Our Latest News

Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk

19/01/2018

In the interests of public safety, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has brought in extensive campfire restrictions as the fire risk continues to increase this summer.More

Improved toilet facilities at Bruny Island

16/01/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed work on a new toilet facility at the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve.More

Further upgrade to South Coast Track

05/01/2018

The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania's great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.More

Pygmy Killer Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
Pygmy Killer Whales look like a miniature version of the False Killer Whale, reaching 2-3m in length. It can be distinguished by its smaller size and white lips and snout. Their body narrows towards the dorsal fin which is how it gets its name (attenuate) which means thinning. They are generally black or grey with a high, sickle-shaped dorsal fin. They have a paler grey area on each side and a white patch between the flippers. They reach up to 2.6m in length and just over 200kg. As a tropical deep water species this is unlikely to be seen in Tasmanian waters. They can sometimes be confused with the Melon-headed Whale but their smaller size and rounded flippers and beakless head should help separate them.

General Information

Pygmy Killer Whales swim in groups of up to 50 animals and occasionally with dolphins. They reach maturity at about 2m and live at least 14 years. They eat squid and fish and have been known to take dolphins. In New South Wales they may be seen between August and February but are rarely seen in Tasmania.

Stranding Information

There are some stranding records of pygmy killer whales from several Australian states, including one from Tasmania. They are single stranders and often infested with nematodes.