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Frequently asked questions

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Where can I find information about keeping recreational wildlife?

The Queensland Government website contains links to important documents that you should read to ensure that you understand your legal requirements. We recommend that you read the relevant information and the Code of Practice for Aviculture and Code of Practice for Captive reptile and amphibian husbandry.

Where do I find information about the legislation relating to keeping recreational wildlife?

Find out about your legal obligations by reading the material on the EHP website or the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006. Copies of the legislation are available by logging onto the Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.

How many animals can I keep with a recreational wildlife licence?

A standard recreational wildlife licence allows you to keep an unlimited number of controlled, commercial and recreational birds and/or reptiles and amphibians. You are also able to keep up to two restricted birds, reptiles or amphibians on a standard licence. Please refer to the EHP Guidelines for more information or contact EHP on 1300 130 372 (during business hours).

What do I need to do if I am between 13 and 18 years of age?

If you are between the ages of 13 and 18 and you want to apply for a recreational wildlife licence, you will require a legal guardian to complete the online application with you (you and your legal guardian must live at the same address where you will keep the wildlife). Both your name and your legal guardian’s name will appear on the licence, but you will still be the licence holder. You may apply off-line by completing the paper application form and submitting it with the prescribed fee to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).

Note that the EHP licensing platform Connect will not authorise a person aged less than 18 years to register to use the system.

What can I do if I am under 13 years of age?

To hold a recreational wildlife licence, you must be at least 13 years of age. However, you can have someone that lives with you who is over the age of 13 such as a parent or older sibling apply and hold the animal in their name until you are 13 and can apply for a licence.

How can I keep restricted and international animals?

To purchase and keep restricted and international birds, reptiles and amphibians you must apply for a recreational wildlife licence with an additional endorsement for a restricted or international animal. An international endorsement can be applied for online with an additional fee added to the standard fee. A restricted endorsement for animals however will require extra assessment by EHP and will also include an additional fee. More information can be found on the Queensland Government website.

How can I apply for a licence?

EHP’s online licensing system, Connect, was introduced in 2017 to make the way you apply for new wildlife licences and information quicker and easier. It replaced EHP’s previous online system—the Recreational Wildlife Licence (RWL) Service.

As a Connect customer you can:

  • update and manage your contact, address and business information online
  • complete applications and instantly submit online
  • make online payments via credit card
  • have access to online lodgement of annual returns.

If you are 18 years of age or older, and wish to apply for any recreational wildlife licence, please register with Connect.

If you are aged under 18 years, you may apply outside this online system, as paper applications will still be accepted (Please complete the Recreational wildlife licence application form (Word, 174K)*). However, paper-based applications will not have the benefits associated with transacting online, and incomplete information will be returned to you for review and resubmission.

A recreational wildlife licence allows you to keep legally obtained wildlife for personal use for up to 5 years. After this 5 year period you will need to reapply for the licence.

You can purchase a recreational wildlife licence only for those birds, reptiles and amphibians listed in the Guideline for keeping wildlife under a recreational wildlife licence.

EHP cannot issue a recreational wildlife licence if you have a criminal conviction that relates to animal welfare issues within the past 10 years.


The type of recreational wildlife licence will determine the amount you will need to pay. Please refer to the schedule of fees (PDF, 61K) on the EHP website.

Please be aware that fees are amended at the start of each financial year.

There may be fees associated with doing business with EHP’s online licensing system, Connect.

Will it cost me more to buy a licence online and is GST included?

A licence will cost the same whether it is purchased online or by submitting a paper based form. GST is not payable. Note, however that a small user charge applies to the use of the EHP’s online licensing system Connect, where a licence is granted. Read more about this in the Connect Frequently Asked Questions.

How long will it take to get my licence?

In most cases your licence will be issued electronically as soon as payment has been processed. More complex applications will need to be manually assessed by an EHP officer. Some common reasons for manual assessment include:

  • if the application is for more than two restricted wildlife
  • if you are moving wildlife from interstate.

Do I need to purchase a record book?

A record book documents the movement, births and deaths of animals in your care. It contains multiple copies of the Wildlife Record Form which must be completed as a legal requirement. Each record book can be used to record details about multiple animals, however only one species of animal can be recorded per page (each page is an individual Wildlife Record Form). Either 20 or 50 page record books are available for purchase or you can download a record book (PDF, 800K) for free.

If you do not already have a useable record book, you must purchase or download one with your recreational wildlife licence, purchased books will be forwarded to your postal address. An EHP officer may ask to see your record book to verify the origin of your animals.

When will I need a movement advice?

A movement advice is required when an animal is sold from either a private recreational wildlife licence holder or a pet shop. Only one movement advice is required per transaction, regardless of the number or types of animals that are being purchased/sold. The seller usually provides the movement advice unless you are buying an animal from interstate, then you must complete the movement advice.

The use of a movement advice online via the online system Connect is available, providing that both the person who is selling or giving away the wildlife and the person who buys or accepts the wildlife hold licences issued by Connect (both would therefore be registered to use Connect). Please note that Connect will not grant a movement advice for a proposed wildlife movement that is later than two (2) business days from the date of your application.

To remove any doubt, if either person is not a registered user with Connect (and therefore does not hold a licence granted via Connect) a movement advice cannot be processed using the Connect system and the paper-based application form (Word, 174K)* must be used. You can also order a hard copy of the movement advice for a small fee by contacting EHP on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

If you currently hold a recreational wildlife licence granted under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 before Connect commenced, your existing licence information will not be available in Connect, either immediately or in the future. Only new applications processed under Connect will be available.

More information on moving native wildlife

How will I receive my licence if I apply through Connect?

Your licence will be supplied in a PDF format. It will be available on your Connect dashboard or you may save it for future records. You will receive your licence via email as your email address will be recorded with your customer account details.

What paper can I use to print my licence?

The licence generated is a legal document and therefore you are required to print it out on plain white paper.

Will I receive a receipt confirmation number in Connect?

If your transaction is successful, you will receive a receipt confirmation number at the time of transaction as well as via email to the address you have provided. The receipt will also be available in the summary screen in the documents section of your application.

How soon can I keep birds/reptiles or amphibians after I have bought my licence online?

You can keep the animal(s) identified on your licence as soon as you have received your licence.

Note: recreational wildlife licences cannot be backdated. Your licence will list the ‘valid from’ date.

Can I choose the start date of my licence?

When applying by hardcopy application (and you have an existing Recreational Wildlife Licence which expires within a month), you will be given an option to start your new licence from today’s date or the expiry date of your previous licence. However, this does not apply when using Connect. In Connect your start date will be the date of your application lodgment as entered in Connect.

Note: For new clients the licence commencement date will always be the date that the application is granted.

I have not received my licence via email. Why?

It may take a few minutes for your licence to be sent to your email inbox. Please check your email security settings as your email software or service provider may be blocking emails with attachments like your licence email.

Note: If you do not receive an email within 24 hours please contact EHP on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

Who do I contact if I am having any questions about buying a licence?

If you have questions about what licence to buy, contact the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

Once my permit is issued what happens if I change my residential address?

Please contact EHP on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

* Requires Microsoft Office files viewer

Last updated
12 June 2017