Texas drought will harm wildlife habitat for years

The remains of a carp is seen on the lake dried out lake bed of O.C. Fisher Lake Wednesday in San Angelo, Texas. / AP photo

CANADIAN, Texas (AP) " Wildlife biologists believe the worst yearlong drought in Texas history will have a lasting impact on entire ecosystems.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist Jeffrey Bonner says the lack of moisture harms everything from the plants to the predators at the top of the food chain. Bonner says most wildlife will suffer low reproductive rates this year as their bodies enter basic survival mode.

Since January, Texas has only gotten about 6 inches of rain, compared to a norm of about 13 inches, making it the most severe one-year drought on record.

The extremely dry conditions have also struck parts of the Great Plains. They've been made worse in Texas by weeks of triple-digit temperatures that are causing reservoirs to evaporate, crops to wither and animals and fish to die.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Barrington Broadcasting is a member of the AP Network.