The Vernal Ponds Working Group was initiated in 2009 to address the growing concern regarding the loss and degradation of vernal ponds, or pools - key breeding habitat for several amphibian species in our region. Vernal ponds are small, isolated, fishless wetlands - typically associated with forest - that dry up periodically. As a result, they are difficult to locate and identify, and are especially vulnerable to filling, draining, and other alteration. Federal protections for vernal pools are limited, and most vernal pools lack federal protection, further exacerbating the potential for amphibian habitat loss. This emphasizes the need for better communication and coordination for protection of vernal pools at the state and local levels.
This Working Group aims to serve as a regional clearinghouse of information on vernal pool research, policy, and educational resources to advance vernal pool protection in the NEPARC region. We do not intend to duplicate other existing resources, but will serve as a “go to” resource to find out about other resources and initiatives in the region. Through conference symposia, an email distribution list, and web-based resource lists, the group will support and connect conservation professionals working on vernal pool conservation.