Sure, you know all about roads and wildlife, but roads are not the only place that wildlife and human infrastructure can do bad things to each other. Two recent stories point out some of the more unusual ways that wildlife influences modern life, and how our modern structures influence the survival of wildlife. (Although that sounds so serious. One of these stories is “cute,” and the other has been mostly reported as “cute.”)
New York City’s Kennedy Airport is on the shores of Jamaica Bay, which is an estuary off the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the airport, the bay is also home to the National Park Service’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This creates all sorts of interesting interactions between airplanes and wildlife, but the story of the last two years has been that diamond terrapins, an aquatic turtle, have been crawling across the airport’s runways in search of nesting sites.
New York Times Magazine contributor Jon Mooallem has been tracking P.O.C.B.S. — power outages caused by squirrels. He writes about it in the New York Times opinion section. There are many serious potential take-aways in this humorous story, one of which is that no one really knows how many power outages each year are caused by squirrels, or other wildlife.
Photo: Yes, that’s a diamondback terrapin crossing a taxiway at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Credit: Port Authority of NY & NJ