Posted on
15 February 2023
A new factsheet highlights threats to the species 
To highlight the threat to Caterpillar Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis from illegal wildlife trade, TRAFFIC and WWF-India have released a new factsheet.
Locally known as Yarsa Gumba, Himalayan Gold, or Keera Ghaas, Caterpillar Fungus is endemic to Bhutan, China, India, and Nepal and threatened due to overexploitation driven by increasing demand, especially in traditional medicine markets.

Dr Merwyn Fernandes, Coordinator, TRAFFIC’s India Office adds, “Extraction/harvesting and trade of Caterpillar Fungus is regulated through permits,  guidelines, and policies of the range states, such as Sikkim and Uttarakhand. However, the existing regulatory mechanisms for the trade of Caterpillar Fungus in the different range states of India are not consistent and applicable across India. Insufficient mechanisms to monitor and regulate the trade in Caterpillar Fungus and the international demand for this species have been attributed as drivers for the trade”.

Besides, illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss due to unplanned development activities and climate change also threaten the future of Caterpillar Fungus.

The newly released communique by TRAFFIC and WWF-India titled “CATERPILLAR FUNGUS: Factsheet on India’s Caterpillar Fungus in illegal wildlife trade” highlights this threat. It provides information about the species, interesting facts, legal status and threats from the illegal wildlife trade. It will be helpful for educators, policymakers, researchers, media personnel, and the general public who want to learn about the conservation of the Caterpillar Fungus in India.
Download “CATERPILLAR FUNGUS: Factsheet on India’s Caterpillar Fungus in illegal wildlife trade” here.
 For more information, please contact Dilpreet B. Chhabra at 9899000472 or write to her at


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