NEWS – Rare whale found on NSW South Coast

NEWS - Rare whale found on NSW South Coast

The skeleton of a rare whale has been taken away for analysis by experts from the Australian Museum after it was found dead on a beach near Lake Tabourie on the NSW South Coast earlier this week.

The 4.5m beaked whale was first spotted last Sunday night dead on the beach and reported to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Experts from the Australian Museum, marine mammal rescue group ORCCA and NPWS dissected the animal, removing the skeleton for the Museum’s collection and to study.

NPWS project officer, Mike Jarman, said this species is quite rare.

“It’s so rare we’ve actually found identifying it quite a challenge,” Jarman said.

“At this stage we think it may be an Andrews beaked whale.
Known from just over 20 strandings, this species of whale is rarely seen at sea and only found around Australia and New Zealand

“Periodically, more obscure and rare species of beaked whale appear like this, dead on a beach and very little is known about them.

“So when we do find them we generally notify the Museum who will often come to take parts away for further research,” said Jarman.

Meanwhile, the whale watching season along Australia’s Eastern Seaboard begins again from June 1, when scores of humpbacks migrate north from the cool southern waters to the Whitsundays to breed. There are strict rules of engagement for boaters. See the NSW Maritime sticker above.

Photos courtesy of NPWS Northern Marine Division: Body of what is believed to be a rare Andrew’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon bowdoini); NPWS Ranger, Mike Jarman, inspects the carcass; Tail fluke of the beaked whale; ORRCA volunteers, Vicky O’Cass and Jenny Ratjens, recording details of the rare find.

NSW Maritime boat sticker on the protocols boaters (and helicopter pilots) must follow when viewing or in the vicinity of whales.