Drone Footage Captures Tens Of Thousands Of Migrating Turtles

Around 64,000 endangered green turtles have been observed migrating near Australia’s Raine Island, the largest green turtle nesting site in the world. This remarkable sight was made possible through the use of drone technology.

This footage, recorded in 2019, is part of the Raine Island Recovery Project, a dedicated initiative aimed at preserving this remote coral cay. Researchers on the island are actively engaged in activities such as beach reconstruction and the installation of protective barriers to prevent turtle fatalities. Each year, over 60,000 female green turtles come to this region for egg-laying, making it one of the most significant animal migrations on Earth. The green turtle species (Chelonia mydas) is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List, largely due to habitat loss and overexploitation of resources.

Since 1984, researchers have been assessing turtle populations on Raine Island by marking thousands of turtles with paint—a laborious and time-intensive process—prior to conducting visual counts of individual animals.