Wildlife items surrendered to wildlife officers

Issued: 27 May 2021

Image of surrendered turtle carapace
Surrendered turtle carapace.
Image of turtle carapace being measured at 17 inches
Surrendered turtle carapace which is 17 inches in length.
Image of four sawfish rostrums
Surrendered sawfish rostrums.

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is encouraging the community to contact wildlife officers for advice before taking possession of live native animals or deceased animal parts.

Senior Wildlife Officer Tina Ball said a member of the public recently approached wildlife officers after taking possession of two turtle carapaces and four sawfish rostrums as part of a deceased estate.

“The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service advised that person specific authorities were required to keep the turtle carapaces,” Ms Ball said.

“And we would need to liaise with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries who administer legislation relevant to deceased sawfish rostrums.

“Due to the nature of the estate, the person was unable to provide details of where the items came from, and decided to surrender the items to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

“The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service thanks the member of the public for seeking advice and allowing wildlife officers to take possession of the items.

“We believe the turtle carapaces, which are about 45cm long are from juvenile green turtles, and we’re not sure what sawfish species the rostrums are from.

“Wildlife officers will now use the turtle carapaces for educational purposes to help prevent the illegal take and trade of wildlife and deceased animal parts.

“The rostrums have been provided to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, as sawfish are protected in Queensland and are listed as a no take species.”

Ms Ball said it was unlawful for people in Queensland to take or keep native animals or deceased animal parts without a permit or an authority.

“Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, people who have deceased animal parts that were taken before 1992 need to have an authority from the department,” she said.

“It is currently unlawful to be in possession of any deceased animal parts that were taken from the wild since the introduction of the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

“Our permit system helps ensure any trade in wildlife is sustainable and lawful, and it helps prevent items like turtle carapaces from being taken and kept as trophy pieces that can be traded illegally.

“There may be people across Queensland who inherited an item like a turtle carapace and are wondering what to do with it.

“I encourage them to contact a wildlife officer on 1300 130 372 and seek our advice. Just because you make contact does not mean you will lose possession of the item.”

For more information on the DES permit system, please visit the permits, licences and authorities content.