A Tale of Two Axolotls

S. Randal Voss, M. Ryan Woodcock, Luis Zambrano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an icon of culture, a revered aquarium pet, and a highly valued animal model in biomedical research. Unfortunately, Mexican axolotls are critically endangered in their natural Xochimilco habitat in Mexico City. If axolotls go extinct, current efforts to conserve the Xochimilico ecosystem will be undermined, as will efforts to genetically manage the laboratory populations that are needed to sustain research efforts around the world. A concerted global effort is needed to protect and manage this irreplaceable species in natural and laboratory environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1140
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 25 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Studies of the axolotl in Xochimilco were funded by Autoridad de Xochimilco Tlahuac y Milpalta, the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO), the Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE), and the Mexico City Natural Resources Commission (CORENA). The Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center is funded by the National Institutes of Health (OD019794). The Army Research Office (W911NF1410165) is providing support to develop a genetic-management plan for the AGSC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Mexican axolotl
  • Xochimilco
  • paedomorphosis
  • regeneration
  • restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)


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