In NSW the main government conservation agency is the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). The DEC is responsible for national parks and reserves, biodiversity and threatened species, Aboriginal cultural heritage, historic sites and pest management. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the DEC.
Almost all native plants and animals in NSW are protected by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW). Full details of protected species can be obtained on the Protected Species page of the National Parks and Wildlife Service web site.
Using native animals in the classroom
Any teacher who wants to:
- keep native animals as pets
- keep and use native animals for educational purposes
- carry out research into protected fauna
- move native animals across state and territory borders
must obtain a licence from the DEC. There are two exceptions to this law. For further information about these exceptions see Species information: Australian native animals (pdf 284kb).
Wherever native animals are used for educational purposes, the teacher responsible must hold a scientific licence. A scientific licence not only allows the animals to be used for educational purposes but it also allows them to be transported for holiday care. The information in Australian native animals (pdf 284kb) explains how to obtain a scientific licence. The application form for SACEC approval for a scientific licence can be obtained at Application forms: Application form 3 (pdf 257kb).