Exotic birds

Keeping exotic birds in Australia

Australians may own, trade and breed exotic (non-native) birds in Australia.

The federal environment department regulates international trade in exotic birds to:

  • help reduce illegal international trade in endangered species
  • prevent exotic birds becoming established in the wild as pest species (feral animals)
  • prevent the introduction of new diseases into captive and wild bird populations in Australia.


Bird keepers who own exotic birds must be able to prove the legal origin of their birds.

The Australian Government is promoting a record keeping scheme, developed through consultation with Australian exotic bird keepers, to help bird keepers minimise the risk of acquiring illegally traded birds. This scheme will help bird keepers maintain adequate records showing where they have obtained their exotic birds.

Under national environment law, it is your responsibility to be able to prove that any exotic bird you hold is legal. The easiest way to do this is to keep records of where you got the bird, and evidence of its legitimate origin.

More about exotic birds