The Vernal Pool Monitoring Program aims to increase awareness of vernal pools and to map and monitor vernal pools in West Virginia.
Vernal pools, sometimes known as ephemeral pools or ponds, are seasonal wetlands that form during the late fall, winter, and early
spring. Fall rain and snow, and early spring snow melt, fills depressions in the forest floor, creating shallow pools that many
amphibians use to lay their eggs. In West Virginia, wood frogs, spotted salamanders, Jefferson salamanders, toads, and spring
peepers all visit vernal pools to breed and deposit eggs. The young develop in the vernal pools until they emerge and spend their
adult lives in the surrounding forest habitat. Then, they return to these same pools to breed in following years.