Researchers captured spectacular drone footage of around 64,000 green sea turtles heading to nest on the grounds of the island.
There is beauty everywhere in this universe. Be it forests, grasslands, deserts, mountain tops, rivers, or the unexplored depths of the ocean, nature will always find a way to leave us speechless. From Pink Manta Rays to rare rainbow snakes, nature has taken us by surprise every time and she has done it again. Joining the list of such wonders are green sea turtles. Recently, the Queensland Government took to Twitter where they posted footage of thousands of green sea turtles nesting just off the coast of Raine Island. Needless to say, it is one of the most spectacular drone footage we have ever seen.
This is some of the most spectacular vision you will ever see - our new eye in the sky has captured 64,000 turtles off the coast of Raine Island, north-west of Cairns.— Queensland Environment (@QldEnvironment) June 9, 2020
More: https://t.co/76WPkfoRSG pic.twitter.com/HC7tZjVbZV
According to a report by Bored Panda, in December 2019, researchers, with the help of drone technology conducted surveys at Raine Island, situated on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. As a part of the Raine recovery project, they captured spectacular drone footage of around 64,000 green sea turtles heading to nest on the grounds of the island.
What wonderful shots of turtles. Keep up the great work.— JusticeLeague (@TheAldridges) June 10, 2020
Green Sea turtles have to come to the surface to breathe. They are considered to be vulnerable species in Queensland as they are often hunted for their flesh and eggs, while many others have suffered an untimely death by getting caught in trawler nets and choke on plastic bags. The Great Barrier Reef foundation issued a press release that highlighted the work they are doing with the Raine Island Recovery Project in an aim to get the proper count of all the green sea turtles at Raine Island. The Raine island is also considered to be the largest green turtle nesting location in the world.
Australian researchers use drones to count the number of endangered green sea turtles nesting on Raine Island, the world's largest Green Turtle rookery. They believe 64,000 turtles came ashore to nest and that the turtles' population had been under-estimated by a factor of 1.73. pic.twitter.com/temr6q6rVl— Pattrn (@pattrn) June 10, 2020
Dr. Andrew Dunstan, who is a part of the Department of Environment and Science (DES), said researchers had been investigating numerous ways to come up with an accurate turtle population. In an interview with CNN, Dr. Dunstan said, "We sort of became aware that although there are these massive aggregations, the actual reproduction isn't working so well." The study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE mentioned that using drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles was the most accurate way to document this species of turtles. Initially, the researchers painted the turtles' shells with a white stripe of non-toxic paint when they gathered on the beach and waited for them to go back to the water.
Almost forgot it’s #SeaTurtleWeek !!— Carlee Jackson (@CarleeMJ_) June 9, 2020
During survey we caught this green sea turtle mama headed back to sea after finishing her nest on the beach.
Sea turtles here nest at night for max privacy, but sometimes we catch a late nester like this one!#BlackAFinSTEM #BlackInNature pic.twitter.com/MpXW6SWytX
Dr. Dustan continued, "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. "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."
Green sea turtles are named after the greenish tint that is present in their cartilages and flesh. While the exact number of Green Sea turtles all over the world still remains unknown, it is estimated around 85,000-90,000 nesting females are alive today, reported Sea Turtle Conservancy.