10/25/2014

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NYC airport barrier protects against turtles, not terrorists

NYC airport barrier protects against turtles, not terrorists
Diamondback terrapin (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture photo)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Officials are building a 4,000-foot-long barrier to protect a runway at New York City's Kennedy Airport.

But the obstacle isn't for terrorists. It's for turtles.

The busy airport has been plagued in recent years by waves of Diamondback Terrapins that climb up out of Jamaica Bay looking for a place to nest.

During last year's mating season, airport employees had to carry 1,300 turtles off the tarmac.

The New York Post reports that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is hoping an 8-inch-wide barrier made of plastic piping will help keep the turtles off the runway this year.

Hofstra University biologist Russell Burke tells the Post the plan just might work, though he said it is hard to say how the turtles will react.
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