Our Latest News

Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk

19/01/2018

In the interests of public safety, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has brought in extensive campfire restrictions as the fire risk continues to increase this summer.More

Improved toilet facilities at Bruny Island

16/01/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed work on a new toilet facility at the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve.More

Further upgrade to South Coast Track

05/01/2018

The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania's great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.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.