Keeping particular wildlife

General information

Keeping particular protected wildlife under a permit to keep wildlife

The Nature Conservation Act 1992 permits various activities involving wildlife through a range of licences, permits and authorities.

A 'permit to keep wildlife' may be issued to allow the holder to keep wildlife, but not use it, for the following reasons:

  • To keep a protected animal taken under a rehabilitation permit, and the Department of Environment and Science (the department) reasonably believes the wildlife is unable to survive in the wild.
  • To keep a protected animal that is or has been kept by a person in another state under the law of that state, the person is moving to Queensland, and the animal cannot be kept under any other authority.
  • To keep a protected animal that was lawfully obtained and kept at a time when it was not a protected animal.
  • To temporarily keep a protected animal, international animal or prohibited animal that has been kept under a relevant authority, other than a rehabilitation permit, that has expired.
  • To temporarily keep a protected animal that is being kept under a farming licence at a place other than the authorised premises.

Strict conditions apply under a permit to keep wildlife, including a restriction on breeding (other than birds). The permit holder is also not allowed to buy or accept, sell or give away, or display wildlife held under the permit except in limited circumstances.

For further information about these conditions, you can also read the legislation online by visiting the Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website, referring to the Nature Conservation (Animals) Regulation 2020.

Permits and approvals

To apply for this type of permit, you need to lodge a completed application form and pay the application fee.

There are two ways to do this – online or using a paper-based form.

  1. Online (via Online Services)
    Either log in (if already registered) or register with Online Services first.
  2. Use of a paper-based form by downloading.

You may download the application form (DOCX, 158.9KB) which contains instructions on its completion. If you have any queries about how to complete this form correctly or need guidance, please contact Permits and Licensing on 1300 130 372 option 4 or email

Deciding your application

  • Applications may take up to 40 business days to process.
  • If we need to ask you for further information or documents to support your application, it could take a further 20 business days to decide your application.
  • Applications may either be granted with conditions or refused based on legislative or policy reasons.

Reporting for a permit to keep wildlife

Subject to a permit being granted, you will be required to submit a return of operations online through Online Services or by downloading the paper-based form (DOCX, 113.9KB) and emailing this to

The return of operations is required to be submitted to the department annually, within 10 business days of the anniversary date of the permit.

Forms and fees

Please download an application form; contact Permit and Licence Management or email for assistance.