Our Latest News

New picnic facilities for Penny's Lagoon

08/08/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed the construction of a new picnic shelter at Penny's Lagoon within the Lavinia State Reserve on King Island.
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Celebrating World Ranger Day

31/07/2018

The work of Tasmania's rangers is vital in the daily management of our 19 national parks and more than 800 reserves, encompassing approximately 50 per cent of the State.
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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.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.