March 1, 2021

Canary Aquarius manages to breed two rare amphibians from Iran and Mexico threatened

The family of amphibians of the Poema del Mar Aquarium has grown after the birth of 25 Mexican axolots and 27 kaiser salamanders, the latter endemic species of Iran rarely seen in Europe, due to how complicated it is to reproduce the conditions of its natural habitat.

Almost thirty small Neurergus kaiseri salamanders left their eggs measuring just about five millimeters three weeks ago, in the exhibition dedicated to this species in Poema del Mar. Currently, they grow in individual spaces, to have greater control of these specimens of amphibian that are classified as vulnerable.

In the aquarium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, kaiser salamanders are neighbors of the axolotl, or "axolotl" in the Nahuatl language (Ambystoma mexicanum), a rare amphibian in critical danger of extinction (the step prior to its disappearance from the natural environment) , due to the high pollution suffered by the streams near Mexico City where they live.

According to the red list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it is estimated that only a few hundred axolots are released, held in a space of less than 10 square kilometers, very fragmented.

In Poema del Mar, two generations of this strange amphibian have been born in just over a year, the protagonist of all kinds of scientific studies for their innate ability to quickly regenerate virtually any part of their body.

The curator of the aquarium, Alberto Castellanos, has stressed to Efe the importance of the efforts made by this type of facilities to reproduce under human care animals such as amphibians, which are often "the great forgotten" among threatened species, because they offer a guarantee of the future if at any time you want to start reintroduction programs in the middle.

In the case of the kaiser salamander, only another aquarium in Spain has managed to raise it to date, its future is threatened by the deforestation of its only natural habitats, located in the Iranian province of Luristan, south of the Zagros mountains.

Kaiser salamanders are adapted to the extreme temperature changes typical of the almost desert area where they live and reproduce in times of rain in small ponds, according to Castellanos, who has specified that these conditions are very difficult to repeat in an aquarium, by which, in Poema del Mar, are very proud that the couple they had just procreated about thirty offspring.

Now, it will be almost a year and a half until amphibious newborns can return to the exhibition where they came to the world, and they will do so measuring between twelve and fourteen centimeters, Castellanos said.

As with these Iranian salamanders, the axolotl ecosystem is also contaminated and about to disappear.

These amphibians with the appearance of "stagnant tadpole" in the penultimate phase of their transformation are able to regenerate their body in a matter of a month, even the brain, and reproduce without problems in captivity.

This has facilitated the birth of the second generation in the aquarium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, whose facilities currently have 17 axolots on display and 25 newborns.

. (tagsToTranslate) Aquarium (t) amphibians (t) Iran (t) Mexico (t) threatened

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