What Am I Looking At?
What is a Vernal Pool?
Vernal pools are naturally occurring, temporary or semi-permanent pools in shallow depressions of forested landscapes that typically fill in the spring and dry during the summer. There are no permanent inlets or outlets and no permanent fish.
Why are Vernal Pools important?
- They are a primary breeding place for wood frogs, blue spotted and spotted salamanders, and fairy shrimp.
- They are an important habitat for many of Maine’s rare, threatened or endangered species of turtles, snakes, and dragonflies.
- The above species are food for higher predators such as snakes, turtles, birds and mammals.
- They consume a large amount of the forest insects and other invertebrates — we like those salamander larvae eating our mosquito larvae!
- They play an important role with releasing and distributing aquatic nutrients into the forest system.
Did You Know?
The wood frog freezes during the winter months and then thaws out in the spring to keep on croaking!