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Raine & Horne Foundation donates $100,000 to support endangered turtles and birds on Raine Island on the Great Barrier Reef

October 19, 2022

The Raine & Horne Foundation has donated $100,000 to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (the Foundation) to support the monitoring of Australia’s iconic World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef.

The Raine & Horne Foundation is Superbrand Raine & Horne’s private philanthropic organisation that launched in July 2021. The Raine Foundation’s support for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is its biggest corporate social responsibility engagement to date.

Raine & Horne Executive Chairman Angus Raine said the Raine & Horne Foundation’s financial support will be directed towards research by QUT to help monitor the numbers of vulnerable green turtles and seabirds on the Great Barrier Reef including Raine Island, one of the Reef’s most remote islands located 620 kilometres north-west of Cairns in Wuthathi Sea Country. 

Raine Island is the planet’s largest remaining nesting site for internationally endangered green turtles, and around 90% of the Great Barrier Reef’s entire northern green turtle population originates from the Raine Island National Park.

The donation will enable QUT researchers to develop a more effective way to count and track the island’s vulnerable marine turtle and seabird populations using Artificial Intelligence (AI), building on the world-leading conservation program to protect and restore Raine Island pioneered by the Foundation, BHP, Queensland Government, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and Wuthathi People and Meriam Nation (Ugar, Mer, Erub) People.

GBRF Managing Director Anna Marsden said, “Innovation and collaboration are at the heart of this project".

 “With as many as 64,000 green turtles counted via drone footage in one season alone on Raine Island, we are increasingly turning to technology to automate how we monitor this incredibly important turtle population".

“QUT researchers are investigating how Artificial Intelligence and deep learning can be used to detect and count turtles from live drone video feeds as well as detect and classify different species of seabirds from drone images".

“Putting this new turtle tracker and bird spotter technology in the hands of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers, Wuthathi and Meriam Nation rangers, and Reef managers out in the field will give them the near real time information they need to make the best decisions to protect these vulnerable species".

“We are very grateful for the generosity of our business supporters like the Raine & Horne Foundation who are committed to conservation and sustainability, which enables us to continue to protect our Great Barrier Reef’s irreplaceable ecosystem and the incredible diversity of wildlife that call it home". 

Raine Island is a place of deep cultural significance to the Cape York’s Wuthathi Nation and the Torres Strait’s Meriam Nation (Ugar, Mer, Erub) whose connections to the island and its marine life date back 60,000 years. Traditional Knowledge is being shared to combine and work with western science to help protect and restore Raine Island now and into the future. 

Raine & Horne’s personal connection to the island comes through Mr Raine’s great-great grandfather Captain Thomas Raine of the convict transport ship Surrey who was the first European to sight the famed island’s shores in 1815.

Fast forward to 2022, and Mr Raine is thrilled that his almost 140-year-old family owned and operated real estate firm can support the critical work of GBRF and formalise Raine & Horne’s support for projects to protect the endangered green turtle population on the Great Barrier Reef.

“We are delighted that our funding will go towards monitoring and tracking green turtles on the Great Barrier Reef using Artificial Intelligence and drones to better understand their behaviours'.

“The Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and we are pleased to see our funding help to protect this amazing natural ecosystem and support the impactful work of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.”