of Tenochtitlán, but as the ancient city grew and, of course, the modern CDMX, their territory became increasingly limited.
Now it would seem that it only lives in Xochimilco, but that’s not true, there are also reserves in Chalco and Puebla, however, the conditions generated by the farmers of chinampas, in collaboration with foundations and academics interested in its preservation, provide the ideal habitat for creating a preservation area that is sustainable both for their survival and environment.
Axolotitlán is a space designed not only to exhibit the axolotl, but also to raise awareness about this species and carry out research and concrete rescue actions.
The National Axolotl Museum, Axolotitlán, offers environmental education conferences. When talking to Pamela Valencia, this project’s founder, she told us that in addition to programmed exhibits at the Axolotitlán museum, there are also biocultural tours of Xochimilco, within the protected area, to learn about the mechanisms that have been implemented for their preservation. There are creative, educational and cultural liaisons.
They also have a medical network specialized in caring for the axolotl.
It has been developed to gather information about axolotl health with veterinarians who know how to take care of them and have the ethics necessary for treating a species in danger of extinction. They take care of the legality and origin of the specimens, their diet and wellbeing.
You can also participate in the preservation of the Mexican axolotl.
You can join the fundraising campaign or buy a product on their website, they have partner companies that devote a large portion of their sales.
Regardless of how much we love these animals, it is very important to not keep them in domestic captivity because this causes the looting of animals, illegal reproduction and inadequate cross breeding that weakens the entire species.
If you see someone illegally trading with axolotls, that is, without a UMAS or PIMS certificate, you should call Profepa (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection).
What are the mechanics for visiting this museum or taking the tour at Xochimilco?
At the moment, to attend the first Ajolote museum in Mexico, Axolotitlán, it is necessary to make an appointment for groups of 10 to 15 people, which costs 50 pesos per person for operating expenses and you can stay all day, have a picnic, and you can even take your dog for a walk in the gardens.
Visits to the protected natural reserve of Xochimilco are scheduled in advance, the next one will be on Sunday, July 25. The appointment is at 9 in the center of Xochimilco. It is advisable not to bring disposable items or anything that could pollute the environment. ($500 per adult, children $250) Appointments and visits can be scheduled through social media, a message on Instagram, Facebook or at the email found on their contact page.