insect images
The Society's emblem, chosen in 1973, on the 50th anniversary of the Society, is the King Stag Beetle, Phalacrognathus muelleri (Macleay), Family Lucanidae (Coleoptera). Its magnificent purple and green colouration makes it one of the most attractive beetle species in Australia. It is restricted to the rainforests of northern Queensland.


The information here and the Application form are currently being updated to comply with ESQ and QPWS requirements as of March 2022.

Who is eligible to apply

To be eligible to apply for a permit, you first have to be accepted into society membership. While membership is open to anyone with an interest in entomology, we discourage people from applying solely for the purposes of obtaining a collecting permit. All financial members of the society who are residents of Australia are eligible to apply for the ESQ permits. The society however would prefer that members who have a strong affiliation with an institution and a current project supported by that institution apply for their own permits through QPWS so as to decrease the amount of administration that the society has to provide.

PhD students and members who have a history of commercial activities will be asked to show cause why they should be provided with a society permit instead of applying for their own permit. Members who are currently holders of a commercial licence are excluded from gaining a permit. Members who are unfinancial and/or fail to provide an annual return when asked will be asked to show cause why they shouldn't be deleted from our permit list.

If you are in the above categories and wish for advice on obtaining a permit of your own please contact the ESQ Permit Officer Dr. Christine Lambkin or see the Department of Environment and Science Scientific Purposes Permit

Conditions of endorsement on ESQ collecting permits:

    • you must be a financial member of the Entomological Society of Queensland;

    • you must be an Australian resident;

    • you are required to submit a return of operations each year, within 30 days of a request from the ESQ Permit Officer at the end of each 12 month period the QPWS permits are in force;

    • specimens may not be given, sold or traded (but a member who is endorsed on the permit may collect specimens on behalf of another member provided that they are also endorsed);

    • wildlife habitat must not be damaged, environmental impact must be kept to a minimum;

    • this permit does not give you the right to enter any land, you must get prior permission from the agency responsible for administration of the land;

    • where possible, collecting activities should be effected away from public view;

    • a copy of any resulting paper/report/activities from this research should be provided to the permit officer and the QPWS office at which the permit was issued;

    • you must carry a copy of the permit endorsed by the permit holder (C.Lambkin) and with your name and residential address; and

    • you must carry a form of identification that displays a coloured photograph such as a Queensland drivers licence.

    • it is your responsibility to read the permits fully, especially the section on insurances and liability

Please read all of the information below to be aware of the responsibilities of having a permit.

Overview of collecting in protected areaslight trap

Queensland's native plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, some fish and invertebrates, and all wildlife and natural resources found within protected areas are protected by the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) and its Regulations to ensure the conservation of nature. A licence, permit or authority is needed to take, keep, use or interfere with many native plants and animals for educational or scientific purposes. Anyone wanting to take protected wildlife or to undertake scientific research or educational activities on protected areas and forestry areas should become familiar with the laws outlined in the relevant Acts and Regulations.

Prior to commencing work, the ESQ member endorsed on the Entomological Society of Queensland Collecting Permit must COMPLETE an online Research Field Notification form -  - at least 7 days (more is better, at least 3 months for CYPAL/IMA/ILUA, 2 months for WTWHA; see below) prior to entering the park, giving actual times and proposed locations on the reserve, and participants (all should be permit holders) in the ‘Additional Information’ field.

What do our permits cover

The society currently holds two Scientific Purposes Permits authorising the collection of insects and arachnids not listed in Schedules, 2, 3, or 6, of the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 2006 (see List of Protected Invertebrate Species 2006 in Resources below).
They cover numerous, but not all, National Parks, State Forests, Conservation Parks and Forest Reserves with a full list of parks provided in Resources below - ESQ Protected Areas, Conditions and Contacts. As of March 2022, -- parks have Areas Not to be Accessed because of Native Title Determination (details in Resources below with the parks list and in the folder of Maps of Parks with RAA).
These permits are intended for legitimate scientific research only and are primarily for the opportunistic collecting of voucher specimens to enable the correct identification and confirmation of species present in protected areas.

