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State Legislation regarding Keeping Native & Exotic Birds in Australia from Priam Parrot Breeding Centre

State Legislation regarding Keeping Native & Exotic Birds in Australia

November 25, 2011

State Legislation regarding Keeping Native & Exotic Birds in Australia


Regulations depend on individual state or territory laws.




NSW: All native birds are protected in NSW under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.



Provided you lawfully obtain native birds and keep them under proper conditions, you can keep many species including budgerigars, cockatiels, Bourke’s parrots, star and zebra finches, brown, king and stubble quail, and diamond and peaceful doves without getting a licence. These are called exempt birds. When you buy a native bird, keep a record of the source of that animal so you can prove it was legally purchased.

Some other birds, called controlled birds, may be kept for personal enjoyment without a licence but you are not allowed to buy or sell more than 10 controlled birds in a 12 month period. Examples are pale-headed rosellas or bar-shouldered doves.

If you want to keep other native bird species, you will have to apply for a licence from the QPWS. You will only be allowed to keep certain species.


Keeping Wildlife for Recreational Purposes:



A guide to laws relating to keeping wildlife for private purposes in Victoria:$File/Application+for+a+Private+Wildlife+Licence.pdf


South Australia: Native Animals in Captivity:


Tasmania: Importing and Keeping Birds in Tasmania$FILE/Importing%20and%20keeping%20birds%20in%20Tasmania..pdf


Northern Territory:  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).

Permit to keep protected or prohibited wildlife


Western Australia: A permit or licence is needed to keep many birds – both native and introduced. They can only be kept under certain conditions and are removed as soon as they are detected in the wild.  Some birds are prohibited from entering the state because of the risks they pose if they were to become established in the wild.


Importing and keeping introduced mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in Western Australia: