Keeping frogs as pets in Australia

The Frog Development & Research Project does not encourage keeping animals in captivity. However, raising frogs’ eggs through the tadpole stage and then watching them metamorphose into young frogs is an educational and fascinating process. Before attempting to raise tadpoles, or keep frogs, there are several legalities you should understand:

All native frogs are classified as protected wildlife in Queensland and may only be taken from the wild or kept in captivity under a licence, or permit, or a specific exemption under the Nature Conservation Regulation 1994.

Under the Regulation a person may take and keep up to 2 frogs of any one species of common frog and in total no more than eight frogs. Some other limits apply if the person is also keeping commonly kept reptiles.

The frog must:

  • be kept in accordance with the Code of Practice for Captive Reptile and Amphibian Husbandry;
  • not be sold (sale includes given away or bartered); and
  • be kept within the animal’s natural geographic distribution.

Any tadpoles arising from a frog in captivity must be released in the way set out in the Code within 7 days of metamorphosis having taken place.

The Code can be obtained from any Queensland parks and Wildlife Service licensing centre (in Queensland telephone 07 3202 0200).

Frogs from outside Queensland must not be moved into the State without a permit.

Other frogs may be kept under licences administered by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

This information has been supplied by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and is correct as of February 2001. It should be noted that legislation may change, for example the status of a frog species may change. It is important to obtain up to date information from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service if you wish to keep frogs.

The importance of not moving frogs from one area to another cannot be overemphasised. Very little is known about parasites and diseases that affect frogs. There is a serious risk of spreading disease if frogs are transported from one population to another. In recent years, this risk has been highlighted by the discovery of a type of fungus, known as a Chytrid, which can kill frogs and has been strongly implicated in declines and extinctions of many species worldwide.

Other potential hazards of moving frogs from place to place include overpopulating an area with frogs, introducing new species to an area, and introducing different genes to an existing population.