Native animals are categorised into four wildlife keeping schedules: Unprotected, Exempt, Basic and Specialist.
Regardless of an animal’s status, when interacting with any native animal you must abide by the relevant codes of practice and animal welfare standards to minimise animal suffering.
Unprotected native animals
Unprotected animals are not protected in the wild and you do not need a permit to take them into captivity, or to keep or sell them. See list of Unprotected animals.
However, dingoes may not be kept south of the dog fence. See the Biosecurity SA website for information about dingoes and the dog fence.
You do not need a permit to destroy Unprotected animals if they are causing or likely to cause damage to crops, stock or other property, and you are the landowner, a member of their household, or an employee or agent of the landowner.
However, you need a permit to hunt Unprotected animals. There are additional restrictions on galahs and little corellas. Permits are required to hunt galahs or little corellas as chicks or young flyers for the live pet trade, and to hunt them by trapping.
Protected native animals
The final three categories of native animals are protected in the wild.
For protected animals, you need a permit to:
Hunting for protected animals is not permitted, except for duck and stubble quail during a declared open season.
Exempt animals are very common in captivity and/or their natural habitat. They are usually easy to keep in captivity. See list of Exempt animals.
You do not need a permit to keep, sell or receive as a gift Exempt animals.
Basic animals are common in captivity and/or their natural habitat. They are usually easy to keep in captivity. See list of Basic animals.
You need a permit to keep or receive as a gift more than one animal, or to sell or give one or more animals.
Specialist animals are any native animal that is not listed as Unprotected, Exempt or Basic. We don’t keep a list of them as there are thousands of species. If in doubt, you can check with the Fauna Permit Unit.
Specialist animals may be difficult to keep, threatened in the wild, in high demand from illegal trading, or special for another reason. They include venomous snakes, lace monitors, koalas, wombats and black cockatoos.
You always need a permit to keep or receive as a gift one or more Specialist animals. People applying for a Specialist permit must provide evidence that they have the skills and facilities needed to safely and properly care for these animals. Specialist permit holders may also keep or sell Basic animals under this permit.
Changes to categories - 1 July 2019
From 1 July 2019, some species of animals are in a different category. Check this summary of changes to keeping schedules to see if your animal of interest has been moved.