CBS2 Exclusive: Team Rescues Turtles Who Make Onto Runways At JFK Airport


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The subsequent time your flight is delayed at John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport, it won’t be an issue with the aircraft.

As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported solely Wednesday, turtles who often keep in Jamaica Bay are answering a name of nature. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is tasked with preserving them out of hassle.

As flights take to the air above JFK, the turtles are taking over a tougher journey under. The diamondback terrapins are on the lookout for a spot to put their eggs.

“In order that they genereally come out and excessive tide, they usually’re on the lookout for unfastened, sandy soil to put their eggs in,” stated Laura Francoeur, chief wildlife biologist for the Aviation Division. “And so the airport is a really engaging place for them.”

There’s fencing and four,000 linear ft of black plastic tubing on the bottom to maintain the expectant mothers in Jamaica Bay – their pure habitat – and away from the JFK runways. It’s a part of the Pot Authority Wildlife Administration Program.

Francoeur is chief wildlife biologist for the Aviation Division.

“In 2012, earlier than we had a barrier up, we had about 1,300 terrapins that got here onto the airfield, and that was an enormous quantity,” she stated. “We’ve minimize the variety of terrapins down from earlier than we had the terrapin barrier at the least 50 %.”

On Wednesday morning, CBS2 went on a terrapin rescue mission with Francoeur and her staff of assistants. Sanchez, Francoeur and the group didn’t have any hassle discovering turtles that breached the barrier.

Every turtle is scanned for transponder tags and marked with nail polish on their shells. New turtles are injected with tags and given a notch on their shell to point out what yr they have been captured.

Afterward, they’re launched again into their pure habitat.

“There might be turtles strolling on the runway and your plane may need to cease and have delays, and so we do every little thing we will so there’s no impression to plane visitors or security,” Francoeur stated.

Final Friday, a number of planes have been delayed taking off as a consequence of dozens of nesting turtles strolling on the runway. However passengers took it in stride, and one individual tweeted that it was “the one excuse I’ve ever discovered endearing.”



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