Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, all native mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, and many native plant species, are protected in NSW.
You will need to get a licence from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) if you want to:
- keep native animals as pets
- move native animals across state and territory borders
- commercially trade in native birds
- carry out research into protected animals and plants
- care for sick and injured fauna
- harm fauna for the purpose of protecting property.
Keeping native animals as pets
Birds, frogs, reptiles and mammals - find out about which native fauna species you can keep in NSW and how to apply for a licence.
Trading in native animals and plants
See licences and policies for trade and commercial use of native plants and animals within NSW, and transport of native species across the state's borders.
Rehabilitating native animals
Find your local fauna rehabilitator and learn more about the policy and codes of practice for caring for sick and injured native animals.
Licences for scientific, educational and conservation actions
Find information, links and guidelines if you intend to conduct research into protected flora and fauna or the National Parks and Wildlife reserve system.
Licences for property owners and developers
Do you wish to control native animals that are causing damage to or economic hardship on your property? Are you planning a development or other activity that may harm a threatened species? Download licence application forms here.
You need a licence if you are doing any freshwater or saltwater fishing in NSW. Visit the NSW Fisheries website to find out more and buy a licence online.
Catch and release reptiles
OEH may issue a licence to suitably qualified people to catch and release reptiles. A licence allows handlers to legally catch and release reptiles (usually snakes) from commercial and residential homes and backyards. Reptile handlers operate under strict licence conditions to ensure human safety and protect animal welfare.
Emu egg carving
The art of carving emu eggs - Kalti Paarti - became popular in the 19th century. Emu egg shells have multiple layers ranging from an inner white layer through to the familiar green outer layer, ensuring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists highly value them for carving.
Wildlife licences in other parts of Australia
The licensing information on this website only applies to NSW. Get links to fauna protection agencies in the Commonwealth and other states and territories to find out more about wildlife licences.
Providing excellent customer service is fundamental to the way the National Parks and Wildlife Service carries out its wildlife regulatory activities. We take pride in our service standards (pdf 173kb) and seek your feedback on ways to improve the regulatory services we provide to the community.
What would you like to do next?
Page last updated: 11 March 2014