Geckos for Sale on the Black Market

Environmental protection officials have reported that geckos native to the Philippines are being offered for sale on the black market to buyers in China and South Korea.

The tuko, as they are called in the Philippines, are being offered fro $2,300 (100,000 Philippine Pesos) for sale to buyers on websites. At that price, the buyers are expecting the geckos to weigh at least 500 grams.

In China, the geckos are used for traditional Chinese medicine, while in South Korea the geckos are bought to be used in AIDS research.

There were several websites that offered tuko for sale that were easily found by reporters. The geckos are protected under the law as an endangered species.

(Complete price list of exotic animals for sale)

In addition to the Philippines, geckos from New Zealand are on sale to buyers on the black market. Wildlife enforcement officials sated that geckos from New Zealand are taken out of the country and that are able to be sold for $1,300 (2,000 New Zealand Dollars) in Europe.

Source:  Carla P. Gomez, “Illegal wildlife traders target endemic geckos,” Inquirer, June 1, 2011.

Source:  Alanah Eriksen, “Thousands for stolen geckos on European black market,” New Zealand Herald, June 30, 2010.