Native frogs and amphibians are protected by law so if you want to keep one as a pet you’ll need a biodiversity conservation licence granted under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 from the Office of Environment and Heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Service).
The only non-native (exotic) amphibian that can be kept as a pet without a licence is the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. All other non-native frogs and amphibians cannot be kept as pets because they may become invasive and spread disease.
Protecting native frogs
It’s against the law (Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016) to take frogs or tadpoles from the wild or release unwanted ones.
Taking animals from the wild, or even your backyard, can cause local extinctions. Dumped frogs can spread disease and starve to death or be killed by other animals.
Pet native frogs must be bought from licensed animal keepers.
Licensing helps us:
- protect our unique native frog species and their ecosystems
- keep animals safe
- abide by NSW laws.
Tadpoles in schools
NSW schools have been licensed to allow students and teachers to collect and keep up to 20 tadpoles.
Tadpoles must not be collected from national parks or other reserves.
When tadpoles have turned into froglets they must be released at the place where they were collected. The Department of Education has advice about collecting frogs and handling them in the classroom.
Get the right licence
Native frog species that can be kept as pets are classed as Companion, A1 and/or A2. Each class requires a different type of biodiversity conservation licence. The right type of licence for you will depend on how many frogs you want to keep and what type of frog you want.