Scientists just documented the world’s largest hatching of baby turtles

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 11:27 AM CST
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(CNN) – New footage shows hundreds of thousands of baby giant South American river turtles hatching – the largest single gathering of turtles on the planet.

Beginning in late September, an estimated 80,000 adult female turtles gather on these local nesting beaches to dig nests and lay eggs.

The turtles began hatching in mid-December and continued into early January.

Once the turtles emerge, they crawl along the sand before dispersing into the river.

These nesting beaches along the Guaporé River are on the border between Brazil and Bolivia.

Conservationists say coordination between the two countries is important for the protection of the species and hope to establish some sort of protected area for them.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has been working with scientists to use technologies such as drones and thermal images in order to estimate the population of the species there. But, the hope is to be able to use artificial intelligence soon to automate the process of counting the turtles.