Wood frog egg masses in a vernal pool in Keene, NH (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Vernal Pool Project

Discover ephemeral ecosystems.

A Treasure Hunt for Woodland Jewels

Vernal pools are ephemeral woodland ponds that serve as critical amphibian breeding habitat and as important feeding grounds and shelter for many reptiles, birds, and mammals. Because they’re small, seasonal, and often fall outside the realm of regulatory protection, they’re especially vulnerable to development. To protect these sensitive ecosystems, we train volunteers to identify and document vernal pools, with special focus on lands where information is needed for conservation planning.

Our volunteers have documented nearly 300 vernal pools in 16 different towns in the Monadnock Region. To learn more, join us for a volunteer training, review our volunteer handbook, or contact Brett Amy Thelen.

A vernal pool in April. (photo © Russ Cobb)

A vernal pool in April. (photo © Russ Cobb)

Susan and Karen Sielke -- longtime Vernal Pool Project volunteers -- dressed in field gear and ready to sleuth out vernal pools! (photo © Cynthia Nichols)

Susan and Karen Sielke -- longtime Vernal Pool Project volunteers -- dressed in field gear and ready to sleuth out vernal pools! (photo © Cynthia Nichols)

A Jefferson salamander egg mass, found in a Keene, NH vernal pool. (photo © Karen Seaver)

A Jefferson salamander egg mass, found in a Keene, NH vernal pool. (photo © Karen Seaver)

Volunteers look for amphibian egg masses from the edge of a vernal pool. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Volunteers look for amphibian egg masses from the edge of a vernal pool. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A spotted salamander egg mass, found in a Rindge, NH vernal pool. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

A spotted salamander egg mass, found in a Rindge, NH vernal pool. (photo © Brett Amy Thelen)

Spotted salamander eggs, submerged in a springtime vernal pool. (photo © Rick Bonnett)

Spotted salamander eggs, submerged in a springtime vernal pool. (photo © Rick Bonnett)

Contact Us

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Brett Amy Thelen at (603) 358-2065 or by email.