Our Latest News

Easter safety is paramount for our parks and reserves

18/04/2019

The Parks and Wildlife Service encourages visitors and Tasmanians alike to get outdoors and get active - especially in our parks and reserves.More

Good news, Hartz Mountain National Park and other tracks are open!

17/04/2019

In time for Easter walking, PWS have been able to re-open a number of tracks.More

New Mt Mawson Shelter officially opened ahead of ski season

29/03/2019

The new Mt Mawson Public Shelter was today officially opened and will provide a new level of amenity for southern Tasmania's only ski field, as well as upgraded facilities for bushwalkers heading to the iconic Tarn Shelf walk in Mt Field National Park.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.