Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp

An Endangered Species

Where Can I Find One?

This illusive little crustacean can be found in California and Southern Oregon. It lives in vernal pools; temporary bodies of water comparable to shallow wetlands. This habitat is ideal for amphibians as fish, a major predator, cannot survive here.

How is it being threatened?

Temporary vernal pools are becoming increasingly depleted as a result of agricultural expansion, urbanization, overgrazing, and so on. Approximately 9% of these vernal pools are left in California. These fragile ponds are also threatened by increasing amounts of fertilizers and pesticides in the water.

Why are they important?

Economically, these shrimp have no direct value to humans, but they are important to sustaining native ecosystems. They are however, due to loss of habitat and lack of range, on the brink of extinction. Should these creatures go extinct, the fragile food chains would be disrupted. The shrimp feast on insect larvae, so if the population of shrimp go down, the number of insects will drastically increase.