mexican nuns breeding endangered salamanders to make them into a cough syrup could save species from extinction
On a street around the corner of the church, on a wooden door with carved stone frames, Fleury marked with a cross opens from 9 in the morning to two o\'clock P. M. and from six o\'clock P. M. to again.
The door in Spanish says \"we pray for you \".
Inside, besides a wooden window and three locked doors, the room was sparse and dark.
Behind them was a monastery, home to 24 nuns of the Dominican Order.
But there are also more unexpected residents in the monastery: a group of endangered fire lizards.
Scientists call them dumoma oma dumerilii, But nuns and others at patzcoolo call them Akos.
Under the care of the nuns, about 300 achoques live in a glass aquarium and white enamel bathtub on the walls of a long corridor and two adjacent rooms of the monastery.
The nuns feed themselves by selling a cough syrup called jarabe, which is made from the skin of a fire lizard.
But there is another reason why churches are becoming more valuable.
With the exception of Lake Pátzcuaro, they couldn\'t find anywhere, and outside the monastery, their numbers are falling rapidly.
There are some smaller captive colonies in the rest of patzcoolo, but none are as big as a church.
This may be crucial to the prospect of a fire lizard in the wild.
\"That\'s why we think nuns will be very important in the future,\" said Gerardo Garcia, director and expert of endangered species at Chester Zoo in England.
The fire lizard is a magical little monster whose skin is in the color of Dijon mustard.
They\'re like miniature versions of the Dragon.
Dog Falkor in the never-ending story.
When the fire lizards left, they were huge.
The maximum length is close to 1 feet.
But the most striking thing about them is their fins: luxurious, Ruddy filaments, whose heads are like manman and gently choppy in the water.
In the cathedral, their main caretaker is Francisco\'s sister.
On a recent visit, she greeted a tourist in a white habit, her black veil clear and fixed, Blue
The rosary that shakes around her.
Asked a question, she answered with a smile sometimes.
But near Akos, she opened the door and proudly showed her amphibious forces.
Their water tanks are spotless, each with a bubbling oxygen generator made of half a plastic soda bottle filled with stone and coiled fabric.
In a glass box above the tank, Jesus, a baby dressed as a doctor, was on the vigil.
Sisters used to make syrup from the fire lizards collected from the lake.
When they began to disappear, the nuns set up a monastery colony because they were worried about losing jarabe\'s business.
\"What will we do --
Sister Felia spoke in Spanish.
But in the end, she and other nuns also realized that protection was essential in their work.
\"This is to protect a species from nature,\" she said . \".
\"If we don\'t try to take care of it and protect it, it will disappear from creation.
Like axolotls, they are gorgeous and better
As we all know, akquez lives underwater all his life.
As adults, they retain the external fins that most fire lizards have only as aquatic larvae.
For centuries, the number of people living around one of Mexico\'s largest lakes, Lake Potsdam, has steadily increased and water quality has been affected.
Increased runoff from deforestation brings silt and pollution into lakes.
The untreated sewage is still poured into the water, and an invading kite spreads along the coast.
The cattle ranch extends to the edge of the lake\'s swamp.
To make matters worse, in the 1930 s, the big black fish was intentionally introduced into Lake Pátzcuaro, and in 1974, the more destructive carp was introduced.
They eat eggs and larvae of ach fish.
Between 1982 and 2010, the already shallow lake has fallen by about 13 feet, and it has lost the total amount due to decreased rainfall and increased runoff flowing into the lake.
The various efforts made to restore the life of patzcoolo have only achieved limited success.
The Mexican fire lizard in trouble is not the only Akos family.
Of the 17 plants found in Mexico, 12 are listed as endangered or extremely endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
From habitat loss to illegal pet trade worldwide, salam fish faces numerous threats.
In Europe, a new fungus is killing the Fire lizard.
In Lake patzcoolo, fishermen have been capturing and eating accos since the Spanish arrived in Mexico.
Brad Scheffer, a biology professor at the University of California, recalled that in the late 1970 s and early 80 s, fish caught in the lake were piled up in the town\'s fish market, Los Angeles people who had studied fire lizards
But after the 80 s, the number of achoques began to fluctuate sharply and collapsed in 1989.
According to Ofelia\'s sister, in 1985, a monk advised the nuns to start their own colony because the lake was deteriorating.
It was not until 2000 that the nuns established their own community of fire lizards in the monastery.
However, nuns have been cooking jarabe for nearly a century.
\"People have confidence in it because the nuns have done it,\" said Dolores huaxs, a regional amphibious expert and professor at retired university.
According to local legend, the sisters got the secret recipe from a young peecha woman, one of the indigenous people who lived in the area before Spanish colonial rule.
Her jarabe cured one of the sisters, enhanced her lungs and eliminated her anemia.
According to this story, the identity of the young woman is: the disguised Virgin Mary herself.
Whether or not cough syrup recipes come to the nuns through divine intervention, there is no doubt that before the arrival of Europe and the Catholic Church, the prepercha people are eating akshaq and using it for medicine. according to Tzintia Velarde Mendoza, project coordinator of wildlife protection group Faunam, he has studied the cultural history of AKOS.
Garcia at Chester Zoo has been working with a team in Mexico to investigate Lake patzcoolo, trying to figure out how many fire lizards are left in the wild, where they live in the Lake
\"At a press conference, jumping to re-introduce shows looks very sexy in the media, but that\'s not the best way to do it,\" Garcia said . \".
Garcia said there is still wild Lake
The fishermen told Garcia\'s team that they occasionally found the fire lizard.
But as the population decreases, so does its genetic diversity.
This is where the monastery\'s thriving colonies will one day bring about great changes --
Suppose it is genetically diverse in itself.
\"300 people, if they are relatively unrelated, are a very, very healthy, and work a lot,\" Shaffer said . \".
However, there is currently no plan to move Akos from the monastery to the lake.
Garcia said that water quality issues must be addressed before this happens and that genetic diversity of the nun population must be assessed.
He said work on both issues is underway.
In the room where nuns sell cough syrup, a mural on the wall depicts a lake of fire lizards swimming in clear water.
A nun\'s glowing hand holds an achoque next to the image of the Virgin Mary.
\"Being part of a religious order like ours is not an obstacle to scientific progress,\" said sister Ofelia.
\"The order is dedicated to studying theological and scientific knowledge for the benefit of humanity,\" she added . \".
One of the missions of the order is to \"work to develop a more humane conscience full of love and justice for nature.
\"Another mural is printed with the official name of the nun wildlife conservation management unit registered with the Mexican government: Jimbani Erandi.
In the language of the indigenous puhcha people, it means \"a new dawn \".