Vernal pool project: local action to preserve biodiversity

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Student Showcase of Research & Engagement 2018
Bosworth, Kyle
McManus, Dylan
Cooke, Jacob
Casey, Samantha
Stocker, Rachel
Polichronopoulos, Brendan
Biodiversity declines are a major environmental concern. The current rate of species loss is comparable to that of previous mass extinctions (Cunningham, W.). Amphibians are suffering the highest rates of diversity loss, with nearly half of all amphibian species in decline (Johnson, P). Stressors and threats to amphibians include habitat fragmentation, disease, climate change and pollution. These threats are difficult to address due to the significant variation of impact specific threats pose at specific sites. This implies that local scale action is necessary to preserve populations. New Hampshire lacks sufficient presence/absence data of amphibian species which furthers hinders informed management and conservation strategies. In collaboration with Plymouth municipal leadership, Plymouth Elementary School, Mountain Village Charter School, and private landowners; PSU faculty and students are working to identify critical amphibian habitats, migration corridors and document the presence/absence of amphibians in ‘Greatest Need of Conservation' as identified by 2015 New Hampshire Wildlife Actin Plan. Through education, outreach and community engagement this project aims to document critical aquatic resources, preserve wildlife habitat, inform management practices and cultivate active community stewardship.