Is the Mexican blue dragon species in danger of extinction?

The blue dragon inhabits Puebla and Veracruz, feeds on small insects and becomes turquoise in its natural habitat, although most of the specimens are green. It is a beautiful specimen of the scaly-bodied lizards of the subgenus Abronia, which means that it lives in the forests.

A photograph of a copy published in the Reddit forum, for Internet users to pay attention to a problem that puts the existence of this species at risk. The original publication, which in just one day reached more than 127 thousand visits and received more than 1,300 comments, recalled that the blue dragon is one of the most endangered Mexican species.

Due to the striking color of its scales, this species of arboreal lizard is very sought after as a pet, so there is a whole black market dedicated to plucking specimens from their natural habitat to sell them to the highest bidder. The dragon in green color is relatively common in its natural habitat, but it is the blue specimens that are most sought after by reptile collectors.

However, this coloration is not permanent if the animal is captured, since its brightness and bright colors are obtained from its feeding. The blue dragonets in captivity become opaque.

Agencies such as the Federal Office of Environmental Protection (Profepa), have been seizing for years for specimens that are destined for other countries in America and even Europe, where they sell up to 300 euros each.

In addition, there are people who kill these reptiles because they believe that their bright colors are a sign that they carry a very dangerous poison, when in reality, this species poses no threat to humans.

In March 2007, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, added this species to its red list of threatened species, so the authorities have redoubled efforts in order to prevent this Mexican reptile is marketed or attacked.

It is estimated that between 2005 and 2017, 97 specimens have been secured, but the number of blue dragonlets that have managed to sell is unknown. To avoid that this species disappears forever, it is recommended not to acquire these reptiles and always keep them in their natural habitat, where their population could multiply again if it is cared for.