Shepherd’s beaked whale

Tasmacetus shepherdi

Shepherd's beaked whale © Andy Schofield
Shepherd's beaked whale © Andy Schofield

Little is known about the Shepherds beaked whale from migration to reproduction and breeding. They are known to be found in only in the Southern Hemisphere in very deep, cold temperate, offshore waters and are rarely observed at the surface. It is thought to inhabit the waters of Tristian due to the sightings and stranding’s that have been recorded. Their diet consists mainly of squid, crab and a bit unusual for beaked whales, fish.

National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Expedition captured some video footage of Shepherd’s Beaked Whales in the waters around Tristan, meaning it could potentially be an important area for these mysterious marine mammals.

IUCN Status – Data deficient

Length – Up to 7m

Weight – Up to 3.5 tons

Reproduction – Every 2-3 years

Sightings around Tristan islands - There have been a few stranding’s of these whales on Tristan da Cunha and several sightings off the island

Marine life on Tristan

The waters surrounding the Tristan islands are home to a diverse range of fish and invertebrates, including the commercially valuable crayfish.