Mike Marchand: (603) 271-2461
Jay Martin: (603) 271-3211
June 25, 2021
Concord, NH – The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program works with state and private partners to protect more than 400 species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as thousands of invertebrate species in New Hampshire. In order to reach its annual fundraising goal and actualize state-matching funds to support wildlife and habitat conservation, the program must raise $100,000 in private donations by June 30.
Following the rains of April and May, vernal pools “spring to life,” often appearing annually in the same locations before they disappear again each summer. State endangered marbled salamanders, spotted salamanders, wood frogs, and fairy shrimp all rely on vernal pools for successful breeding and the development of larvae. Vernal pools also provide an important habitat for the state endangered Blanding’s turtle and state threatened spotted turtle and contribute to wildlife corridors, serving as important stepping stones that connect other wetland habitats through a forested landscape.
Vernal pools are often overlooked as an important habitat because they typically dry out during the summer and are relatively small in size and volume. “Vernal pools are a critical habitat type identified in the NH Wildlife Action Plan,” said Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program Supervisor Mike Marchand. “Maintaining healthy landscapes that include vernal pools along with other wetlands and surrounding forests will benefit a large number of species, both common and rare.”
Awareness of the importance of vernal pools is the first step toward their protection, and in response, the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program proactively developed a manual, How to Identify and Document Vernal Pools in New Hampshire, which is now widely used by town conservation commissions, developers, land managers, and landowners to identify vernal pools. Teachers have also used these materials to educate children about the state’s wildlife and how to collect scientific information.
Help support this and other work of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. The State of New Hampshire offers a $100,000 challenge grant to fund the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, but to qualify the Department must raise an equal amount in private contributions by June 30, 2021. These funds are also critical in meeting federal grant matching requirements. Visit www.wildnh.com/nongame for more information and to make a donation.