Residents Learn To Maintain Vernal Pools

Residents Learn To Maintain Vernal Pools

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Meridian Township residents learned how to monitor vernal pools at a training workshop at Lake Lansing Park North on April 9th.

Vernal pools are wetlands, usually found in forest areas that fill up with rain water and melted snow in the spring and dry up towards the end of the summer in July or August.

Vernal pools do not have fish since they are temporary wetlands but they do contain four unique species that are indicators of a vernal pool.

"One in particular is the fairy shrimp and you only find fairy shrimp in vernal pools. There's like three species in Michigan and they're only found in vernal pools," said Daria Hyde, a Conservation Scientist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

Blue spotted salamanders, spotted salamanders, and wood frogs are also found in vernal pools.

The purpose of the workshop was to train people to be able to identify vernal pools near their homes and then to monitor them and collect data.

Some residents attended the workshop to learn more about the wetlands they had seen near their homes.

"I came to learn more about these ponds that are around my house. I can hear the peepers and the wood frogs," said Ken Rosenman, a volunteer at the workshop.

State law in Michigan does not currently protect vernal pools since they are so small and not much information is known about them.

We're asking people to collect data and let us know if they're finding salamanders or wood frogs or fairy shrimp and that way we can put that information into a statewide vernal pool database and then we can learn a little bit more about what's here in the state and how can we protect these areas," said Hyde.

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