Vernal Pool Survey Yields a Welcome Surprise

Long-tailed salamander in its natural habitat.
Long-tailed salamander in its natural habitat

Every Spring, special pools blossom into existence fed by melting winter snow and seasonal rains. These vernal pools (from the Latin vernalis meaning “of the spring”) provide a host of environmental services to any habitat in which they form.

Long-tailed salamander in hand.
Long-tailed salamander in hand.

Amphibians especially love vernal pools, as they are safer places (i.e., less aquatic predators due to the pools’ temporary nature) to mate and lay eggs, and for those eggs to hatch and develop into a new generation of adults.

Just like last year, one of GreenVest’s Vice Presidents, Brian Cramer, did an informal survey of some of vernal pools at one of our northern-New Jersey mitigation sites. With his kids’ assistance, he found some welcome surprises!

Brian found some long-tailed salamanders (an NJ state-threatened species) that hadn’t been found in previous official surveys. The presence of such a vulnerable species is evidence that our mitigation efforts are having a positive impact on the local flora and fauna.

Please note that great care is taught and taken as we locate and interact with these salamanders. We use exceptional caution when handling, and always return the salamanders back where they were found.

Salamander in hand