Vernal pools provide critical habitat for a diverse assemblage of wildlife, from breeding wood frogs and spotted salamanders, to fingernail clams and fairy shrimp. Despite their important role, vernal pools remain poorly understood and face an uncertain future due to effects of climate change, airborne pollutants, and threats from development.
Having mapped the location of nearly 5,000 potential and known vernal pools across Vermont with the help of Arrowwood Environmental and many enthusiastic volunteers, Vermont Center for Ecostudies has initiated the next step: an ongoing monitoring project that will help track the health of these critical ecosystems. While volunteers will still work to verify potential vernal pools as part of the mapping project, repeated monitoring of known pools is essential to establish a baseline of data with which to compare future changes, and to increase our body of knowledge about these unique wetlands.
This is where you come in; the success of this project depends on volunteers who will visit “adopted” pools on an annual basis to assess biological and physical metrics. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Alex Wells, our Vernal Pool Monitoring Program Coordinator.
Project Goals and Objectives
The project’s overall goals are to:
- Build a base of knowledge regarding the state of vernal pools in Vermont
- Raise awareness about the value of vernal pools by involving the public in vernal pool monitoring
- Advance vernal pool conservation planning at the state and local levels