Our Latest News

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

PWS Fire Update - Monday 11 February 2019

11/02/2019

As a result of the emergency service suppression efforts and calmer weather conditions over recent days, PWS can advise the following changes to track openings and closures.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.