Our Latest News

New lease of life for original lighthouse vents

15/05/2018

As part of the ongoing conservation of the Cape Bruny and Maatsuyker Island lighthouses, a team effort has been underway to restore the original bronze vents from the lighthouses' lantern rooms.More

Record visitor numbers at Highfield Historic Site

09/05/2018

Visitation numbers at Highfield Historic Site in Stanley have reached a record high, with 12,535 people visiting in the 12 months ending March 2018.More

Cradle Mountain shuttle bus tender awarded

08/05/2018

A new bus fleet featuring environmentally friendly technology and vehicles with improved accessibility and increased capacity will help to meet increasing visitor numbers following the awarding of the tender to McDermott Coaches.More

Shepherds Beaked Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
Shepherds Beaked Whales have a unique dentition of 17-29 small conical teeth in the upper and lower jaw (beak) with two larger teeth at the tip of the lower jaw in males. Like Arnouxs Beaked Whale, they are countershaded with several dark diagonal bands, a small sickle-shaped dorsal fin and tail fluke without a notch. The throat has the usual V-shaped grooves. They reach around 7m in length and 2.5 tonnes, although there may be a record of a male reaching 9m. On the surface they do not have a conspicuous blow but do show their beak when breathing.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
Shepherds Beaked Whale is a deep-diving oceanic species. It may consume more fish than other beaked whales, which mostly feed on squid. They may occur individually or form very small feeding groups of up to three.

Stranding Information

Shepherds Beaked Whales are a rare animal to be either sighted or stranded. There are less than five Australian stranding records, including one for Tasmania of a 5m male in 2003. There is also an unconfirmed sighting from Tasmania off the Tasman Peninsula. New Zealand has about 13 stranding records for this animal. Strandings are of dead specimens.