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News from the Pools

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If it's wriggling or slithering or just sitting there all wet, here's news about vernal pools and their inhabitants.

The Vermont Vernal Pool Map Is Live

November 05, 2014

Got vernal pools? Find one in Vermont with help from this interactive map – a tool for anyone interested in these wetland ecosystems. Use the map to help VCE verify the status of suspected vernal pools as well. Get the map. »

Clams in the Woods

April 14, 2014

Clambakes, fried clams, clam diggers, clam shacks ― we usually associate clams with the ocean. You may have also seen freshwater clams in rivers and lakes. But did you know there are clams that live in the woods? Read on. »

Sixteen Toes

July 01, 2013

Let’s start out with a riddle: What animal has 16 toes and a tail that breaks off when grabbed by a predator? Not sure? Here’s another clue: It’s the smallest terrestrial vertebrate in our area. Read on. »

The Annual Frog Symphony

March 01, 2013

We’re used to tracking spring’s progression through flowers (colt’s foot to purple trillium to columbine) or bird sightings (phoebes to sapsuckers to warblers). Spend time near a wetland and frog song can be used in the same way. Read on. »

Fair Shrimp Hedging Their Bets

April 23, 2012

An encounter with fairy shrimp is one of the great joys of visiting a woodland vernal pool. These small, shrimp-like crustaceans are as ephemeral as some orchids – appearing in abundance one year and not at all the next. When they do appear, the active phase of their life cycle is short-lived, lasting only a couple weeks, so timing is critical if you want to catch a glimpse of these poorly-understood, engaging invertebrates. Read on. »