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Rottnest Island

Environmental Research

Rottnest Island is located 19km off the Perth mainland and is an A-Class Reserve. The Island is comprised of unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems, with a variety of vegetation associations that provide significant habitat to genetically distinct, conservation listed and migratory fauna species. Rottnest supports a diverse natural environment with ideal conditions for investigating a wide range of ecological, social, cultural, sustainable and economic issues.

The RIA will review proposals from interested parties to conduct research within the Reserve. Potential projects may be undertaken by school group research, research-related undergraduate field trips, individual, Honours and Postgraduate candidates.

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.

Research Partnership

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

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 Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW – previously 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:

General Research Program Application and Indemnity Form (PDF 231KB)

DPaW Application for a Licence to Take Protected Flora (Form 19) (pdf 71 KB)

DPaW Application for a Licence to Take Fauna for Scientific Purposes (Regulation 17) (PDF 78KB)

Application Form for School Groups Research Studies (109KB)

Research Station Bookings Procedure and Form (209KB)

Request for a Permit to Drive On or Bring a Vehicle to Rottnest Island (pdf 584KB)

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: