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How many Tasmania? Protection permits to kill Australian wildlife

Life on land

“In Tasmania staggering numbers of protected Australian wildlife are killed under ‘protection’ permits and it should be noted this is not the only way native animals die, duck shooting is just another example”. Peter Hylands

Peter and Andrea Hylands

November 13, 2023

This analysis reports the number of native animals reported killed under protection permits in Tasmania for the period  1/7/2013 to 6/6/2022.

10,420,536 native animals were killed in Tasmania in a nine year period from mid 2013 using ‘protection’ permits.

This list of Australian wildlife gives the number of individual animals killed (actual reported to comply with permit regulations) for the 9 year period commencing 1 July 2013.

The number of native animals reported killed in the period was 10,420,536, covering 30 native species. Macropod, Possum and Parrot species were the main animals targeted.

Data supplied by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania under the Right to Information Act 2009. Some permits issued in this list may be for trap and release but the high probability is that the vast majority of animals ‘controlled’ were shot. The use of poison (1080), although not recommended, is also allowed.

An optimistic view from the department which I would regard as nonsense speak claims that:

“The permits are for lethal control by shooting but it should be noted that the act of shooting also acts as a deterrent, hence take quotas are rarely filled”.

What this is likely to mean, similar in other states, is they are issuing permits (which is the case from the data) for such a large number of animals that land owners are running out of animals to kill in a given location and that is why they don’t meet quotas. If wildlife is driven from a property where it is being killed, it is likely to end up on an adjoining property which is also using permits to kill wildlife.

NOTE: Crop Protection Permits were discontinued from 1 December 2021 and replaced with Property Protection Permits.


  1. Bare-nosed Wombat – 2,468
  2. Bennett’s Wallaby (Red-necked Wallaby) – 1,176,002 (2019 – 6 June 2022 only)
  3. Black Currawong – 553
  4. Black Swan – 18,534
  5. Brushtail Possum – 866,483
  6. Cape Barren Goose – 5,510
  7. Chestnut Teal – unknown
  8. Eurasian Coot – 282
  9. Forester Kangaroo – 57,616  
  10. Galah – 277
  11. Green Rosella – 891
  12. Grey Currawong – 48
  13. Grey Teal – unknown
  14. Kelp Gull – 69
  15. Little Black Cormorant – unknown
  16. Masked Lapwing – 24
  17. Mountain Duck – 11,239
  18. Native Hen – 8,304
  19. Noisy Miner - unknown
  20. Pacific Black Duck - 466
  21. Pacific Gull – 12
  22. Purple Swamphen – 26
  23. Rufous Wallaby (Pademelon) – 1,088,166 (2019 – 6 June 2022 only)
  24. Silver Gull – 687
  25. Silvereye – 3,572
  26. Sulphur Crested Cockatoo – 29,698
  27. Wood Duck – 8,327
  28. Yellow Wattlebird – 11
  29. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo – 288

PERMIT TYPE ALTERNATIVES (combination) in the data until 1 July 2019, all other Wallaby / Possum data as separated above is post this period.

  • Bennett’s and Rufous Wallaby – 1,573,721
  • Bennett’s and Rufous Wallaby & Brushtail Possum – 5,566,690
  • Corella and Sulphur Crested Cockatoo – 572
  • Native Hen and Purple Swamphen - unknown
  • Wild Duck – unknown  

Total number of wildlife killed (reported actual) for the 9 year period – 10,420,536

NOTE: Crop Protection Permits, now Property Protection Permits for Bennett’s and Rufous Wallaby and Brushtail Possum are issued for five years. Data is representative of permit take returns that have been received by the Department to date. While not applicable to the statistics shown here which are actuals the department notes that the increase in number of Bennett’s and Rufous Wallaby and Brushtail Possum permits is due to the first tranche of five-year permits for these species issued in 2016 expiring hence their renewal in 2021.

Wood Duck

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