A WORD OF WARNING TO THOSE WHO KEEP REPTILES AND FROGS (LIVE OR DEAD)
There are a number of risks involved in having any involvement in the keeping of, or doing research on herptiles. The risks are mainly of illegal break-ins for stock for smuggling purposes.
However when a break-in for stock occurs other valuables are usually taken or smashed.
(Should one be present at a break-in, the thieve/s are likely to become violent). Even a 'casual' involvement in herpetology, not necessarily involving the keeping of specimens, can lead to seemingly incredible harassment's from corrupt wildlife officials, smugglers and other 'underworld' figures.
In all Australian states there are varying degrees of so-called protective legislation for herptiles. The legislation only covers capture of herptiles and herptiles held in captivity, (dead specimens included), and is administered by state wildlife Authorities.
In theory any individual who wants to take, kill or do research on herptiles must usually contact the relevant state authority and obtain permits. Failure to do so may be illegal. In many states, particularly NSW and Queensland, otherwise law abiding citizens prefer to hold reptiles and frogs without the knowledge of wildlife authorities. This is because of a number of actions taken by the authorities against reptile licence holders, including the illegal thefts of stock, break ins, etc.
Although the Author cannot condone holding 'protected' fauna without permits, harassment's suffered by the author and colleagues in the period 1974-96 probably would not have occurred had the author and colleagues held reptiles without permits in that period.
Before making contact with state fauna authorities, relating to obtaining permits for herptiles one should:
1/ Check through alternative or anonymous sources whether it is legally necessary to make contact with the relevant authority.
2/ If it is legally necessary to obtain permit/s for particular specimens, (Take, kill, or keep), one should seriously consider altering ones' course of action.
In relation to the legality of various herpetological activities, all state fauna authorities have a habit of regularly changing laws, so it is important when investigating 'current' regulations to bear this in mind.
Further details relating to break-ins and harassment's of reptile keepers and others can be found in some of the references relating to 'Conservation, Fauna Authorities, Smuggling'.
However for further detailed information on these rackets it is suggested that you read the books Smuggled: The Underground Trade in Australia's Wildlife, published in 1993, and Smuggled-2: Wildlife Trafficking, Crime and Corruption in Australia, published in 1996.
To continue to the rest of this section (Photographing reptiles)
The above was from the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser and now available on a fantastic CD-Rom along with a vast amount of other information, papers and the like on reptiles, frogs and other wildlife.