Spring is an exciting time of year for amphibians, so we’re highlighting vernal pools this month.
Vernal pools, also known as woodland pools, are seasonal ponds found in forests that provide safe breeding habitats for amphibians, like frogs and salamanders. They are created by snowmelt and spring rains, so they typically occur in the spring.
Once the ground thaws and temperatures start to warm up in late winter and early spring, amphibians emerge from hibernation ready to migrate to vernal pools for breeding. When the temperature and precipitation conditions are just right, hundreds or thousands of amphibians will make this migration on what are known as “Big Nights.” These journeys can be up to a quarter of a mile, which is no small feat for tiny amphibians, and they often encounter roads (and vehicles) along the way.