It’s there, and then it’s gone. Vernal pools may appear to be little more than accidental puddles that fill in the spring and disappear by summer, but wherever they form they’re an important part of the ecosystem.
In Pennsylvania, where 300 to 350 acres of wildlife habitat is lost each day to residential and commercial development, many vernal pools are disappearing, never to return.
Amphibians and many invertebrates rely on the temporary appearance of the pools for breeding purposes. In Pennsylvania, five species of amphibians and a crustacean use the pools for breeding, the hatching of eggs and development of young and larva. The spring peepers frequently heard in the spring are beneficiaries of vernal pools — their mass migrations to and from the pools are a marvel of nature.
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