Jeremiah Smith, Dr Randall, Ladell discussed on 99% Invisible

99% Invisible
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Parallel with that really given that dynamic. You can't wonder if they should just release. A bunch of the laboratory axles into the wild. Yeah i thought about that too. I mean as much as i loved. Lenny i would have happily donated her to the cause. Your monster well. Don't worry it's not going to happen because everybody that i talked to for this story said it was a pretty stupid idea for one. The animals probably wouldn't survive anyway and to you. Run the risk of spreading diseases but the more fundamental problem with that plan. Is that the wild exelon and the laboratory axel. They aren't really the same animal anymore. There's a very good argument to be made to say that the laboratory animals are not axel. Jeremiah smith again. He says that over their long history and scientific institutions. The laboratory axel changed at some point. Scientists introduced albino tiger salamander into the population. So today the salamanders labs are more like axa ladell tiger salamander hybrids and they've changed in other ways to they're a little bit like cuter and cuddle earlier less like a wild creature. I guess than like an axe law from xochimilco if they're cute like if you won't forget to feed them they'll and they'll live to make their own loss right. They're still great every generation but at this point the laboratory axle is more like a poodle than a wolf. for example. I walk into to my laboratory. And there's a whole bank of tanks with axl full of them. This is dr randall. Voss he's a professor of biology at the university of kentucky and the head of an axle research lab there and just walk around the facility and they just follow me just to watch me because they know that humans feed them for like my dog following me around barth earth. Oh absolutely no absolutely have something. That's really different. I think than than what we think of the acts ladell from mexico the natural population in my mind. It's already a different species. Species created by science and a species. That probably shouldn't be released back into the wild. Just we're not going to release poodles into the yukon to move. But we have to do something right. Don't we owe it to this. Animal has given us so much. Lewisham broncos certainly thinks so his devotion to the axle has only deepened over. The years is less intense but by fire stronger. That is my my feeling about the astronauts in some moments We'll noting some moments in most of the time. I have them in my emotion on my card. Basically that say okay. I have to do more things to save the nicest specie lewis knew that they needed to do everything they could to clean up the ecosystem at such milko and deal with the various issues that were sending the axa lommel to extinction i. We have to reduce the population of Silicone we have to improve the water quality and fair. We have to stop illegal legalization in the canals with such immune cool. The lewis also didn't really have time to wait around for the government to implement some big top down restoration program so we decided to change the focus in terms of frustration on not to see the authorities solution but the beat the local people as should in particular they focused on the farmers or the keenum. Perros who still farm on islands in the water. Louise and his partners started working closely alongside them and the idea was to try and give farmers money in the tools that they needed to improve the habitat around their own piece of land. They designed simple. Low tech filters that farmers can use to seal off individual canals the filter help to increase the water quality. Avoid the danger of until they might not be able to fix so she milk all at once but they wanna create pockets of clean to loppy of free water where the axle population can recover. It's hard to say how well these efforts are working in his most recent surveys lewis hasn't found a single axle although he says that local farmers that he's working with have reported seeing them inside their canals and so there's a lot at stake in the work the fate of an ancient ecosystem and its iconic animal and what happens in mexico city could also have ramifications for all those scientists studying regeneration in addition to being a professor at kentucky. Rendova is the head of the universities and bestow much genetic stock center they breed exiles and distribute them around the world. We provide access to people for their research efforts. In fact they're basically the place to go if you want to do. Research with and the amazing thing about these salamanders that are being bred at kentucky today is that their descendants of thirty four animals which were taken from suchy milk. Oh in that french expedition. One hundred and fifty years ago. They are the oldest population of laboratory animals in the world which means that emits. Excellent linney probably was related to those thirty four animals that were brought to paris. Yes she almost certainly was and while that lack of genetic diversity is great for doing experiments. It can also be a problem. It can lead to inbreeding. I mean. I think there are a lot of species that if you apply the same kind of management strategy over the time that acts laws have been in captivity. They probably would be extinct. Randall says that there is no immediate. Cause for alarm. With his laboratory salamanders but yet that's a concern. I mean. I do think it's important to consider that. There may be other sources of genetic variation out there in the world that could be used to invigorate our population in an ideal world. They would introduce more. Wild salamanders into the lab population. But those are pretty hard to come by these days and if the wild acts law where to go extinct that's milko. There would be no pool of genetic material left for scientists to pull from.

Coming up next