Drone footage captures thousands of sea turtles nesting near Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Around 64,000 endangered turtles surveyed
Green sea turtles
Posted at 12:53 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 12:53:24-04

RAINE ISLAND, Australia — Drone footage taken by Australian researchers captured tens of thousands of sea turtles nesting on an island near the Great Barrier Reef.

Researchers said that drone technology has helped them survey the number of sea turtles on Raine Island more accurately.

The breeding colony of green turtles is the largest in the world.

In December 2019, researchers flew a drone over Raine Island to survey up to 64,000 of the endangered turtles as they came ashore to nest.

Previously, researchers would paint a non-toxic white stripe down the turtles' shells and would count them that way. However, this method of counting proved inaccurate due to visibility conditions.

Using a drone, they were able to analyze each frame in a lab.

Experts said their calculations proved that the turtles' population had been underestimated in the past.