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Incredible footage show world’s largest group of green turtles

Image source: Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Incredible footage show world’s largest group of green turtles

Scientists at Australia's Great Barrier Reef have, for the first time, captured the incredible numbers of green sea turtles.

Incredible footage show world’s largest group of green turtles

Using the power of drone technology, researchers at the Raine Island Recovery Project in the Great Barrier Reef have captured rare footage of the world’s largest green turtle nesting area.

“We’re seeing the world’s largest aggregation of green turtles captured in these extraordinary drone images that are helping to document the largest turtle numbers seen since we began the Raine Island Recovery Project,” Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden.

“Raine Island is the world’s largest green turtle nesting site and that’s why we’re working with our Raine Island Recovery Project partners to protect and restore the island’s critical habitat.”

According to Australian Geographic, the footage may show one of the biggest groups of green turtles ever observed.

As many as 64,000 female green turtles make the journey towards the island each year to lay their eggs.

The scientists have been working to rebuild and improve the island’s nesting beaches for the turtles, such as building fences to prevent turtle deaths.

The findings were published in the PLOS ONE journal and lead author Dr Andrew Dunstan says the drone technology has enabled them to document the turtles at a scale like never before.

“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.”

The scientists are now looking to automate the counting using artificial intelligence.

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