Sunday, 23 June 2013

One of the world’s rarest and least known whales photographed off South Australia

"Shepherd's" delight as survey records extremely rare whale off Kangaroo Island

June 2013. A small pod of extremely rare Shepherd's beaked whales has been spotted and photographed off South Australia's Kangaroo Island by a team from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) who were conducting an acoustic whale research survey. These whales are so rarely seen that no population estimate for them exists.

"These mysterious whales have been seen in the wild only a handful of times. That our research team encountered this group and was able to capture footage of them at the surface is incredibly special," said Matthew Collis, IFAW campaigns manager.

Second sighting
The sighting was made very close to another sighting of Shepherd's beaked whales in the area last year. "To have sightings in close proximity in two consecutive years of one of the world's most rarely seen whales suggests the waters off Kangaroo Island are very important for this species," added Mr Collis.

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