Scientists have used drones to capture spectacular images of the migration of 64,000 green sea turtles on the Australian island of Rennes, making some interesting calculations of the number of creatures spawning ashore,media CNET reported. Researchers from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) collected the footage as part of a survey of the number of Raine Island Recovery Projects. Rennes Island is located on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef and is the world’s largest breeding ground for green sea turtles.
Green turtles go to shore to lay their eggs, but turtles themselves are often hunted, along with their eggs. The images, taken by researchers in December, show thousands of turtles waiting around the island to reach shore.
Andrew Dunstan, lead author of the paper, said in a press release that new scientific research this week found that drones are the most effective way to investigate turtle populations. The previous method of painting turtles on their shells while nesting on the beach was less effective or accurate.
“It’s easier, safer, more accurate to use drones, and data can be stored immediately and permanently,” Dunstan said. “This study is important for understanding and managing vulnerable green turtle populations,” he added. “In the future, we’re going to be able to use artificial intelligence to automate these counts from video recordings, so computers count for us.” “