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Coming to a Vernal Pool Near You - Big Night!

Karen Schnitzer

April 2023

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Photo Credit: "Amphibians" by flickrfavorites

Spring is a wonderful time of year. Birds return from their winter haunts. Flowers sprout and bloom. And Big Night comes to vernal pools across Connecticut. Big Night is the name given to the first warm, rainy spring night in March or April when large numbers of amphibians, wood frogs, spring peepers, salamanders, and others travel to vernal pools to breed. They will spend days or weeks at a vernal  pool, eventually moving back to their territory in the woods when the females are done laying eggs.


While many of these creatures will be moving through the woods to their nearby  pools, large numbers of them will also be crossing roads. In many places, people will gather to watch or even stop traffic to allow the multitudes to cross in the  rain. There are two things you can do to help these amphibians during this time.


First, be alert and drive carefully during rainy spring nights — perhaps take a route  through town instead of along streams or forests. If you think you see a frog hopping across the road on a rainy spring night, you probably do. If you can, stop and wait, or go around. It’s ok to stop and shoo them out of your path before continuing on!


The second thing you can do is to help preserve adult amphibian  populations by becoming aware of vernal pools near you, sharing this message, and speaking out to protect them and their habitats.


May your Big Night be Big and Loud — and thanks for all you do for wildlife! 

Karen Schnitzer is a member of Wildlife Committee

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