Climate Stories

Vernal Pools

A key habitat for many species, vernal pools are contending with climate change and other human-caused impacts.

A vernal pool scene with trees and some new green leaves.

Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water that appear in the spring and summer, fed by melting snow and rainfall. They are important breeding grounds for many amphibians and invertebrates that can thrive in vernal pools because their predators only live in bodies of water that persist year round. Species that breed in vernal pools can weather bad years occasionally, but with climate change, bad years may become more frequent in some places.

Given their prevalence in communities throughout the region, vernal pools are a great topic for combining hands-on learning with explorations of data, climate, and the impacts that people can have on their local ecosystems.