Aww!
Stunning Video Captures Thousands of Green Sea Turtles Migrating
There was nearly twice the estimated number!
Emma Shallcross
06.18.20

With all of the recent news, there certainly hasn’t been much to smile about. So when we read about some awesome drone footage captured last week, we knew that we had to share it with you all! Drones have become incredibly useful for researchers to observe and track endangered species. They’re able to measure the numbers in the population from a safe distance without disturbing the animals, and they can essentially follow them on their migration journeys!

Researchers recently did just that, and they tracked a group of green sea turtles who were migrating through the sea.

They were amazed to find that the population of this endangered species was a lot higher than expected, and they shared their footage so we can all see for ourselves.

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The green sea turtle is one of the largest in its species, and like other sea turtles, they migrate long distances from the beaches where they hatched in order to find food. Sadly, this beautiful species is also threatened to become extinct due to reasons such as overharvesting of their eggs, hunting of adults, being caught in fishing gear, and loss of nesting beach sites.

Each year, this species migrates to Raine Island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to lay their eggs. Because they’re endangered, researchers have been monitoring their numbers through the Raine Island Recovery Project, a five-year program that aims to restore and maintain the island as the world’s largest breeding ground for green turtles.

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At first, researchers used to paint white stripes on nesting turtles’ shells using nontoxic paint and attempt to count the numbers by boat. But since then, they’ve found drones a lot better for the job, and this year there’s something to cheer about!

Researchers discovered at least 64,000 green sea turtles were making their way to the island – which is twice the expected amount.

Dr. Andrew Dunstan, who works with the Department of Environment and Science, told the Sydney Morning Herald:

“We’re finding 1.73 times as many turtles with the drone as we do when we directly compare with observer counts. The team can now go back and adjust the historic population estimates.”

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Anna Marsden, the managing director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, added:

“We’re seeing the world’s largest aggregation of green turtles captured in these extraordinary drone images, which are helping to document the largest turtle numbers seen since we began the Raine Island Recovery Project.”

What amazing news! Watch the video below to see these beautiful creatures in action.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Emma Shallcross
hi@sbly.com
Emma Shallcross is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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