John F. Kennedy International Airport is under invasion—a very slow invasion.
For years, turtles have been crawling out of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and crossing JFK runways en masse, intent on laying their eggs in the sandy soil near the airport. After scooping 1,300 of the critters off the tarmac during last year's mating season, officials are building a 4,000-foot long, 8-inch wide barrier in hopes of keeping them out of harm's way.
It's not just the turtles—Diamondback Terrapins, to be precise—that stand to get hurt. When turtles are struck by an aircraft, the carcasses can attract seagulls and other scavengers, increasing the risk of bird strikes.
“We’re trying to find a balance between nature and aviation,” Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico told the New York Post. “We don’t want to see the turtles get hurt, and this should keep the airport running smoothly.”
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