Ohio Environmental Council, February 26, 2013
“Vernal pools” are wetlands that fill up annually but typically dry out during part of the year.
These usually small but very dynamic, wetlands fill with water, blossom with life and host a cacophony of sounds and a plethora of life forms every spring, only to disappear into the forest floor every autumn.
Vernal pools are miniature, fascinatingly complex and fragile worlds of activity, which play out their drama in a few months every year.
Vernal pools can vary greatly in size and shape. In fact, the time of filling, surrounding habitat, and water source can vary per pool but they all share two common characteristics: they do not permanently hold water and they have no fish.
Vernal pools are special! They:
Vernal pools are threatened
The major threat to vernal pools is from developers who unknowingly destroy them. Other threats include: invasive species, pollution from runoff, mosquito control, destruction of surrounding habitat, and lack of community interest in or knowledge of the pool.
You can help!
By monitoring and documenting these pools, they can be appreciated and preserved.
Support local efforts to find and monitor vernal pools.
Raise community awareness by using the local newspaper and talking with your neighbors.
Join the Ohio Vernal Pools Partnership listserv and keep up-to-date with changes in legislation and the latest technologies in monitoring.
For more information on vernal pool monitoring or to learn the latest news please visit the Ohio Vernal Pool Partnership website.
Animals that call vernal pools home include:
Fairy shrimp — can only be found in vernal pools!
Frogs and toads
Vegetation you may find includes:
Vernal pools have six distinct phases:
Always put things back the way you find them and NEVER take any animals from the vernal pool.