Seasonal Pools Registry

Seasonal pools, often called vernal pools, are a unique type of wetland habitat. They are typically small, shallow, ephemeral waterbodies, and unlike a pond or a lake, they have no permanent inlet or outlet.  They are filled each spring by rain and snow melt, then dry up for a period of time during the summer. These qualities of seasonal pools distinguish them from other wetlands, and they support several species of animals that require these temporary wetland habitats for survival.

The Pennsylvania Seasonal Pools Registry is a citizen-based program to document locations of seasonal pools.  We are relying on volunteer participants to submit information about where seasonal pools are located and what animals are using the pools.  The registry is an important step toward understanding Pennsylvania's ephemeral wetland habitats. The information will be available to researchers who study seasonal pools in the state, and to landowners and agencies that manage these often-overlooked wetlands. Anyone who is interested in seasonal pools is welcome to get involved.  

Resources from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:

Register a Seasonal Pool

Educational Materials

About Our Project 

The Pennsylvania Seasonal Pools Registry is an effort to document locations of and collect preliminary biological data on seasonal pool habitats throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  We hope to facilitate this project with the help of volunteers and landowners like you.  We are relying on you to help us find these unique habitats.

Information collected for this project is used to create an online database of seasonal pools in Pennsylvania, available on this site.  The website also provides information on how to register and study seasonal pools, general information about seasonal pool ecology, pictures and field guides for species that use seasonal pools, outreach ideas and information for educators, and a list of additional resources for seasonal pools. 

Funding was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through State Wildlife Grants Program Grant T-24, administered through the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.  For more information, visit the State Wildlife Grants program.

The Pennsylvania Seasonal Pools Registry is a project of the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program.

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