Drought and Wildlife

U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought conditions are beyond “extreme” and into “exceptional” in Texas and parts of Arizona, New Mexico,  Louisiana, and Kansas. Earlier this year we focused on the impacts of floods and fires on wildlife regionally, now let’s focus on the drought.

In Texas, one concern is species that might be endemic to a single spring-fed pool. As the water level in that pool declines, so does hope for that species. Here’s info from the Texas Dept. of Parks and Wildlife. 

As in the stories of the spring floods, the drought is driving wildlife closer to developed areas and humans. And as with the spring floods, wildlife rehabilitators are leaping into the fray to save animals they fear are at risk. Articles like this one, describe the problem through the rehabilitators’ eyes, but lack the balance that the opinion of a state wildlife biologist would add. Find another, similar story here.

In Kansas, the Salina Journal says that near rivers, the number of insects, birds and mammals has been reduced by 50 to 80 percent because the animals either move, die or go into estivation, a sort of hibernation. The article also mentions fish kills in dry rivers. Read more here.

Map: U.S. Drought Monitor, US Dept. of Agriculture. Updated each Thursday.


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