Your responsibilities under the permit

You are required to understand and abide by all conditions pertaining to each individual permit (there are differences between the permits). We have developed a set of 9 ESQ protocols for access to protected areas for all collectors which the society will expect its members to abide by when collecting under our permit. We have also developed a CHECKLIST of 5 PROCEDURESto help you fulfill the requirements and conditions of the permit. These are outlined on the Application Form and are available in Resources below.
These are unique permits and we expect all members to keep this in mind when collecting as a loss of these permits would be detrimental to all concerned.
Reports are due once a year via a return form (around mid-May each year). In the case where a member has not used the permit through the year a nil return is acceptable. The ESQ Return Form 2018 with a completed example and the Return Guidelines can be found below in Resources.

ESQ Collecting Permit Application

Fill in the last page of the ESQ Collecting Permit Application Form with your details, your HOME address, sign and date it, and send it to the ESQ permit officer (Dr. Christine Lambkin) preferably as an attachment to an email.
The ESQ website has a dated list of reserves that we have permission to access and collect in. Extra conditions apply to reserves with parts that are RAA or CYPAL/IMA/ or ILUA (See ESQ Protected Areas, Conditions and Contacts in Resources below). As part of this application if you potentially will access Reserves with RAA or CYPAL/IMA/ILUA areas you are required to DOWNLOAD and save the ESQ Proposed Access to Reserves with Native Title Determination Areas Spreadsheet in Resources below. Add your name and place a YES against any Reserve that you propose to visit during the life of the permit. Save the completed spreadsheet and email to the ESQ permit officer, Chris Lambkin, with your completed Application Form.
Your application will then be assessed and your membership status checked. If approved you will be sent the permits as a PDF. If there is any doubt as to your application’s suitability your application will be taken to the ESQ council to be discussed and if necessary you will be asked to give additional information.
Please allow 6 weeks for the process, in most cases permits are granted in a shorter timeframe but as the permit officer is voluntary there may be time periods when there are delays. “Express” permits may be granted in exceptional circumstances but please be aware that these may not be able to be granted in the couple of days that some members request.


ESQ Collecting Permit Application Form

9 ESQ Protocols for access to protected areas

Checklist of 5 procedures

Parks List - ESQ Protected Areas, Conditions and Contacts

Maps of Parks with RAA

ESQ Return Form 2018

QPWS Return Guidelines

List of Protected Invertebrate Species 2006

References and Links

ESQ Proposed Access to Reserves with Native Title Determination Areas Spreadsheet

Special Conditions

Conditions to be aware of:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a charge for the permit?

No, the permit is a benefit of membership of the Entomological Society of Queensland

I have previously had the permit – do I have to reapply?

Yes, as of 2022, all our previous permits have expired and need to be renewed. All members, irrespective of whether they have previously held permits or not, must apply for the renewed permits.

Can the permit be transferred?

No, permits are not transferable. Members are more than welcome to advise other members of the permits and encourage them to apply.

Which parks are covered by the permits?

Refer to Parks List in Resources - ESQ Protected Areas, Conditions and Contacts covered by the society for 2018. 42 parks currently have RAA, parts gazetted Post-Wik that are AREAS NOT TO BE ACCESSED because of Native Title Determination. We do not have a permit that allows us access to those RAA. Even if you have consent from Native Title Holders, you cannot access those RAA parts of the park as you still need a valid permit.

How do I get access to a park not on the list?

In order for the permits to be amended you must contact the ESQ permit officer and give the official name for the park in question. The QPWS permit officer will be contacted with a list of amendments and once the amended permit is received it will be sent out to members. This will take months and, to decrease the amount of administration for both ESQ and QPWS, we will only be applying once a year, at the most.

References and Links

Scientific purposes permit

See the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Scientific Purposes Permit

Export permits

If biological material (ie insects or arachnids) is to be exported from Australia, a permit to export or import wildlife or wildlife products is to be obtained under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 from the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy. The link above gives you information about these permits. There is a charge for this permit and it may take over 40 business days to process.

Protected Species Legislation

Refer to the Nature Conservation Act 1992 Legislation and the List of Protected Invertebrate Species 2006 in Resources above.

Mapping - Latitudes/ longitudes and Grid references

If members wish for assistance with datum/grid reference calculations then a good publication is the Map Reading Guide published by Geoscience Australia who also produces topographic maps. The associated roamer is also a good tool and makes reading grid references much easier.

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