Studying Vernal Pools

News flash: DRWA is looking for people to monitor vernal pools in the watershed this spring and summer.

We will be studying the breeding habits of wood frogs and spotted salamanders, two species that are dependent on vernal pools for their survival. The goal of the project is to monitor vernal pools and their inhabitants on a long-term basis to gain information on their abundance, distribution and diversity in the watershed.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning about the wonderful variety of life found in these unique habitats, this project is for you. Surveys will take place at vernal pools on state and town-owned properties. Participants are required to attend training sessions to learn monitoring methods and the identification of frogs and salamanders that breed in vernal pools.

Training sessions will be held in March in Greenfield. Fieldwork begins when the amphibians initiate their breeding season, usually between the end of March and throughout April.

Please contact Pat Serrentino at (413) 772-0520 or for more information on the project, or if interested in volunteering.

Vernal pool ecosystems are excellent subjects for study by both adults and young people. Pools are usually safe to access and explore and do not require expensive equipment for study. Potential vernal pool explorers should keep in mind a few suggestions for protecting the pool’s inhabitants: