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Office of Environment & Heritage

Native Animal Keepers and Companion Animal Keepers

  • Companion Licence

    Go to our species list to find out which species you can keep as a companion animal. This licence type:

    1) Is for five years and
    2) Does not have any annual record keeping requirements
    3) However, you must nominate the species of companion animal at the time of application

    Native Animal Keepers Licence

    Native Animal Keepers Licences are a type of biodiversity conservation licence required under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 to keep native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles as pets. Go to our species list to find out which species you can keep. The following classes of licences are granted:

    Bird keeper's licence: Required to keep native birds as pets. Granted in the following classes:
    1) Basic Bird
    2) Advanced Bird
    3) Emu Endorsement

    Reptile keeper's licence: Required to keep native reptiles as pets. Granted in the following classes:
    1) Basic Reptile
    2) Advanced Reptile, Non Venomous
    3) Advanced Reptile, Venomous, Category 1
    4) Advanced Reptile, Venomous, Category 2
    5) Advanced Reptile, Venomous, Category 3

    Amphibian keeper's licence: It's against the law to collect frogspawn, tadpoles or frogs from the wild, but with an NPWS licence you can still witness metamorphosis in action. Granted in the following classes:
    1) Basic Amphibian
    2) Advanced Amphibian

    Mammal keeper's licence: Only three native mammals can be kept as pets in NSW: dingos, spinifex hopping-mice and plains rats. You'll need a licence for the last two of these. Granted in the following classes:
    1) Basic Mammal


Office of Environment & Heritage

Import / Export of Native Animals

  • Import / Export Licence

    The interstate import and export of protected native animals is subject to monitoring and regulatory controls by the native animal protection agencies in all states and territories. Licences are granted in the following classes:
    1) Licence to export protected native animals out of NSW
    2) Licence to import protected native animals into NSW


Office of Environment & Heritage

Scientific Research, Education & Conservation

  • Scientific Licence

    You will require a biodiversity conservation licence under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 if you wish to undertake an activity for scientific, educational or conservation purposes, that is likely to result in one or more of the following:

    1) Harm to any protected animals, or to an animal that is a threatened species or is part of an endangered ecological community.
    2) Harm to any protected plant, or any plant that is a threatened species or is part of an endangered ecological community. You will need a licence if you plan to collect voucher specimens for identification purposes, pick cuttings or whole plants, or collect seed.
    3) Damage to a declared area of outstanding biodiversity value.
    4) Damage to a habitat of a threatened species or an endangered ecological community.


Office of Environment & Heritage

Other Wildlife licences

  • controlling native animals (for property owners), catching and releasing reptiles, emu egg carving and various other wildlife licences.
  • Other Wildlife Licences

    A number of other Wildlife licences are granted in NSW, these are:

    For Property Owners and Developers
    1) Licence to harm flying-foxes (to protecting commercial crops from flying-fox damage)
    2) Landholder licences to harm protected native animals on private property
    3) Licence to harm a threatened species or ecological community

    Other Licences:
    1) Licence to carry out taxidermy or hold preserved specimens of native fauna
    2) Licence to use a prescribed substance to harm any bird in NSW
    3) Licence to suitably qualified people to catch and release reptiles
    4) Licences to carve or decorate emu eggs


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