Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Trade in donkey skin for the production of E-Jiao, a Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been linked to the international wildlife trade, including the timber trade. We investigated timber species available in the donkey skin trade networks in business-to-business e-commerce websites in terms of species origins, supply, and demand. Using 340 product categories offered by 385 traders located in 55 countries we conducted a network analysis centred on trade in donkey skins. We identified over 60 tree species of 54 genera and 22 families, most of the species of conservation concern were native to Africa, including four hongmu species, which are high-value tree species identified by the National Rosewood Standard in China. We found 24 tree species of global conservation concern included in the donkey skin product network; these are designated by CITES in Appendices and/or by the IUCN as threatened or near-threatened. The presence of both donkey skins and timber species of conservation concern indicates a need for heightened surveillance and transparent reporting of the donkey skin trade. Furthermore, this points to a fresh avenue for monitoring the trade of timber, particularly for those species that are linked to the donkey skin product network.

Original publication




Journal article


Global Ecology and Conservation

Publication Date