Protected animal permits for scientific/research or educational purposes - non-protected areas

You need to obtain a Research permit or an Educational purposes permit from the Department of Environment and Science for scientific, research or educational activities involving the taking/use/keeping of protected animals on private land, public purposes reserves, and other estates that operate outside of:

  • protected areas (including nature refuges and special wildlife reserves)
  • marine parks
  • state forest estate
  • recreation areas management estate.

Protected plants in non-protected areas are not subject to scientific, research or educational purposes permits, but you may need a permit to clear, harvest or grow protected plants.

A Research permit or an Educational purposes permit is issued under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Examples of scientific and research activities

  • A government department conducting research including fauna surveys, for example pre-development, or to research how effective a wildlife crossing is.
  • A consultant conducting fauna surveys for an Environmental Impact Study.
  • The collection of protected animal parts or products such as feathers, hair, biopsies, blood, and tissue for research purposes.
  • Research on a particular protected animal or its habitat, including tag and release studies, or capturing an animal and keeping or processing the animal at a university laboratory or field centre.

Examples of educational activities

  • The collection of road kill (protected animals) for educational purposes (for example Zoology or Veterinary Science students).
  • University field trip where animals are captured and released.
  • Keeping native wildlife in a classroom for educational purposes. A written statement is required detailing the educational and environmental messages that will be delivered to students.

Exemptions for natural products

Natural products that are derived from or shed, lost or excreted by a protected animal can be taken, kept and used for non-commercial purposes without requiring a research or educational purposes permit.

Natural products include:

  • a snake skin that has been shed
  • bones found in the faeces of an animal
  • feather that has been lost by a bird.

Natural products must not be the result of human inducement or intervention (e.g. if the feather is pulled from a bird it is not a natural product under this definition).

Natural products may be collected as part of a research or educational activity and, although exempt from requiring a permit, should still be documented to fully inform the assessment and conditioning of that activity.

How to apply

For scientific and research activities conducted on non-protected areas such as freehold land, leasehold land and council reserves complete the following permit application form (DOC, 304KB) and email it to

To apply for a permit to take, keep or use native animals for classroom/educational purposes, complete the Educational purposes permit (DOCX, 195KB) form and email it to

If you are proposing to take keep and use protected animals for scientific, research or educational purposes at a number of sites, and on a range of tenures (e.g. private land as well as national parks, nature refuges, state forests, recreation areas and marine parks) you may need more than one permit/authority to conduct activities across all locations. If this is the case and you wish to discuss your project, please:

Reporting on your activity

You are required to complete the following to report on your permit activity.