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Permits, licences and authorities

Queensland's native wildlife is protected by legislation that aims to conserve biodiversity by protecting wildlife and its habitat.

All native birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians are protected, along with some invertebrates (certain butterflies, spiders and scorpions), freshwater fish and the grey nurse shark. Other aquatic species are protected by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Government.

A licensing system helps us protect native wildlife species. By regulating the sustainable taking, keeping, using or moving of wildlife for commercial, recreational or other purposes we ensure viable wild populations of plants and animals are maintained.

Types of permits and licences

The type of licence or permit you need depends on:

  • the wildlife species
  • the type of activity
  • the tenure of the area (i.e. national park, state forest, private property) in which you plan to undertake your activity.

The different types of wildlife licences and permits are listed in alphabetical order below.

Collection authority (biodiscovery)

A Collection authority (biodiscovery) is required to collect and use native biological resources from state lands or Queensland waters.

Collection authority (dead protected wildlife)

A Dead animal collection authority is required to keep a collection of dead protected wildlife for reference purposes. It is not granted for live animals and does not allow for the take of wild animals.

Commercial wildlife licences

A licence is required if you want to undertake:

  • certain commercial uses of protected native animals such as commercial harvesting, commercial wildlife interaction, commercial trade of live and dead protected wildlife and farming
  • commercial use of protected native animals—this usually involves the use of native wildlife as part of a business.

This includes activities such as:

Damage mitigation permit

A damage mitigation permit is needed to cull and disperse wildlife, remove and relocate wildlife and lethally take flying foxes for crop protection.

Flying-fox roost management permit

A flying-fox roost management permit allows a person to disturb or drive away flying-foxes or to destroy a roost if the flying-foxes are causing damage to property or represent a threat to human health or wellbeing.

Harvesting licence

A Harvesting Licence is required if you want to harvest native species, such as macropods and other protected animals, for recreational or commercial purposes during the declared harvest period for the species.

Museum licence

The Queensland Museum can take, keep, use and display protected wildlife and keep dead protected wildlife, without specific approval. These arrangements are subject to conditions detailed in the Nature Conservation (Animals) Regulation 2020.

Native animal keeping licence

From 22 August 2020, if you have or intend to keep, breed or trade a protected animal in Queensland as a pet, or commercially breed or sell protected animals as pets you may need a Standard, Specialised or Advanced Licence. The type of licence you need will depend on the species of animals and number of animals you wish to keep, as well as the level of breeding and trade you wish to engage in.

Permit to keep protected wildlife

A permit to keep wildlife may be issued to allow a person to keep specific individual native animals but not use, breed, sell or give away the animal.

These licences are only issued for specific reasons, including:

  • where a rehabilitated animal cannot be released because it us unable to survive in the wild
  • where an animal has been kept lawfully in another state as a pet, and the holder wants to move it to Queensland
  • where the animal has previously been kept lawfully in Queensland, but can no longer be lawfully kept under any other licence type.

Note: keeping protected wildlife as pets or for recreational purposes requires a Keeping native animal licence.

Protected animal research or educational purposes permits

Licences are available for research and educational facilities to take, keep and use native wildlife.

Protected plants permits and licences

A permit may be required if you want to clear threatened or near threatened protected plants and their supporting habitat. Note: a separate clearing permit may be required under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.

A licence is required to take and use restricted protected plants for harvesting or growing purposes. A restricted plant is a native plant listed as special least concern, near threatened, vulnerable endangered or critically endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Find out more about permits, licences and regulations, including the Code of practice for the taking and use of protected plants.

Recreational wildlife licence

Prior to 22 August 2020, a recreational wildlife licence (RWL) was required to keep birds, reptiles or amphibians at a residential property. These licences have been replaced by Native animal keeping licences.

Rehabilitation permits

A rehabilitation permit is required if you want to look after and rehabilitate protected native animals.

Wildlife demonstrator licence

A wildlife demonstrator licence allows a person to keep and use an animal for a travelling or temporary display.

Wildlife exhibitor licence

A wildlife exhibitor licence allows a person to keep an animal for display in an exhibit.

Wildlife movement permit

A wildlife movement permit may be required if you want to move native or exotic animals within, into, or out of Queensland.

Wildlife permits for Commonwealth areas

More information about permits covering wildlife in a Commonwealth area in Queensland is available on the Australian Government's website.

Legislation

The legislation relating to wildlife in Queensland includes:

Related resources