Tokay geckos are among the largest geckos in the world, native to South-east Asia. Indiscriminate hunting for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine is threatening the conservation of this species. The geckos are easily located by trackers owing to their distinctive ‘tuco-tuco’ call. The trackers then set fire to their shelters, flushing the geckos out, capturing them in bags for smuggling. The geckos are killed and dried for inclusion in medicinal wines. As with many other TCM commodities, there is no scientific evidence to substantiate the medicinal value of the reptile. Although poaching of Tokays is a punishable offence, the trade remains unchecked because of the high number of poachers. Hundreds of Tokays are being poached by the day and conservationists fear losing out yet another species to Chinese Medicine.
This work by Rohan Chakravarty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.