Catch and release reptiles

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment may issue a licence to suitably qualified people to catch and release reptiles.

A biodiversity conservation licence can be granted under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 that 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 animal welfare.

Licence requirements

To apply for a catch and release reptile licence, you need to:

  • complete the reptile catch and release licence application form (PDF 79KB)
  • prove you are 18 years or over in age
  • explain why a licence should be granted and describe the location/area where you will operate
  • provide 2 written references from people who can validate your ability and experience
  • demonstrate that you hold a current first aid certificate and public liability insurance
  • prove that you have completed a recognised reptile handling course or have at least 2 years proven experience in handling venomous snakes.

Licence conditions and application forms

Removing a snake from your home or garden

The safest thing to do is not to try and handle or kill the snake. Keep children and pets well away. Contact a local reptile handler or wildlife rehabilitation group. They will remove the snake from your home or garden.

This list provides details of licensed operators who have stated they wish their contact information to be made available to the public.

Area of operation Licensee name Contact number
Alpine-Queanbeyan, Central, North, Ulladulla and Murrumbidgee areas Alexander Borg Caruana 0421 281 439
Bega Valley and surrounds Phillip Sproates 0435 804 191
Blue Mountains Region, Central Coast Hunter Region, Harbour and Illawarra areas Terry Behman 0401 000 065
Byron Bay, Tweed Susan Johnson 0428 771 223
Canberra surrounds Gavin Smith 0450 210 090
Central Coast Tina Chenery 0425 237 682
Central Coast Jaimie De-Vere-Bertles 0438 280 168
Central Coast – Lakes area Guy Mangan 0416 291 367
Central Coast area Matthew Stopford 0425 240 770
Central Western NSW – Orange and Bathurst surrounds Jake Hansen 0414 945 124
Cumberland and Hawkesbury-Nattai Areas Jake Cooper 0430 536 516
Eurobodalla Shire and surrounds Brendan Smith 0404 110 368
Forbes Area Paul Newcombe 0424 522 608
Gillieston Heights, Kurri Kurri, Maitland, Rutherford, Morpeth, Cessnock, Singleton Gavin Dodds 0427 631 806
Gosford, Central Coast area Nicola Martin 0430 813 394
Greater Sydney Branch John Mostyn 0416 922 282
Hastings-Macleay and Manning-Great Lakes Brenton Asquith 0434 490 133
Hawkesbury Brett Pasfield 0409 199 456
Hunter Region Justin Lantry 0408 301 544
Hunter Region, Central Coast, Great Lakes Areas Judith Martin/Barry Martin 0429 325 905
Illawarra and Southern Highlands Glen Peacock 0418 162 441
Illawarra and Southern Highlands areas Raymond McGibbon 0400 734 225
Illawarra-Highlands Sam Jaye 0416 079 449
Illawarra-Highlands and Hawkesbury-Nattai Areas, including the Macarthur area Cory Kerewaro 0455 570 000
Kanangra, Upper Mountains and Hawkesbury-Nattai Areas Julia McConnell 0400 960 696
Lakes Area Colin Shoemark 0409 586 620
Lower Hunter, Barrington Tops and Wollemi Yengo Gary Bear 0421 911 940
Lower Mountains, Upper Mountains, Mudgee, Hawkesbury, Kanangra and Cumberland areas Troy Hovenden 0404 109 421
Manning-Hastings Area, lower Macleay area Stuart Johnson 0450 430 480
Newcastle and Hunter Areas Bernie Marmulla 0475 186 229
North Eastern suburbs of Lake Macquarie to Kurri Kurri Dale Jackaman 0411 258 057
Northern NSW, Tweed Heads, Byron Bay Angelika Dennes 0477 257 809
Northern Rivers Jack Hogan 0411 039 373
Northern Rivers Region Bridget Thomson 0488 579 163
Nowra and Ulladulla Areas Ian Ross 0438 608 556
Shoalhaven Area Shaun Armstrong 0468 488 448
Sutton, Bywong, Womboin, Queanbeyan Luke Dunn 0405 405 304
Sydney Area Charles Acheson 0417 776 226
Sydney Area Sean Cade 0410 761 575
Sydney Area Stephen Cope 0409 526 758
Sydney Metro Benjamin Harvey 0414 200 273
Sydney South Region Andrew Melrose 0415 448 844
Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah and Brunswick Heads areas Sarah Mailey 0474 280 344
Tweed Shire Neil Walker 0422 131 528
Upper and Lower Hunter Areas Peter Bryant 0427 280 300