In a remarkable discovery, the elusive Tokay Gecko, one of India’s largest and second-largest gecko species globally, was recently spotted in the DehingPatkai region of upper Assam’s Tinsukia district. The sighting is a significant breakthrough in the conservation efforts of this rare species that are highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade.
The Tokay Gecko, primarily found in Mizoram and Karbi Anglong, has been a target of illegal smuggling due to its alleged medicinal properties, especially in China. As a result, even though Tokay Geckos are listed in CITES’s Appendix II as a species in danger of extinction, their illegal trade has flourished.
A vigilant auto driver called Vijay Munda recently saw a Tokay Gecko in the middle of NH-38 on the Makum-Digboi route in the Ultapul region within the Digboi Forest Division. When he spotted the rare gecko, Munda was picking up passengers and immediately reported it to the authorities.
The discovery has sparked renewed hope among conservationists that the Tokay Gecko may have a chance at survival in the region. The Tinsukia district administration has taken cognizance of the sighting and has initiated efforts to protect the species from further illegal trade and poaching.
The Tokay Gecko is known for its unique vocalizations, bright colours, and distinctive patterns. It plays a crucial role in the ecosystem by controlling the population of insects and other small animals. The discovery of this elusive species in the Dehing Patkai region is a promising sign for conserving India’s rich biodiversity.