On 1 January 2019, the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018 replaced both the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 and the Sandalwood Act 1929 and their associated regulations.

  • The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018 provide greater protection for biodiversity, particularly threatened species and threatened ecological communities.
  • The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is improving the way we do business through a number of new rules and modern licensing, and new public and landholder consultation processes, while aiming to minimise regulation and red tape.

A series of factsheets has been prepared and these are available online. To find out more, visit Licences and authorities.

How do the new Biodiversity Conservation Act and Regulations protect biodiversity?

  • The Biodiversity Conservation Act provides greater coverage for biodiversity conservation matters that were not recognised in the Wildlife Conservation Act, such as threatened ecological communities, threatening processes and critical habitats.
  • Greater protection is provided for threatened species and ecological communities with significant penalties for illegal take (i.e. up to $500,000 for an individual or $2.5 million for a corporation, a significant increase from $10,000 under the Wildlife Conservation Act).
  • There are also new provisions for biodiversity conservation covenants and agreements.

How will the new Regulations change what I can do?

  • The majority of the activities that were licenced under the Wildlife Conservation and Sandalwood Acts will continue to require a licence under the BC Act and Regulations.
  • Transitional arrangements will ensure that your current licence will continue to be valid until the licence expires. When an existing licence expires a new licence application will be required.
  • There are some activities that were not previously licensed under the Wildlife Conservation Act but will require a licence under the BC Regulations including: feeding wildlife; wildlife rehabilitation; sandalwood supply, processing and dealing; and flora and fauna bioprospecting.
  • Online applications for licences are available from www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/plants-and-animals/licences-and-authorities or by contacting DBCA Wildlife Licensing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information about biodiversity licences, and to apply for a licence:

For more information about threatened species and threatened ecological communities:

More information on the differences between the Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Wildlife Conservation Act and Sandalwood Act is summarised in the following document:

Where can I get a copy of the Act and Regulations?

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018 is available from the Parliamentary Counsel's Office website.

  • biodiversity 2 greater stick nest rat
    Greater stick nest rat.
    Photo – DBCA
  • Opsrey landing
    An osprey coming in to land.
    Photo – Peter Nicholas/DBCA
  • Sandalwood tree
    Sandalwood is a precious Western Australian resource.
    Photo – DBCA