RAINE ISLAND, Australia (CNN) – Researchers in Australia have been using drones to count green turtles around Raine Island.
Drone video captured in December 2019 showed up to 64,000 green turtles in the area, according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.
Raine Island, located on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is the world’s largest nesting site for green turtles.
Researchers had been testing methods of conducting population surveys around the area.
Initially, they had painted the turtles’ shells with a white stripe of non-toxic paint.
Then, they would count them from a boat, but this method proved to be inaccurate.
Researchers concluded that “using a drone is easier, safer, much more accurate."
Green turtles, found mostly in tropical and subtropical waters, are considered an endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Fund.