Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp

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Overview

  • Species Common Name Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp
  • Species Scientific Name Branchinecta lynchi
  • Federal Listing Status Threatened

Ecoregions

Special needs

Vernal pool fairy shrimp require vernal pools or similar, ephemeral pools to complete their life cycle. They prefer small pools with cold water. Prior to seasonal drying of the pools, females produce eggs ("cysts"). These cysts can dry out and lie dormant until pool re-filling occurs, at which time the eggs will hatch.

Limiting factors

There is little genetic variability within vernal pool fairy shrimp populations. Many vernal pools have been drained or have modified hydrology unsuitable for fairy shrimp. Remaining pool habitat is increasingly isolated. Stormwater run-off containing pesticides, chemical residues, and other contaminants are also harmful to vernal pool fairy shrimp.

Conservation actions

Maintain or restore vernal pools to provide habitat. Maintain or restore water quality in vernal pools.