Vernal Pools


Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water, only filled for part of the year.  Because they don't last, they don't have predatory fish.  This makes them important habitat for amphibians and invertebrates.  The State has a program for identifying, "certifying," and protecting vernal pools.  More...

There are many vernal pools near Hawksnest State Park.  Four in and close to the park have been certified.  But there are numerous other depressions which need to be scouted--their locations are shown on the map below.

I've marked the potential Vernal Pools on this map. Four of them in Hawksnest State Park have been "certified" by the State.

To see the State's GIS maps, go here.
Volunteers are needed to gather data at several pools in Hawksnest to allow them to be certified.  It's a fun project!  The first step is to check if there's standing water in the pool during early spring. Next, you look or to see if fairy shrimp are present, or if frogs, toads, or salamanders are breeding there.  Forms and instructions.

At other times of the year when the ponds are dry, it's still possible to identify likely vernal ponds by looking for signs such as water stains or dragonfly nymph skins.

Slide show of vernal pools and potential pools in and around Hawksnest park.