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  1. #31
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    Besides all the hype from the possible cures and powerful aphrodisiac that Tokay possess, they are revered as a status symbol as a pet in China. The new wealth that China enjoys in the last several years has also driven up prices especially for visual morphs. Few outside of China are willing to pay high-end Ball Python prices for wild caught Tokay morphs.

    Even normals exported out of the Philippines recently had an asking price of $150 each from a Florida wholesaler. (Really nice normals from Vietnam are never over $5, wholesale and about a buck from Indonesia in wholesale quantities.) And of coarse these same normals are collected and eaten by the millions each year throughout Indochina.

    Like any contraband, the illegal status of hunting and possessing Tokay in several countries will also drive up prices in the legal trade as well because it creates a bigger demand.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquamentus_11 View Post
    Why have the leopard gecko and bearded dragon been so successfully established as purely captive bred populations in the pet trade? I know Australia shut down exportation of beardies years ago, but what about leopard geckos? Were they that much more expensive than tokays when they were still being shipped over?
    Because they breed like mice. And they have mild temperaments. Same with crested geckos. However, we're starting to see over the years the effects of the massive amount of constant inbreeding resulting from smaller and smaller gene pools. If tokays acted and bred like crested geckos, there would be millions of cbb tokays on the market too.
    Ethan
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    To ALL GU members, please take the time to look through old threads and/or use the search feature BEFORE asking questions. GU is a huge archive of information and most of the info that you're looking for is already there just waiting for you to find it.
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  3. #33
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    So, we've seen a lot of interesting folklore and misinformation as to what good Tokay are to human research. Here's a tidbit of some interest noted by Backwater Reptiles in their trivia section:

    A recent article detailed how NASA has used in-depth studies of the Tokay gecko's foot pads to help create better robots, spacesuits, and potentially even...Spiderman gloves! If all the toe-pad hairs (called "spatulae") were in contact with a surface simultaneously, a single gecko could support over 300 pounds on the side of a wall. The tiny hairs, not even visible, create temporary atomic bonds with the surface, called "Van Der Waals force." Scientists at MIT believe this binding technology could eventually replace the need for medical sutures and tissue attachment.
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  4. #34
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    Link to Popular Science online piece: Gecko Tech | Popular Science
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  5. #35
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    OK, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    This report is the most comprehensive study I've seen to date on Tokay harvesting, trafficking, trade and exports. Anybody that has an interest in this tread would marvel at the information collected here in.

    You can go to the site and scroll down to open the full report as a pdf: TRAFFIC - Wildlife Trade News - AIDS cure rumours short-lived: Tokay Geckos mainly traded for traditional medicine, finds new*study

    Or go to the Open Publication here: ISSUU - The Trade in Tokay Geckos in South-East Asia by Richard Thomas
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  6. #36
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    I hate to say it, but it sounds like one of those "miracle elixer" kinda deals you see in an old western cartoon or movie where some con artist gets away with selling a remedy for blindness or some incurable ailment. Just an a$$hole's get rich quick scheme that has grown grossly out of proportion.

  7. #37
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    Back in school we did a whole semester in chemistry on "Quack Medicines and Why they Worked".

    Underneath all of the 'Snake Oil Salesmanship' were basic elixirs that in many cases are still the foundation for remedies today. Alcohol, sugar, stimulants, sedatives, carbonation, etc. The difference today is that most of these are synthetically produced instead of distilled from a root, bark or leaf.

    Traditional medicine in China and parts East has a 3000 year history in proven results. Prior to Western influences the Chinese rarely saw cancer, heart disease or stroke.

    So Tokay have been used in traditional medicine all that time and TM continues to be the major consumer of animals harvested each year. So when pharmaceuticals where researching these properties of Tokay, the price of Tokay went up. And yes, getting 'rich' quick is almost every mans' dream, but consider the broken economy of Indonesia. Like a lot of African countries where it is every man for himself, and little or no enforceable law, Indonesia is not much different. What starts as a way to earn a weeks wages in one sale, escalates until you have middlemen jacking the price to see what the limit is. At least they are not killing a rhino or elephant who's populations cannot sustain the slaughter. Millions of Tokay are taken each year just for human food with little alarm to C.I.T.E.S.

    The report in the link above addresses some of this. All of this effects the pet trade on pricing and availability. The report notes that this trend toward sales to big pharma is tapering off. That's good for us. Rare morphs are still prized as status symbols in China and Chinese collectors continue to purchase most of them from Indonesian harvesters.

    They are willing, and now able to pay a premium for these better morphs while the market in the US is still not willing to match the current price levels.

    So the Indonesians are willing to provide a service, harvesting wild Tokay from the jungle, and sell and ship that product live, to the world. Some people will pay $10,000 for a rare Tokay and most will not. Some will see this as an exceptional opportunity to enjoy one of natures rarities and some will see a con artist getting rich quick.

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    Very true. Honestly I wasn't aware that tokays were used traditional Chinese medicine. I thought the "miracle aids cure" rumor was what led to the inflation of said geckos in SE Asia and was under the impression that the wild tokay population was dwindling. In another article, I had read that owning a unique or very rare morph of tokay was supposed to be like a status symbol (similar to owning an expensive watch or european luxury car) and that some people pay a hefty sum to own them.

  9. #39
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    This is from a recent Traffic publication, 2013

    The Trade in Tokay Geckos
    Gekko gecko in South-East Asia: with a
    case study on Novel Medicinal Claims
    in Peninsular Malaysia

    Olivier S. Caillabet
    (2013).
    TRAFFIC, Petaling Jaya, Selangor,
    Malaysia

    "In Indonesia, Tokay Geckos are not protected; however, a harvest quota of 50 000 individuals is in place. Ten percent of this quota (5000 individuals) is for local consumption with the remainder (45 000) for export. These may only be harvested from specific provinces or districts designated by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) (Siswomartono, 1998 ) and collection outside of these areas or surplus to the specified volume is not permitted.

    There are 23 designated Tokay Gecko collection areas in Indonesia. Java has the largest Tokay Gecko harvest quota of 24 000 individuals, with the remaining harvest divided between the islands of Bali.

    The purpose of harvest (e.g. for medicine, as pets etc.) is also specified within the quota and according to the quota in place for Tokay Geckos, only live animals destined for the pet trade may be exported."


    The traditional medicine market is huge in China. They also eat Tokay there as well. The legal limits noted above are probably not heavily enforced as the Tokay morphs that I was importing were culled from a company harvest for food processing. They claimed to collect 750,000 Tokay a year in Indonesia.
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