Although present for only a brief period of time during early spring, these wetlands provide valuable habitat and food for an abundance of plant and animal life including, waterfowl, long-toed salamanders, clam and tadpole shrimp, downingia and Juncus species.
Vernal pools are a unique ephemeral wetland type located in the biscuit and swale portions of the refuge ranging in size from 100 to over 1,000 square feet. Vernal pools occur in shallow depressions with a perched water table. Standing water is usually present for less than two months in most years. Because of the relatively short-lived nature of these wetlands, they are host to a unique plant and animal community.