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Rottnest Island

Environmental Research

Rottnest Island is located 19km off the Perth mainland and is an A-Class Reserve formed by unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems that provide significant habitat to genetically distinct endangered, threatened and migratory fauna species.  Rottnest supports a diverse natural environment that provides ideal conditions for investigating a wide range of ecological, social, cultural, sustainable and economic issues.

The RIA is inviting proposals from interested parties to conduct research within the Reserve. Potential projects may be carried out by school group research, research-related field trips, individual, Honours and Postgraduate candidates.

If you wish to see the range of issues which require further investigation, please refer to the Rottnest Research Strategy 2010-2014  and the Rottnest Island Management Plan 2009 – 2014 .


Research Funding Program

If you are a postgraduate or have experience with research and are interested in one of the research projects proposed by the RIA (RIA Research Strategy 2010-2014), you may wish to apply for the Research Funding Program.


General Research

If you would like to conduct your own research project or organise a research-orientated field trip to the Reserve, you need to apply for the General Research Program. RIA suggests a list of ideas for research projects (RIA Research Strategy 2010 – 2014) that address managment priorities.


Research Partnership

Institutions specialised in research and conservation are encouraged to propose research projects and arrange partnership and co-investment with the RIA.


Research Reports

The Rottnest Island Authority is developing a collection of research theses and reports of projects that have been conducted on the Island. Abstracts and/ or full reports will be posted on the Rottnest Island website over a period of time to make information available to potential researchers. Future research reports, as they are received, will also be linked to the website.

We hope to be able to provide a complete list of all research and associated reports in the near future to enable free dissemination of information and to encourage future studies.


Conducting Research on Rottnest Island

If you wish to conduct research on Rottnest Island you will need to fill out the appropriate application and indemnity form in order to obtain a research permit. All flora and fauna is protected within the Rottnest Island Reserve, and if your research is extractive or potentially damaging in any way, you will require a DEC licence (forms are available below).

If you wish to visit Rottnest Island and carry out your own research for educational purposes, it is also mandatory to acquire a research permit.

Permits can be obtained by downloading the application and indemnity forms and submitting them via email only to the Research Program Officer

Forms must be submitted at least four weeks prior to your intended visit, and research permits issued are subjected to conditions of the Rottnest Island Act and Regulations. For further information please contact the Research Program Officer on +61 8 9372 9700 or

To obtain a research application or other related forms please click on the appropriate link below:

RIA Research Strategy 2010-2014 (pdf 302 KB)

General Research Program Application and Indemnity Form (253KB)

Research Funding Program Application and Indemnity Form (277 KB)

DEC Application for a Licence to Take Protected Flora (Form 19) (pdf 56 KB)

DEC Application for a Licence to Take Fauna for Scientific Purposes (Regulation 17) (pdf 87KB)

Application Form for School Groups Research Studies (199KB)

Research Station Bookings Procedure and Form (225KB)

Request for a Permit to Drive On or Bring a Vehicle to Rottnest Island (pdf 539KB)


Research Accommodation

Accommodation for researchers is available at Research Station Bookings Procedure and Form (225KB).


Island transport

If you require the use of the vehicle on the Island a separate driving permit needs to be obtained as well as a research permit (Request for a Permit to Drive On or Bring a Vehicle to Rottnest Island) (pdf 539KB) This is due to the special driving conditions and rules that you will need to obey when driving on the Island.

If you wish to use the UWA vehicle please contact Dr Jane Prince at the Department of Zoology, UWA on +61 8 6488 1469 or via e-mail: