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Vernal Pool Mapper and Database

Temporary wetlands called vernal pools provide important breeding grounds for reptiles and amphibians, but their seasonal nature can make them both difficult to find and to protect. The vernal pool mapper is now available to guide conservation of this important habitat. Based on a database of field-verified and remotely-sensed potential vernal pool locations compiled from across the Northeast, it can help identify priority areas for conservation and inform future surveys.

Go to the Product(s)

Unrestricted data (Level 1) on 56,224 field-verified and potential vernal pool locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, and Quebec, available to view and download on our Conservation Planning Atlas

Restricted data (Level 2) on 3,675 field-verified and potential vernal pool locations in Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Nova Scotia, and Virginia, available to view only on our Conservation Planning Atlas

Additional Resources

Recording of webinar North Atlantic Vernal Pool Data Cooperative: A regional framework to advance conservation planning (March 17, 2016)

Technical description

This project compiled a comprehensive GIS dataset of known and potential vernal pool locations in the NALCC region. It also led to the development of the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative (VPDC), a database that provides a framework to organize observational and geospatial data on vernal pools, provide tools for data analysis and visualization, and house a metadata library cataloguing the original data sources. Cooperators can upload geospatial and other data to the VPDC database through an online tool that allows contributors to set restrictions on data use. A technical review document describes all the coordinated vernal pool mapping efforts in the region. Finally, a method to identify potential vernal pools using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology and objectbased image analysis (OBIA), a technique that focuses on meaningful landscape objects rather than individual pixels, was developed. To demonstrate the feasibility of the OBIA approach, we examined two pilot sites with welldeveloped vernal pool databases and where high-quality remote-sensing data exist (e.g., Vermont and New Jersey). Models were field-verified using known vernal pool locations.

Case Studies and News Stories

Vernal-pool mapping workshop offers resources and collaborators - North Atlantic LCC news

Project Contact(s):

, Conservation Biologist, Vermont Center for Ecostudies

LCC Staff Contact(s):

, Science Coordinator

Vernal Pool Mapper and Database
Resource Type: Amphibians, Reptiles
Conservation Targets: Terrestrial and non-tidal wetland
Conservation Framework: Biological Planning
Conservation Action: Site/area protection, Site/area management, Species management, Species recovery