Vernal Pools are Hopping!

Spotted salamander. Photo credit: Craig Austin, March 2010, Sharon, MA.

Spotted salamander. Photo credit: Craig Austin, March 2010, Sharon, MA.

These days, vernal pools are alive with spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and fairy shrimp.

These ephemeral wetlands offer important sites for these small wildlife to mate and lay their eggs; because the pools don’t support fish, there is far less likelihood that the eggs will be eaten.

Of late, on warm nights, in rainy weather, spotted salamanders have been walking to these pools en masse. They even travel over roads – and may end up as roadkill. Some folks travel on foot at night to witness these migrations and the ensuing frenzy in the pools. And some folks help the animals to cross the road – literally.

In the daytime, you can catch sight of the egg masses they leave behind – for instance, this. You also may see the spermatophores left behind by the male salamanders.

Learn more about vernal pools (allow several seconds for the pdf to load). Also, visit this site.

Help to ensure the availability of vernal pools by certifying them!


Carly Rocklen, Restoration Manager and Outreach Director


2 responses to “Vernal Pools are Hopping!”

  1. Pat charles says:

    Can I visit a Vernal Pool in Canton or Quincy?

    • Ian Cooke says:

      Hi Pat,

      The answer depends on where it is…if its on public property you’re welcome to visit. Here’s a LINK to open an interactive map of known and suspected vernal pool locations.


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