Vernal Pools are ponds generally lacking fish that provide important breeding habitat for many amphibian species. Vernal pools also support a very diverse array of insects and other invertebrates. In Massachusetts, citizens can submit vernal pool data to the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program at MassWildlife, in order to certify a pool. Certified vernal pools receive some additional regulatory protection.
In Newton, we have 9 Certified Vernal Pools, and 4 additional known pools that qualify for certification. Two certified pools in Cold Spring Park; two in Webster/Hammond Woods; one in Kennard; one south of route 9 and east of Dudley Road; three on DCR land along the Charles, south of Wells Avenue.
Beginning at the end of March, spotted salamanders have been laying eggs in some of our vernal pools. Here is a photograph of an ovipositing spotted salamander from a pool west of Newton.