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

Dense-beaked Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
Blainsvilles or the Dense-beaked Whale is generally grey-brown above and lighter underneath. Adults have a darker dorsal fin and large spots all over the body. In the female the beak is very white. The lower jaw is quite arched and has a prominent tooth in the males that can be encrusted with barnacles. This makes them look like they have two dark pompoms on the head making males easily identified at sea.

General Information

Males can reach up to 6m in length with females slightly
Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
smaller and have a maximum weight of 1 tonne. Newborns are less than 2m. They are mature at about 4.5m when they are around ten years of age. Mostly they occur in groups of 3-7. On surfacing they will extend their beak and sometimes slap it in the water. They are more likely to approach vessels than other beaked whales.

Stranding Information

Only a few strandings of Dense-beaked Whales have been recorded from Australia with Queensland having seven and most states having at least one recording. Tasmania to date (2013) has had two, including one male animal at Marrawah. More strandings occur in South Africa. They seem to prefer tropical waters and are circumglobal - making them the most widely distributed of the beaked whales. They are seen more often than other beaked whales closer to the coast.