The Science of Axolotls

A Tale of Two Axolotls: Wild vs. Domesticated Endangerment Status

A Tale of Two Axolotls: Wild vs. Domesticated Endangerment Status


Axolotls, scientific name Ambystoma mexicanum, have long been a subject of fascination for biologists and pet enthusiasts alike. These aquatic salamanders, native to the Xochimilco lake complex near Mexico City, are famous for their ability to regenerate lost body parts and their permanent aquatic lifestyle. However, there is a growing concern about the conservation status of axolotls. Are axolotls endangered? The answer, surprisingly, depends on whether you are referring to the wild or domesticated population.

The Wild Axolotl: Critically Endangered

The wild axolotl population is, unfortunately, classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The primary reasons for this dire status include habitat loss, water pollution, and the introduction of invasive species. The axolotl’s natural habitat, the Xochimilco lake complex, has undergone significant changes due to urbanization, resulting in a drastic reduction of suitable habitat for these creatures. Additionally, the introduction of invasive fish species, such as carp and tilapia, has led to increased predation of axolotl eggs and juveniles.

Conservation efforts are ongoing to preserve the wild axolotl population. These include habitat restoration, captive breeding programs, and public awareness campaigns to educate local communities about the importance of protecting this unique species.

The Domesticated Axolotl: Thriving in Captivity

Contrary to their wild counterparts, domesticated axolotls are thriving. These animals are popular pets worldwide and are bred in captivity for their unique features and colors, which vary from the wild type. Domesticated axolotls are commonly found in pet stores and are kept by enthusiasts who provide them with suitable aquatic environments.

The genetic diversity of domesticated axolotls is maintained through responsible breeding practices. Additionally, domesticated axolotls play a crucial role in scientific research due to their remarkable regenerative abilities. Researchers study axolotls to gain insights into human regenerative medicine, making them an invaluable asset to the scientific community.


The endangerment status of axolotls is a tale of two populations. While the wild axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is critically endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and invasive species, the domesticated axolotl population is thriving in captivity. Continued conservation efforts are essential to preserve the wild population, while responsible breeding and care are crucial for maintaining the genetic diversity of domesticated axolotls.
Whether you are a pet enthusiast, a conservationist, or simply fascinated by these remarkable creatures, it is essential to be aware of the challenges faced by the wild axolotl population and to support conservation efforts whenever possible. Together, we can contribute to the preservation of this unique species for future generations to admire and study.

@axolotlplanet Axolotl bark 🗣️ They sometimes make this noise when quickly sucking in air! 💨 Have you ever heard your axolotl do this before? This is one that was recently surrendered to us and he was doing this quite a bit while acclimating him to his new tank! About us: Axolotl Planet is a brick-and-mortar axolotl specialty store located in Dallas, TX 📍 Founded in 2019, our goal is to produce responsibly-bred, ethically-raised, beautiful axolotls for people all over the United States. Click the link in our bio to learn more about our company and to find your perfect axolotl! ☝🏼 #axolotlplanet #aquariumsdaily #aquariums #aquariumhobby #aquariumlife #aquariumfish #fishtank #fishkeeping #aquarist #freshwateraquarium #freshwatertank #axolotl #axolotls #axolotlsofinstagram #axolotlsofig #animalfanatics #amphibia #axolotllove #amphibians #animallovers #amphibian #petsofinstagram #axolotlofinstagram #animalfacts #axolotllover #animals #animal #animalfanatics #animalfriends ♬ original sound - Axolotl Planet

Reading next

The Secret Behind Axolotls' Ability to Traverse Land
The Best Places to Buy Healthy Axolotls

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Shop All Axolotls

Shop all