JFK Airport to build 4,000-foot turtle barrier

An adult Diamondback terrapin is too close to the runway at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York on May 23, 2012. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services’ biologist Jenny Mastantuono and her staff work at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport solving wildlife conflicts with people and planes. The Diamondback terrapin is a type of turtle that prefers to live in brackish marshes and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge around JFK is a favored habitat for these reptiles. In the late spring, they crawl on to land to lay their eggs in the sandy soils near the airport, often crossing runways to do so. Terrapins on the runway pose a threat to aircraft using the runways. If a plane hits the terrapins, their carcass can attract scavengers like gulls, which may pose an even greater danger to airline safety. USDA photo by Jenny Mastanuono
An adult Diamondback terrapin is too close to the runway at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York on May 23, 2012. USDA photo by Jenny Mastanuono

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.”

 Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.