Kennedy Airport runway turtles - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Kennedy Airport runway turtles

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Tens of thousands of the diamondback terrapins live in Jamaica Bay. This is the time of year some of them wind up on the runway at Kennedy Airport.

In June 2011, 100 turtles wound up on Runway 4L, causing major delays. But the diamondback terrapins continue to show up at the airport every year around this time when they make their way out of Jamaica Bay in search of place to lay their eggs. The sandy area of the outskirts of the runway right next to the water has proven a popular spot.

The Port Authority recently installed miles of black plastic tubing along the base of the airports fence, but a couple of hundred turtles have still managed to get over so far this year, like the ones removed by port authority biologists last month.

Dr. Russell Burke, chair of the Biology Department at Hofstra University, has been studying the terrapins since 1998. He and his team of volunteers spend their summer days in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge tagging the turtles, releasing them back into the water, and protecting their eggs from hungry raccoons to help maintain the population.

Burke said the Port Authority's efforts have helped keep more terrapins away from the planes and in safer areas where his team can monitor them. The study is far from over because as Burke pointed out nothing happens quickly when you're dealing with turtles.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • Ex-Councilman Halloran quickly convicted in bribery plot

    Ex-Councilman Halloran quickly convicted in bribery plot

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:53:04 GMT
    A jury took only about 90 minutes Tuesday to convict former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran of bribery charges in a scheme to buy a spot on the mayoral ballot for state Sen. Malcolm Smith. Halloran was also found guilty of taking payoffs from what he thought were developers who wanted him to funnel city money their way. The men were actually an FBI agent and an FBI informant.
    A jury took only about 90 minutes Tuesday to convict former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran of bribery charges in a scheme to buy a spot on the mayoral ballot for state Sen. Malcolm Smith. Halloran was also found guilty of taking payoffs from what he thought were developers who wanted him to funnel city money their way. The men were actually an FBI agent and an FBI informant.
  • Several new animals on display at NYC zoos

    Several new animals on display at NYC zoos

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:44:02 GMT
    WCS photoWCS photo
    The Wildlife Conservation Society's zoos in New York City have debut some interesting new animals in their habitats in recent weeks. The flagship Bronx Zoo is now home to a herd of endangered Turkmenian flare-horned markhor, a species of mountain goat native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Some river otter pups are getting to know their home in Prospect Park, and the Queens Zoo has some new majestic American bison.
    The Wildlife Conservation Society's zoos in New York City have debut some interesting new animals in their habitats in recent weeks. The flagship Bronx Zoo is now home to a herd of endangered Turkmenian flare-horned markhor, a species of mountain goat native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Some river otter pups are getting to know their home in Prospect Park, and the Queens Zoo has some new majestic American bison.
  • Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Queens teen pleads guilty in crash that killed 4 friends on Long Island

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:54 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:54:40 GMT
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
    A New York teenager has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in a 2012 high-speed crash that killed four of his friends and split his new car in two. Joseph Beer entered the plea Tuesday. He faces five to 15 years in prison, though his attorney is seeking youthful offender status because he was 17 at the time.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices