Incredible drone footage of 64,000 green sea turtles is here to brighten your day

Lisa Walden
Photo credit: World Wildlife Day/Twitter

From Country Living

Incredible aerial footage taken by researchers in Australia has captured 64,000 green sea turtles going to nest at Raine Island, Queensland – and the videos are astounding.

Scientists from the Raine Island Recovery Project want to count the large green sea turtles to help them better understand how many are endangered. Thanks to drone cameras and the stripe of white paint on the back of adult turtles, they have been able to count an estimated 64,000 at the Raine Island rookery — more than previously thought.

Green turtles are commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters, migrating long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches from where they hatched. Sadly, due to hunting and a loss of beach nesting sites, the creatures have become endangered over the years.

The team at the recovery project are doing all they can to save the beautiful turtles, but first needed to calculate how many there were.

"Trying to accurately count thousands of painted and unpainted turtles from a small boat in rough weather was difficult. Using a drone is easier, safer, much more accurate, and the data can be immediately and permanently stored," Dr Andrew Dunstan from Queensland's Government's Department of Environment and Science (DES) told CNN.

"We were underestimating that a lot. We're finding 1.73 times as many turtles with the drone and as we do when we directly compare with the observer counts."

The researchers aim to use the results to manage the turtle population and better understand their behaviour.

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