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Vernal Pools

Vernal PoolsIn different parts of the U.S., vernal pools, which are seasonal wetlands, appear differently in the environment. They are characteristically seasonal depressional wetlands that fill up with water in the spring after snowmelt and spring rains. Wood frogs, spotted salamanders and blue spotted salamanders, fairy shrimp are a few of the species known to occur in vernal pools. These frogs can be heard in the springtime (known locally as "peepers" in some areas) when they are calling to their mates in vernal pools.

After they spawn, the frogs and salamanders leave the vernal pools and go to upland areas, sometimes miles away from the pool. Vernal pools present a unique opportunity for teaching kids and the public about the importance of wetlands, as they hold flood waters, improve water quality in the watershed and provide unique habitat for those species that require the protection of vernal pools to breed. Vernal pools dry out during the summer so it is easiest to find them during spring.

2013 Vernal Pool News

Vernal pools created for spadefoot toad

By Eric Williams – Cape Cod – Times June 28, 2013

CA: Biologist Takes a Look at Sacramento Valley’s Vernal Pools
By Richard Chang – The Tribune – March 25, 2013

OR: Advisory approach for protecting vernal pools suggested
By Paul Fattig – Mail Tribune – March 24, 2013

MA: Trustees to lead tour of vernal pools in state forest
The Herald News – March 23, 2013

Discover vernal pools with Mattapoisett Land Trust
Sippican Village Soup – March 18, 2013

OH: Ohio Vernal Pool Monitoring Workshop - April 6, 2013
Ohio Environmental Council

MD: Maryland Natural Areas Program – Vernal Pool Life Facebook Page (Photos)

Vernal Pool Videos

The Brief Wondrous Life of Vernal Pools
March 20, 2013

TNC: What is a Vernal Pool?
March 20, 2013

Ohio Environmental Council: Help Us Protect Ohio’s Vernal Pools
March 14, 2013

Restoration Program helps citizen scientists explore local wildlife
December 12, 2011

Happy Mating Wood Frogs in Massachusetts Vernal Pool
Monday, 19 March 2012 00:00

Maine Senate rejects reducing wetland buffer
Thursday, 09 June 2011 16:18

By Steve Mistler – Sun Journal –June 8, 2011

With strong backing from the Republican majority, the Senate on Wednesday rejected a late attempt by the LePage administration to reduce the state's buffer zone for vernal pools, temporary wetlands known for helping sustain larger animals such as deer and bears in the spring. The Senate voted 29-6 against a floor amendment that would have reduced the current 250-foot buffer to 150 feet. The decision led to unanimous approval of LD 159, a bill reported out of committee with a unanimous endorsement. It attempts to address implementation issues that have frustrated builders and developers, and, according to both sides of the debate, confused local enforcement agencies. For full story, click here.

Ohio Environmental Council: Vernal Pool Mobile App
Monday, 25 March 2013 00:00

Ohio Environmental Council – 2013

The Ohio Environmental Council has developed a variety of materials to educate citizen-scientists of all ages about vernal pools including a field guide, DVD, online database, and printed monitoring forms. The next step is to take these monitoring forms and other information from paper and into the palm of your hand! We will begin by developing an app for iPhone and after launch, then plan to develop one for Android. The vernal pool monitoring mobile app will be a critical tool that will streamline monitoring, making it easier and more efficient to gather information vital to protecting these special places. While we already have dozens of Ohioans helping us to monitor vernal pools, this mobile app will encourage new people to go into the field and gather critical information. For more information, click here.

Province Announces Citizen Science Initiative on World Wetlands Day
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 18:04

Nova Scotia Canada – February 2, 2012

This World Wetlands Day, today, Feb. 2, the province is inviting Nova Scotians to help increase understanding of the province's wetlands by gathering and reporting valuable information to the Department of Environment. As part of a new Vernal Pool Mapping and Monitoring Project, the department is looking for volunteer citizen scientists to collect data on vernal pools in their communities. Vernal pools are small, shallow, often temporary wetlands. For full story, click here.

The Value of Vernal Pools
Friday, 03 June 2011 17:33

By Christian Milneil – Maine Audubon Habitat – March 25, 2011

The sounds of frogs calling out to attract mates is, for many, one of the signature sounds of spring. Head out into the woods on a mild April evening and follow your ears - chances are the sounds will lead you downhill into a cool hollow where you'll find forest pool, flooded by the spring snowmelt, that you don’t remember being there last summer. For full article, click here.

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