Skip to comments.March of Turtles Snags JFK
Posted on 06/30/2011 1:44:56 PM PDT by EinNYC
Just before takeoff Wednesday morning, the Kennedy Airport control tower contacted an American Airlines flight bound for the Dominican Republic with an unusual question: "There's a report of a turtle on the runway. Do you want to have it removed first?" The departure was put on hold as an airport staffer was dispatched to pick up the diamondback terrapin that had wandered onto the runway. 150 turtles crossed a runway to get to the other side. And to lay eggs. At first, it was a trickle of turtles meandering across runway 4-left, which extends out into Jamaica Bay. They were headed from the west side to the east, which features a sandy beach that's an ideal place to lay eggs. At first, workers tried to remove the reptiles one by one between takeoffs. Pilots and air-traffic controllers at times struggled to suppress laughter as they radioed back and forth about the incursion, according to a recording of transmissions that was posted on liveATC.net. The turtle news broke on Twitter Wednesday morning, when JetBlue Airways posted a message on the incident. When users asked why this caused delays, the airline said: "Running over turtles is not healthy for them nor is it good for our tires." By 9:45 a.m., there were too many turtles. Air traffic was diverted to other runways. More than a half-dozen employees of the Port Authority and U.S. Department of Agriculture donned gloves and went after the terrapins. They "picked up said turtles, put them in a pickup truck and speeded them to their destination," Ron Marsico said. Turtle incursions at Kennedy Airport are common when it's time for them to lay eggs, Mr. Marsico said. The airport abuts Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is home to dozens of animal species that cause occasional nuisances at Kennedy.
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You wanna build an airport on the edge of a wildlife preserve, you gotta expect some delays, courtesy of Mother Nature.
I go birding at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge all the time, and right now it's Diamondback Terrapin breeding season. All over the refuge you see nests protected by wire cages with little red flags atop, to thwart the non-indigenous raccoons which would otherwise destroy 90+ percent of the nests. Occasionally, you encounter a mama terrapin on the hiking paths, and you wish her well and continue on your way.
They see turtles....I see soup.
FEAR THE TURTLE!! (for all those Maryland alumni)
Perpetual state of things at the Vero Beach FL. airport I learned to fly at. It only seemed to be a problem to the Arab students who got confused when tower would communicate something besides what they expected.
And I see turtle steak! Yum.
Since when are raccoons non-indigenous to NY?
A real bimbo, left wing veggie cruncher called Hannity’s show today when he was talking about this turtle story.
To prove, yet again, how totally idiotic the left is she said, “but Sean, you have to protect their eggs. Did you that only a few of their eggs ever hatch from all they lay? They need protection.”
So, this total braindead moron doesn’t understand nature so she thinks she should interfere. I bet she’d be horrified to learn that MILLIONS of termite eggs don’t hatch either. QUICK, let’s put them on the endangered species list.
I can’t believe we have so many functional idiots in this country. No wonder it’s almost over.
Here is a picture of a raccoon in a tree that I took recently at JBWR. And here is a picture of a muskrat from there (tee-hee, could not resist!).
Not to get overly nitpicky, but I think the ranger misused some terminology.
“Indigenous” usually refers to the historical wildlife of a region. It is highly probable that 1000 years ago raccoons inhabited the area that is now part of the refuge.
They were probably wiped out in colonial and early American times, then later reintroduced. But that just re-establishes the natural fauna to some extent, it doesn’t introduce anything new.
Certainly little protective boxes around the turtle nests aren’t “natural!”
I think the rangers are being disingenous if they portray this interference as protecting native turtles from non-native raccoons, as if they are protecting native Hawaiian birds from introduced rats.
What they’re actually doing is protecting a preferred native species from another non-preferred native species.
I have no problem with that, but it can cause huge problems, as historically in Yellowstone when they “protected” the deer and elk from the wolves and bears.
Decide you want more turtles? Fine. Just don’t call it an attempt to protect the “natural” balance.
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