Wednesday, June 10th 2020, 12:11 pm - Researchers say the area is the largest nesting site in the world for green turtles.
At least 64,000 endangered green turtles were seen spotted near the Raine Island in the Great Barrier Reef late last year, according to a June 9 press release from the Queensland Government.
Drone footage from December 2019 helped scientists count the green turtles that had congregated on Raine Island, the largest nesting place in the world for this species.
In a statement, lead researcher Dr. Andrew Dunstan said his team used a combination of aerial footage and nontoxic paint to mark and count the turtles.
In the past, researchers tried to count turtles through observations on a boat, but it resulted in inaccuracies.
Officials say the drones allowed for quicker work.
“Trying to accurately count thousands of painted and unpainted turtles from a small boat in rough weather was difficult," Dr. Dunstan said.
"Using a drone is easier, safer, much more accurate, and the data can be immediately and permanently stored.”
In the press release, researchers said the 2019 total shows the largest population of green turtles since the start of the Raine Island Recovery Project in 2017.
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Thumbnail image courtesy: Getty Images.