Viesca: Searching for extinct turtles (and Peyote)

Hope dies last. Thats a saying in Mexico. When it comes to wildlife conservation, hope should definitely die last, or not die at all.

With this mindset we headed to Viesca, in the state of Coahuila, Mexico. Our goal was to try to locate the Viesca mud turtle (Kinosternon hirtipes megacephalum). This unique turtle once inhabited springs near the town of Viesca, however, due to agricultural development and the overexploitation of the aquifer, these springs dried out at some point during the 1960’s or 1970’s, and with the springs, so did the unique fauna and flora of the area vanished.

Our goal was to search for bodies of water in the surrounding mountains which could still hold a population of this species. Unfortunately we were not able to accomplish that. The Viesca mud turtle is currently considered extinct, but perhaps future trips to the area might prove this wrong. Hope dies last.