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

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.