Catch and release reptiles

The Office of Environment and Heritage 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

Applicants for a catch and release reptile licence need to apply to OEH and demonstrate and/or provide:

  • they are 18 years or over in age
  • why a licence should be granted and describe the location/area where they will operate
  • 2 written references from people who can validate their ability and experience
  • they hold a current first aid certificate, public liability insurance
  • evidence 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 reptile handler operators who have provided consent for their contact information to be made available to the public.

Area licensed to operate in Licensee name Contact numbers
Alpine-Queanbeyan Scott Corcoran 6226 2385
0413 067 769
Badgerys Creek John Mostyn 0416 922 282
Blue Mountains Region, Central Coast Hunter Region, Harbour and Illawarra areas Terry Behman 1300 149 549
Blue Mountains, Sydney Charles Acheson 0417 776 226
Byron Bay, Tweed Susan Johnson 0428 771 223
Central Coast Tina Chenery 0425 237 682
Central West Jacob Hansen 0414 945 124
6362 2222
Coffs Harbour Stephen McEwan 0411 648 562
6651 5244
Cumberland, Upper Mountains, Kanangra and Hawkesbury Areas Neville Burns 0400 661 378
Forbes Area Paul Newcombe 0424 522 608
Hunter Region, Central Coast, Great Lakes Barry Martin 0429 325 905
Hunter Region, Central Coast, Great Lakes Areas Judith Martin 0429 325 905
Hunter Region Justin Lantry 0408 301 544
Hunter Coast, Lower Hunter, Lakes, Hawkesbury North and Barrington Tops Areas Dean Hunter 0404 522 120
Illawarra and Nattai Areas Cory Kerewaro 0455 570 000
Kanangra, Upper Mountains and Hawkesbury Areas Julia McConnell 0438 764 552
Lachlan Area John Ryan 0429 929 312
Lakes, Harbour and Ku-ring-gai Areas Damon Smith-Horak 0431 082 705
Lower Hunter Area Sean Clayton 0409 612 233
Manning-Hastings Area Brenton Asquith 0434 490 133
Manning-Hastings Area Stuart Johnson 0450 430 480
6585 1060
Northern Rivers Region Graeme Lloyd 07 5590 4301
0409 272 247
Nowra and Ulladulla Areas Ian Ross 0438 608 556
Shoalhaven Area Shaun Armstrong 0481 811 855
Shoalhaven Area Peter Newans 0431 455 790
Sydney Metro Rob Ambrose 0401 866 429
Sydney Metro Benjamin Harvey 0414 200 273
Sydney Area-Harbour South Bruce Shillingford 0416 286 848
Sydney South Region Andrew Melrose 9548 2904
0415 448 844
Sydney Area Stephen Cope 9545 4455
0409 526 758
Sydney Area Sean Cade 0410 761 575
Tweed-Kyogle Area Kathryn Eales 0431 649 424
Upper and Lower Hunter Areas Gary Bear 0421 911 940
Upper and Lower Hunter Areas Bernie Marmulla 495 12033
0475 186 229
Upper and Lower Hunter Areas Peter Bryant 0401 092 200
4950 0191