Herpetofauna in Tasmania

​​​​Protection and Permits

Reptiles and amphibians are protected in Tasmania under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 and the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.
  • They may not be taken or kept in captivity without a permit with the following exceptions:
    • up to six specimens of each of the common froglet, brown tree frog, metallic skink and spotted skink may be collected outside of National Parks and other reserves and kept without a permit;
    • frogs eggs and tadpoles may be taken and kept without a permit. A tadpole becomes a frog when its tail is absorbed. If metamorphosed frogs are not the above species, they should be returned to their water body of origin.
  • People who wish to take and/or keep other species must obtain a Herpetofauna Permit from Wildlife Services, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania, (NRE Tas).
  • A Herpetofauna Permit allows the collecting and keeping of most Tasmanian reptiles and amphibians in accordance with a Code of Practice.
  • Buying and selling of reptiles and amphibians is not permitted but free exchange is allowed.
  • A Scientific Permit is required to catch reptiles or amphibians in National Parks or other reserves.
  • A Scientific Permit is required to collect or keep species protected under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995; and the Tussock skink, Glossy grass skink and Moss frog.
  • A Scientific Permit is also required for collecting and keeping more than six specimens of any reptile or amphibian.
  • Keeping dead reptiles and amphibians is also subject to permit requirements.
  • Removal or killing of snakes which threaten people or domestic animals is allowed without a permit.
  • Herpetofauna Permits are renewed annually and subject to an annual return of animals collected and/or in captivity.

Code of Practice

A Herpetofauna Permit will only be issued to applicants who agree to comply with the Code of Practice:


  • People who hold a Herpetofauna​​ Permit must not collect or keep more than six adult specimens of any allowed species, or collect any allowed species from any reserved land, unless they also hold a Scientific Permit.
  • Capture of reptiles and amphibians should involve minimal stress to the animal and minimal disturbance to the habitat. Logs, rocks etc. should be replaced. Disturbance to water bodies should be minimal.
  • Collecting should be done in a discreet manner.
  • Collecting should only take place if suitable housing is available.
  • Collection on private land can only be undertaken with the permission of the landowner/manager.
  • Introducted frogs such as banana box frogs (found in fresh imported produce) or in water bodies should be reported immediately to NRE Tas.


  • Reptiles and amphibians should be transported in suitable containers that prevent suffering, injury, escape and predation. They should be kept cool and not exposed to the sun.
  • Containers transporting venomous reptiles should be clearly marked.

Release and disposal

  • Any surplus reptiles or amphibians to be released should be returned to the place of capture and released in a safe way while they are active. Do not release frogs, eggs or tadpoles into water bodies other than where they were originally taken from - this may assist in the prevention of the spread of disease.
  • Animals removed from buildings or from close proximity to residential dwellings (as a service to the public) should be immediately released as close as practical and in suitable habitat.
  • Dead specimens should be offered to a museum or other institution together with any relevant records.
  • Reptiles and amphibians must not be purchased or sold but may be exchanged between permit holders.

Management in captivity

  • Under the Animal Welfare Act 1993 a person with the care of charge of a reptile or frog has a legal duty of care for the welfare of that animal.
  • People should provide suitable housing conditions to maintain their reptiles and amphibians in good health. They should be provided with suitable temperature and humidity, adequate space and ample shelter.
  • Food and fresh water should be provided appropriate to the needs of the species.
  • Housing should be kept clean without accumulation of faeces or uneaten food.
  • Overcrowding and unsuitable mixing of species should be avoided to prevent stress, predation and injury.
  • Inter-breeding of individuals from different genetic origins (eg. Tasmanian island and Tasmanian mainland populations) is not permitted.
  • Reptiles and amphibians should be kept in secure confinement to prevent escapes.
  • Reptiles and amphibians are not permitted to be used as food for captive animals.


  • People should record information on reptiles and amphibians observed in the field, including species, date, numbers or abundance, precise location and habitat description. The records should be contributed to the Natural Values Atlas database, managed by NRE Tas at least once every 12 months, to assist with improving knowledge of distribution of native fauna.
  • Detailed records should be kept on animals taken into captivity, including species, date, number, locality and habitat. Husbandry notes should be kept including growth rates, food preferences, behaviour, reproduction, disease, mortality and any post mortem results. Any signs of disease should be reported to NRE Tas on Ph: 6165 4305 to provide important surveillance information. Ill animals should not be moved (other than directly to/from veterinary rooms) and veterinary or Department advice should be sought for these animals. Observational history can be of assistance with husbandry when healthy animals are transferred.

Aims of Herpetology

  • To promote an active interest in the conservation and study of reptiles and amphibians and their habitats.
  • To promote public awareness and understanding of reptiles and amphibians.
  • To promote liaison with and exchange of information between herpetological societies, scientific institutions and individuals.
  • To promote and give advice on correct care of reptiles and amphibians.
  • To promote adherence to conservation laws.
Herpetological societies in Tasmania will provide information on reptiles and amphibians. They will also assist with advice on how to care for these animals in captivity.


Wildlife Services

GPO Box 44,
HOBART, TAS, 7001.