How the International Trade in Geckos Is a Scam

The coauthor of a new report says low-profile species are often hit hardest by illegal and unsustainable trade.

For many species threatened by the illegal wildlife trafficking, such as rhinos, elephants, tigers, and bears, debates persist as to whether a legal trade in their parts and products can reduce smuggling.

But increasing evidence suggests that a legal trade instead acts as a conduit for the illegal trade. For instance, recent studies showed that Hong Kong’s domestic ivory sales provided cover for illegal stocks. Now, a new report by TRAFFIC, a wildlife monitoring NGO, on captive breeding of Tokay geckos in Indonesia suggests the same holds true for captive breeding.

Tokay geckos are nocturnal lizards that live in Southeast Asia. While there is some demand for them as pets, the real demand is for their use as traditional Asian

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