Saturday, June 21, 2014
Turtles at JFK getting in the way
Wildlife biologists working to keep turtles from wandering onto the runways of Kennedy Airport are beginning to see their efforts pay off.
JFK Airport, situated in the middle of Jamaica Bay, has been a favorite habitat for diamondback terrapin turtles, which only leave the brackish waters and step on shore to lay eggs.
But airplane and turtles sharing the same runway could pose a threat.
"Anything can be a hazard to aircraft, so we monitor all kinds of wildlife population here," said Laura Francoeur, one of Port Authority's wildlife biologists helping to keep the balance between passenger safety and nature preservation.
"Keeping terrapins off also saves the terrapins so they don't get run over potentially, and it also helps eliminate any operational impacts delaying flights at the airport," said Francoeur.
June is the main nesting season for turtles, making it the busiest time of the year for biologists working on the terrapin tracking project.