Ponds (and amphibians) disappearing in one of the world’s oldest National Parks

 

Seasonal pond in Yellowstone National Park: one of the study sites for research showing ponds drying out, and amphibian losses, as a result of climate change

Seasonal pond in Yellowstone National Park: one of the study sites for research showing ponds drying out, and amphibian losses, as a result of climate change. To zoom to the site shown above on Google Earth or Google Maps paste in these co-ordinates: 44°56'16.65N, 110°18'40.05W.

Ponds in Yellowstone National Park in America – one of the worlds oldest and most heavily protected National Parks – are drying up because of climate change.

The lower Lamar Valley in northern Yellowstone harbours countless small, fishless ponds – ideal for amphibian breeding and larval development (and no doubt for lots of other temporary pond specialists too).

Between 1992 and 1993, researchers surveyed 46 of these “kettle” ponds, which are re-filled in spring by groundwater and snow melt running down from the hills.

When a team from Stanford University in California repeated this survey between 2006 and 2008, the number of permanently dry ponds had increased four-fold.

With less breeding habitat, frogs also declined: see the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7693381.stm.

Drying up of vulnerable temporary ponds is a threat to freshwater wildlife: and it could pose a problem to the UKs many thousands of temporary ponds too, such as those supporting the extremely threatened Tadpole Shrimp (see link to earlier in the blog).

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