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Research Permits

Parks Victoria supports universities, other research institutions and individuals who wish to carry out research in parks, reserves, ports, waterways and on piers. Parks Victoria defines research as carrying out a systematic investigation into any aspect of Parks Victoria’s business and research studies may be about:

  • social research
  • archaeology
  • flora or fauna surveys
  • collection of biological or geological samples
  • observation of wildlife as part of a research project
  • capture or release of wildlife
  • habitat assessment
  • experimental control of pest animals
  • collection of flora samples or propagation material
  • establishment of temporary or permanent survey sites
  • erection of structures, excavation of soil or rock

Thank you for your interest and all the best for your research.


Researchers require permission from Parks Victoria to ensure research on land and waters managed by Parks Victoria is consistent with park management objectives and legislative requirements and that safety risks are addressed.

This permission is provided through a permit issued by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Other permits related to other legislation such as the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, Fisheries Act 1995, Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, Forest Act 1958, Heritage Act 1995, Reference Areas Act 1978 and Wildlife Act 1975 may also be required.

Currently, Parks Victoria is finalising the application forms to apply for permission to undertake research on land and waters managed by Parks Victoria. Until this occurs, please use the ’Application for a permit to conduct research in National Parks’ available on the DELWP website.

Research projects will be supported by Parks Victoria where they:

  • help to conserve and protect the natural and cultural features and natural processes of parks
  • add to scientific knowledge
  • directly benefit park planning and management, and/ or
  • cannot be undertaken outside a park.

Researchers are encouraged to focus on research tasks that have been identified as important for the management by Parks Victoria including those research priorities listed in park management planning documents, strategies and species specific action plans.

Permits required under other legislation

A list of research activities and the permits required for that research is given in the tables below. For permission to work on land managed by Parks Victoria please apply through ParkConnect.

Application forms for other permits should be submitted directly to the relevant Government department, agency or authority. Please use the links below.

Act Activity Contact details
Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
  • Disturb or excavate land to uncover or discover Aboriginal cultural heritage, carry out research on an Aboriginal place or object, including removing an Aboriginal object from Victoria for the purposes of that research
  • Carry out an activity that will, or is likely to, harm Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Rehabilitate land at an Aboriginal place, including land containing burial grounds for Aboriginal Ancestral Remains

Aboriginal Affairs Victoria

Fisheries Act 1995
  • Take or possess fish for research, education, fish management, aquaculture, compliance of scientific purposes
  • Use, form or create a habitat to hatch, rear, display or grow fish or fishing bait and/ or breed or sell fish or fishing bait for commercial purposes
  • Take, land, process, sell or possess fish that is so prohibited absolutely or during a specified period or season or in any waters or specified waters
  • Carry out an activity in a fishery

Licencing Unit Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources Fisheries Division

Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
  • Take protected flora, direct (picking) or indirect (trampling) including collection of herbarium specimens; collection of vegetation samples; collection of seed or propagation material and research in protected communities, and/ or
  • Capture, handle, release, mark or display of any Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 listed fish
  • Collection any Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 listed invertebrates

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Forests Act 1958
  • undertake research in a State Forest

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Heritage Act 1995
  • undertake research on
    • historic archaeological sites and artefacts
    • historic buildings, structures and precincts
    • gardens, trees and cemeteries
    • cultural landscapes
    • shipwrecks and relics
    • significant objects
Heritage Victoria
Reference Areas Act 1978
  • for any research activity in Reference Areas

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning


Reference Areas are areas of high conservation value and have restricted access. Research approval is only given for projects that will have minimal impact on biodiversity values. Allow extra time for the application to be approved by the Reference Areas Committee.

Wildlife Act 1975
  • any capture, collection or interference with wildlife including for the following research activities:
    • fauna surveys,
    • live capture and release,
    • bird or bat banding (ABBBS) and marking,radio tracking
    • taking of tissue samples
    • collection of dead specimens

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning


Invasive procedures with wildlife will require Animal Ethics Approval from the institution managing the research.

Bird or bat banding will require approval from the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme)