(NBC) – Drone footage taken by Australian researchers has 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 of 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. But this method of counting proved inaccurate due to visibility conditions.
Using drone vision, they were able to analyze each frame in a lab.
Their calculations proved that the turtle’s population had been under-estimated in the past.