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Wildlife permits and licences

Queensland's native wildlife is protected by legislation. The primary purpose of this legislation is to conserve biodiversity by protecting wildlife and its habitat. Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (PDF)* all native birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians are protected in Queensland, along with a limited range of invertebrates (some butterflies, spiders and scorpions), freshwater fish and the grey nurse shark. Other aquatic species are protected by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

A licensing and permitting system helps to protect native wildlife from being used in ways that are not sustainable and from the impacts of exotic species. This system ensures viable wild populations of plants and animals are maintained by regulating the taking, keeping, using or moving of wildlife for commercial, recreational or other purposes.

The types of approvals you will need depend on a number of things, including:

  • the species of wildlife concerned
  • the activity you want to carry out
  • the tenure of the area in which you intend to undertake your activity.

You can apply for a Recreational Wildlife licence using the department's online service. If you already hold a recreational wildlife licence you can download an additional record book (PDF, 800K)* for free.

The necessary information required for the approval of a permit or licence is clearly explained on the relevant application form.

Further information on your legal obligations relating to wildlife permits and licences can be found by reading the relevant information sheets and guidelines available on this website. These obligations may include the completion of a return of operations if you hold a permit or licence.

You can also read the relevant wildlife legislation on the Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.

The main legislation relating to wildlife is:

The subordinate legislation relating to wildlife is:

If you propose to carry out certain activities on other State-managed land such as state forests or marine parks, you may also need approvals under other legislation (e.g. check the relevant zoning plan if intending to collect plants or animals in a marine park as permits are usually required).

The federal government's website has information about permits covering wildlife in a Commonwealth area in Queensland.

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Last updated
5 August 2013