Travelling through some of the key airports in the country, you may have noticed a poster that reads, ‘Not All Animals Migrate by Choice’. Part of a campaign launched in May this year by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India and the UN Environment, India, the idea is to raise awareness about illegal trade in wildlife.
The campaign features tigers, pangolins, star tortoises and tokay geckos—all endangered due to illegal trading in international markets. More species will be added in the second phase of the campaign, according to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
It is common knowledge, of course, that the tiger is traded for its skin, bones and body parts. The pangolin, the most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet, is sought after for its meat, and its scales are used in traditional medicine. The star tortoise is also targeted for its meat and for pet trade, and the tokay gecko for traditional medicines, mostly into Southeast Asia and the Chinese markets.