The question has been on the minds of some of whether or not the Sanborn Wetland is a vernal pool. A vernal pool is the only place that certain species of animals can breed due to the physical characteristics of the pool. These are obligate species and include the wood frog, the mole salamander and the fairy shrimp. The reason that obligate species can breed only in vernal pools is because vernal pools contain no fish. Vernal pools are dry in the summer, fill with water in the fall, freeze over in the winter, fill with water again in the spring due to the melting snow and dry out again come summer time. A body of water that dries up obviously cannot support a fish population making it a perfect breeding place for the obligate species mentioned because fish snack upon their eggs.
The question as to whether or not the Sanborn Wetland is a vernal pool has yet to be answered. After half a year of personal observation I have noticed our wetland to exhibit the physical characteristics of a vernal pool, meaning no fish because of dry spells, but I have not seen any obligate species nor heard of any sightings. Just because they haven’t been seen, however, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. The late astronomer Carl Sagan, speaking of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, was often quoted as saying something to the effect of “Absence of evidence doesn’t mean evidence of absence.” I believe that further research should be conducted to ascertain whether our wetland is a vernal pool or not.
Information provided by the Vernal Pool Association,
which can be found at http://earth.simmons.edu/vernal/pool/vernal_1.htm
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