Wildlife Permits


The Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2006 (the Act) provides for a permit system to keep protected and prohibited wildlife in captivity within the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.

The provision of permits and the permits system enables the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Service to monitor wildlife held in captivity and to detect illegal wildlife activities such as animals that have been illegally acquired and kept in captivity or animals that have been illegally imported or exported in and out of the Territory.

What permit do I need?

The following is a brief description of the permit types available in relation to wildlife and is designed to help you easily find the permit you may require.

All permit applications and information can be found on the right of screen.

Protected Wildlife

A permit is required to enable people to legally possess, import or export any wildlife in captivity within the NT. The term 'protected wildlife' includes any native flora or fauna living, deceased or part of an individual (e.g. skulls and seeds).

Some species referred to as 'exempt' species may be kept without a permit as long as they are obtained lawfully and not taken from the wild.


A permit is required to house any venomous snake in the NT. The category of the permit application is dependant on the level of danger associated with a species.  

  • Category 1-Mildly dangerous venomous
  • Category 2- Dangerous venomous
  • Category 3- Highly dangerous venomous

Guidelines are available showing which category each species of snake fits into.

Prohibited Wildlife

Prohibited entrants are classified as all wildlife not native to the NT, even if they are native elsewhere in Australia (including exotic animals). A permit must be obtained to keep, import or export any prohibited wildlife.

There are also 'restricted' species in the NT. Restricted species refers to species that are either banned in the NT (due to their potential to become an invasive species) or have special requirements to keep or trade. These include:

  • Ferrets
  • Axolotls or Mexican Walking Fish
  • Red-eared slider turtles
  • Frogs (all species)
  • Turtles (all species)

To obtain information on these animals please refer to the Restricted Species.

Wildlife Carer's Permit

A permit is required to enable members of the public to care for injured and orphaned wildlife, and assist with the rescue and rehabilitation of native wildlife. Applications will be assessed on skill and ability to care for injured or orphaned wildlife. Follow link to Carer Applications.

Take or Interfere with Wildlife

A permit is required for people wishing to take or interfere with wildlife in the wild. These permits are divided into people wanting to take or interfere with wildlife, and those wanting to undertake scientific research.

Activities that require a permit to take or interfere with wildlife include plant harvesting, crocodile harvesting, pet trade collection and removal of problem animals. Written permission of the land holder or relevant lands authority must be obtained prior to a permit application being submitted. Permission must be obtained from the relevant land council if an application for a permit involves Aboriginal Land.

Activities that require a permit to undertake scientific research include people wishing to observe, collect, survey or monitor wildlife in the wild for research purposes

Applicants are to contact Department Infrastructure to conduct research on road reserves.

A special conditions form must also be signed for those wishing to undertake research or collect fauna and flora in Parks and Reserves.

On expiry of a permit to take or interfere with wildlife, applicants are required to submit data in a digital format. A data entry form (MS Access) has been designed for entering terrestrial vertebrate records and may be downloaded via the link below and used for this purpose.

Guidelines are also available on collecting invertebrates

Pig Hunting Permit

The permit is issued to allow hunting of pigs within the NT hunting reserves of Shoal Bay and Harrison Dam. Permits are issued for a period of one year from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014 or for five years from the date of issue.

Shooters Permits to allow members of the public to go recreational shooting and hunting on certain areas of Crown land can also be obtained from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) who can be contacted by phone on (+61 8) 8999 6886.  Further details available on DPI website.

A hunting permit will not be issued without the provision of a current shooter's licence.

Waterfowl Hunting Permit

A permit is required to hunt waterfowl in the NT. Waterfowl hunting in the Northern Territory is seasonal and is declared by a notice each year in the Government Gazette.

For information on what species are available to hunt, see Ethical and Safe Hunting practices and Hunting Permits .

Junior Shooters

A maximum of two Junior shooters may hunt under direct supervision of a licensed shooter as Nominees. Nominees must be between 12 and 17 years of age (inclusive) and be permitted to use a firearm under adult supervision. A Nominee must be the applicant's child, or legal ward, or a child whose parent approves their inclusion as a Nominee.

A Parent/Guardian Approval form (pdf 43Kb) must accompany this application if the Nominees are not the applicant's child or legal ward. Normal bag limits apply to Nominees.


Parks and Wildlife Service Permits Office
Ground Floor, Goyder Centre
Chung Wah Terrace
PO Box 496
Palmerston NT 0830

Tel: (+61 8) 8999 4795 or (+61 8) 8999 4814
Fax: (+61 8) 8999 4524
Email: pwpermits.nretas@nt.gov.au