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Check out this crazy footage of 64,000 turtles gathering near the Great Barrier Reef

There is nothing like some wholesome animal news to help brighten your day. And this incredible footage of these green sea turtles is sure to amaze. 

Australian researchers have captured some pretty incredible aerial footage of green sea turtles as they assemble along the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, preparing to nest. 

green sea turtles

See this astounding aerial footage of thousands of green sea turtles preparing to nest on the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef. 

A drone was used to capture the footage at the world’s biggest green turtle rookery, located at Raine Island. These incredible animals are capable of migrating insanely long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches where they emerged as hatchlings. Sometimes more than 35 years after they were born!

Sadly these beautiful sea creatures are under tremendous threat. Green turtles are endangered as a result of hunting, over-harvesting their eggs, loss of nesting sights, getting caught in fishing apparatus or consuming litter. After it was discovered that reproduction rates were low, researchers sought to help the struggling turtle population. 

In an effort to count the population, scientists painted stripes on the turtles’ backs, however, struggled to keep count accurately. They then opted for drones, which ended up revealing about 64,000 turtles congregating in the water, waiting patiently to lay their eggs. These numbers are mammoth and historic for researchers in the field. Dr Andrew Dunstan, who is working on the project, stated: 

“We were underestimating that a lot. We’re finding 1.73-times as many turtles with the drone and as we do when we directly compare with the observer counts.”

This is great news for researchers and animal lovers alike. Researchers hope that they will soon be able to count green turtle populations automatically with the use of artificial intelligence so they can focus on other ways to get these fantastic critters out of endangerment. Check out the footage below and if you’re in the mood, check out this cute albino turtle.