There are hundreds of vernal pools within the South Mountain landscape that provide critical breeding habitat for amphibians and reptiles and contain important plant communities. Monitoring and protection of the pools is crucial to the survival of these populations. Potential research/monitoring projects include:
• Identification and inventory of vernal pool communities on private land (e.g., northeast side of the South Mountain). Also evaluate the connectivity with forested habitat and buffers of vernal pools on private lands.
• Monitoring amphibian breeding through egg mass counts
• Monitoring for the presence of wildlife diseases (e.g., chytrid fungus and Ranavirus) through the use of eDNA.
• Pilot project for monitoring and developing an effective way to remove an invasive crayfish from targeted vernal pools adjacent to the Mount Cydonia Natural Area.
• Predicting the potential impacts of climate change on vernal pool communities.
This project is eligible for grants through South Mountain Partnership or other sources.
Contact Aura Stauffer ([email protected]) for more information.