If you wanted to see a wild axolotl, you may be out of luck.
The happy-faced amphibian has long been in a tough spot, because its only native habitat is the muddy network of lakes and canals around Mexico City, which has been threatened by pollution, urban sprawl and competition from invasive species.
The animals’ numbers had been declining for years, and in January, Mexican researchers told the Guardian newspaper that after four months of searching, they could find no axolotls in the wild.
The searches will be repeated before the species is declared extinct in the wild—but from now on, you may not be able to smile back at an axolotl unless you find it in a fish tank or aquarium.
The Yucatán is a 70,000-square-mile peninsula in southern Mexico, rich with history and life. Its beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean have become huge tourist draws, while inland, Maya archaeological sites are still being discovered, some dating back to the fifth century A.D.
The underlying landscape is almost entirely made of limestone, and is punctuated by caverns and occasional sinkholes that have filled with water, called cenotes, sought out by swimmers and cave divers.
Gathered below, a handful of images of Mexico’s Yucatán, from jungle pyramids to peaceful beaches and more.
The pyramid here stands 148 feet (45 meters) high, and is one of the largest known Maya structures remaining. # Iren Key / Shutterstock
Spaik and Libre collaboration in Mexico City (photo: Jose Hernandez).
A collaboration between two Gen Y Mexican muralists went up this month for college age festival goers at an electronic dance event in Mexico City that features multiple DJs, carnival rides, laser light shows, and neon accessories.
Here are some shots of the massive wall by Spaik and Libre.
Spaik and Libre collaboration in Mexico City (photo: Jose Hernandez)