Animals are listed by group (amphibian, bird, reptile, mammal) and according to the licence type required to keep that animal. If the animal species you want to keep is not listed, you generally cannot legally keep it (see exceptions below).
There is a temporary freeze on requests to add new species of fauna to the NSW Native Animal Keepers' Species List. This is due to the Independent Review of Biodiversity Legislation in New South Wales. The review has recommended changes to wildlife licensing, which are likely to impact this list and many Native Animal Keeper and Companion Animal Keeper Licences. Until further details about proposed changes are available, all current licence requirements continue to apply.
Some points to note:
- When not on a freeze, a new species list is produced by the Department of Planning and Environment each year. You can only hold an animal that is applicable to class as listed in the current year’s species list.
- Some animals are listed as exempt and a licence is not required to hold or trade those species (see exempt species list at the back of this document).
- Some hybridised animals are recorded in this list. The department does not support native animal keepers who breed between animals of different species. Regulations prohibit the breeding of native waterfowl with domestic waterfowl.
- Your licence must be endorsed with the class under which the species is applicable. Holding requirements for venomous reptiles must be in accordance with the requirements contained in the class criteria for advanced reptile venomous category 1, 2 or 3 as contained in the Application for an Advanced Class – Native Animal Keepers’ Licence.
- Some animals are not suitable to be held under a Native Animal Keeper Licence, including all species of Crocodylidae (crocodiles); Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae (sea turtles); Hydrophiidae and Laticaudidae (sea snakes); and all non-native (exotic) species.
- Non-native (exotic) species of animal can be held in Australia only by licensed exhibitors (for example, zoos) or under a licence from the NSW Department of Primary Industries. If you want to keep an exotic animal, phone (02) 6391 3100.
First published in April 2016; reprinted January 2019 with changes to broad-tailed gecko species.