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

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.