Shepherd’s beaked whale on video!

The rare Shepherd’s beaked whale Tasmacetus shepherdi has been recorded on video offshore New Zealand. According to IUCN experts, there is no information on abundance and no information on trends in global abundance for this species. Shepherd’s beaked whale appears to be relatively rare, but there are no estimates of abundance available. The external appearance of the species was not well-known until it was re-described from several fresh specimens and at-sea sightings. Nothing is known about sub-population structure. As a relatively uncommon species it is potentially vulnerable to low-level threats. This video footage is the first ever taken of this species, previously known from only 6 sighting and 29 strandings.  It’s well worth a look!

More info:

Pitman R.L., van Helden A.L., Best P.B., Pym A. 2006. Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi): information on appearance and biology based on strandings and at-sea observations. Mar Mamm Sci 22: 744-755.

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