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.
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 Collection authority (dead protected wildlife) licence is required to keep a collection of dead protected wildlife for reference purposes. It is not granted for live animals.
Collection authority (military standing orders)
In Queensland, a Collection authority (military standing orders) is required for the Australian Defence Force to take and keep common animals as part of survival training for its personnel.
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:
- commercial harvesting of protected animals (DOC, 254KB)
- commercial harvesting of macropods
- commercial harvesting of estuarine crocodile eggs
- commercial interaction with protected animals
- commercial trade of live and dead protected wildlife
- farming certain wildlife
- whale watching in a marine park
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.
A museum licence is required for a museum to take, keep and use protected and international wildlife.
Permit to keep protected wildlife
A permit to keep wildlife may be issued to allow a person to keep wildlife, but not use it, for various purposes (e.g. where a rehabilitated animal cannot be released because it us unable to survive in the wild). Note: keeping wildlife for recreational purposes requires a recreational wildlife licence.
Protected animal scientific or educational purposes permits
- On a protected area, such as national parks and state forests, you will need a permit to take, use, keep or interfere with cultural or natural resources including flora, fauna, soil and water.
- On non-protected areas, such as public purposes reserves and private land, you will need either a scientific or educational purposes permit to take, use or keep protected animals for these purposes.
Protected plants permits and licences
A permit is required to if you want to clear near threatened, vulnerable or endangered protected plants and their supporting habitat. Note: a separate clearing permit is 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 or endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
A recreational wildlife harvesting licence is required if you want to harvest native species, such as macropods and other protected animals, for recreational (non-commercial) purposes during the declared harvest period for the species. This licence does not allow you to use the animals for commercial purposes.
Recreational wildlife licence
A recreational wildlife licence (RWL) is required to keep birds, reptiles or amphibians at a residential property.
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 is required if you want to move native or exotic animals within, into, or out of, Queensland.
Wildlife permits for Commonwealth areas
The federal government's website has information about permits covering wildlife in a Commonwealth area in Queensland.
The legislation relating to wildlife in Queensland includes:
- Nature Conservation Act 1992
- Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006
- Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 2006
- Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017
- Nature Conservation (Estuarine Crocodile) Conservation Plan 2018
- Nature Conservation (Koala) Conservation Plan 2017
- Nature Conservation (Macropod) Conservation Plan 2017