Vernal Pool Monitoring


Last spring on the annual wildflower walk, I encountered a beautiful vernal pool at Reddish Knob, complete with gorgeous masses of eggs belonging to ….someone.  No idea what species had left those eggs.  This April, Headwaters is kicking off a new project for vernal pool monitoring with a day-long seminar which will empower participants to make just those types of species identifications!

The training session will be held on Saturday, April 6 and is a full day event.  Dr. Anne Wright, director of Life Sciences Outreach at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond will be making a trip to Harrisonburg to do the training for us.  Dr. Wright will be joined by Susan Watson, Fish and Wildlife Information Services Biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries headquarters in Henrico.  The training will consist of two parts—we’ll begin with a classroom session (to be held at Bridgewater College) at 10:30AM on April 6.  This part of the day will last until about 1:30PM (that includes time for a lunch break), at which point we’ll head into the field to do some identifications!  Our field survey spot is Deep Run Ponds (about a half hour drive from BC).  We’ll spend another 2-3 hours there looking at and identifying the species in those vernal ponds!

We’ll be sending out more information (for example, there are procedures for cleaning boots to be worn at Deep Run to be sure that we’re able to prevent contamination of the site)  prior to the event, but you can already sign up for the training through the VMN VMS calendar.  Meanwhile, if you have questions about the day, feel free to email me (plassms [at] gmail [dot] com) and I’m happy to share more information!

– Peggy Plass, Project Committee Chair, February 2019

Read about Vernal Pools from the Capital Naturalist Alonso Abugattas HERE.

Photos by Peggy