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Vernal Pool Monitoring Instructions

Vernal Pool Monitoring Instructions

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Vernal Pool Monitoring Instructions

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  1. Vernal Pool Monitoring Instructions Stark County Park District Click BACK for Main Menu

  2. Introduction • Vernal Pool • An ephemeral, isolated wetland that holds water only during the spring • All wetlands that fill annually from precipitation, runoff or rising groundwater, do not harbor fish, and dry out during some part of the year (in most years)

  3. Goals • Raise awareness of the diversity of life found in vernal pools and links that make it an integral part of the forest ecosystem • Provide a special opportunity for local environmental groups to build their memberships by organizing volunteers around fun event in the field, and educators and managers with an excellent educational and recreational opportunity

  4. Goals • Provide citizens, natural resource managers, and regulatory agencies with information that can be used to better manage and protect these fragile ecosystem • Provide a forum for exchanging ideas and experiences, and integrating the knowledge about these systems in Ohio

  5. Safety • Permission from landowner • Familiarize yourself with the vernal pool during daytime • Places to slip • Fallen logs • Mark your path to and from the site • NEVER visit site alone

  6. Safety • Before Leaving • Apply bug repellent (spray containing 23% DEET) • Sunscreen if necessary • Wear protective clothing • Hat • Long pants • boots

  7. Leave No Trace • Return the following to where they came from • Logs • Leaves • Insects • Wildlife

  8. Materials • Clipboard • Compass • Notebook • Pencil • Camera • Maps • Tape recorder

  9. Materials • Field guides • Binoculars • Measuring tape • Wading boots • OEC materials • Cell phone • GPS unit

  10. Materials • For animal handling and observation: • Flashlight • Dip net • Magnifying glass • Glass jar

  11. Frog and Toad Chorusing Surveys • You will need to learn to recognize frog and toad calls from the accompanying CD • Use the “Anuran chorusing survey” form to record your findings • It is recommended that each site be surveyed 4 times – once every 3rd week of the month between March and June

  12. Frog and Toad Chorusing Surveys • Visit the site approximately 2 hours after sunset. • If possible, choose a calm night, after rain, or when humidity is high • After approaching the site, turn off your lights and wait quietly for 1 minute • Following this period, listen quietly for frog calls for 5 minutes • Record all species heard

  13. Salamander Surveys • Night-time (migration) survey • For a night-time visual survey we recommend that you choose a night when daily temperature first reaches low 50’s • Speak to you park naturalist about the probable timing of migration in your area • Upon reaching the pool, walk around it in increasing circles and look for immigrating salamanders • Try to minimize handling of animals • Look for egg masses in the water and for salamander courtship movements at the bottom of the pool

  14. Salamander Surveys • Daytime Surveys • Look under rocks and logs • Always return the overturned log to its previous position • Look for egg masses on branches in the pool • Minimize disturbance by wading as little as possible • With dip-nets, sweep the bottom of the pool at various depths • Examine and record findings

  15. Salamander Trapping • Aquatic funnel traps can be used

  16. Salamander Trapping • Place four traps equidistant to each other in your pool • Place traps flush with the substrate, in water deep enough that the funnel openings are completely submerged, but some breathing space is left between the top of the trap and water surface.

  17. Salamander Trapping • Traps should remain in place for 24 hours, after which all animals should be identified and immediately released

  18. Final steps • After completing the amphibian surveys for a year, summarize your results from the “Anuran chorusing survey”, and/or “Salamander monitoring survey” forms in sections 6-10 of the main monitoring form.

  19. Thanks for your participation!Click BACK for Main Menu