Protected flora are native plants or communities of native plants that have legal protection under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
The Protected Flora List includes plants from three sources:
plant taxa (species, subspecies or varieties) listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
plant taxa belonging to communities listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988
plant taxa which are not threatened but require protection for other reasons.
For example, some species which are attractive or highly sought after, such as orchids and grass trees, are protected so that the removal of these species from the wild can be controlled. For all listed species protection includes living (eg flowers, seeds, shoots and roots) and non-living (eg bark, leaves and other litter) plant material.
Do I need a permit or licence?
The handling of protected flora is regulated by the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) to ensure that any harvesting or loss is ecologically sustainable.
You must obtain a ‘Protected Flora Licence’ or Permit from one of the Regional Offices of DELWP if you want to collect protected native plants or if you are planning to do works or other activities on public land which might kill, injure or disturb protected native plants. In most cases, you do not require a Licence or Permit for works or activities on private land, although you may require a planning permit from your local council. It is best to check with DELWP Regional staff and local council staff before proceeding.
In most cases, licence or permit applications are successful. However, DELWP may place conditions on the licence or permit, such as restricting the amount of protected flora that can be taken, the area from which it can be taken or the collection methods that can be used. In the case of works, DELWP may place conditions on a licence or permit which serve to avoid or minimise the loss of protected flora or to make good any disturbance caused.
Where can I get an application form?
Application forms can be obtained from DELWP Regional Offices or by calling the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Protected Flora List (new items are in BLUE text)
All members of the Pteridophyta are protected:
All clubmosses, ferns and fern allies, excluding Pteridium esculentum - Austral Bracken
Members of the following plant families are protected: