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

Southern Right Whale Dolphin

Drawing by Graham Sanders
This strange looking dolphin lacks a dorsal fin, as does the Right Whale. The Southern Right Whale Dolphin is a conspicuous black and white colour with the upper parts black with white flank, face, flippers and flukes. It has a small distinct beak and slim body weighing just over 100kg and about 3m in length. The average group size is around 50 animals but they can be in pods up to 1000. They often swim with other whales and dolphins including Pilot Whales, baleen whales and Common Dolphins. They can travel at speeds up to 25km/hr with bouncing leaps and lobtails.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
Southern Right Whale Dolphins are a southern hemisphere species and in some places have a year round occurrence. They are considered abundant in South America. They are usually found well offshore or in association with upwellings. Calves are less than 1m long at birth usually born in November to April and they reach maturity at about 2m in length.

Stranding Information

Most mass strandings of Southern Right Whale Dolphins are from outside Australia and up to 77 animals have stranded at one time. They have stranded singly off Tasmania at least five times. In 2004 one live stranded off Nubeena and there have been several Tasmanian sightings of them free swimming in the south and south east, as well as off New Zealand.