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Recreational wildlife licence

In Queensland, a Recreational wildlife licence (RWL) is required if you want to keep certain protected birds, reptiles or amphibians at a residential property.

This licence does not allow you to use the animals for commercial purposes.

Find out about Commercial Wildlife Permits and Regulations.

Examples of wildlife requiring a licence 

Examples of wildlife which may be kept privately in Queensland with a licence include:

  • golden-shouldered parrot Psephotus chrysopterygius
  • northern rosella Platycercus venustus
  • little lorikeet Glossopsitta pusilla
  • children’s python Liasis childreni 
  • eastern blue-tongued lizard Tiliqua scincoides.

A full list of wildlife requiring a RWL can be found in Schedule 4 of the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006 (PDF, 1.12MB).

Examples of wildlife which do not require a licence 

Other native birds may be kept privately in Queensland without a licence including:

  • king quail Coturnix chinensis
  • gouldian finch Erythrura gouldiae
  • galah Cacatua roseicapilla
  • rainbow lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus
  • peaceful dove Geopelia striata.

How to apply

Before applying

The requirements for obtaining a RWL will vary depending upon the species you wish to keep.

A RWL can be for:

  • Controlled, commercial and recreational animals—these animals are usually fairly easy to keep and you do not need a lot of experience to get a licence.
  • Restricted animals (including restricted reptiles)—applicants need to be 18 years old or older. You will need to demonstrate considerable experience in handling and husbandry of wildlife.
  • International wildlife—applicants need to be 18 years old. These animals can usually be kept without a lot of experience.

A standard RWL allows you to keep unlimited controlled, commercial and recreational animals as well as up to two restricted birds, reptiles or amphibians. If you wish to keep more restricted animals you will need to apply for a restricted RWL.

Apply for a licence


A fee applies to this licence. View costs for a Recreational wildlife licence.

Application processing time

Your licence must be granted before you can keep wildlife. Assessment of your application can take up to 40 business days.

Once you have your licence

As the holder of a RWL you have a number of responsibilities.

Animal welfare

You are required to keep your animal in a way that protects the animal’s welfare and minimises its likelihood of escape. You should adhere to the following codes of practice:

Movement advice

You will need to obtain a movement advice or movement permit when you sell, buy, give away, or otherwise move your wildlife

The Information sheet—recreational wildlife licence (PDF 133KB) provides more detailed information on:

  • moving animals
  • selling animals
  • changing your details on your licence
  • renewing your licence.

Reporting on your activity

You will also be required to keep an up-to-date record on your permit activity by maintaining a wildlife record book (PDF 800KB). You must make the record book available as when requested by an officer from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The specific requirements for maintaining a record book can be found in the Information sheet—recreational wildlife licence (PDF, 133KB). Alternatively, you can email or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Further information

For further information, contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) via email or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last reviewed
26 August 2016
Last updated
6 May 2015

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