The wildlife throughout the world that has any benefit to humans have been slowly becoming extinct. More animals are endangered or at risk of overpopulation than those that are extinct. Extinct animals, however, don’t have to worry about their habitat being destroyed or that their dwindling population with every year or every tree that is being cut down. One of the most endangered types of animals in Mexico are lizards. These tree-dwelling climbers are known to be native to Mexico and many areas of Central America. They are often traded in the exotic-pets market, where they are known to fetch a high price. These lizards are so small that they are easily hidden in socks, car trunks and sometimes even squished between a double-depth portfolio.
The Little Dragons
Don’t let the title of these creatures fool you, unlike the massive fire breathing monsters that are a common sight in every book about mythical creatures; these lizards are quite small and harmless. They don’t spit fire, neither do they fly with wings that are three times the size of their bodies. Instead, they are just small creatures that pose no harm to humans, save for humans causing harm towards them. In areas of Mexico, they are referred to as scorpions as they once believed that the reptile was venomous. But that changed when they realized that they were continuously killed. The name “little dragons” was bestowed on these beautiful creatures which helped lighten the reputation that the previous title had given the small harmless animals. Unfortunately, this new name liberated them from one issue only to be thrown directly into another one, as international prices for the little dragons increased.
For a single lizard, poachers can earn $2,000, that is if they can survive the poor conditions in which they are transported out of the country. However, due to the lizards being native to Mexico, poachers resort to removing the creatures illegally. The conditions in which they are transported in are considered to be ruthless and dangerous. This means that every time a poacher visits to collect their new collection of lizards for their latest paycheck, they must gather a lot before continuing, as most will die along the way. Not only do poachers know precisely where to find the Abronia Lizards, they sometimes recruit children to complete the tasks, especially those who have families that are in a financially poor. They pay these recruits an average of $1 or $2 to compensate for their work, which is barely a percentage of the amount that the poachers earn in one catch.
This variety of small lizards are known to come in different colors. The most commercially famous is the Abronia Gramineae, which is a little green dragon. Abronias are known to be well suited to living in trees. Their triangular heads that are attached to wide and strong jaws make them look like a cartoon dragon. The beautiful scales that cover their bodies are another reason why people love collecting these creatures.