New York Natural Heritage Program
Vernal Pool
Vernal pool at Saratoga National Historical Park Gregory J. Edinger
System: Palustrine
SubSystem: Forested Mineral Soil Wetlands

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3
A State Rarity Rank of S3 means: Typically 21 to 100 occurrences, limited acreage, or miles of stream in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G4
A Global Rarity Rank of G4 means: Apparently secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Many animals depend on vernal pools, especially for breeding. Most of these animals such as frogs, toads, turtles, and salamanders spend a majority of their life in nearby wetlands but migrate to breed or feed in productive vernal pools. Fingernail clams and air-breathing snails live their entire life in vernal pools and must burrow beneath leaves and mud when the pool dries until the water returns. Fairy shrimp produce eggs that remain in the dry pool after the adult's death and hatch after the pool refills.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are probably a few thousand occurrences statewide. Vernal pools are typically small (i.e., generally under one acre) and may be overlooked as wetlands after the water draws down. A few documented occurrences have good viability and are protected on public land or private conservation land. This community has statewide distribution, and likely includes several high quality examples. The current trend of this community is probably stable for occurrences on public land, or declining slightly elsewhere due to moderate threats related to development pressure, alteration to the natural hydrology, and reduced protection regulations for isolated wetlands. This community has probably declined moderately from historical numbers likely correlated with logging and development of the surrounding landscape.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]