Journalist Iván Carrillo Pérez has won the prestigious CONACYT Award for Science, Technology and Innovation Journalism for his piece Axolotl: A God in Danger of Extinction for National Geographic Magazine Latin America. The award, presented each year by the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) in Mexico, recognizes influential science and technology stories produced in the country across four categories: print magazines, radio, television and newspapers.
Photo credit: Ruben Undhelm/Flickr
Carrillo’s piece took a hard look at the rapid disappearance of the iconic Axolotl salamander, a species endemic to the wetlands around southern Mexico City and immediately recognizable for its friendly facial features and strange lizard-like legs. A cult favorite of biologists and historically venerated by the Aztecs, the so-called “walking fish” is losing ground to the steady advancement of city development. Scientists say it could be extinct by 2020.
With funding from Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) and Arcadia, a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, Carrillo traveled south to Xochimilco, the site of the country’s last remaining Axolotl’s, to complete his report. He will be presented with the CONACYT award at the Ibero-American Seminar on Science, Technology and Innovation Journalism, where he will also be a featured speaker. The seminar runs from September 20-22, 2017.