Back Society » Environment » Don't Buy Vietnam's Cat Ba Tiger Geckos as Pets. They Are Going Extinct.

Don't Buy Vietnam's Cat Ba Tiger Geckos as Pets. They Are Going Extinct.

The exotic pet trade and lack of suitable conservation standards threaten the lizards native to several remote islands in northern Vietnam.

In a recent study, a Vietnamese-German research team looks into the domestic and international pet trade that's driving a gecko species endemic in Vietnam to extinction. The paper was spearheaded by Ngo Ngoc Hai, a PhD candidate at the Vietnam National Museum of Nature in Hanoi.

One of nineteen gecko species in the country, only an estimated 120 tiger geckos (Goniurosaurus catbaensis) exist on Cat Ba Island and smaller groups in other localities. Native to Vietnam, China and Thailand, they are purchased as pets in Europe and North America for upwards of US$1,000. The geckos can also be found in local pet shops in Vietnam and on online shops. Once caught, they are sold by local villagers to dealers for US$4-5 each and then shipped overseas where they can fetch around US$100 or more in pet shops.

Beginning in the 1990s, foreign demand has put our sticky-toed buddies in danger. Despite being listed as endangered, there are few formal or informal structures in place to protect them. A researcher expands: “Tiger geckos are neither sufficiently protected by law nor part of conservation programmes, due to the lack of substantial knowledge on the species conservation status and probably due to the general lack of public as well as political interest in biodiversity conservation."

Experts argue that the lizards need to be mentioned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to understand the state of their population size and effectively protect them.

[Photo via Science Daily]

Related Articles:

Can Gory Animal Statues Shock Vietnam Into Shunning Wildlife Products?

Celebrity Endorsements Might Be the Key to Combating Poaching in Asia, Campaign Shows

Vinh University Opens Vietnam's First Postgraduate Course in Wildlife Trafficking

Related Articles

in Environment

1,300 Pine Trees in National Park Damaged in Illegal Resin Theft

Resin rapscallions pilfered from hundreds of pine trees in Tam Dao National Park.

in Environment

163 New Species Discovered in Southeast Asia: WWF Report

Good news for Southeast Asia's wildlife enthusiasts: scientists just announced that, in 2015, they discovered 163 new species in the Greater Mekong region.

in Environment

2 Bicyclists Set To Ride From Saigon To Paris To Raise Awareness Of Climate Change

On Thursday February 12, Simon Nelson and Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan will set off on a bicycle ride from Saigon to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in order t...

in Environment

22 Photos That Reveal How Bad Pollution Has Become In China

While pollution is becoming a serious problem in Vietnam with reports of cancer villages and toxic canals popping up the press recently, we live in a natural utopia compared with the residents of Chin...

in Environment

3 Endangered Langurs Were Released Back Into the Wild in Ninh Binh

The trio of critically endangered Delacour's langurs (voọc mông trắng) had been at a conservation center in Cuc Phuong National Park.

in Environment

40 Dead Tiger Cubs Discovered in Tiger Temple Freezer

Last Wednesday, authorities made a grisly discovery while shutting down Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple, recovering 40 dead tiger cubs from an on-site freezer.

Partner Content