Report a wildlife crime

Wildlife crime is the taking, interfering with, possession, control or trade in an animal that is protected wildlife, without approval. 

All native wildlife is protected in the Northern Territory (NT).

It is also a criminal offence to bring protected wildlife into, release protected wildlife in or take protected wildlife out of the NT.

Prohibited entrants are animals that are not native to the NT and are banned from entering the Territory. 

These include all of the following:

  • mustelidae family - ferrets and stoats
  • axolotls or Mexican walking fish
  • all species of frog
  • all species of turtles.

If you are found guilty of a wildlife offence you could face a fine of up to 500 penalty units or five years in prison.

Wildlife permits

Wildlife permits help Parks and Wildlife keep track of wildlife held in captivity and to detect illegal wildlife activities.

You need a permit to do any of the following:

  • take or interfere with protected and prohibited wildlife
  • keep protected and prohibited wildlife
  • import or export any wildlife
  • use any part of a native animal in the NT such as:
    • the skull
    • skins
    • shells
    • teeth
  • care for wildlife and releasing wildlife back to the wild.

Read more on wildlife permits.

Exempt species

Some species are exempt from needing a permit but must still be obtained legally from a licensed pet shop or pet breeder and not taken from the wild.

Wildlife smuggling

Some animals are very valuable. Wildlife smugglers often target Central Australia and remote areas. 

To help stop wildlife smugglers, you should look out for any of the following signs of smuggling:

  • snake catch equipment such as:
    • tongs
    • hooks
    • pinning sticks 
  • calico bags
  • hoop bags
  • plastic boxes with holes or other ventilated boxes
  • cage traps
  • nets
  • other traps
  • live animal imports and exports that do not have a valid permit attached to the parcel
  • animal products that have no permits or product tags.

Report wildlife crime

If you know of or suspect someone is involved in a wildlife crime, report it to your nearest Parks and Wildlife office or contact wildlife operations:

Phone 24 hours: 0401 115 702 

You should report as much information as possible. Think about names, descriptions, address, vehicle details and registration, time, date, location and reasons for your suspicion.

Last updated: 15 February 2016

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