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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Flying an amphibian flagship: conservation of the Axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum through nature tourism at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico

Published source details

Bride I.G., Griffiths R.A., Melendez-Herrada A. & McKay J.E. (2008) Flying an amphibian flagship: conservation of the Axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum through nature tourism at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico. International Zoo Yearbook, 42, 116–124


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide education programmes about amphibians Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2002–2007 of a project to develop nature tourism at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico (Bride et al. 2008) found that training local boatmen in environmental interpretation resulted in increased relevant knowledge, job satisfaction, incomes and visitor awareness of axolotls Ambystoma mexicanum. Fifty-five boatmen completed workshops and 64 other locals attended conservation or souvenir production workshops. Trained boatmen and other students became facilitators and project assistants. Following workshops, visitors regarded boatmen rather than videos as the best source of information about the lake and its wildlife (pre-workshop: 10 vs 55%; after: 37 vs 18% respectively). Boatmen incomes increased if they provided environmental interpretation to tourists (without: 100; with: 165 pesos/trip. In 2002–2007, eight workshops were held. Workshops covered amphibian biology and conservation, conservation education, souvenir production and five were on environmental interpretation for boatmen. Content was informed by baseline data collected on visitation, souvenir markets and from boatmen. Other activities were also used to raise awareness in tourists. A survey of 11 boatmen was undertaken for one month following training.

 

Raise awareness amongst the general public through campaigns and public information Amphibian Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2002–2007 of a project to develop nature tourism at Lake Xochimilco, Mexico (Bride et al. 2008) found that activities such as training local boatmen in environmental interpretation increased visitor awareness of axolotls Ambystoma mexicanum. The proportion of visitors that knew what an axolotl was increased (from 35% to 57%), as did knowledge about the species (1–11% to 8–35%). Once boatmen had attended workshops, visitors regarded boatmen, rather than videos as the best source of information about the lake and its wildlife (pre-workshop: 10 vs 55%; after: 37 vs 18% respectively). Fifty-five boatmen completed workshops and 64 other locals attended conservation or souvenir production workshops. Content was informed by baseline data collected on visitation, souvenir markets and from boatmen. Press releases, brochures, souvenirs and an art calendar competition (1,300 entries) were also used to raise awareness. The profile of the project was also raised within the Mexican and UK government. A survey of 11 boatmen was undertaken for one month following training.