on 15 Jun 2020
Believed to be the biggest sea turtle aggregation ever caught on camera
Footage: Christian Miller
Researchers have captured what is believed to be the world’s biggest sea turtle aggregation ever caught on camera, at Raine Island on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef. By placing a stripe of white paint on the back of adult turtles, researchers from the Raine Island Recovery Project estimated a gathering of 64,000 green turtles at the Raine Island rookery.
This number is 1.73 times higher than the previous estimate, and gives scientists a new perspective on the total population of this endangered species. Raine Island is the world’s largest green turtle nesting site, and researchers are working to find ways to protect and restore the island’s critical habitat. In the future, scientists aim to automate population counts from drone footage, using artificial intelligence to count individual animals.