A survey letter and response form were sent out to 100 local landowners in Newfield. The Town of Newfield is situated in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. The 100 landowners were selected with the aid of Google Earth and local tax maps.
Out of the 100 letters sent, 24 response forms were sent back. Several people communicated their response via email, phone, or in-person. In total, 30 of 100 responses were received. Of the 30, 7 indicated that they had pools with salamanders, frogs, and other identifying features, and that these pools tended to dry up over the summer. 5 indicated that they were not sure if they had vernal pools, but had seen newts, salamanders, frogs on their property, and indicated that there was a potential for small pools. The rest of the responses indicated that there were no vernal pools or the land owner did not want to participate in the survey. Two sample responses are shown here.
For the 7 positive responses, at least a dozen vernal pools were identified along with a description of the salamanders, newts, frogs and other species that inhabit the pools and surrounding wetland and forest. We toured several of these private properties to help add the pools to the USC database. Some images of these local pools are included here. Not all land owners want their land and pools identified explicitly, so we are not including specific locations here. Instead, we ask land owners to add to the USC database; we can assist with this if needed.
Newfield also has two “constructed” pools located on Town property. Local residents are encouraged to check out the brochure and visit these pools. It is a half mile hike from the road, but there are benches at the pools to sit at and enjoy the natural surroundings. There is a sign beside one of the pools that you can look for as you walk across the field and get close to the woods.
You can find egg masses in the spring – they are a little hard to see in the water at times.
We find lots of red backed salamanders and red newts around the pools – you might have to lift up a rock or log to see them.
Note that it is not too late to identify pools on your property and send me information if you would like to participate. The survey letter and response form are included above with my contact information. And feel free to add to the USC database.