Protected area scientific and educational research

You will need a permit to take, use, keep or interfere with cultural or natural resources including flora, fauna, soil and water within:

  • the protected area estate (except nature refuges) and/or
  • a marine park and/or
  • State forest estate, and/or
  • a recreation areas management estate.

Please submit a completed application (DOCX, 201KB) to

A permit to take, use, keep or interfere can be issued for either scientific or educational activities, under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Examples of scientific activities that may be undertaken on National Parks

  • A PhD student catching and releasing fauna for a specific research project.
  • A Scientific Institution such as CSIRO collecting plant parts for a specific study.
  • A University studying invertebrates.
  • A Museum studying the taxonomy of reptile species.
  • A researcher collecting water, rock or soil samples for a study.

Examples of educational activities that may be undertaken on National Parks

  • A University group going to a National Park to learn about fauna survey methods.
  • A High School going to a National Park to study water quality or geology.

Activities on state forests

A different permit system is required on state forests as they are administered under a different Act. You may need both a Scientific Purposes Permit and Permit to Collect for some activities on state forests.

If your activity is on state forest, you will need a Permit to Collect (Biological and Geological Material from Queensland’s Forest Reserves, State Forests, Timber Reserves and Other State Lands).

This permit is to take, use, keep or interfere with forest products including flora, fauna and geological material, for scientific purposes.

These are issued in accordance with and for land listed under the Forestry Act 1959.

Application processing time

Your permit must be granted by the chief executive before you can begin your activity.

  • Assessment of your permit application can take up to 40 business days, it will be assessed under the relevant legislation.
  • If we need to ask you for more information, a new timeframe will be set as part of that request .

Permit fees

No fees apply to these permit types.

Reporting on your activity

You will also be required to report on your permit activity. Please submit your return forms to

Prior to commencing research

Once you have received your permit to conduct research on protected areas, you are required to notify QPWS of your planned visit at least seven days prior to arrival. This can be done by completing the Research field work notification form.

Scientific research or educational purposes reports