Our Latest News

PWS - Fires update and impacts

20/02/2019

Background: A number of fires were ignited by dry lightning that crossed the state in late December 2018 and mid-January 2019. The storms of 15 January 2019 resulted in approximately 2,400 lightning strikes and caused over 60 new ignitions.More

PWS Fire Update - Friday 15 February 2019

15/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened today (Friday 15 February).More

PWS Fire Update - Thursday 14 February 2019

14/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened.More

Hectors Beaked Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
Hectors Beaked Whale is similar in size to a Bottle-nosed Dolphin and is the smallest of the beaked whales. They reach around 4.5m in length but up to 1ton in weight. They are dark brown/grey above and pale underneath extending up to a white lower jaw. Males also have white under their flukes and a can have a white naval area. Males also have two small flattened triangular teeth near the lower jaw tip. They have a small, round- tipped dorsal fin and short flippers and often have scarring on the sides of males. They are rarely spotted at sea because they do not blow on the surface and are quite slow moving so are difficult to detect.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
They are a deep oceanic species that feed on squid. They usually occur singly although sometimes two animals have been observed swimming together. Newborns are around 1.8m in length. Their lifecycle is unknown. They are considered a southern hemisphere cool temperate species.

Stranding Information

Records of these animals are generally from dead animals washed onto beaches from South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. A DNA sample was collected from a free swimming whale off Western Australia.