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Licences & permits > Scientific research permits

Do I need a Scientific Research Permit?

A Scientific Research Permit is required if a research project involves any of the following:

  • 'taking' or 'interfering with' a protected animal species in the wild
  • collecting native plant specimens from public land
  • research carried out in any of the state's protected areas (including geological research and non-invasive activities such as mapping or remote observations).

Protected plants and animals may only be taken for scientific purposes when their collection:

Scientific researchers will only be given permission to access state protected areas when:

  • the specimens or results cannot be obtained from outside of the reserve system, or
  • where the research benefits the reserve or contributes to government objectives.


Scientific Research Permits are not required for research on captive-bred native animals and all non-native animals, except when they are sourced from the wild. However, other permit requirements may still apply.

Invertebrates, fish and frogs (other than threatened frog species) are also exempt from permit requirements under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 when outside a protected area. Collection of native fish may need approval from PIRSA Fisheries Division.

Native plant specimens (if not causing substantial damage to the plant) may be collected from plants on private land without a permit but landholder consent is required.

Collection of native plant material for purposes other than research (eg revegetation, nursery propagation or bush food) requires a permit to collect native plant material.

For practical information, including who to contact, how to go about applying for a Scientific Research Permit, and compliance information: