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Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk


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


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


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

Mammoth effort to rescue Narawntapu whales


The PWS played a lead role in the attempted rescue of four sperm whales at Bakers Beach on Tuesday.

The 10-metre-long whales, each weighing about 20 tonnes, were discovered by tourists camping just behind the beach in Narawntapu National Park.

Northern Parks and Reserves Manager Chris Emms was incident controller for the difficult rescue operation which was made more challenging by the sheer size of the whales, low tide and shallow water.

As always with whale rescues, those at the scene offered help.

A group of RAAF cadets camping at Narawntapu helped with crowd control, the Port Sorell-Hawley Surf Life Saving Club used their boat to check for more whales in the area and the State Emergency Service provided great backup.

Despite intense rescue efforts by PWS and DPIWE officers and about 30 volunteers, only one whale survived the day.

A moat was dug around the whale and a pump sprayed water to keep it cool and wet.

It was hoped the whale would be able to right itself to meet the high tide. However it died early on Wednesday morning.

Samples will be taken from the whales before they are buried.

While the result was disappointing, useful information was gained from the rescue attempt.

Sperm whales are the largest of the toothed whale. They spend 90 per cent of their time in deep water and feed on squid and fish.

The last recorded stranding of sperm whales in Tasmania was in December last year when 20 died at Trial Harbour.

A sperm whale was herded out to sea from Macquarie Harbour in June 2004 and 11 died on Flinders Island in March 2003.

Mammoth effort to rescue Narawntapu whales

Parks staff and a volunteer kept the whale cool by pouring water onto it.