Mammal keeper licences

The dingo is the only native mammal that is not protected in NSW. It is also the only native mammal that you can have as a pet without needing a licence from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) or any other state government authority.

All other native mammals, including marsupials, are protected in NSW. It is against the law to take protected animals from the wild, and you must be licensed by OEH to own them.

OEH only licenses people to keep two species of native mammal as pets:

  • the spinifex hopping-mouse and
  • the plains rat.

Keeping spinifex hopping-mice or plains rats as pets
Download a licence application form, and find out how to care for these attractive and easily cared-for native rodents.

Why can't you keep other native mammals - like quolls or sugar gliders - as pets?
Find out about the conservation and animal welfare issues behind this policy.

Native mammal rehabilitation
If you find an injured, sick or orphaned native mammal, you are not allowed to keep it as a pet. Contact your local wildlife rehabilitation group.


Apply for a native animal keeper licence.

See the NSW Native Animal Keepers' Species List (PDF 956KB) to find out which native animals you can keep as a pet.

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Page last updated: 20 May 2016