Extensive wildlife trade not only threatens species worldwide but can also lead to the transmission of zoonotic diseases. It encompasses hundreds of species with significant differences in their conservation status and associated disease risk. However, current strategies to mitigate the wildlife trade often neglect these differences. An international research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research shed new light on the motivations why people hunt, trade or consume different species. The research shows that more differentiated solutions are needed to prevent uncontrolled disease emergence and species decline.