Our Latest News

Horsetail Falls walk now open

15/11/2017

Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens

10/11/2017

The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Maintaining vigilance with campfires

03/11/2017

Parks and Wildlife Service staff have thanked the many campers who have heeded the restrictions placed on campfires and pot fires, but ask that park and reserve visitors continue to take care while the fire risk remains high in certain areas of the State.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.