Permits to take or interfere with wildlife

You must have a permit to do any of the following to Northern Territory (NT) wildlife:

  • take
  • interfere with or
  • undertake scientific research.

A permit to take or interfere with protected wildlife can be for different purposes including:

  • removing problem animals
  • for scientific purposes
  • for commercial purposes - such as seed harvesting, taking timber for didgeridoos or observing nesting marine turtles during a commercial tour
  • to undertake scientific research on wildlife for the purpose of bioprospecting.

If you are doing research on road reserves, you must contact the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics for approval.

This permit includes:

  • plant harvesting
  • crocodile egg harvesting
  • observing nesting marine turtles
  • pet trade collection
  • removal of problem animals.

Marine turtle watching activities

If you are a commercial tourism operator, you must apply for a permit to interfere with wildlife before conducting marine turtle watching activities in the NT.

If your tour goes to parks or reserves managed by the Parks and Wildlife Commission, you must also have a tour operator permit.

Read the turtle watching guidelines.

Marine turtle watching community guidelines PDF (651.1 KB)
Marine turtle watching community guidelines DOCX (1.1 MB)

To get a copy of the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission's marine turtle watch policy, contact the Parks and Wildlife permits and concessions office.

Once your permit has expired, you need to submit all data by email to

Before you apply

Before you apply, you will need to get the following approvals:

  • written permission from the landholder or lands authority and
  • if you are on Aboriginal Land, you will need permission from that land council.

You should allow at least two weeks for your permit to be approved.

There are heavy penalties for taking or interfering with protected wildlife without a permit.

How to apply

Fill in the permit to take or interfere with wildlife application.

Permit to take or interfere with wildlife DOCX (176.2 KB)
Permit to take or interfere with wildlife PDF (839.8 KB)

This permit is for people wanting to:

  • watch, collect, survey, measure, assess or monitor wildlife in the wild for scientific research
  • engage in bioprospecting - undertaking research on the genetic and biochemical properties of plants or animals that may be used to develop commercial products.

Before you apply

If you are researching vertebrates, you will need an approval letter from an approved animal ethics committee.

If your research involves bioprospecting, you will need to enter into a benefit sharing agreement before applying for a permit.

Find out more about:

You should allow at least four weeks for your permit to be approved.

If you are researching or collecting flora or fauna in parks and reserves, you will need to sign the special conditions form at the end of the permit application.


For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife.

Last updated: 06 April 2021

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