1,000 Acres of Vernal Pool Preserve and Growing!

Carol Witham monitoring vernal pool with camera crew

In June of 2021 SVC recorded the Cook Preserve, permanently protecting an additional 163-acres within the Sacramento Prairie Vernal Pool Preserve complex. The Cook Preserve serves to protect annual grasslands, providing habitat for Swainson’s hawk, and seasonal wetland and vernal pool habitats supporting endangered fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi), midvalley fairy shrimp (Branchinecta mesovallensis) and California linderiella (Linderiella occidentalis). SVC manages the preserve and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation holds the conservation easement. The Cook project was dedicated by Elliott Homes as off-site mitigation for the Rio del Oro development project in Rancho Cordova.

Vernal pools are depressions found in grasslands which have a layer of bedrock below the surface, keeping rain water from percolating into the water table. After several rainstorms several pools of water start to appear across the landscape.  These seasonal wetlands host more than 200 species, with flora and fauna which live nowhere else in the world. Less than 10% of California’s vernal pools remain today.

With your support SVC has now permanently protected seven parcels, totaling over 1,000 acres of vernal pool grasslands, in the area south of Jackson Highway between Excelsior and Sunrise Blvd in Sacramento. SVC has helped to protect a total of 1,700 acres of preserves with vernal pool habitat throughout the Sacramento Valley.

The Sacramento Prairie Vernal Pool Preserve will be featured in SVC’s educational film series, and is expected to be released this fall. If you would like to find out more about the SPVPP or sponsor the film to support the protection of these special places, please visit our Film Sponsor Page or email info@sacramentovalleyconservancy.org for more information.

Linderiella and Tadpole shrimp photos courtesy of David Rosen.

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